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Listen Imagine Compose is a Masters level professional development programme accredited by Birmingham City University.

The course is available nationally and is facilitated by Birmingham City University and Sound and Music. From 2021/22, learners will be awarded a Master of Educational Practice.

There are currently no plans for the next intake of Listen Imagine Compose.

“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

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 Professors Ian Axtell and Martin Fautley (Lesson Planning for Effective Learning, 2014) and supported by professional composers and musicians including David Horne (RNCM, Sound and Music Summer School) and Karl Horch 
  • The course is accredited by Birmingham City University at Level 7 (Certificate/ Diploma/ Masters) 

During the course teachers will:

  • Develop creative strategies for teaching composing, refreshing their practice and delivery of the curriculum 
  • Be mentored by a leading academic and teacher trainer  
  • Work with professional composers 
  • Network and learn from other participating secondary music teachers 
  • Be part of a thriving research community, and connect with leading experts in composing in education settings. 

If you would like more information on how the course works, you can download Birmingham City University’s guide to its Masters courses below.

Dates for the next intake:

There are currently no plans for the next intake of Listen Imagine Compose.


Fees for this course will be available on this page shortly.  

If you would like an update when these are published, as well as information about our wider Education work, please sign up for our Education Newsletter

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.

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.

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