Composition for the MediaThe study
Bachelor Music
Mode of study
Music and Technology
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Like all graduation paths, Composition for the Media offers a mix of music, sound and technology. When you choose to graduate in this particular direction, you focus on the use of sound and technology to create music that accompanies another medium, such as a movie or a videogame.

Yet this programme won’t only train you to become a composer for media. You mainly become an expert in experimenting with sound and technology to evoke a fitting musical experience. In other words, you develop a very broad perspective on what music actually is and how to work with it.

You learn all this by trying out and experimenting in projects. And while you are actively creating, you also get to learn the theory. As you do this, we constantly challenge you to broaden your perspective. For example, we won’t just show you how you can add interactive music elements to a game, but also explain the principles behind what you do, enabling you to use them in your own fashion. We also let you work with various musical genres and cultures, allowing you to make more informed musical choices.

Naturally, you don’t have to understand all the technology inside-out when you start your studies. More important is that you're willing to try out new things and dare to challenge your own conceptions about music. Whether you end up as a ‘traditional’ movie soundtrack composer or start new innovative collaborations, doesn't really matter to us. What we do care about, is that you develop a broad enough perspective to make your own well-thought decisions and are able to build a lasting and diverse career.

Composition for the MediaWhat you will learn
Composition for the Media

What you will learn

  • You develop musical insight and learn to understand the structural components of various types of music and sound.
  • You learn everything about sound and how it is experienced within various media. For example, in the professional fields of composition, sonic art, music production and sound design.
  • You learn to come up with creative solutions through concept development and conducting research.
  • You learn how to become an entrepreneur. What does the professional field look like? How can you best present yourself? How to get clients and assignments? You will have the knowledge to prepare yourself for your career.

Year 1

The first year is the same for all students. You are introduced to many diverse and general subjects: the structures of the various musical genres, the characteristics of tones and sounds, how technology can be used to create and manipulate sound, and the basics of programming. You not have to excel in all subjects. The main purpose of this broad introduction is that you get a general overview of the work field. You thereby lay the foundation for your own position, while you learn to cooperate in a team.

Year 2

In the second team, you maintain your broad perspective, but you also start zooming in on your own future position within the professional field. You do this by selecting two of the seven focus areas within the course. You focus on these areas in two blocks, each consisting of projects, task groups and theory classes. Both the theory and the practice are meant to teach you how to make your own creative productions, in the way that appeals to you personally.

Year 3

In year 3, it’s time to choose your professional and artistic profile within your field. Like in the second year, you start with two blocks that are aimed at your focus areas, again with projects, task groups and theory classes. After that, you do an internship in which you put everything you learned so far to the test in practice. The year ends with a large project in which you further sharpen your profile and knowledge. You can also do this abroad.

Year 4

In year 4, your projects are complemented by a thorough research that supports your creative practice and further distinguishes your personal profile. The second part of the year is reserved for your graduation project, that serves as the bridge between your studies and your future professional practice. Within a company, collective or a network that you form with a number of fellow students, you work on assignments that are focused on practice. This work also serves as your calling card to your future work field.

Composition for the MediaWhat you will be creating
Composition for the Media

What you will be creating

Composing for Media is about more than working on music for movies and television. You can also create sound design and music for games, commercials, documentaries and animation, or even for dance and theatre performances, apps, and who knows what types of new media? Wherever there’s a need for fitting audio, there’s an opportunity for you.

As a Composer for Media, you usually work as an independent professional on projects, or as employee of a creative company. You often deal with other fields, such as the games, advertisement, or movie industry. With your understanding of how all these various media are functioning, you know how to add the fitting type of music or sound design to them. You know how to translate your unique vision into fitting concepts. Additionally, you are also flexible, and maintain an overview of the whole creation process, so you can quickly think of what to create, how it fits within the context, and how to make it happen technically.

For these reasons, the work field has a high demand for people who have learned more than ‘mastering a trick’. They demand people who bring their own vision. As a graduate from our course, you have your own, well-substantiated vision on sound and how this is experienced within the various media. This enables you to offer a valuable contribution to each project you’re involved with. In short: the professional field is looking for you!
Composition for the MediaApplication and admission
Composition for the Media

Application and admission

Language requirement

The programme is only taught in Dutch. To be enrolled you must meet the Dutch language requirement. Find more information here.

Detailed information about requirements, application and admission, can only be found on the Dutch language version of this page.

Go to Dutch page

The video below provides all the information you need about the admission procedure for the courses of HKU Music in Technollogy. Note that the video is in Dutch, but you can use the automatic subtitle translation by clicking 'Settings'.

Admission dates

There are various admission rounds, that each have two selection days. When you enrol, your admission exam is planned on the next 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

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent. You must also have sufficient artistic aptitude.

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 then one Music and Technology course? In that case, the assignments cover all those courses. So you need to do them only once.

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

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.

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 whether you have been accepted.

Study costs / Hard- and software requirements

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.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.