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  1. Music, Sound and Technology
    1. 2017
    2. 2018
Courses

Music, Sound and Technology

BSc (Hons) |
City’s innovative BSc in Music, Sound and Technology encourages you to work with music and sound in exciting new ways, preparing you for a wide range of careers in the cultural industries of today and tomorrow.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017

Duration

3 years. With the following optional routes: 3 years with a replacement second year studying abroad (to be selected in year one of study).

UK/EU

Full-time: £9,250 for the first year of study*

Non-EU

Full-time: £14,000 for the first year of study**

UCAS code

W3W7

Application period

From 1st September 2016

Until 1st September 2017 (Only applications received before 15th January 2017 are guaranteed to receive equal consideration)

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career as audio engineers, sound designers, film and TV composers.

Students have the option of taking a sandwich year on a work placement or studying at one of partner institutions abroad (or a combination of both).

Objectives

This degree allows you to engage with music, sound and technology from a wide range of perspectives, while considering the complex interrelationships between these fields. Students develop imaginative strategies for the production of creative and technical work, involving experiment, speculation and rigorous investigation.

You have the opportunity to develop a unique blend of skills in digital audio technologies, critical thinking, creative innovation, aesthetic awareness and entrepreneurialism, delivered in a stimulating research-led environment with world-leading studio and recording facilities. A distinctive feature of the programme is an emphasis on understanding relationships between music, sound and other forms of digital media, such as film, games, web-based applications and new modes of performance which utilise music technology in novel and innovative ways.

The course is underpinned by intersections between theory and practice, leading students to develop innovative projects in recording, composition, interactive music, installation and cross-disciplinary work. This programme responds to the growing demand for flexible music and audio professionals by equipping you with an exceptional range of intellectual, technical and creative skills and preparing you for employment in a variety of roles across the fast-changing music industries.

Find out what our students and alumni are up to and the events and research happening within the department on the Music Department blog.

Accreditation

logo of James - Joint Audio Media Education Support

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Other suitable qualifications

  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): We welcome applications that include the EPQ. Where relevant, this may be included in our offer, resulting in an 'A' level offer reduced by one grade.
  • AQA Baccalaureate: Please contact the institution for further guidance
  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Please contact the institution for further guidance
  • Scottish Higher: ABBBB typical offer, preferably including Music, and Maths or Physics.
  • Scottish Advanced Higher: BBC/BBB typical offer, preferably including Music, and Maths or Physics.
  • Irish qualifications: Please contact the institution for further guidance
  • 14-19 Diplomas: Please contact the institution for further guidance
  • Other Academic qualifications (Access to HE): Pass in the Access to HE Diploma in Music or Music Technology awarded with 27 Distinctions and 18 Merits. Please contact the institution for further information.
  • Practical/Work-based: Please contact the institution for further guidance
  • Overseas qualifications: Please contact the institution for further guidance. Overseas applicants will usually be required to submit a portfolio and attend a Skype interview.

English requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 58 overall with a minimum of 50 in each component

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.

www.ucas.com

You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City University London is C60.

Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.

UCAS has implemented an ‘invisibility of choices’ policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.

You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £23 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £12.

When to apply

Your application for entry in September 2017 should arrive at UCAS between 1st September 2016 and 15th January 2017. Applications that arrive after 15th January 2017 will be considered only at City’s discretion.

When your application is acknowledged by UCAS, you will be sent a personal identification number so that you can access your records via Track on the UCAS website.

Enquiries

For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:

Email: ugadmissions@city.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.

If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.

Contacting UCAS

Website: www.ucas.com
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
Telephone: from inside the UK 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties: from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.

87%
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 rated 87% of our research as either 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).
3
We have three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work.

More about fees

* The tuition fee for UK and EU students is £9,250 for the first year of study (2017/18). Fees in each subsequent year of study will be subject to an annual increase limited to the Student Fees Inflation Index as determined by the UK Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility. This index is derived from the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study.

** The tuition fee for Non-EU students is £14,000 for the first year of study (2017/18). Fees in each subsequent year of study may be subject to annual increase, as detailed above for UK and EU students.

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship

Student views

Meet Cleo, a student at City who has gone on to be a sound engineer, working at some of the UK's most exciting festivals. Find out what she loves about her studies with us and discover our outstanding music facilities.

Placements

London is a global hub for the creative and digital media industries and City’s Department of Music is located right at the heart of the city.

Music, Sound and Technology students benefit from outstanding opportunities to engage with industry through work placements (available as an elective module in year two), internships, external events and a programme of guest lecturers from the music professions.

Study abroad

The Department of Music has excellent links with international universities and many students choose to spend a term or year abroad during their studies.

You may have the opportunity to undertake study abroad through either the Erasmus or international exchange programmes. City, University of London's partner institutions in music include the University of Queensland (Australia), the National University of Singapore, Rutgers University (USA), and the University of Turku (Finland).

Academic facilities

student working in music studio

The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard.

The composition studios include three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete.

All rooms are spectrum analysed, soundproofed and acoustically treated to a very high standard. Recent work created by students and staff in the composition studios has included multichannel compositions, music for dance, data sonifications, works for instruments and live electronics, digital instrument and software design, interactive audiovisual environments, and Foley, dubbing, sound design and music scoring for film.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

We offer a considerable amount of tuition in small groups and individually to maximise the amount of attention given to you as a student on the BSc in Music, Sound and Technology programme.

This enables you to tailor your work to your own interests as much as possible.

Your learning, teaching and assessment will take the form of a combination of the following:

  • Lectures
  • Student-focused group discussions
  • Individual tutorials
  • Seminars by visiting professionals
  • Workshops for creative work
  • Ensemble rehearsals and performances
  • Studio-based composition/recording work
  • Guided listening and reading
  • Independent study and library research
  • Oral presentations
  • Ethnographic fieldwork assignments
  • Project work
  • Written examinations

Assessment

Throughout the three years of the programme, assessment is by a combination of project-based or practical and creative work and examinations. Marks obtained in all years contribute to the final degree awarded. Project and practical work account for well over half the final mark.

Most modules contain an assignment in the form of an extended written or practical project submitted some weeks following the conclusion of the lecture series, and a written or practical coursework assignment, in the form of a seminar presentation, a short essay, or creative and technical tasks completed before the end of the lecture series. For some modules, assessment is based solely on a portfolio submission.

Assessment weightings by year

  • Year 1: 10%
  • Year 2: 30%
  • Year 3: 60%

Modules

This degree allows students to engage with music, sound and technology from a wide range of perspectives, while considering the complex interrelationships between these fields. Through an innovative blend of musical, sonic, technological and cultural studies, the programme enables you to understand recording and studio production techniques, acoustics, electroacoustics, sound synthesis, and digital signal processing across a broad field of contemporary music and sound contexts.

Year 1

You are exposed to a wide range of concepts and ideas surrounding the theory and practice of music, sound and technology. Five core modules provide comprehensive grounding in sound recording, acoustics, digital audio, media and critical theory, contextual studies and critical listening in order to form a platform for more specialist topics in parts 2 and 3.

Core modules:

  • Music, sound and technology (30 credits) -  The aim of the module is to provide you with a well-rounded historical overview of musical and audio technologies, and how these technologies have paved the way for new modes of producing and disseminating music. Over these four units you will understand how to contextualize your practical knowledge. Being part of an ensemble will enhance your understanding of the repertoire and develop your professional and practical musical skills
  • Sound recording and studio techniques 1 (30 credits)  - Through lecture-demonstrations, practical workshops and seminars you will become a capable studio engineer equipped with a comprehensive set of practical and theoretical skills. Throughout the module you will encounter hands-on experience recording a wide range of instruments, voices and musical styles. Assessment is via an examination and a portfolio of studio recordings and mixes accompanied by written commentaries.
  • Ensemble performance (15 credits) -  Participation in at least one our ensembles is part of the core experience of the course. Our ensembles include: experimental  ensemble, symphony orchestra, chamber choir,  African dance and drumming, Balinese gamelan, Javanese gamelan, Latin-American music, Middle Eastern music, Jazz workshop
  • Critical listening (15 credits)  - You will develop your integrated critical listening skills so you can identify, describe and analyse the experience of sound across a wide range of listening situations. You will be provided with a grounding in musical acoustics and psychoacoustics (including some simple maths and Physics concepts). You will be able to identify musical elements and structures without recourse to notation.
  • Sound design (30 credits) -  Through four units of study dedicated to the principles of digital audio and computer programming, you will develop a robust understanding of the theory and creative application of audio analysis, synthesis, digital signal processing and sound spatialisation techniques. You will use a variety of audio software, including DAW packages and audio programming languages. Through the practical elements of the module you will be creating a portfolio of sound design tasks.

Year 2 core modules

In the second year of the programme, you develop advanced skills in recording and audio programming, while applying these skills towards the creation of innovative new work. A spread of electives across sound studies, critical and media theory, music in popular culture, western music, applied music studies and composition allows you to enhance your understanding in specialist areas and tailor your studies to particular strengths and interests.

Core modules in Part 2 include:

  • Interactivity for music and sound (30 credits) - This module builds on the Sound Design module by further developing a solid theoretical and practical understanding of interactive system design. On completion of the module, you will be able to design, develop and evaluate your own interactive music systems.
  • Sound recording and studio techniques 2 (30 credits) - This module fosters the integration of technical, theoretical, creative and managerial skills in order to develop your ability to tackle complex studio sessions. You will develop an understanding of live performance and location recording, cutting-edge and experimental mixing techniques, and professional mastering. You are encouraged to experiment with innovative new recording and mixing techniques in order to develop a distinctive identity as an engineer.
  • Ensemble performance (15 credits) - as described under year one modules.

Year 3 core modules

The final year places greater emphasis on the role of sound and music in moving image and web applications. You will also choose from a broad range of elective modules. The major project forms a focal point for the final year of the degree, allowing you to devise and realise a large-scale individual project as the culmination of your studies.

Core modules in Part 3 include:

  • Sound and Image Interaction (30 credits)- You will develop approaches to the interaction of sound, moving images, and physical gesture. You will learn practical camera techniques, visual editing, and sound design for visual media. Working in small groups, you will understand how the production stages of digital audiovisual projects relate to each other creatively and practically. You will then design and implement your own devised project, which could be for instance, a fixed-media audiovisual composition, an audiovisual installation, or an interactive website.
  • Major Project (30 credits)- In the Major Project you have the opportunity to complete a portfolio of creative and/or technical work accompanied by a critical commentary. The Major Project is supported by specialist one-to-one supervision. Through consultation with the supervisor, you will devise a portfolio within an individually tailored field, which may encompass: sound design, interactivity, recording and mastering techniques, software design, audio signal processing, among many other possibilities.
  • Ensemble Performance (15 credits)- as described under year one modules.

Year 2 and 3 electives

Elective modules in Parts 2 and 3 include:

  • Work Placement (15 credits) -  You will have the opportunity to undertake a professional or community placement in order to gain experience of a music-related work environment, and to reflect on the skills and experiences you have gained.
  • Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Process (15 credits) 
  • Human Computer Interaction (15 credits)(Department of Computing) 
    You will learn how to develop successful interactive computing systems that rely on a user-centred design (UCD) process: including the interfaces and interactive systems of websites, mobile and web applications.
  • Web Creation and Digital Storytelling (15 credits)
  • Music Business (15 credits) -  You will explore the music business in the UK: how the UK industry is made up, copyright issues, changing business models of record companies, marketing and public relations, drawing up a business plan and preparing a financial spreadsheet, discussing current trends in the business and exploring solutions.
  • Popular Music Now (15 credits) -  You will explore music in contemporary society focusing on popular music topics and issues from the year 2000 onwards.
  • Sound, Art and Technoculture (15 credits) -  You will examine the relationship between sound, technology and cultures, from the advent of mechanical recording devices to the present day. You will investigate technologically generated sound in popular and experimental musics, sound art, and transdisciplinary work.
  • Sound, Music and the Moving Image (15 credits) -  You will explore the use of music and sound in combination with moving images from a variety of historical, creative, theoretical and cultural perspectives. You will examine the role of music and sound in communicating meaning, and developing the tools to answer two fundamental questions: (1) what effect does the sound/music have on the viewer; and (2) how is it doing it?
  • Music, Sound and the Environment (15 credits) -  You will explore the ways in which music and sound permeate the environments in which we live and work, and we will examine the effects of place and space on how we listen. Particular focus will be on the relationship between urban space, listening and social life.
  • Musical Theatre (15 credits) -  You will look at the genre of ‘the musical’ from its origins to the present, situating these works within the social, racial, economic and political contexts of the day, film adaptations and investigating the scores themselves through musical analysis.
  • Global Perspectives: The World on our Doorstep (15 credits) -  You will explore the impact of globalisation on music, focusing primarily on multi-cultural Britain. You will examine a number of issues including questions of identity, post-colonial politics and the place of 'world music' in contemporary Britain.
  • Music Traditions of the Middle East (15 credits) -  Focusing on the musical traditions of the Middle East, including art music, religious music, popular music and folk music traditions of the region and how global society has impacted them.
  • Indonesian Music Studies (15 credits) -  You will study the varied styles and genres of Indonesian music the links between music, religion and theatrical forms and the effect of colonialism and commerce.
  • Orientalism and Exoticism in Music 2 (15 credits) 
  • Music Therapy (15 credits)
  • Composition: studio (15 credits) -  In this practical elective you will enhance your skills in the use of studio equipment for sound recording, digital signal processing and mixing, and then apply these techniques to create imaginative new works.
  • Composition: moving images (15 credits) -  Using both live and electronic resources, you will create soundtracks for three audio-visual projects and learn to generate fluent, coherent and imaginative soundtracks that are dramatically, structurally and gesturally appropriate.
  • Composition (Instrumental) (15 credits) -  Through the completion of three works for varying instrumental and vocal resources, you will engage your creative imagination with the technical discipline needed to convey ideas to performers via musical notation.

Career prospects

Graduates of the Music, Sound and Technology course have gone on to work for leading companies including the BBC, ITV, Native Instruments, EMI, Universal Music and SoundCloud.

The knowledge and skills students gain during the course provide fully rounded preparation for a wide range of careers in sound engineering, software design, composition and sound design, media production and arts management.

Graduates of the programme include:

  • audio engineers (pop, classical, film, post-production, mastering and broadcast)
  • studio managers
  • sound designers
  • web and app designers
  • film, TV and video games composers
  • dubbing mixers
  • manufacturers of professional and consumer audio equipment
  • audio research and development
  • live sound operation for music and theatre
  • technical support for the recording industry.

Graduates of our BSc programme have held the following positions:

  • Media Composer with Audio Network
  • Senior Product Designer, Native Instruments
  • Audio Manager at Rocksteady Studios
  • Head of Digital, Colt Technology Services
  • Senior Audio Supervisor at BBC
  • Producer at BBC Scotland
  • Senior Marketing Manager, EMI
  • Chief Executive of New York's Culture Shed

Music, Sound and Technology

UCAS code: W3W7

Application Deadline

1st September 2017 (Only applications received before 15th January 2017 are guaranteed to receive equal consideration)


Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.

www.ucas.com

You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City University London is C60.

Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.

UCAS has implemented an ‘invisibility of choices’ policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.

You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £23 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £12.

When to apply

Your application for entry in September 2017 should arrive at UCAS between 1st September 2016 and 15th January 2017. Applications that arrive after 15th January 2017 will be considered only at City’s discretion.

When your application is acknowledged by UCAS, you will be sent a personal identification number so that you can access your records via Track on the UCAS website.

Enquiries

For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:

Email: ugadmissions@city.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.

If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.

Contacting UCAS

Website: www.ucas.com
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
Telephone: from inside the UK 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties: from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.

Contact details

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.