Cookie policy

By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information on and off Studee as outlined in our cookie policy.

Study composition abroad

Get a fully personalized list of composition programs that match your eligibility and aspirations.

See all composition programs

See your perfect composition programs abroad

Tell us a bit about yourself and your study plans to filter your results so you only see the programs that are right for you.

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

How to study composition abroad

  1. Find your best matches

    See programs that best match your eligibility and aspirations

  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application

  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

Composition study abroad programs

Composition undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in composition

  • false

    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
    September, January, May
    Show program overview about Composition
  • false

    English: Rhetoric and Composition - BA California State University, Long Beach, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,338 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,338 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about English: Rhetoric and Composition
  • false

    Instrumental/Vocal Composition - BMus Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,918 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 34,071 NZD

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Instrumental/Vocal Composition
  • false

    Music: Theory/Composition - BM 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
    November, May
    Show program overview about Music: Theory/Composition
  • false

    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
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Music - Composition
See all bachelor's degrees in composition

Associate in composition

  • false

    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
  • false

    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
    August, February, June
    Show program overview about Composition
See all associate degrees in composition

Certificate in composition

  • false

    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
See all undergraduate certificates in composition

Composition graduate programs

Master's in composition

  • false

    Composition - MA Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,874 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,070 GBP

    Start date
    January, February
    Show program overview about Composition
  • false

    Music Composition - 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 Music Composition
  • false

    Composition and Creative Music Practice - MMus University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,407 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,510 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Composition and Creative Music Practice
  • false

    Music: Composition - MM 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 Music: Composition
  • false

    Music (Theory & Composition) - MA Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    44,100 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 44,100 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Music (Theory & Composition)
See all master's degrees in composition

Search all of our composition programs

Just tell us a bit about yourself and your study plans and we'll show you the right composition programs for you.

Find your perfect matches

We'll find you the best programs based on your aspirations and eligibility.

Quick and easy

It only takes a few minutes to get a fully personalized list of programs.

No catches

Get your full results without having to provide any contact details.

Find your perfect programs

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.