MA Music: portfolio requirements
Please read the portfolio requirements that correspond to your chosen pathway.
MA in Music
The following pathways require you to submit a portfolio along with your application:
Please send a USB stick to Postgraduate Admissions in the Faculty of Arts, b.17 3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB at the time of submitting your online application form.
You may also upload an audition video to YouTube.
Please include two contrasting pieces, totalling no more than 15 minutes. We will not be able to assess your application until we receive the audition DVD or online video.
What to include in your portfolio
We are open to variations of individual circumstances, but as a guide:
Instrumental / vocal work
- Two or three recent written scores for contrasting mediums.
- Live workshop or concert recordings of the above where available. (Synthesised demos are not encouraged, but may be substituted if a live recording is not available.)
Electronic and mixed media work if applicable
- Electroacoustic composition, for example acousmatic music, presented as a recording.
- Mixed-media concert works, such as for instrument/voice and tape or live electronics. Include the written score and a performance recording, as above.
- Film track or music-theatre work. Include the written score (if applicable), a video recording, and a statement indicating what component of the creative work is your own.
Send your best work: quality, not quantity. As a rough guide, we suggest no more than 3 pieces and a total playing time of 15 minutes.
How to present your scores and media
Scores should be typeset or in fair-copy manuscript (i.e. suitable for presentation to a performer), and be in standard double-sided format on A4 paper or similar; preferably bound (e.g. comb binding); and NOT placed in individual plastic sleeves. Large-format scores may be included if this is how the music was created.
Recordings may be presented as one or more of the following:
- an audio CD;
- USB stick.
List the portfolio contents, including track numbers, names and durations, on a single sheet of paper. Make clear on this list whether each item is presented as score, recording, or both.
Use only good quality new media, and use the "write once" type (e.g. CD-R) not the re-writeable kind (CD-RW). Ensure your disc is clean and free of scratches, and enclose it in a jewel case, NEVER loose nor in a thin envelope. Please write your name and "MA in Music (Composition) application" on the disc using a CD-writer pen. Do not use sticky labels, and don't write with ballpoint / roller-tip / pencil etc or washable ink: these can all cause damage to the disc and/or player. You are strongly advised to test your disc before sending it, by playing it right the way through on a variety of playback systems.
If you have any further questions about the portfolio of work required please contact the Composition Pathway Tutor, Michael Ellison.
Please be advised that;
- Submitted materials will not be returned unless you include a stamped self-addressed envelope, or arrange for collection.
- You should never send unique or top copies.
- You should package your materials carefully for mailing. Damaged materials will lead to delay in processing your application.
Where to send your portfolio
Send the materials by post to Postgraduate Admissions in the Postgraduate Admissions in the Faculty of Arts, b.17 3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB. Include a cover note that states your full name, student number and the programme you are applying for. Postgraduate admissions staff will then match your portfolio with your online application. Do not send materials to the Music Department address.
When to apply
Applications for the taught programmes are accepted on a rolling basis until the programmes are full.
We will not begin the review of your application until both the application is submitted and we have received your portfolio.