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Study composition abroad

: We maximize your chance of getting admitted to your chosen universities

The smart alternative to applying direct for composition degrees abroad and the easy way to find programs that match your eligibility and aspirations

Find your perfect composition programs abroad

Find composition programs you love that match your needs & aspirations, where you stand a high chance of acceptance.

Find other programs in composition

Composition degrees abroad

If you are an aspiring composer, a degree in composition will help you develop the musicianship skills and professionalism you’ll need to succeed. Your program will focus on both the creative and commercial aspects of being a composer, and prepare you for the future challenges that face the music industry.

Most composition programs will have an emphasis on practice-based learning, and you may get the opportunity to take part in public concerts with professional soloists, ensembles, and orchestras. You’ll also get the chance to develop your own compositions and ideas, and perform them as part of your course.

Music is a truly international language, and by studying and living abroad you’ll be able to experience different musical influences first-hand. Music composition is available to study in universities and conservatoires all over the world, including cities and countries with long and fascinating musical histories.

Composition program structure

You can study composition at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The most common option for undergraduate students is a BMus (Bachelor of Music), which can be studied over three or four years.

For many programs, you’ll be asked to select an instrument specialism that you will study during your course. Some programs allow you to choose a primary and secondary instrument, but others may only allow you to study one.

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in a related subject like music, you can choose to study an MMus (Master of Music) in composition over one or two years. These programs are often more focussed, for example, composition for screen, so could be an ideal option if you want to specialize in a specific area.

Although rare, doctorate level degrees are available at some music schools or conservatoires. These can take between four and seven years and will consist of your own unique research and the creation of a doctoral dissertation.

Learning will be through a combination of one-to-one tutoring sessions, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses with experienced composers, seminars, and lectures. The content of your program will depend largely on where you study and what you choose to specialize in, but common areas of study include:

  • Orchestration
  • Music and narrative
  • Composition and harmony
  • Language of music
  • Score reading
  • Music for media
  • Interactive composition

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Composition study abroad programs

Composition undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in composition

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    Composition - BM Indiana Wesleyan University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,184 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,184 USD

    Start date
    May, September, January
    Show program overview about Composition
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    Composition - BM DePaul University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    40,551 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 40,551 USD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Composition
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    Music: Composition - BFA California State University, Long Beach, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,404 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,404 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Music: Composition
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    Liberal Studies: Linguistics/Composition - BA California State University, Sacramento, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,800 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Liberal Studies: Linguistics/Composition
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    Music - Composition - BM Louisiana State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,700 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,700 USD

    Start date
    August, January, May
    Show program overview about Music - Composition

Associate in composition

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    Commercial Music Media Composition - AA Diablo Valley College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    8,304 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,304 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Commercial Music Media Composition
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    Composition - AA College of the Canyons, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,000 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,000 USD

    Start date
    June, August, February
    Show program overview about Composition

Certificate in composition

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    Teaching Composition - Cert California State University, Sacramento, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    16,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,800 USD

    Start date
    November, May
    Show program overview about Teaching Composition

Composition graduate programs

Master's in composition

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    Composition - MM DePaul University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    27,680 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 27,680 USD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Composition
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    Composition - MA Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,233 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,070 GBP

    Start date
    January, February
    Show program overview about Composition
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    Composition (Interdisciplinary Digital Media) - MM Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    25,200 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 25,200 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Composition (Interdisciplinary Digital Media)
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    Composition and Creative Music Practice - MMus University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    16,998 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,800 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Composition and Creative Music Practice
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    English: Composition - MA California State University, Sacramento, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,800 USD

    Start date
    November, May
    Show program overview about English: Composition

Future composition careers

Composition degrees are vocational programs that aim to prepare you for a successful career in the music industry, and there are a number of exciting roles you could pursue. Here are some of the roles composition graduates have taken up:

  • Composer
  • Orchestrator
  • Orchestra musician
  • Music director
  • Music editor
  • Music teacher
  • Arts critic

Roles in the music industry are notoriously competitive, so putting in extra work outside of the classroom could help give you the edge. Joining your university music societies or playing in local orchestras can give you valuable experience that employers value.