Skip to main content

Unit information: Media Composition in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Media Composition
Unit code MUSIM0025
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Goodchild
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This is a practice-led unit which offers direct experience of the approaches used in media composition today, taught by a guest tutor professionally active in the industry. The unit develops skills in musical characterisation across varied genres, focusing on forms such as Television documentary, promotional videos, advertising and library music. The sessions consider the appropriate use of the latest studio techniques with or without live resources, working to a brief, and considerations of style in relation to the target audience. The unit brings together techniques taught in the units Professional Techniques, Film Scoring, and in the student's choice of optional unit such as Writing for Orchestra.


The course provides an up-to-date introduction to the skills, techniques and practicalities involved in media composition and primary knowledge of business survival skills. Regular assignments and exercises are set and evaluated, leading to more extended assessed projects in audio, TV and documentary media.

Intended learning outcomes

The successful student will:

  1. be imaginative and skilled in choosing sound palettes that work for different topics and genres;
  2. be proficient at composing both studio and live recorded scores for a variety of given briefs;
  3. have understood and begun to master the techniques of synchronising and editing music to soundtrack and film with sensitivity to balance in audio and visual data;
  4. have successfully worked with external film producers, worked to a given brief, incorporated producer feedback and produced the music to a professional standard.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by tutorials, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Three coursework projects: 30%, 30%, 40%.

Reading and References

  • multiple examples of current screen media, including recent projects by the unit tutor
  • Philip D. Tagg Kojak. Fifty Seconds of Television Music: Toward the Analysis of Affect in Popular Music. G�teborg 1979 (Ph.D. diss. G�teborg 1979).
  • Michael Chion Experiencing the Soundtrack (Cinesonic 2000). Sidney 2001.
  • Nicholas Cook Analysing Musical Multimedia. Oxford 1998.