ThinkSpace Education > Degree Courses


Here you will find everything you need to know about applying for one of our postgraduate degree programs. If you’re interested in applying, we would love to hear from you first.

Each of our courses are designed to prepare you for a variety of career paths, and all require different skills. Please read through all the information below carefully and if you have any questions. or would like to discuss which course may suit you best, feel free to ask.

Initial Interest

If you are interested in applying, you should initially register an interest by contacting us directly.

Have a look at the program details and make sure you meet all the academic, personal, financial and technical requirements. I am sure you will have plenty of questions so please get in touch and we can discuss whether the course is right for you. We are happy to listen to your music and give you informal opinions as to whether you are working at the right level for entry to our postgraduate programs.

Please note that this is only an informal guide, and does not guarantee of entry.

What We Look For

When reviewing your application, we will listen to your portfolio and read all the supporting documents carefully, and we look for a few key points when determining your place on the course.

Composition, Orchestration & Sound Design

Technical Resources

There are minimum computer specifications and software requirements for each course. These are published on the individual course pages, and you can contact the Course Manager to discuss your particular workflow and whether the current technical resources you have are suitable. Whilst we are not needlessly biased about your choice of software, there are sometimes features which will be required of which the potential student may not be aware. An example is support for a wide range of timecode standards including 23.98fps, frequently required in the industry and not always supported on all software platforms.

If you realise that your technical resources are not up to the job, but plan to upgrade, then that is perfectly acceptable. Many students will need funding before they can make a major purchase. They might want to wait to qualify for an educational discount before purchasing costly software. While we give them advice, ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have sufficient technical resources to complete the course.

Creative Potential

We want to hear your potential, not necessarily where you are now. We want to hear some evidence of the foundational musical or sound design creative skills upon which careers are built. A competent demo is key, showing good evidence of your ability to compose or create sound effects, whether that be electronically, orchestrally or in any other style. We are also listening for evidence of significant obstacles like the inability to hear problems with the harmonic coherence of your music for example, and poor production or technical skills. We do not expect you to have amazing sample libraries but we are listening for evidence that you have the basic equipment to produce music.

With our orchestration courses, we are looking for evidence of a high level of music theory. On all the other courses, this is not as important. A great sound designer or electronic musician with very little music theory could do equally well in the profession and so we would welcome them onto Professional Media Composition or our games courses.

Technical Ability

Whilst complete fluency with a DAW or Sibelius for example is not always necessary, our courses do make significant demands on the students from the start. A certain level of competence in key technologies needs to be demonstrated so we can be reasonably sure students will not fall behind.

International Music Business

Critical Thinking

We want to make sure you are going to be able to complete your degree and you will need to be well organised, well motivated and have good critical thinking skills. We do not expect knowledge or experience directly related to either the music industry or management and business. Students may support their application with creative material where relevant.

All Postgraduate Degrees

Academic Ability

Applicants are required to have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in any subject. A limited number of places are available for non-degree holders (see the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ section). We assume that completion of an undergraduate degree shows the applicant has the required level of academic ability to complete the course. Where applicants have been out of education for some time or come from a very different discipline, we can provide additional support through one to one tutorials during their course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) takes into account other forms of education and learning, for those who do not have an undergraduate degree. There are two types of RPL.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process for recognising learning that has come from previous formal, non-formal, and informal learning. This could include knowledge gained within school, college, and university.

The Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) takes into account real-world experiences, such as work experience, professional projects, or even through a hobby. RPEL applicants must provide evidence of professional practice and experience. Further to this we would like to know how you have learned from those professional experiences and how it helped to inform future practice.

It is also worth noting that we can only take a certain percentage of RPL applicants, so competition is extremely high. Unfortunately, we have had to turn away many perfectly capable musicians for this reason. It is still an option we encourage and is well worth pursuing if you feel that you can demonstrate the above.

English Language Test (IELTS)

For applicants whose first language is not English, we will need you to provide an English language test certificate.

There are several English language tests, including IELTS, TOEFL, and CAE. We require you to have an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or higher to participate in the programme, with no element less than a score of 6. This equates to a TOEFL score of 79 and a CAE score of 176.

The test must be taken before your course start date. Applications may be accepted provisionally pending test results.

If you have completed your undergraduate degree, or any other postgraduate degree that was taught in English, you will not need to take an English Language test regardless of whether English is your first language or not.
Have a question?

Let’s chat…

Contact Us

That’s how most of our future students start: an informal conversation about where you are and where you want to be. No pressure, just getting to know you and how we might be able to help.

Get in touch with Tim Johnson the course manager (and film composer).

Application Process

ThinkSpace Education is committed to a fair, transparent and open admissions policy that encourages applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds.
Initial Contact:
The majority of applicants will have come along to an Open Day or taken part in Taster Week and so have a good idea of what to expect and how our courses work. If you have not attended an Open Day then you can watch a video recording of the most recent open day online. Keep in mind all information in the open day recording was accurate at the time of recording although some details may have changed since.

You may also have been invited to have a video chat with one of the course team who would review some of your work and talk about your goals and how we can help you to achieve them.
Application Process:
There are several parts to your application:
  • The application form
  • Your covering letter
  • Your portfolio (where applicable)
  • Entry Tests (where applicable)
  • Supporting evidence
The application form provides us with all the essential information about you and your application, including financial and personal information. It is important that this is completed in full before we can assess your application. Make sure you have read all the relevant terms and conditions before making your application.
All students will be subject to the University of Chichester’s academic regulations, discipline, complaints and appeals policy which can be found here.

ThinkSpace Education’s terms and conditions and relevant policies can be found here.

For applicants who wish to take out a UK postgraduate student loan, your contract will be directly with the University of Chichester. Make sure you are familiar with their debt and refund policy, payment and other terms and conditions which can be found here.
Your covering letter should tell us more about you, why you want to study with us and what your goals are. Not everyone wants the same thing out of a postgraduate course. In combination with your portfolio, we will assess how realistic we believe your goals are. We only offer places to people when we believe there is a reasonable chance of them being able to achieve the outcome they want.

Your portfolio (where applicable) is probably the most important part of your application. The requirements vary from one course to another but in general, we are not expecting perfect professional quality work. What we are looking for is potential plus, good technical and compositional or creative skills. You need a solid creative and technical foundations on which to build. Choose a range of work that supports the application to your chosen course. In other words, choosing a selection of EDM tracks won’t help an application to an Orchestration course. For most courses you will need a range of skills and it is unusual for applicants not to have strengths and weaknesses. However, we want to be reassured that you have the skills you need to hit the ground running on what can be a fast and challenging learning journey.

Entry Tests (where applicable) will be set for many applications. These are sometimes creative or technical tasks and sometime academic.

Supporting Evidence is required to confirm your academic and language qualifications. We can assess your application without the supporting evidence but your references and other certificates will be required before you can be enrolled. If you don’t have all this together, you can still submit your application and provide the evidence later. If you are unable to provide the evidence, for example you have a language test date set in the future, let us know when you think you’ll be able to send in the documentation.
What Happens Next
Your application will be reviewed by two senior members of staff. We review applications on a rolling basis and you should hear back from us within four weeks of making your application.

There are several possible outcomes:
  • We offer you a place on your chosen course
  • We are not able to offer you a place
  • We require further information before we can make a decision
  • We recommend a different course from the one you have chosen

Bursaries, Scholarships and Financial Support

ThinkSpace Education postgraduate courses provide exceptional value and are priced realistically given the high quality of the courses and the professional standing of the teaching staff. As such we offer a very limited number of bursaries and scholarships. In assessing an application for financial support, we will consider a number of factors, including their personal and financial circumstances, the ability of the applicant, and whether or not they come from one or more under-represented groups within the profession.

You can find more information here:
Find out more

Application Process

When you are sure you are ready to apply for the program, click the “Apply Now” button found on any of our postgraduate pages. This will add the application pack to your basket, where you can pay the non-returnable application fee of $100.

Once your payment has been processed you will need to login to our online campus. The application pack will be added to the "My Courses" page.

We will need your personal details, along with information regarding your academic, musical and technical background. If you are offered a place, we will require copies of a number of documents, including those confirming your academic history, identity, and language ability (if English is not your first language).

There will also be tasks to complete in relation to the course you are applying for, so we can assess your ability to complete some of the basic things required to study with us. Please make sure you are familiar with the requirements for the course you are applying for before purchasing the application. These are blind tasks and are not released outside of the application pack itself, purely in the interest of fairness to all potential students.

You will also be asked to write a short covering letter that should include:

  • Your name and email address.
  • Your technical resources, such as your DAW and main sound libraries (if applicable to your course application).
  • What software you have learnt and to what level, to help establish your current level of technical ability.
  • Any other information you feel may be relevant to your application.

This covering letter should be as a PDF, text file, or Microsoft Word document. You will also be asked to provide the following additional certificates and documents:

  • Copies of any prior university certificates that you have (these must be translated into English if not in English already)
  • A photocopy/scan of your passport.
  • If English is not your first language, we will need to see your IELTS 6.5+ (or equivalent) certificate.

In addition to the required paperwork, you will need to submit the following:

MA Professional Media Composition

  • 10 – 15 minutes of music submitted as MP3s
  • Minimum of three different pieces
  • A creative task (detailed in application)
  • Covering letter

MA Orchestration for Film Games & Television

  • 10 – 15 minutes of music submitted as MP3s
  • Minimum of three different pieces including at least one tonal orchestral composition
  • At least one orchestral score of two minutes in length in PDF format
  • A creative task (detailed in application)
  • Covering letter

MA Composing For Video Games

  • 10 – 15 minutes of music submitted as MP3s
  • Minimum of three different pieces
  • A creative and technical task (detailed in the application)
  • Covering letter

MA Sound Design for Video Games

  • No more than 10 minutes of sound design examples (detailed in application)
  • A creative and technical task (again, detailed in the application)
  • Covering letter

MA International Music Business

  • You will need to submit a personal statement of up to 1000 words telling us what you are hoping to achieve
  • If you are a creator, musician, songwriter or composer, we would like you to submit between 5 and 10 minutes of your creative work
  • Any other creative material you feel would support your application

MFA Professional Composition

  • 10 – 15 minutes of music submitted as MP3s
  • Minimum of three different pieces including at least one tonal orchestral composition
  • At least one orchestral score of two minutes in length in PDF format
  • A creative task (detailed in application)
  • Covering letter

MFA Professional Composition - ‘Video Game Music & Audio’

  • A total of 10 – 15 minutes of music and sound design submitted as MP3s
  • No more than 5 minutes of sound design examples (detailed in application)
  • A creative and technical task (detailed in the application)
  • Covering letter

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Apply Now - $100*
*Postgraduate degree application pack fee

Important Considerations

The music/sound design must be all your own work.

Where you have used construction kits, loops, SFX libraries or any other pre-recorded audio that is not your own work you will need to make that clear. You do not need to tell us if you have used drum or percussion loops, but anything else needs to be declared in the covering letter.

Sound design applicants are permitted to use sound libraries in their submissions, however it would be useful to make it clear to us what sounds are from library and what was originally recorded by you.

Your covering letter is particularly important, especially for those without an undergraduate degree (RPL). Your letter should include:

  • Your name and email address.
  • Why you feel this course is suitable for you.
  • Further details of your relevant prior experience.
  • The technical resources at your disposal, your DAW, your main sound libraries so we can take this into account.
  • You can include any other information you feel may be relevant when we listen to your music.

Follow the instructions on the application page to upload your completed application and supporting materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information please visit the Student Finance and Study With ThinkSpace and Course Overview pages.
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