UCC Postgraduate courses

Music - Digital Music and Media Composition

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

This programme is not on offer for 2020/2021.  In the meantime, please contact the School of Music directly for enquiries on postgraduate options in music and composition


The Online MA in Digital Music and Media Composition provides a thorough grounding in current digital music and media composition techniques. Students who complete the course will possess the ability to author and deliver digital creative content intended for screen (television, film, online content, games) and/or artistic aims (multimedia performance, installations, creative apps). The students will become fluent in the language of digital media artists and practitioners and have an ability to contextualize their work in a contemporary setting.

The MA in Digital Music and Media Composition is an intensive online postgraduate course focused on the composition of digital art in many formats with music principals at their core.

Students take 90 Credits.  Modules taught include:

  • Digital Music Composition and Orchestration I and II where core concepts of contemporary and popular music composition are paired with the challenges and exploration of digital music making. By the end of these modules, students will have gained skills in composing and orchestrating for the screen as well as digital audio editing, recording and mixing,
  • Coding for Creatives will aim to provide a good understanding of computer programming using programming languages tailored to creative people looking to create time based art or prototypes. Students will mostly use the programming languages Processing and Max/MSP/Jitter as well as a myriad of open source tools. Online tutorials become an essential part of this fast paced module. A three day hardware-software Hack-a-thon/workshop at UCC is a part of this module.
  • Digital Media Art in Performance explores issues surrounding real time performance practice with digital media art. Project based research is the focus of this module culminating in a performance at UCC.
  • In Making Time-Based Digital Art students will gain an understanding of contemporary artists working in this field while developing essential skills in video and image creation and editing for multiple outputs. Project based collaborative research is an essential element of this module.
  • Understanding Digital Media Art looks into the history of Digital Media Art and engages the student with research issues (documentation, grant writing, presenting work) surrounding a Digital Media Art practice.

After two semesters of coursework, students completing the MA will be expected to complete a portfolio consisting mainly of creative work worth 30 credits of the degree.  Students opting for a Postgraduate Diploma do not complete the portfolio requirements

Part I 

Year 1 - Semester One

  • MU6007 Digital Music and Media Composition and Orchestration I (10 credits) 
  • MU6009 Coding for Creatives (10 credits)

Year 1 - Semester Two

  • MU6008 Digital Music and Media Composition and Orchestration II (10 credits)

Year 2 - Semester One

  • MU6015 Making Time-based Digital Art (10 credits)

Year 2 - Semester Two

  • MU6016 Understanding Digital Media Art (10 credits)
  • MU6017 Digital Media Art in Performance (10 credits)

Part II 

Year Two -Semester One, Two and Three

  • MU6024 Portfolio (30 credits)

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The course will consist of online coursework combined with two face-to-face workshops (1 per year) as well as virtual meetings between peers and creative collaborators.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

The course will consist of online coursework combined with two face-to-face workshops (1 per year) as well as virtual meetings between peers and creative collaborators. The workload is typical of an MA programme, but given its interdiciplinary nature, students can expect to spend extra time developing skills in their areas of weakness.


Assessment may include practice and performance based elements where appropriate. Assessment for each module may involve, written and digital scores, texts and multimedia files as well as elements of individual and team work.

Who teaches this course

Why Choose This Course

The MA in Digital Music and Media Composition offers a unique opportunity to explore interdisciplinary creativity while gaining essential digital music and art skills. The online MA allows for flexibility for the working professional looking to gain new skills as well as the international student looking for a creative digital arts course.

Skills and Careers Information

On successful completion of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Compose, mix and edit digital music and video
  • Creatively Program computers using a variety of mainly open source programming languages for digital artists
  • Contextualize their work in the contemporary fields of studio composition, sound design and digital art.
  • Research and design systems and/or tools for composition, performances and installations
  • Create soundtracks for audio-visual projects (film, video, installation, performance)
  • Discover new approaches to music and image interaction

The combination of these skills enables a graduate to explore employment possibilities in broadcasting, recording, producing, engineering, computing, information technology, composition, performance, and research


In order to be permitted to proceed to the MA in Digital Music and Media Composition, a candidate must hold an Honours Bachelor's degree in Music, with a grade of Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and demonstrate experience in the creation of music.

Candidates with an Honours degree in another subject, Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and a demonstrable experience of composing with music and/or digital media may also be eligible.

Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent (e.g. professional musician or other artist of high standing, etc.) will also be considered.  Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of compositional work in whatever form is suitable (scores, recordings, videos, computer programmes, etc.) and may also be required to attend an interview with members of the programme team.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €5,400.

Full-time/Part-time fee:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Students will be required to have current computers produced in the last two years with media editing software installed. While a range of software and hardware are available, some suggestions and expected expenses would be:

  • Laptop - €2000
  • Audio Interface €200 - €500
  • Digital Audio Workstation – Reaper €60 or Logic €199 or ProTools €266 (student discount prices)
  • Video Editing – Lightworks €100, iMovie free, Final Cut Pro €299,
  • Other software – Max/MSP €250, PD free, Processing free
  • Misc hardware – Arduino and electronic components €100

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 


For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note that you will also be asked to download and print an additional special Supplementary Information Form during the online applications process for the MA Digital Music Media Composition. The completed Supplementary Information form for the MA in Composition programme and additional relevant enclosures (i.e. Portfolio of compositional work in whatever form is suitable - such as recordings, videos, scores, computer programmes etc must be posted directly to the MA in Digital Music and Media Composition Course Director (Dr. Jeffrey Weeter), School of Music, University College Cork (marked with your PAC application number - which you will be issued when you completed your online postgraduate application).

This Supplementary Information Form is available to view here: CKD15AdditionalQuestions

Applicants may also be required to attend interview with the members of the programme team.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not on offer 2020/2021

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact