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Unit information: Composition Portfolio in 2021/22

Unit name Composition Portfolio
Unit code MUSIM0011
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Pickard
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The Composition Portfolio has a status equivalent to the Dissertation written by musicologists and scholars of most arts and humanities. The submission should therefore demonstrate a professional level of presentation, compositional accomplishment and imaginative aspiration. It typically comprises one large-scale work (such as a concerto of duration c. 15 minutes), or else a strongly argued chamber work (such as a string quartet perhaps) together with a short piece or pieces perhaps for voices or large ensemble totalling ca. 20-25 minutes. The norm is not a rule, however, and works for electronic or electro-acoustic media, non-standard ensembles, works with mixed media or film etc. are all permitted, while timing must be related to pace and density of musical thought. All submissions should be realistically performable and not merely conceptual.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Comprehensive technical skills for professional score writing, including instrumental and other resources, instrumentation, orchestration, score layout and presentation.
  2. Up to date knowledge of and critical understanding of contemporary musical repertoire and related cultural ideas based on listening, score study and reading
  3. Acquisition of technical foundations of contemporary composition, supplemented by analysis of relevant scores
  4. As a Composer, to demonstrate a high level of technical assurance, the ability to select and generate appropriate constructional tools to bring about the articulation of a musical concept, to use form and argument effectively and clearly, to assess creative ideas objectively in relation to emotional and cultural context, and to develop a reflective and self-critical attitude.
  5. clarity and objectivity in expressing musical ideas
  6. capacity for creative and lateral thinking

Teaching Information

Individual tutorial meetings during TB 2 (typically six meetings in total).

Assessment Information

Portfolio (100%) comprising either a single large-scale work or a collection of shorter works

Successful attainment of outcome (4) will enable the student to demonstrate (1) - (3) and (5). A successful Project submission will also embody (6).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MUSIM0011).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.