for teaching quality
1. Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021
for courses and lecturers
2. What Uni Student Choice Awards 2020
for student satisfaction
3. Complete University Guide 2020
Teaching and Assessment
How you will learn
You will be taught by a range of experts in audio based technologies from composers to recording engineers.
You will have scheduled weekly teaching hours in each module in class sizes of up to 25 students. Classes include lectures, seminars, skills sessions, technical classes and practical workshops. You will need to complete independent study outside scheduled teaching and will take on practical individual and group work throughout your degree.
You will be assessed using a range of assignments, including:
- Written coursework
- Practical coursework
- Practical examination
- Presentations (screenings and auditions)
- Portfolio and project work
The programme aims to provide an inclusive learning environment for all students, which minimises the need for individual support arrangements for students with additional needs.
To this end:
- All teaching material is available electronically to facilitate students who need to use assistive technology when reading materials.
- Reading lists are registered with library services so that electronic copies of texts can be sourced for those students who require them.
- Where practicable, all lectures and teaching classes are recorded and placed on Chi Player after the lecture takes place.
- Course handbooks, powerpoints and associated materials used in lectures are available to students on-line on Moodle in advance of lectures.
- A range of teaching strategies are used on the programme where possible, to ensure students with varied learning styles can benefit.
- Where possible, the programme aims to provide a variety of assessment methods to meet differing needs.
- Students requiring individual adjustments are referred to Student Support and Wellbeing, Disability Service or the Uinmind service, for assessment.
- Reasonable adjustments required by individuals are logged by an appropriate adviser using the SARA (Support and Reasonable Adjustments) form and SONAR. Where appropriate the RAWE (Reasonable Adjustments for Work Experience) form is also completed. The individual needs of students is then distributed by the department to individual lecturers.
- The assessment process allows where possible for individual needs and adjustments to be accommodated.
What you will study
You will study a selection of core and optional modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits is delivered differently, depending on its content and focus of study.
This list is indicative and subject to change.
Select a year
Fundamentals of Acoustics and Digital AudioThis theoretical and technically focused module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of acoustics and their specific relevance to audio production and digital music technologies. You will explore topics including: the physics of sound; harmonics, timbre and tuning systems; spatial and surround sound; and digital audio systems. You will be assessed through an essay.
Sequencing and ProgrammingThis practical module explores how music is created and produced ‘in-the-box’. You will work in the hybrid studio and use a range of DAW software and virtual instruments including synthesizer emulations, ROMplers and sample players. After being introduced to core sequencing techniques and automation processes, you will progress to the more advanced programming of orchestral samples and use notation software for facilitating live recording. You will be assessed through an extended orchestral midi mockup sequence.
Studio and Recording Techniques 1This practical module introduces you to the main functionality and primary operation of the Music Studio and a range of industry-standard studio recording techniques. You will be assessed through a portfolio of recordings, your ability to configure and prepare the studio and a studio setup plan.
Studio and Recording Techniques 2This practical module builds on the core skills and techniques acquired in Studio and Recording Techniques 1 and explores more advanced functionality of the studio. You will increase your proficiency and experience in more complex recording methods. You will be assessed through a portfolio of recordings, your ability to configure and prepare the studio and a studio setup plan.
Virtual Studio TechnologiesThis module combines theoretical and practical study to introduce you to the core technologies and IT infrastructures that allow the ‘virtual’ and ‘hybrid’ studios to operate. You will gain a technical, practical and intellectual understanding to support your work in the Sequencing and Programming, and Studio and Recording Techniques 2 modules. You will be assessed through an essay.
Digital Fundamentals and WorkflowsThe module provides you with the opportunity to investigate the fundamental core technical concepts that make up the digital moving image, as well as multimedia and digital film production pipelines and workflows. You will engage with foundation level mechanisms and standards essential to image acquisition, reproduction and display. Your assessments will include a presentation.
Field and Location RecordingDuring this practical module you will develop the skills and specialist techniques required for recording sources in the field as well as actor dialogue and sound on set and location for film and TV productions. You will work alongside peers and professionals to record dialogue and sound during the department’s commissioned short film. You will be assessed through a portfolio of field recordings.
Music for the Moving ImageThis module will develop your creative and technical skills in the editing, composition and synchronisation of music for film, TV, Animation and advertising projects. Using detailed structural analysis you will explore a wide range of compositional approaches and editorial techniques, cue planning, spotting and learn to follow a creative brief. You will be assessed through an original soundtrack to a short film.
Music MasteringThis practical module builds on the skills you gain in the Sound Engineering and Music Production module and explores the complex technical and creative post-production processes involved in mastering music for a variety of commercial output formats. You will be assessed by producing stereo and surround format masters.
Sound Design, ADR and FoleySound content and dialogue for films and TV are often recorded after filming by sound designers, ADR recorders and Foley artists, because extraneous noise on set or location can make original sounds unusable. You may also need to create sounds for productions set in the far future, on imaginary remote planets, or featuring creatures such as dinosaurs or monsters. In these productions, crews design entire ‘sound-worlds’ and ‘characters’ to match movements and interactions with surfaces and objects in these worlds. This practical double module explores the creative processes and core techniques that underpin and define these important career pathways. You will be assessed through a produced foley, ADR, and sound effects for 2 contrasting short films.
Sound Engineering and Music ProductionThis practical double module develops and extends the studio and recording techniques you developed in previous modules and explores the more advanced creative skills and technical processes required to prepare, engineer and produce recorded music to a commercially viable standard. In your assessment you will record an ensemble session and submit your tracks.
Synthesis and SamplingAs part of your career in the music and recording industry you could design and program patches for hardware and software synthesizers and create custom sample libraries for commercial release. This module explores key synthesis methods and uses hardware and software synthesizers and core sampling techniques to prepare you for more advanced, project-based work in this area in your final year. You will be assessed through a project where you design and construct an instrument in kontakt, and a practical exam in a music studio.
Advanced Sampling ProjectThis project-based module will build on the techniques and skills you gained during in the Synthesis and Sampling module. You will explore sampling technologies and practices and design a commercially viable sampled instrument library.
Collaborative ProjectYou will work alongside directors, screenwriters, editors and producers to provide a score to a brief for a short narrative film (10-15 minutes) produced by MA Film Production students. You will manage the entire compositional process, including any live recording sessions and additional music personnel, and provide the ‘client’ with final assets according to their specifications, including a fully mastered and complete score.
Specialist Project or Research ProjectIn this independent, project-driven module you will pursue your own enthusiasms and specialisms. Your project could take the form of a portfolio of creative work or a written research project.
Studio Infrastructures, IT and DesignThis module is delivered with input from one of our industry partners. You will explore the industrial approaches and methodologies involved in the research, planning, design, technical specification and ultimate construction of professional hybrid studios.
Audio and Music for Video GamesThis practical module aims to develop your creative and technical skills in sound design, music composition and basic audio implementation for video games.
Use industry software and equipment
In your first year most of your learning will take place in the University’s Professional Recording Studio. Built around an SSL Duality Console, the studio features the very latest Pro Tools MTRX system, an extensive range of high-end outboard processing from Manley, Bricasti, Neve, API and Universal Audio, and ATC 5.1 monitoring.
You will learn in our professional Soho standard dubbing and grading suite during your second year, which features a large Avid S6 console, Pro Tools MTRX system, 4K projection and ATC monitoring which is Dolby Atmos capable. You can also access a Mac Suite consisting of 26 iMacs which have Pro Tools, Cubase and Logic software, professional sample libraries from Spitfire Audio and Adobe Suite.
Learning Resource Centre
Where you could go after your studies
This degree will prepare you for a range of careers across audio and music technologies.
You could work in:
- Professional recording studios
- Video games studios
- TV and film
You could decide to continue your studies to postgraduate level.
Our postgraduate degrees include:
- MA Screen Acting
- MA Composition for Film, TV and Games
- PhD Research
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply?
Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.
What are UCAS tariff points?
Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.
How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?
Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.
When does this course start?
This course starts in September 2022.