Composition Higher MUSIC4069

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will enable students to develop greater confidence and further skills in writing compositions and creating original performances.


12 x 1hr lectures; 

7 x 1hr workshop;

4 x 1 hr Seminar over 20 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

2 hours of project supervision over 20 weeks to be arranged individually.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation. Grade D3 or above in either MUSIC2005 or MUSIC4011

Excluded Courses





Performance workshop with critical reflection (700 words) - 20%

Composition for prescribed ensemble (5-8 mins) - 30% 

Free Composition (8-12 minutes) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ promote a critical understanding of a range of techniques and perspectives in free composition;

■ enable students to apply their critical understanding in the practice of free composition in personal and collaborative contexts;

■ enable students to apply aesthetic awareness and critical listening skills in the pursuit of written compositions and collaborative devising workshops;

■ continue the development of students' abilities to utilise a range of practical tools in composition

■ allow students to collaborate effectively in creative workshops.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ apply a broad range of technical means and formal strategies, developed through the course sessions, to create compositions;

■ create clear stylistic identity in compositions through the application of aesthetic judgement and critical listening;

■ engage with key areas of concern such as harmony, melodic structure, form, texture, timbre, and notation in the creation of compositions;

■ collaborate effectively with others;

■ write music that exploits the capabilities of the chosen media.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.