MA in Scoring for Film, TV and Interactive Media
The programme enables learners to develop strong, individual creative voices with the ability to contribute original music to diverse visual media.
The past decade has seen a growth in digital media production, including streaming video content, and interactive media. Today’s digital media production companies require flexible, creative music departments, capable of working to short deadlines with limited resources.
The MA programme provides learners with specialised creative and technical skills in scoring for visual media and develops their related interpersonal and management abilities to bring creative projects to successful completion. Building upon this skills base, the programme enables learners to develop and hone their own creative voice.
Why study Scoring with Griffith College and Pulse?
- The professional audio facilities available at Pulse College’s Windmill Lane Studios campus are unrivalled in Ireland and rank among the finest in Europe.
- Pulse College is a hub for excellence in the field of music technology and production – learners benefit from an unrivalled wealth of accumulated knowledge.
- The MA programme provides learners with specialised creative and technical skills in scoring for visual media and develops their related interpersonal and management abilities to bring creative projects to successful completion.
- Composition tuition balances tropes and craft issues with eclectic and wide-ranging aesthetic/technical perspectives and dynamic, responsive learner-focused mentorship.
- Several assessments will feature professional studio recording sessions with professional performers, resulting in a high-quality audio portfolio of compositional work.
The next intake for this course will be:
- September 2022*
*subject to sufficient numbers
The course comprises eleven modules, culminating in a major project. (5 ECTS)
This module trains composers in the fundamentals of engineering and producing small ensemble recording sessions, as well as offering a solid grounding in score supervision and workflows for larger ensemble sessions. The module seeks to offer learners in a wide range of technical and communication skills associated with the recording studio. (5 ECTS)
This module helps the learners to harness the digital audio workstation (DAW) and associated software tools for the creation of polished, “sync-ready” audio. Teaching focuses on core skills of editing, mixing and mastering in the DAW, and sophisticated creative applications of e.g. MIDI, software synths, Virtual Studio Technology plugins, and sample libraries.
This module instructs the learners in the production processes and workflows germane to the creation of music for diverse visual media, including film, TV and interactive media. It is intended that this knowledge then forms a foundation for principal instruction in various conventional composing methodologies and “genre” approaches. (10 ECTS)
This module facilitates key aesthetic issues in music for audio-visual media via the modality of case study analyses. It is intended that the module will provide a solid theoretical and methodological framework for independent analytical and critical investigation – within the larger context of creative praxis. (5 ECTS)
This module equips the learners with key knowledge of legalities and business transactions in the world of music for visual media, in particular: contracts, royalties and copyright issues. (5 ECTS)
This module equips learners with a set of specialised skills in music technology: skills relating to creative use of the software sampler, with a particular emphasis on sound design applications; and skills relating to use of middleware software in the creation of music and sound design for interactive media. (5 ECTS)
This module offers tools for advanced orchestration, and further develops refined skills for orchestral mock-ups. Additionally, this module focuses on tools for genre arrangement – including pop, rock and jazz styles. (5 ECTS)
Drawing upon and integrating areas of knowledge encountered throughout the programme, as well as recent / emergent scholarship in the field of music for visual media, this module aims to support and guide the learner in the planning of their Major Project – both the formulation of a personal research question for investigation via creative practice. (5 ECTS)
This module nurtures and develops a distinctive creative approach to scoring for visual media, building upon a solid skills base. Lectures focus on possibilities for creative strategies, drawing upon diverse contemporary practices, rather than conventions, and individual tutorial time makes up the majority of teaching hours. (10 ECTS)
This module aims to engender skills and strategies for professional practice – from pitching, to maintaining effective client relationships, to presenting work. The ultimate objective is to equip the learners for the aspects of the role of visual media composer which are “outward” facing – those crucial areas where excellent communication skills are key. (5 ECTS)
The objective is for the learners to work in a self-directed manner towards a substantial piece of original creative work.
A personal research question is investigated through the modalities of creative practice and contextual scholarly research, resulting in a creative artefact comprising approximately 15 minutes of music to visuals, and an exegesis of approx. 8, 000 words. (30 ECTS)
How to Apply
Minimum requirements for general learning
Applicants normally possess an honours (level 8) primary degree with a 2.2 award or higher in music with a specialisation in composition.
Minimum requirements for discipline-specific learning
Applicants must be accomplished musicians at a level of proficiency commensurate with holding an honours (level 8) primary music degree with a 2.2 award. Applicants must evidence a reasonable level of compositional prowess within standard Western instrumental forms.
A candidate who does not possess a formal music honours (level 8) primary degree with a 2.2 award or higher may be considered for entry; however, the candidate must be able to demonstrate the following key skills/competencies:
- harmony / counterpoint equivalent to ABRSM grade 8 theory
- fluent score-reading skills
- firm knowledge of instrumentation and experience of orchestration
- music technology competence (music notation software, DAWs & VSTs)
- composition skills evidenced by a diverse portfolio
- evidence of an ability to write lucidly in an arts context
All learners are required to be proficient in English. Where a candidate’s mother tongue is not English, they are required to provide proof of proficiency in the English language through satisfactory performance on an internationally recognised test.
The English language entry requirements for the programme are CEF B2+ or equivalent. Candidates with English language levels below CEF B2+ must first reach this minimum standard before enrolling on the academic programme.
Applicants must provide the following materials as part of their application:
- full curriculum vitae, including all education and relevant compositional experience
- evidence – i.e., academic transcript – of advanced studies in harmony/counterpoint, orchestration, music technology (music notation software, DAWs & VSTs), and free composition; and previous experience of musicological writing
- no fewer than three examples of compositional work presented as audio files or video files and scores (PDFs) – whilst it is highly desirable that a candidate show evidence of an ability to score to moving image here, a portfolio which does not include such work will be considered equally
- a covering letter, including a personal statement of interests, aspirations, and ambitions with respect to the master’s degree, and the field of scoring for visual media in general
Based on the application submitted, an applicant may be invited to progress to the interview stage.
Interviews will ideally take place in person, but provision will be made for interviews to take place over Zoom for applicants who are not based in the Republic of Ireland. The interview panel will consist of either the Pulse College director or the programme director and at least one other member of the teaching staff.
At the interview, the applicant will be expected to demonstrate the following:
- an attitude of openness, enthusiasm, and a willingness to engage with new ideas
- passion for creative work and specific interest in music composition and composition for visual media
- an ability to critically discuss the work of at least one recognised music-for-visual-media practitioner and/or basic concepts within the field of music for visual media
- excellent knowledge of music theory, music analysis and orchestration
- working knowledge of music notation software, DAWs, VSTs and sample libraries
- a firm understanding of scholarly discipline and academic conventions
- self-motivation and self-organisation skills.
How to Apply
Apply directly to Griffith College.
For purposes of fee calculation, residence is counted from time of application.
If you have any questions about fees, please contact Pulse College directly.
Study Mode: Full-Time
Flexible Payment Option
- Deposit: €8,000 (payable upon acceptance onto the programme, following interview)
- Enrolment fee: €10,000 (payable before programme commencement) & instalments as below or remaining balance (€20,000)
- Instalments: €2500 x 4 consecutive months
An additional fee of €560 is payable upon commencement of the programme in respect of the mandatory 2% Learner Protection Charge. This charge is incurred to finance arrangements under Part 6 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012 to ensure protection of enrolled learners.
Study Mode: Full-Time
Non-EU Living in Ireland or abroad: Please refer to our Non-EU Tuition Fees section.
This programme aims to produce graduates who can work as a “one-person production house” – creating imaginative, distinctive, and high-quality content within the “home studio” environment, fluently adapting to the needs of different projects. Principal employment destinations include:
- Self-employed composers for film, TV and interactive media
- Assistants to established visual media composers (additional music composition, production)
- Continued practice-based research and programme delivery within academic environments.