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Music - Digital Music & Media Composition

The Online MA in Digital Music and Media Composition provides a thorough grounding in current digital music and media composition techniques. Students who complete the course will possess the ability to author and deliver digital creative content intended for screen (television, film, online content, games) and/or artistic aims (multimedia performance, installations, creative apps). The students will become fluent in the language of digital media artists and practitioners and have an ability to contextualize their work in a contemporary setting.

Entry requirements

In order to be permitted to proceed to the MA in Digital Music and Media Composition, a candidate must hold an Honours Bachelor's degree in Music, with a grade of Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and demonstrate experience in the creation of music.

Candidates with an Honours degree in another subject, Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and a demonstrable experience of composing with music and/or digital media may also be eligible.

Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent (e.g. professional musician or other artist of high standing, etc.) will also be considered. Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of compositional work in whatever form is suitable (scores, recordings, videos, computer programmes, etc.) and may also be required to attend an interview with members of the programme team.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


2 years part-time

The course will consist of online coursework combined with two face-to-face workshops (1 per year) as well as virtual meetings between peers and creative collaborators.

Number of credits

90 Credits

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
On successful completion of this programme, students will be able to:

Compose, mix and edit digital music and video

Creatively Program computers using a variety of mainly open source programming languages for digital artists

Contextualize their work in the contemporary fields of studio composition, sound design and digital art.

Research and design systems and/or tools for composition, performances and installations

Create soundtracks for audio-visual projects (film, video, installation, performance)

Discover new approaches to music and image interaction

The combination of these skills enables a graduate to explore employment possibilities in broadcasting, recording, producing, engineering, computing, information technology, composition, performance, and research.

Further enquiries

Dr. Jeffrey Weeter
Tel: 00 353 21 490 4536

Subjects taught

The MA in Digital Music and Media Composition is an intensive online postgraduate course focused on the composition of digital art in many formats with music principals at their core.

Students take 90 Credits. Modules taught include:
- Digital Music Composition and Orchestration I and II where core concepts of contemporary and popular music composition are paired with the challenges and exploration of digital music making. By the end of these modules, students will have gained skills in composing and orchestrating for the screen as well as digital audio editing, recording and mixing,

- Coding for Creatives will aim to provide a good understanding of computer programming using programming languages tailored to creative people looking to create time based art or prototypes. Students will mostly use the programming languages Processing and Max/MSP/Jitter as well as a myriad of open source tools. Online tutorials become an essential part of this fast paced module. A three day hardware-software Hack-a-thon/workshop at UCC is a part of this module.

- Digital Media Art in Performance explores issues surrounding real time performance practice with digital media art. Project based research is the focus of this module culminating in a performance at UCC.

- In Making Time-Based Digital Art students will gain an understanding of contemporary artists working in this field while developing essential skills in video and image creation and editing for multiple outputs. Project based collaborative research is an essential element of this module.

- Understanding Digital Media Art looks into the history of Digital Media Art and engages the student with research issues (documentation, grant writing, presenting work) surrounding a Digital Media Art practice.

After two semesters of coursework, students completing the MA will be expected to complete a portfolio consisting mainly of creative work worth 30 credits of the degree. Students opting for a Postgraduate Diploma do not complete the portfolio requirements

Part I
Year 1 - Semester One
MU6007 Digital Music and Media Composition and Orchestration I (10 credits)
MU6009 Coding for Creatives (10 credits)

Year 1 - Semester Two
MU6008 Digital Music and Media Composition and Orchestration II (10 credits)

Year 2 - Semester One
MU6015 Making Time-based Digital Art (10 credits)

Year 2 - Semester Two
MU6016 Understanding Digital Media Art (10 credits)
MU6017 Digital Media Art in Performance (10 credits)

Part II
Year Two -Semester One, Two and Three
MU6024 Portfolio (30 credits)


The course will consist of online coursework combined with two face-to-face workshops (1 per year) as well as virtual meetings between peers and creative collaborators. The workload is typical of an MA programme, but given its interdiciplinary nature, students can expect to spend extra time developing skills in their areas of weakness.

Unique Aspects of the Course
The MA in Digital Music and Media Composition offers a unique opportunity to explore interdisciplinary creativity while gaining essential digital music and art skills. The online MA allows for flexibility for the working professional looking to gain new skills as well as the international student looking for a creative digital arts course.

Assessment method

Assessment may include practice and performance based elements where appropriate. Assessment for each module may involve, written and digital scores, texts and multimedia files as well as elements of individual and team work.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Tuition Fees: Irish/EU: Year 1 part-time €1,800 (30 credits); Year 2 part-time €3,600 (60 Credits); Students will be required to have current computers produced in the last two years with media editing software installed. While a range of software and hardware are available, some suggestions and expected expenses would be: Laptop - €2000 Audio Interface €200 - €500 Digital Audio Workstation – Reaper €60 or Logic €199 or ProTools €266 (student discount prices) Video Editing – Lightworks €100, iMovie free, Final Cut Pro €299, Other software – Max/MSP €250, PD free, Processing free Misc hardware – Arduino and electronic components €100

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!