Master of Arts 
in Music Composition
and Theory

The Master of Arts in Music Composition & Theory is a full time degree course. This course requires total dedication from the student in terms of time and emotional commitment, to achieve not only technical but also artistic maturity.
The Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana only offers in-depth study (Major) in composition.




Course contents

(in Italian)

Description, objectives, and structure of the course


The Master of Arts in Music Composition & Theory Major in Composition usually takes place in 4 semesters and corresponds to a total number of working hours equivalent to 120 ECTS credits.
An offer with a lower number of hours/ ECTS credits would not be accepted internationally

Qualification achieved

Master of Arts in Music Composition & Theory - Major in Composition

Type of Master

The Master of Arts in Music Composition & Theory is an independent Master's Degree programme under Swiss cooperation in accordance with the Konferenz Musikhochschulen Schweiz KMHS cooperation model.

Admissions criteria

Admission is conditional on:

  • successful completion of a Bachelor of Arts in Music or equivalent musical education
  • passing an admission exam

Achieving the BA does not automatically guarantee access to the Master's and the admission exam is mandatory.

Should candidates with Bachelor’s degrees from other university schools prove to be of an equal level, the principle of equal treatment shall apply.


Most courses are taught in Italian although, depending on the nationality of the students and/or musicians present during practical exercises, the use of other languages (French, German, English) is widely accepted. Classes delivered by guests may also take place in the languages specified above. Students can also attend language courses as part of SUPSI programmes. Written work is accepted in any of the three official languages or in English.

Admission exam

The admission exam must verify the conformity of the skills acquired at BA level with those required for admission to the MA. Candidates may be required to acquire certain skills before admission to or during the MA. 

The aptitude test consists of:

  • submission of a portfolio containing: own compositions, any orchestration work, any analytical work.
  • written test: listening (recognition of intervals, chords, timbres), analysis, recognition of score extracts, analytical commentary
  • oral exam: sung and rhythmic solfege
  • interview covering: motivation, knowledge of contemporary repertoire, technical and practical skills, computer skills

The student is only accepted as being eligible for the course if all parts of the test are passed. 

Application procedure

Applications are open till 31 March. Details on the preparation of the admission dossier, as well as on all updated procedures, may be found on the Application page.


A full list of fees may be found in the section Fees and Payments. A description of the standard costs for the Master of Arts in Music Composition and Theory is available on “Costs Master”.


The regulations of the Master of Arts in Music Composition and Theory, as well as all other regulations of the University of Music are available on the section Study Regulations


Nadir Vassena 
Responsabile dell'area Composizione e teoria