Composition and Music ProductionThe study

Composition and Music Production

About the study

Bachelor Music
Mode of study
Music and Technology
Bachelor of Music
4 years
Like the other graduation pathways, Composition and Music Production offers you a mix of music, sound, and technology. Your main focus with this pathway is: how to turn sound into music? And how do you use technology for this? In its most direct form, your write music tracks with a Digital Audio Workstation. But it can also take a much broader form.

At our course, you won’t just become a producer or composer. You will mainly be an expert who can use sound and technology to evoke a musical experience in your listener. To do so, you develop a very broad perspective on how to transform sounds into music, and how you can put this to your use.

You learn all this by trying and experimenting in various projects. And by doing, you also get to know the underlying theory. We constantly keep challenging you to look one step further. For example, we won’t just teach how a mixing console works, but the underlying principles as well, enabling you to work in any kind of studio and setting. We also introduce you to the various music genres and cultures, allowing you to make more well-informed musical choices of your own.

Naturally, you are not expected to grasp all the technological aspects right from the start of your studies. The important thing is that you are willing to try out new things and dare to challenge your own notions about music. Whether you eventually end up producing dance tracks or invent your very own new genre of music, doesn’t matter to us. What we do care about is that we help you develop the broad view that is required to make well-considered personal decisions and that you can work on a long and diverse career.

Composition and Music ProductionWhat you will learn
Composition and Music Production

What you will learn

  • You develop a musical insight and learn to dissect the structure of various types of music and sounds.
  • You learn everything about how music is experienced, with its various sounds and ambience. For example, in the fields of creative system design, composition, sound design, music production, and sonic interaction design.
  • You learn to come up with creative solutions through developing concepts and conducting research.
  • You learn how to be an entrepreneur. How does the professional field work? How to present yourself at your best? How to get assignments? This will thoroughly prepare you for starting your career.

Study path

Year 1

The first year is the same for all students. You are introduced to the various general subjects, such as the structures of different musical genres, the characteristics of sounds and audio, how technology can be used to create and manipulate sound, and the basics of programming. You don’t have to excel at every aspect: this broad introduction mainly serves to offer you a broad overview. This leaves you with a strong foundation for your own position, and solid teamwork skills.

Year 2

In the second year, you maintain your broad perspective, while you already start to zoom in a bit more on your own position within the professional field. You do this by selecting two of the seven focus areas of the course, one in each period. Each period consists of projects, work groups and theory classes. Both the theoretical and practical lessons are meant to teach you how to make creative works in your own personal way.

Year 3

In year 3, you define your professional and artistic profile within your chosen direction. Like in the second year, you start with two periods that are geared towards your focus areas, with projects, work groups and theory classes. After that, you do an internship to test in practice all the lessons and skills you learned and developed so far. The year ends with a large project in which you further sharpen your profile and expertise. You have the option to do this abroad.

Year 4

In year 4, the projects you work on are complemented by a thorough research project. One that supports your creative practice and further enhances the strength of your personal profile. The second half of the academic year is spent on your graduation project, bridging the gap between your studies and the professional practice. You work on practical assignments as part of a company, a collective, or network that you form with several fellow students. This is also your first way of presenting yourself to the future work field.
Composition and Music ProductionWhat you create
Composition and Music Production

What you create

Composing and producing music is about much more than just assisting bands and mixing tracks in a studio. You can produce music for anything from fashion shows and musicals to conferences, or create anthems for festivals. Or you expand existing demos into tracks that can be used in advertising campaigns, theatre performances, documentaries, and more. Wherever there’s a role for audio production technology, or a need to create musical footage, there’s an employment opportunity for you.

As a composer or music producer, you might work as an independent professional on a project basis, or as an employer at a studio. In your work, you are often involved with other professional fields, such as the games, advertising, or movie industry. You guide the productions and bring your own unique vision to the table. You also need an overview of the full process, to make quick decisions and know what you want to create, how it fits into the context – such as current trends in the music world, or the atmosphere of that certain concept – and how to approach it technically.

Within the professional sector, there is a demand for people who not only know the technical tricks, but also have a clear overview and their own creative vision. As a graduate from our course, you will have this personal and well-founded vision on musical experience, sound and ambience. This enables you to offer a valuable contribution to any project you work on. The industry is waiting for you!
Composition and Music ProductionApplication and admission
Composition and Music Production

Application and admission

The video below (in Dutch) contains all the info about the application at admission procedure for the courses of HKU Music and Technology.

PLEASE NOTE: This course is a Dutch language programme. Therefore you need to master the Dutch language to participate in this course.

Admission dates

There are multiple admission rounds, each consisting of two selection days. When you apply, you are scheduled for the first upcoming admission round.

Are there still open positions?

You can still register for the academic year 2024-2025. Please keep into account that any applications received after 15 January will only be processed when there are still open positions. Therefore, it might occur that the course is full.

Prior education

To take this course, you must have at least a vwo, havo, mbo (level 4) degree or an equivalent. Additionally, you need to display a sufficient level of artistic talent.

Selection procedure

Apply with your DigiD through Studielink

Once you have applied through Studielink, HKU will inform you by e-mail of the admission procedure and you will be assigned to the first admissions day. This date is binding.
The online preparation consists of a number of home assignments, which you will need an average of three weeks to complete. Have you applied for more than one course at Music and Technology? Then the assignments count for all those courses at once. That means you only have to do them once.

If you deliver your assignments on time, you will be invited to the first admissions day.

Admission day 1: Test

There are two admission days.

On day 1, you take an online test. In 45 minutes, we test your knowledge of general music theory, your solfege skills (intervals, triads, including inversions, rhythmic dictation and melodic dictation, your knowledge of music technology and acoustics, and your calculation skills. You will be informed per email whether you may continue with the second admissions day. This depends on the test results and the assessment of the material you have delivered online.

Admission day 2: Interview

If you continue with the second admission day, you have a meeting with the admissions committee. Here your submitted materials are discussed, together with your vision on the course and the professional field. It is an open conversation, in which we hope that you present yourself as a suitable candidate in the best possible way.

About three weeks later, you will hear per email whether you have been accepted.

Study costs / Hard- and software requirements

Study costs

HKU has two types of tuition fees: the statutory tuition fee and the institution tuition fee. Which one applies for you, depends on your situation.

Would you like to find out what fee you will have to pay? Go to our tuition fee calculator!

What are the requirements for my laptop and software?

For your admission:
HKU Music and Technology deliberately chooses not to offer any advice on software or hardware in preparation for the admission. This is because the tools that a candidate uses are not that relevant. Most important during the admission is that a candidate shows they have successfully created a musical work with the technological means they had available, and that they can explain and tell about the creative judgements and decisions they made. These technological tools can be very diverse in nature, from old tape recorders, analogue mixing consoles and 4-track cassette decks, to contemporary software such as MaxMSP, Logic, Protools, Cubase, FL studio and Ableton. Hardware may range from AKAI MPC's, to free open-source software such as PureData, Ardour and Audacity.

For the admissions, being proficient in the specific DAWs that we use at the school is not required. However, being skilled in any type of DAW is regarded as a plus.

For students:
M&T deliberately chooses not to set any specific requirements for soft- and hardware. Although you could theoretically complete the course without your own software and hardware, many students choose to use their own laptop and software, be it Windows, MacOS or Linux. In general, each student decides for themselves during the first period of year 1 what setups works best for them, often based on the info and advice from fellow students and teachers.

Any other questions?
Please contact the HKU Service Desk Student Affairs:
T: 030-2091540
  • A laptop or computer is essential.

Would you like to know more?

Please check our frequently asked questions first. Can't find what you're looking for? You can contact the Service Desk Student Affairs. They can help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.