BA (Hons) Music (Film Music) with Foundation Year

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Study BA (Hons) Music (Film Music) with Foundation Year at Leeds College of Music

Refine your composition, arranging and production skills and develop an entrepreneurial approach to working in the film music industry. Our Foundation Year route gives you an extra year to focus on your musical development.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 4 Years
  • UCAS Code: W3W4 - Apply through UCAS - Institution Code: L30
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

Film Music POD-3.jpg

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).

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year gives you an extra year of access to our creative and collaborative environment, excellent facilities, expert staff and rich performance opportunities, building your confidence as a conservatoire composer.

Career destinations

Graduates from Leeds College of Music have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Film Composers, Recording, Sound Designers and Producers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Film Music) with Foundation Year 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 Foundation

Building a firm foundation in all basic compositional techniques, you will explore the narrative functions in film and how these can be interpreted by music to gain a wide perspective on the range of what constitutes film music. Focus will also be placed on the awareness of the adaptability that is expected from a composer working in an ‘industry’ context.

Specialist Study Foundation - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study Foundation

You will produce work to accompany moving image, exploring a variety of established compositional approaches used for film using appropriate music technology software and scoring software.

Specialist Group Study Foundation - Module Specification

Aural and Theory

You will gain a breadth of understanding in order to provide context for your specialism, and will be given the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to creative tasks. Aural topics include singing at sight, improvisation, aural identification and interpretation of melodic material, chord sequences and rhythms, identification and analysis of key stylistic traits and forms.

Aural and Theory - Module Specification

Musicianship Skills

You will study one of the topics listed below, based on identified areas for your development:

  • Theory
  • Composition
  • Technology
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Creative Performance Techniques

Musicianship Skills - Module Specification

Contextual Studies Foundation

You will develop musicology, composition, and creative skills through the examination and exploration of repertoire, key historical and cultural concepts and creative collaboration. Study is divided into three themes: general musicology, pathway-specific repertoire analysis & composition, and creative workshops.

Contextual Studies Foundation - Module Specification

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 Study 1 - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study 1

Working in computer labs, you will explore the functionality and operation of principal DAW software, mainly in the context of music for the moving image. You will study how DAW and associated music technologies, such as the use and manipulation of sample libraries, are essential for contemporary film music creation.

Specialist Group Study 1 - Module Specification

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.

Creative Project - Module Specification

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.

Film Music in Context 1 - Module Specification

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.

Working in the Creative Industries - Module Specification

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 Study 2 - Module Specification

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.

Specialist Group Study 2 - Module Specification

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.

Film Music in Context 2 - Module Specification

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

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.

Specialist Study 3 - Module Specification

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Final Project - Module Specification

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2019/20 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2019.

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

Brian Morrell
Brian MorrellProgramme Leader: Film Music

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

Read more
Andrew Barraclough
Andy BarracloughCurriculum Manager: Film Music

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

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September 2020
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document 2020/21

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements:

96 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

Other entry requirements:

Musical theory standard (assessed at interview)

Applicants’ understanding of applied music theory will be assessed at interview where they will be asked questions about the theoretical elements of the pieces they have included in their portfolio to ensure that they are suitable for the course. They are expected to be at Grade 5 Music Theory standard.

Read full entry requirements

Audition information

UK applicants to Film Music degrees at Leeds College of Music will need to complete an interview and portfolio.

See interview and portfolio information

Audition fees will no longer be charged for any Undergraduate course at Leeds College of Music. If you are from a household with an income of less than £25,000, and would like to apply for a refund of your travel costs, please download further information and an application form here.

How To Apply

Apply via: UCAS
UCAS Code: W3W4
UCAS Institution Code: L30
Application Deadline: The UCAS equal consideration (‘on time’) deadline is 15 January 2020. We may still accept applications for all of our courses after this date, although this may change at short notice as places fill up.

Read our step-by-step application guide


Fees & Funding
International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding

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
Open Days

Find out what it’s like to study at Leeds College of Music by coming along to one of our Open Days.

As well as talks and tours specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to members of our Student Support Team about your application, support for students with disabilities, tuition fees and more.

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Charlie Hewitt is an LCoM alumni from our BA (Hons) Music (Business) pathway. Since graduating in 2018, Charlie has…
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