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  1. Music, Sound and Technology
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Music, Sound and Technology

BSc (Hons) |
Explore the intersections between music, sound and technology, develop advanced digital and audio skills, and prepare for a wide range of careers in music, sound and media with this innovative degree.

Key Information

Start date

September 2018

Duration

Three years

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

See more about duration

UK/EU

Full-time: £9,250 (2017/18 fee; 2018/19 fee to be confirmed)*

Non-EU

Full-time: £14,000 (2017/18 fee; 2018/19 fee to be confirmed)**

UCAS code

W3W7

Application period

From September 2017

Until 15th January 2018

Who is it for?

This course is for ambitious students who want to develop an impressive portfolio of technical and creative skills. These skills will prepare you for a wide range of careers, such as music production, audio engineering, sound and interaction design, music composition for film and TV, and sound art practices.

You will learn in a highly energised and supportive department, with world-class facilities and internationally recognised staff who share your devotion to music. You will study music, recording, studio production techniques, composition, interactive music, acoustics and psychoacoustics, audio arts, sound synthesis, and digital signal processing.

At the Department of Music, you will participate in a variety of music-making activities, including a wide range of student ensembles. Our regular concert series and summer festival will introduce you to world-class musicians from classical music to world music.

To help you on your way to realising your future ambitions, we offer you the option of taking a sandwich year on an industry placement. Alternatively, you may choose to study at one of our partner institutions abroad.

Objectives

The Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons) at City is an innovative and versatile degree, accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES). Developed to respond to the growing demand for flexible music and audio professionals, the course is focused on equipping you with an exceptional range of intellectual, technical and creative skills that will prepare you for employment in a variety of roles across the fast-changing music industries.

Delivered in a stimulating research-led environment with world-leading studios and recording facilities, you will learn how to develop innovative projects in recording, composition, interactive music, installation and cross-disciplinary work.

This degree has a unique focus, integrating theory and practice to help you understand the 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.

This course will enable you to:

  • Immerse yourself in the study of music, sound and technology.
  • Develop up-to-date technical skills in digital and audio technologies.
  • Acquire imaginative strategies for producing creative and technical work, involving experimentation, speculation and rigorous investigation.
  • Learn how to interpret and understand music and sound in a variety of cultural and interdisciplinary contexts.
  • Develop highly transferable skills, such as creative innovation, written and oral communication, independent scholarship, research and entrepreneurialism.
  • Become equipped to make a significant and valuable contribution to the fields of audio production, composition, media, education, research and other areas of the cultural and creative 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

  • BTEC: DDD
  • 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 2018 should arrive at UCAS between September 2017 and 15th January 2018. Applications that arrive after 15th January 2018 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*).
7 studios
Four surround sound studios, one dedicated to film and live electronics work, plus three stereo studios.
100%
overall student satisfaction (NSS 2017).

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). This first year fee may increase for the academic year 2018/19 and 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.

A large number of funding options are available for the Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons) at City. Our award-winning Student Centre will provide you with excellent financial advice and support to help you fund your studies.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

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

As a student at City’s Department of Music, you will be right in the heart of London – a global hub for the creative and digital media industries. We offer you outstanding opportunities to gain experience of a music-related work environment during the second year, with an elective work placement module.

Students may also apply to take a sandwich year working in an industry placement as part of the School or Arts and Sciences Integrated Professional Training Programme.

It is also possible to combine the options by spending one term on the study abroad scheme and one term in a work placement in the UK. Alternatively, the Erasmus Plus Scheme enables students to spend a year working in Europe.

Students at City’s Music Department have recently undertaken placements at:

  • Brains and Hunch
  • British Harpischord Society
  • Les Misérables, The Queen's Theatre (Sound Department)
  • Live Music Now
  • London Ear Festival
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra (Education and Community Department)
  • MTV
  • Record of the Day
  • Richmond Music Trust
  • The Roundhouse
  • Songlines Magazine
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Wired4music/Sound Connections
  • A large number of schools, colleges and community music organisations.

Study abroad

Your time at City will provide you with a great opportunity to broaden your intellectual, creative, personal and professional horizons. The Department of Music has excellent links with international universities and you have the option to spend a term or year abroad during your studies.

There are also options to study abroad through either the Erasmus or international exchange programmes.

Our partner institutions in Music include:

  • Koç University, Turkey
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Seoul National University, Korea
  • Northeastern University, USA
  • University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
  • University of Turku, Finland.

Academic facilities

student working in music studio

As a Music student at City, you can take advantage of a wide range of facilities including:

  • Advanced recording and composition studios.
  • Professional performance space.
  • Computer laboratories.
  • Rehearsal rooms.
  • Practice rooms.

Our recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard. Our composition studios include four surround studios (8.1/5.1), one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All our studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing, offering you software such as Logic, Sibelius, Pro Tools and 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 our 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.
  • 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

Your course will be delivered by passionate academics who are dedicated to helping you succeed in your studies.

To maximise the amount of attention given to you on the Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons) at City, we offer a considerable amount of tuition in small groups and individually. This enables you to tailor your work to your own interests.

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

Assessment is by a combination of projects, practical and creative work, and examinations throughout your degree. Marks obtained in all years contribute to the final degree awarded.

Your project and practical work account for 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.
  • 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

The Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons) consists of three parts, corresponding to the three years of the full-time degree programme.

Year One
You will study a wide range of concepts and ideas surrounding the theory and practice of music, sound and technology. Five core modules provide a comprehensive grounding in sound recording, acoustics, digital audio, media and critical theory, contextual studies and critical listening. These form a solid foundation for the more specialist topics in Years Two and Three.

Year Two
You will develop your advanced skills in recording and audio programming, creating innovative new work. A spread of elective modules 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 your studies to particular strengths and interests.

Year Three
The final year places greater emphasis on the role of sound and music in video 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 your degree, allowing you to devise and realise a large-scale individual project as the culmination of your studies.

Year One

Part One is made up of five core modules (120 credits). You will also take the Personal Development Planning module as a condition of progression.

Core modules:

  • Music, sound and technology (30 credits): You will gain a well-rounded historical overview of musical and audio technologies, enhance your repertoire and develop your professional and practical musical skills.
  • Sound recording and studio techniques 1 (30 credits): You will become a capable studio engineer equipped with a comprehensive set of practical and theoretical skills.
  • Ensemble performance (15 credits): Participate in at least one of our ensembles, which include: experimental, symphony orchestra, chamber choir, African dance and drumming, Balinese gamelan, Javanese gamelan, Latin-American, Middle Eastern and Jazz.
  • 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.
  • Sound design (30 credits): Develop a robust understanding of the theory and creative application of audio analysis, synthesis, digital signal processing and sound spatialisation techniques, while creating a portfolio of sound design tasks.

Year Two: core modules

The second year is made up of 120 credits. You will take core modules totalling 75 credits, and choose a further 45 credits from a range of elective modules. You will also take the Personal Development Planning module as a condition of progression.

Core modules:

  • Interactivity for music and sound (30 credits): Further develop your theoretical and practical understanding of interactive system design, and design, develop and evaluate your own interactive music systems.
  • Sound recording and studio techniques 2 (30 credits): Combine technical, theoretical, creative and managerial skills and develop your ability to tackle complex studio sessions.
  • Ensemble performance (15 credits): As described under Year One modules (above).

Year three: core modules

The third year is made up of 120 credits. You will take three core modules totalling 75 credits, and choose a further 45 credits from the range of elective modules. You will also take the Personal Development Planning module as a condition of progression.

Core modules:

  • Sound and Image Interaction (30 credits): 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. 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): Complete a portfolio of creative and/or technical work accompanied by a critical commentary. 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. You will be supported by specialist one-to-one supervision.
  • Ensemble Performance (15 credits): As described under Year One modules (above).

Year Two and Three elective modules

In addition to the core modules you will choose 45 credits in Year Two and 45 credits in Year Three from a range of elective modules.

Elective modules:

  • Work Placement (15 credits): 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 (Department of Computing – 15 credits): Learn how to develop successful interactive computing systems, such as interfaces and interactive systems of websites, mobile and web applications.
  • Web Creation and Digital Storytelling (15 credits).
  • Music Business (15 credits): Explore the UK music business, for example copyright issues, changing business models of record companies, marketing and public relations, and current trends.
  • Popular Music Now (15 credits): Explore music in contemporary society, focusing on popular music topics and issues from the year 2000 onwards.
  • Sound, Art and Technoculture (15 credits): Examine the relationship between sound, technology and cultures – from the advent of mechanical recording devices to the present day.
  • Sound, Music and the Moving Image (15 credits): Study the use of music and sound in combination with moving images from a variety of historical, creative, theoretical and cultural perspectives.
  • Music, Sound and the Environment (15 credits): Look at the ways in which music and sound permeate the environments in which we live and work.
  • Musical Theatre (15 credits): Consider 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): Explore the impact of globalisation on music, focusing primarily on multi-cultural Britain.
  • Music Traditions of the Middle East (15 credits): Focus 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): 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): Enhance your skills in the use of studio equipment for sound recording, digital signal processing and mixing, and apply these techniques to create imaginative new works.
  • Composition: moving images (15 credits): Use both live and electronic resources to 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

The knowledge and skills you gain during the course will prepare you for a wide range of careers in music production, sound engineering, software design, composition, sound design and media production.

Graduates of City’s Music Department have gone on to work for leading companies, including the BBC, ITV, Native Instruments, EMI, Universal Music and SoundCloud, going into roles such as:

  • Audio engineer (pop, classical, film, post-production, mastering and broadcast)
  • Studio manager
  • Sound designer
  • Web and app designer
  • Film, TV and video games composer
  • Dubbing mixer
  • Manufacturer 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 the Music Department have held the following positions:

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

Music, Sound and Technology

UCAS code: W3W7

Application Deadline

15th January 2018


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 2018 should arrive at UCAS between September 2017 and 15th January 2018. Applications that arrive after 15th January 2018 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.