Listen Imagine Compose offers an accredited programme at Masters level as part of its Continuing Professional Development programme for secondary music teachers.

This is available nationally and is accredited by Birmingham City University. From 2021/22, learners will be awarded a Master of Educational Practice.

“I like how the coursework feeds directly into my work in the classroom… to develop my practice and improve my students’ results and enthusiasm for the subject.”

Jaime Gibson, Hammersmith Academy; 2016/17 MTL cohort

Express interest in the course now

About the Masters course

  • Listen Imagine Compose is designed to enable secondary music teachers develop skills in teaching composing with KS3, KS4 and KS5 students
  • The course delivery team is led by Professor Martin Fautley, supported by professional composers and musicians
  • The course is accredited by Birmingham City University at Level 7 (Certificate/ Diploma/ Masters)
  • Stage 1: Learners can transfer Level 7 credits from their PGCE or undertake additional modules
  • Stage 2: The Listen Imagine Compose year comprises 6 x 3-hour sessions plus additional time spent reading, undertaking research and assignments
  • Stage 3: A Professional Practice Enquiry is completed in the final year, completing the Masters qualification 
  • All three stages focus on the learner’s professional practice in the teaching and learning of composing
  • Listen Imagine Compose is being delivered as a blend of online and in-person sessions in 2021/22
  • The next Stage 2 cohort will start in October 2022; express your interest in the course here
  • Learners without Level 7 credits (eg a PGCE) can study for additional modules starting in February 2022; express your interest here

During the course teachers will:

  • Reflect on what composing with young people entails 
  • Reflect on their professional practice in teaching composing 
  • Learn new creative strategies for teaching composing 
  • Develop pedagogic strategies for teaching composing 
  • Develop existing schemes of work 
  • Be mentored by a leading academic and teacher trainer 
  • Work with professional composers
  • Network and learn from other participating secondary music teachers 

Download a short guide to the Listen Imagine Compose course and Birmingham City University’s guide to its Masters courses.

Download guide BCU Masters Guide

Dates for the 2021/22 course:

The 2021/22 course is now underway, watch this space for 2022/23 dates!


A Masters degree is in 3 stages (see the downloadable guide above). Most learners undertaking the Listen Imagine Compose course will join the qualification at Stage 2.

Stage 1: Learners with a PGCE or equivalent can use these credits in lieu of completing Stage 1 at no additional cost or a small fee (in the region of £50). This is done one a case-by-case basis, contact us for more information. For those without Level 7 credits, additional modules can be compled for an additional cost of £600/20 credits.

Stage 2: This is the Listen Imagine Compose course.  The cost for 2021/22 is £2,500.

Stage 3: Is a further year of part-time study required to complete the Masters qualification.  The cost of Stage 3 for those starting Stage 2 in 2021/22 is £2,500.

There is no requirement to commit to all the stages from the outset and it is possible to pay for each stage in installments.

Any questions?

Contact Sound and Music if you would like to know how the accreditation works, or if you have any other questions!

I’ve used so many compositional techniques from Listen Imagine Compose with my A level students.  It’s really helped unlock the mystery that is composing for them!

– Nick Hughes, Head of Performing Arts Faculty, Robert Smyth Academy, current student

Doing the Master's course through Listen, Imagine, Compose and Birmingham City University has been one of the best experiences and challenges of my teaching career. After a number of years in the classroom it has revitalised my teaching and understanding of composing in the classroom. It has challenged me to think about my own practice and develop a varied range of strategies to use in the classroom in light of current research.
It has been an incredibly worthwhile, albeit sometimes demanding two years (studying and working full time in a busy music department) but there is an incredible range of support available.

Claire Savage, Head of Music, St George’s RC School, London