BA (Hons) Music (Film Music)

Study BA (Hons) Music (Film Music) at Leeds College of Music

Refine your composition, arranging and production skills and develop an entrepreneurial approach to working in the film music industry.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 3 Years
  • UCAS Code: W3W3
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

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Course Overview

Industry Demand

Film composers garner world-wide recognition for their work, and writing music for the moving image has fast become an attractive career option for composers seeking creative flexibility and a high rate of royalty-based income. Developed to meet the growing demand for fresh talent, our degree in Film Music builds on our established expertise in music production as well as our impressive roster of alumni who have gone on to compose work for independent films, Hollywood blockbusters and studios run by high profile practitioners such as Hans Zimmer.

Unique experience

This is the first course of its kind in a UK conservatoire and uniquely combines one-to-one composition tuition, production sessions in Mac Labs, and a wide variety of supporting topics such as harmony, orchestration and historical, cultural and professional studies.

World Class Facilities

Our facilities for Film Music students are numerous and include six Apple Mac Labs, equipped with over 100 high-specification iMacs, numerous composition, rehearsal and performance spaces, and a mixing studio with 5.1 surround sound setup and an HD projector, making it perfect for cueing up your sound effects and music with film footage.

You’ll also have access to our unique and vast library of notated soundtrack scores and cues, most of which are transcribed by course leader Brian Morrell.

Showcase your work

Each term students benefit from our links with the film music industry through our ‘Film Nights’, where they showcase their work to a live audience and a panel of industry professionals. Previous panel members have included Harry Escott (A Mighty Heart, Welcome To The Punch), David Julyan (Memento, The Prestige) and Nicholas Dodd (Casino Royale, Independence Day).

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Film Music) modules focus on developing you as a professional film composer through one-to-one tuition, small group work and creative projects. The professional studies strand will develop your core business skills, and other optional modules will introduce additional cross-genre capabilities.

Specialist Study 1

In small groups and one-to-one tuition, you will explore various compositional possibilities as a means of establishing a solid technical grounding. You will also learn to implement a growing understanding of narrative functions in film and how these can be interpreted by music.

Specialist Group Study 1

Working in computer labs, you will explore the functionality and operation of principal DAW software. Topics may include; audio editing and manipulation including Flex time/Elastic Audio, Editing, Beat Detective, Dynamic and FX processing utilising software, plug-ins, MIDI sequencing and Editing, MIDI controllers, Software Instruments, Mixing in the DAW environment.

Creative Project

You will choose from the project menu and have the opportunity to collaborate with students and tutors from other pathways. Previous projects have included Synthesizer Programming, Arranging with Loops, Writing to a Commercial Popular Music Brief and Practical Crowdfunding.

Film Music in Context 1

You will develop your composition, musicology and aural skills through the examination of repertoire and its style and effects on film and society, ranging from the advent of popular film music through to the present day. You will also assess how music communicates with film from the perspective of composers and directors.

Professional Studies 1

Working in the Creative Industries

You will be introduced to the professional framework and mechanisms of the creative industries, focusing on developing your project management skills and understanding the legal and commercial issues likely to impact on your future employability. You will also develop your core information, digital and media literacies.

Specialist Study 2

You will develop a greater awareness of how film music functions and communicates (audio visual contract). You will demonstrate your compositional identity, understanding of the style and focus, with a sense of the context of your work relative to the industry.

Specialist Group Study 2

You will learn how to operate and manage sequencing, sampling and synthesis software/applications intended for use in music production for film. These may include applications such as Pro Tools, EastWest and other sample libraries and music editing software. You will explore the advanced functionality, operation and processes of principal DAW software.

Film Music in Context 2

You will build on your existing knowledge and understanding of composing, arranging, production, musicology and aural skills through the prism of a comprehensive, thorough and detailed examination of film music, its style, techniques, industrial perspective and effects on society.

You will also choose one of the below options to study:

  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • Songwriting
  • Collaborative Composition
  • Music and Ideology
  • Performance with Electronics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Arranging and Orchestration
  • Musical Direction
Professional Studies 2

You will choose one of the below options to study:

  • Business Start-up
  • Music Education in Practice (PR)
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Self-Promotion & Marketing
  • Structure & Functions of the Film Music Industry
  • Concerts & Touring
  • Artistic Management
Specialist Study 3

Working with industry professionals, e.g. film directors, you will develop a final project that demonstrates a highly developed awareness of your compositional identity and how this relates and applied to existing styles and contexts within the industry.

Final Project

Indicative projects may include:

  • Produce a 'film music based product' using music production technologies and featuring sampled instruments and acoustic instrumentation (if required) within the context of a collaborative creative arts project.
  • 6000-word assignment examining your specialist area in order to ascertain a contextual framework for your practice.
Contextual Studies 3

You will study one of the below options:

  • Computer-Based Composition
  • Software Environments for Performance & Sound Creation
  • Electroacoustic Composition
  • Composition and Production for Film and TV
  • Composed Theatre
  • Extended Improvisation
  • Intercultural Music
  • Emerging Music Models
Professional Studies 3

You will study one of the below options:

  • Live Music Management
  • Community Music Project
  • Music Journalism
  • Business Leadership & Ethics
  • Film Music: Aesthetics & Narrative Function
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Daniel Suett with Hans Zimmer

Alumni Profile

Daniel Suett

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Production)
Year of Graduation: 2013

One of Dan Suett’s many achievements since leaving Leeds College of Music was winning composer Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers competition, which let to him gaining a position as Staff Composer at the Bleeding Fingers studios in Santa Monica, USA. 

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Andy BarracloughLecturer: Film Music

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Film Music)

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September
Validated by: University of Hull

Entry Requirements
  • 96 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 studies, normally including Music. Can include music grade exams.
  • Grade 5 Theory standard (assessed at audition)

Read full entry requirements.

How to apply

Apply via: UCAS
UCAS Code: W3W3
UCAS Institution Code: L30
Application Deadline: 15 January 2017 – we are still accepting applications
Find out more.

Audition information
UK applicants to Film Music degrees at Leeds College of Music will need to complete an audition.
Read the audition guide.

A refund of audition fee and travel costs may be available for applicants from low income households.
Find out more.

Tuition Fees

2017/18 Tuition Fees: £9,250 (Home/EU Students), £14,500 (International Students)

Fees are per academic year and may be subject to government-approved increases in future years.
Find out more.

Scholarships & bursaries

Leeds College of Music provides a range of additional Scholarships and Bursaries.
Find out more.

Facilities

Our six Apple Mac Labs are equipped with over 100 high-specification iMacs, MIDI keyboards and audio interfaces, as well as industry standard software such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Ableton. They can be booked at any time outside of lessons until 3am.

Find out more
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