Master of Arts Screen: Music

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

In this course, you will discover how music works with images, plot, editing, dialogue and other onscreen and soundtrack elements to create meaning and affect the audience. You will write and produce music in collaboration with students from other disciplines, evaluate the most effective technologies to use, and undertake in-depth research to explore the possibilities of the form.


The degree will be delivered in a combination of coursework, practical exercises and research. The coursework will look at the repertoire of films, television programs, and interactive narrative, and discover what filmmakers and composers have done in the past and what they are doing now. The practical work will require you to write and produce music for a range of exercises and projects in collaboration with students from other disciplines.

Industry practitioners will contribute to the coursework program, providing insights into their practice. In small, cross-disciplinary groups, you will collaborate with your peers to develop an adaptable, creative skill-set and a shared vocabulary of cinematic storytelling. 

In your second year, you will embark upon a funded creative project using AFTRS’ extensive production facilities to realise your vision. You will learn to document and analyse your process through research workshops leading to a four-week professional placement at the end of your degree.

This course is designed for those who seek the skills and knowledge to undertake the role of composer or a supplementary role in a music department, such as arranger, programmer, orchestrator, copyist, or music editor in screen projects including film, television, documentary, advertising, web-based and interactive projects. 

The two-year MA Screen combines high-level discipline training with shared subjects that allow students to develop a flexible, multi-faceted skill set and a deep knowledge of cinematic storytelling. The ongoing cycle of practical, industry-led collaborations enables students to test their skills and apply creative thinking in real-world environments. The course culminates in a major creative work.

The course is an intensive career accelerator designed to fast track students to head of department positions. Key features include:

  • One-to-one mentorships.
  • Taught by world-class industry practitioners.
  • Award-winning international guest speakers.
  • 4 week professional placement tailored to your goals.
  • Real world collaborative exercises to develop lasting partnerships.
  • Funding for an individual screen project.
  • Small class size - maximum of 6 places per discipline.
  • 3 days face-to-face teaching with 2 days free to pursue individual projects or work.
  • Scholarships available.
  • FEE Help approved.

AFTRS has a long and successful history of postgraduate study. It is consistently rated as one of the top 15 film schools in the world by industry publication The Hollywood Reporter, the only Australian education institution on this list. AFTRS works closely with industry to ensure its courses are relevant and future-focused. Our graduates are sought after by industry across the country and around the world and have won and been nominated for a slate of Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, BAFTA and AACTA awards.


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