The Masters programme in music composition provides the student with the means to establish and develop his/her area of speciality as a composer. Emphasis is put on allowing the student to explore, enhance and develop her/his personal compositional approach.

In addition to the main subject, the student can personalize the programme of study. Students can choose from different modules in musicology, music theory, electro-acoustics, instrumentation/orchestration, and interdisciplinary studies to support his/her area of interest. With the aim of developing the student’s professional skills, the student can also choose from modules in entrepreneurship and project management.

During the programme, student’s compositions will be performed by professional performers and ensembles that specialize in contemporary music. Since 2015 Caput New Music Ensemble has been the ensemble in residence. The department also works with Ensemble Adapter, Siggi String Quartet, Hljómeyki and Spilmenn Ríkínís.

Through the International Exchange programme, it is possible to study abroad for one or two semesters at the Academy’s partner institutions, consisting of approximately thirty universities and conservatories in Europe.

Learning outcomes


By the end of her/ his studies, the student possesses knowledge of music composition. This entails that the student should:

  • Have acquired knowledge through research and creative endeavours.
  • Be familiar with the principal trends, theories, methods, and compositions in contemporary music.
  • Be able to use their knowledge in order to defend their own solutions.
  • Be familiar with research methods in the field of professional music.
  • Be familiar with research ethics and ethics of artistic creation.


By the end of her/ his studies, the student can apply the methods and procedures of music composition. This entails that the student should:

  • Have adopted responsible and independent work habits in their artistic creation.
  • Have gained a good command of the appropriate methods and technologies used in musical creation.
  • Be able to gather, analyse, and assess data in research and creative processes.
  • Be able to demonstrate originality, insight, and imagination in all types of musical activity.
  • Be able to use their knowledge, understanding, and problem-solving abilities in an interdisciplinary musical context.
  • Be able to develop projects and place them in the context of the theories of the field.
  • Be able to develop and apply research methods for artistic creation.
  • Be professionally literate with respect to their own works and the works of others.


By the end of her/ his studies, the student can apply their knowledge and skills in a practical way in their profession and/or further studies. This entails that the student should:

  • Have developed the academic proficiency and independence in artistic creation necessary for further study and/or work.
  • Be able to use their knowledge and understanding of professional work and in a musical work environment.
  • Be able to participate actively in music projects, direct them, and take responsibility for their own work and the work of others.
  • Be able to understand and navigate complex musical topics in a scholarly context.
  • Be able to present and describe professional topics in music, both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to take independent professional decisions and defend them.
  • Have developed their critical awareness and be able to utilise critical discussion for creative work.
  • Have gained proficiency in navigating the international professional music scene.
Program taught in:
  • English
Iceland University of the Arts

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Last updated November 23, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
420,000 ISK
per semester
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