Music - Composition

Core modules in contemporary compositional technique and the study of works and writings of other composers help broaden your compositional focus and allow you to develop your own voice in the exciting world of contemporary music. These activities are complimented by regular talks and consultations with visiting professional composers and opportunities for performance of your works by visiting performers and student ensembles.

Subjects taught

A portfolio of compositions supported by modules in contemporary compositional techniques, contemporary aesthetics and a range of electives from the MA in Creative Music Technologies (e.g. electroacoustic composition) and MA in Musicology (e.g. Music & Gender).

MU645A Composition Portfolio (Semesters I & II; 30 ECTs)
MU625 Collaborative Music Performance (Semesters I & II; 10 ECTs)
MU633 Contemporary Compositional Techniques I (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU634 Contemporary Compositional Techniques II (Semester II; 10 ECTs)
MU637 Styles and Ideas (Semester I; 10 ECTs)

OPTIONAL MODULES from MA in Creative Music Technologies
MU610A Acoustics and Psychoacoustics (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU611A Software Sound Synthesis (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU612A Sound Recording Techniques (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU617A Interactive Systems (Semester II; 10 ECTs)
MU619A Electroacoustic Composition (Semester II; 10 ECTs)

from other taught MAs in the Department
MU647 Music in Ireland (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU648 Interpreting Analysis (Semester II; 10 ECTs)
MU649 Gendered Musical Bodies (Semester II; 10 ECTs)
MU635 Aesthetics of 20th/21st-Century Music (Semester II; 10 ECTs)
MU660A Research Methods (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU661 Musical Texts (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU673 Fieldwork & Source Studies (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU674 Theory & Practice in Irish Traditional Music (Semester I; 10 ECTs)
MU676 Irish Musical Critique (Semester II; 10 ECTs)

Entry requirements

Honours degree normally with a minimum of Grade 2.1 in music. Interview is required in addition to submission of examples of composition demonstrating attainment equivalent to high 2.1 BA level skills. International students whose first language is not English are required to present an English language exam certificate showing IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).

Minimum English language requirements: please visit Maynooth University International Office website for information about English language tests accepted and required scores. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and non-EU applicants.

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

Application dates

Closing Date : 30 June 2024


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Enrolment dates

September Entry

Post Course Info

Recent graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers as composer (for media and art-music), arranger, performer/improviser, music copyist, essayist/critic, and in fields such as arts management and broadcasting amongst others. The skills developed in the MA in Composition are transferable to many diverse areas of employment beyond the creative industries, including primary, secondary and third-level education, research based careers (e.g. research and consultative work, not only in the arts but also general public sector organisations), and administrative or managerial roles.

For example, non-arts-based companies also look for creative, independent employees and their particular skillset.

Postgraduate options - The MA in Composition also prepares students for doctoral study in composition.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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