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M.Phil. in Music Composition

M.Phil. class of 2017/18

Course Co-ordinator - Dr Evangelia Rigaki (

Apply for M.Phil. in Music Composition


The Music Department offers a one-year M.Phil. in Music Composition catering for the growing demand for graduate studies of international standing in the area of composition. As well as one-on-one mentorship in composition itself, students will take modules in contemporary composition techniques, experimental music theatre and contemporary opera, film music aesthetics, and composition with digital technology, among others. In addition, students will attend lectures by leading composers and musicians as part of the Music Composition Centre on-going talks. Students will also have the opportunity to attend on-going masterclasses and workshops with our Musicians in Residence (who are in the teaching faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and also players of the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra) as well as our resident choir, The Mornington Singers. Students will have the opportunity to receive on-going feedback on their compositions and collaborate with leading musicians and to rehearse their compositions with them as part of the annual Composition Graduate Show. Students have access to a tech lab specially created and exclusively used by M.Phil. in Music Composition students, as well as rehearsal rooms, all situated in the Music Department in Trinity's Front Square.

Lindsey Vincent
M.Phil. in Music Composition graduate 2016/17

The M.Phil. in Music Composition at Trinity thoroughly broadened my horizons and encouraged me to flourish as a composer; as time progressed, I became not only more knowledgeable about composition, but intrigued by new aspects of composition that I had not previously considered. This course allowed me to compose for myself as opposed to seeing how well I met standards and allowed room for personal growth, which was so refreshing and extremely beneficial!


1 year full-time

Course Content

The course consists of six compulsory taught modules spread across two semesters (60 ECTS). Each compulsory module is worth 10 ECTS.

The compulsory modules are: Composition Today, Composition with Digital Technology, Writing for Ensemble (Graduate Show Piece in collaboration with the Musicians in Residence), History and Theory of Film Music, Writing Film Music, and Contemporary Opera/Experimental Music Theatre.

Modules may change in advance of term.

Dissertation (30 ECTS)

The dissertation module consists of two components:

  • A final portfolio of composition
  • An accompanying thesis of around 3000 words

The final portfolio of composition must have a performing duration of between 20-35 minutes. Portfolios with longer performance times will also be accepted, but these must be agreed in advance with the Course Director. Students will work on developing their portfolio and accompanying thesis in conjunction with an assigned supervisor. The accompanying thesis should deal with the structure, aesthetics and methods used by the candidate in the act of composition. The thesis should demonstrate a good knowledge of the context surrounding the candidate's work, and in doing so should engage with history and criticism.


Please check the Academic Registry website for all postgraduate fees.

Next intake of students will be September 2019.

Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least an upper second or a GPA of at least 3.3). A sample of the candidate’s own critical and music writing - three compositions (score and/or audio), plus one essay - is also required. We welcome applications from students with extensive music experience whose undergraduate degree is not in Music.

All enquiries should be addressed to: Dr. Evangelia Rigaki

For further information, see the application website. Completed applications should be received by 30th June 2019.

The Constantia Maxwell Bursary for Postgraduate Taught Courses (2019-20 intake)

The School of Creative Arts is pleased to announce that we will be awarding one €5,000 bursary to the top ranked applicant to the M.Phil. programmes running in the School - M.Phil. in Film Studies: Theory, History, Practice; M.Phil. in Theatre and Performance; M.Phil. in Music Composition. Applicants will be ranked on the basis of previous academic qualifications, the quality of their supporting application, their letters of reference, and their potential for higher level research. Existing applicants should indicate to the M.Phil. co-ordinator whether they would like to be considered for this bursary.

All applications for these courses and this bursary must be received by 28th June 2019.

For further details, please contact the Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Dr Paula Quigley.