Composition for Screen

RCM composition for screen student composing in the RCM cafe
Composition for Screen allows students at postgraduate level to concentrate on developing the skills necessary for a demanding but rewarding profession.

London is one of the busiest production centres in the world for the film, television and advertising industries. With extensive professional and collaborative links with film and animation schools, studios and industry professionals, studying Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music will put you at the heart of this fertile creative environment.

Group tutorials and lectures focus on practical skills, critical self-reflection, and historical, aesthetic and narrative considerations, while one-to-one lessons provide the opportunity to hone each student’s compositional voice.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. Our area leader and professors are leading composers and experts emphasising a practical approach to composition for screen. 

Meet the professors

There is a wide range of options to supplement core studies including opportunities for collaboration and joint tutorials with students from London-based film schools.

You will hear performances of your work by fellow RCM students – musicians of the highest calibre. You will have several recording opportunities, including an orchestral workshop that will give you the opportunity of having your music performed and conducted by a professional from the industry. Every year we host a Composition for Screen Showcase. The event features a live ensemble performing the music of our composers alongside projected films. The showcase is one of the most popular highlights in the RCM’s annual calendar, attracting a wide audience of the general public and industry professionals alike. 

Dimitri Scarlato holding a microphone, sat on stage next to Rachel Portman, composer

Dr Dimitri Scarlato with composer Rachel Portman on stage for the RCM’s Composition for Screen Showcase in 2020

Our alumni include many of the most successful composers working internationally across all areas of composition including concert music, sound art, music theatre, music education, film, tv and gaming.

The Beyond (Excerpt)

Watch a short clip from The Beyond with music by RCM student Martin Batchelar, performed by WDR Radio Orchestra, Cologne. The Beyond is a Shoot The Runner Films production, written and directed by Andrew Morris and Rob Silva and produced by Lucy Clements

You can watch more work by our composers on our YouTube channel.

Composition for Screen on YouTube

Recent visiting artists

Our students enjoy regular visits from world-leading professionals, who have included:

  • Nainita Desai composer on Something in the Water, Earthsounds, Nocturnes, The Tower, American Murder: The Family Next Door.
  • Daniel Pemberton composer on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, Birds of Prey, See How They Run.
  • George Fenton composer on The Duke, Anna and the King, Ever After, The Lady in the Van.
  • Jeff Atmajian orchestrator on The Dark Knight, King Kong, The Village, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
  • Michael Giacchino composer on Up, Cars, Ratatouille, Star Trek, Lost.
  • Dario Marianelli composer on Atonement, V for Vendetta, The Brothers Grimm, Pride & Prejudice.
  • Rachel Portman composer on Never Let Me Go, Chocolat, One Day, Bel Ami, The Cider House Rules.
  • Howard Shore composer on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Hugo, The Game, A Dangerous Method.
  • Mel Wesson ambient music designer on Hannibal, Transformers, Angels & Demons, King Kong, Pacific Rim.
  • Debbie Wiseman composer on Flood, P.O.W., My Uncle Silas, The Office.
  • Hans Zimmer composer on The Lion King, The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean.

Career development

London is one of the busiest film and television production centres in the world, and a global capital for the advertising industry. With hundreds of thousands of creative companies, London has been described as ‘the best place to network in the world’.

Composition for Screen students have access to networking events and workshops with film, television and new media professionals.

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre


We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. We are proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

Composition for Screen students make extensive use of the RCM Studios – a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting electroacoustic music and live broadcast of many RCM performances around the world.

The 80m2 live room, housing a Steinway ‘D’ concert grand, is an ideal location for the recording of a wide range of session types from soloists to large ensembles, from film scores to jazz, rock and electroacoustic music.

Composition for Screen students have access to five Mac workstations, as well as a dedicated Production Suite equipped for 5.1 recording, mixing, and monitoring (Pro Tools HD, Logic Pro, Cubase, Yamaha DM1000 console), and a continually expanding library of samples and sound effects.

The RCM Studios is a member of the APRS (Category A: Commercial Recording Facility).

Contact the Composition Faculty

If you have any general queries about composition at the RCM please contact our Composition Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about interviews or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.

Composition Faculty Administration

General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons


Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

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