BMus (Hons) Composition

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Course summary

This course still has places available in Clearing for September 2018 entry. Please call our free hotline to apply.

We were ranked 5th in London for Music courses by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

Composition at the London College of Music draws on a wide range of cultural influences; not ignoring the challenges of the avant garde or, by contrast, the commercial demands of writing for media. In the celebrated Composer’s Workshop series you will meet many internationally celebrated composers at the innovative cutting edge of their profession.

student-composing-at-keyboardWhy choose this course?

Professor Francis Pott, Head of Composition, is an internationally celebrated composer, known for such masterpieces as The Cloud of Unknowing.

The department runs a composers' workshop series, in which you will have the opportunity to meet leading composers. In recent semesters, Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir, Augusta Read Thomas, Simon Holt, Param Vir, Philip Grange, Bryn Harrison and many others have attended these workshops, along with major film composers such as John Cameron, and virtuoso performers demonstrating their instruments. Members of staff include producer/composer Paul Borg and celebrity arranger and producer Pip Williams, who also contribute to the series.

BMus Composition is a three-year course in which you can specialise in score-based composition, while also taking modules with Performance and Music Technology students.

As part of our celebrated Composer’s Workshop series, you will meet many internationally celebrated composers – innovating and reinventing their profession.

Career and study progression

On graduating, career options include:

  • media composition
  • music publishing
  • arranging and copying
  • music teaching.

flute-and-sheet-musicOn successful completion of the course, you will have the opportunity to study at postgraduate level.

See our postgraduate courses page to view the full range of postgraduate degree courses offered by the London College of Music.

How will this course be assessed?

Year one
3% written exam, 0% practical exam, 98% coursework

Year two
3% written exam, 7% practical exam, 90% coursework

Year three
3% written exam, 7% practical exam, 90% coursework

Course detail

Course overview

This course provides aspiring composers with the opportunity to take command of the widest range of techniques from the traditional right through to those of the avant garde, and helps the development of individual and original styles in concert composition, jazz and popular music. Studying composition at LCM encourages professionalism underpinned by strong musicianship skills.

It also encourages links with both music technology and music management departments in order to offer comprehensive and meaningful insight into the world of composition and its relevance to the performance aspect of the industry. The course is also available in combination with both Music Technology and Music Management modules. Internationally acclaimed composers are on the staff to support your studies, with many leading composers at the height of their creative careers visiting on a regular basis to give Composers' Workshops.


Year One (Level 4)

  • Composition
  • Harmony and Counterpoint
  • Music Analysis
  • Music History A: 1600-1900
  • Methods and Materials.

Year Two (Level 5)

  • Composition
  • Music History B: 20th-21st Century Music 
  • Orchestration and Arranging.

Optional modules:

  • Creative Sound
  • Fugal Composition and Analysis
  • Jazz Studies
  • Music and Enterprise
  • Advanced DAW and Mixing.

Year Three (Level 6)

  • Advanced Orchestration and Arranging
  • Composition.

Optional modules:

  • Experimental Sound
  • Independent Research Project
  • Music Education Workshop
  • Music Management.

Entry requirements

112-128 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications, normally including Music or an alternative relevant subject area.

These can include:

  • A Levels at grade B, B and C, or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma with Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 – 4 / A* - C) or Level 2 equivalents.

    Grade 8 standard on the first study instrument or voice is desired plus sight reading ability at Grade 5 or 6 and theory at Grade 5.

    Mature applicants (aged 21+): If you do not hold the above qualifications but possess relevant work experience, you are invited to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

    Level 5 entry
    If you wish to enter directly at level 5 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 120 undergraduate credits at level 4 or a CertHE in a related subject area.

    Level 6 entry
    If you wish to enter directly at level 6 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 240 undergraduate credits (at level 4 and 5), a DipHE, Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject area.

    International entry criteria
    International students need to meet our English language requirement at IELTS 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

    In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit to check for local equivalencies.

    We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses


    Fees for home and EU students

    Main fee

    Fees for overseas students

    Main fee
    Find out if you are a home or overseas student.


    Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

    You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

    Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

    How to apply


    All applicants are required to submit a portfolio of scores and attend an interview and audition.

    On receipt of application, candidates will automatically be invited to submit a portfolio of their original compositions and/or recordings (this can be a digital submission). Your portfolio must include at least 2 compositions. For Film Music Composition, it would be preferable (but not essential) if one, or more of these pieces could be synchronised to picture. Successful candidates will then be invited for an interview in person or by Skype.

    For detailed information on how to prepare your portfolio and what to expect in the interview or audition please see our Interview and audition processes page.

    Apply for this course

    UK and EU students

    Apply for this course at when UCAS applications are open, from the previous September until June (see dates). You will need our institution code W05 and the UCAS code given on the right hand side of this page.

    If the UCAS deadline has passed, you can apply through Clearing by calling our hotline on 0800 036 8888 (or +44 8231 2468). Clearing takes place over the summer months (July to September).

    If you are making an early application, before UCAS has opened, you can apply directly to the University by clicking the red 'apply now' button above. You should also use this button to receive specialist information if you are applying for Nursing and Midwifery courses.

    More about how to apply to the University of West London.

    Please also read our student terms and conditions.

    International students

    Apply at or you can apply to study this course using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

    You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

    More about the application process for international students.

    Please also read our student terms and conditions.


    During the course

    What our students say

    Lenka Bozeticka, BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Composition

    "The best thing about the course were my singing lessons. My teacher is amazing and extremely knowledgeable!”

    “Now I have graduated I want to continue my singing lessons and become a professional opera singer."

    Oliver Stokes, BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Composition

    "My university experience was vibrant and exciting, especially getting the opportunity to meet a variety of students who were studying on different courses.

    The course has given me a great opportunity of work and experience for the future."

    Jobs and placements

    Recent appointments for alumni


    Umit Armagan (BMus 2010 – 2013) has embarked on postgraduate studies as the Guildhall School of Music.

    Lorenzo Glieca (BMus 2006 – 2009) co-authored a book published by Cambridge University Press: 'Sound-Music & The Moving-Thinking Body' (2013) based on proceedings from a conference he organized at the School of Advanced Studies, Senate House in 2011.