Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us & online events
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Ask a student
  1. Undergraduate and foundation
    1. 2021
Study at City

BSc (Hons) Music, Sound and Technology

Entry Year:
100% overall student satisfaction: City first in the UK for Music in 2017 National Student Survey.

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 2021

Academic year dates


Three or four years

3 years or 4 years with one of the two optional sandwich year routes: a work placement year or study abroad year, to be undertaken between years two and three of the course.

See more about duration


Full-time: £9,250 *


Full-time: £15,160 **


Full-time: £15,160 **

UCAS code


Application period

From September 2020


Northampton Square

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.

Find out more about our department.


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.

Explore some student work.


logo of James - Joint Audio Media Education Support

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • 'A’ Level: ABB, preferably including Music Technology and Mathematics or Physics.
  • UCAS Tariff: 128 UCAS tariff points (typically ABB or BBB with a relevant EPQ)
  • IB: 30 points, 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects (preferably including Music and Mathematics or Physics)
  • GCSE: A minimum of grade 4(C) in GCSE English and Mathematics.

Access to Higher Education

We welcome Access course applications from 'mature' students. These applicants will be considered on the basis of their own merits. Please be aware that Access students are often asked for further information to supplement their application, this is normally in the form of a questionnaire.

A typical offer for an Access applicant would be: Pass 60 credits, 45 Level 3 including at least 27 at distinction and the remaining 18 at merit. The Access qualification should be supplemented by at least a grade 4 (C) in Mathematics and  English Language at GCSE.

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 of 6.0 in each component.

PTE Academic: 59 overall with a minimum of 59 in each component.

English language programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City, University of London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Find out more about:

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, 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:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

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.

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 2021 should arrive at UCAS between September 2020 and 29th January 2021. Applications that arrive after 29th January 2021 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.


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

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

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.

7 studios
Four 5.1 surround studios, one 7.1 surround studio, and two stereo studios.
Accredited course
Large range of elective modules
During your course

More about fees

* The fee for this course is £9,250 for each year of study.

** The fee for this course is £15,160 for the first year of study. The institution reserves the right to increase your tuition fees annually to take account of the institution's increased costs of delivering educational services. The increase will normally be 2% but this is kept under review with reference to the RPI. If the institution intends to increase your tuition fees you will be advised of this alongside the published entry fee.


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.

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.


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.

Discover what our students say about their placements and studying abroad.

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:

  • 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.

For more information please see our student exchange webpages.

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.


We operate a Guarantee Scheme for first year undergraduates which means you will be offered place in one of City's affiliated Halls if you meet the Scheme's criteria.

Read more about our undergraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

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

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

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 methods

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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination, practical examination and assessment by coursework will depend on the optional modules you choose.

The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on choices made by students in 2019/20 is as follows:

Year 1

Written examination: 19% Practical: 13% Coursework: 68%

Year 2

Written examination: 4% Practical: 13% Coursework: 83%

Year 3

Practical: 16% Coursework: 84%


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).

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.
  • 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.
  • Ensemble Performance (15 credits): You will participate in Practical Musicianship and at least one of our ensembles, which include: Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Civitas (chant and early vocal music), Experimental Ensemble (CUEE), Field Recording, Jazz and Improvisation, Balkan Ensemble, African Dance and Drumming, Balinese Gamelan, and Javanese Gamelan.

Year Two: core modules

The second year is made up of 120 credits. You will take core modules totalling 75 credits. In addition to the core modules you will choose 45 credits in Year Two and 60 credits in Year Three from a range of elective modules.

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. In addition to the core modules you will choose 45 credits in Year Two and 60 credits in Year Three from a range of elective modules.

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.

Year Two and Three elective modules

In addition to the core modules you will choose 45 credits in Year Two and 60 credits in Year Three from a range of elective 15-credit modules.

The following elective modules are normally offered annually.

  • Work Placement: Gain experience of a music-related work environment, and to reflect on the skills and experiences you have gained. (year 2 only) 
  • Performance 2A (year 2 only)
  • Performance 3A (year 3 only)
  • Ensemble performance (year 3 only)
  • Place and Space (year 3 only)
  • Web Creation and Digital Storytelling
  • Composition: Studio: 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: 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): 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.
  • Fifty Shades of Red. Russia in the Twentieth Century
  • Modern Germany 
  • The American Century 
  • Creative Writing Workshop
  • Any Language module (at level 1, 2, 3 or 4  in year 2 or at level 2, 3 or 4 in year 3)

The following elective modules are normally offered biennially and are expected to run in 2019/20, 2021/22, 2023/24, etc.

  • Sound, Music and the Moving Image: 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: Look at the ways in which music and sound permeate the environments in which we live and work.
  • Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Process 
  • Orchestral and Instrumental Studies 
  • The Classical Style: Music, Aesthetics, Society 
  • Global Popular Musics 
  • Electronic Dance Music 
  • Rhythm
  • Performance Practice
  • Nineteenth-Century Opera 

The following elective modules are normally offered biennially and are expected to run in 2020/21, 2022/23, etc.

  • Popular Music Now: Explore music in contemporary society, focusing on popular music topics and issues from the year 2000 onwards.
  • Music Business: Explore the UK music business, for example copyright issues, changing business models of record companies, marketing and public relations, and current trends.
  • Sound, Art and Technoculture: Examine the relationship between sound, technology and cultures – from the advent of mechanical recording devices to the present day.
  • Greek Musical Traditions 
  • Music, Fascism, Communism 
  • Lieder
  • Principles of Music Education 
  • Music Journalism

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

Overall workload

Most contact hours will take the form of a mixture of lectures, seminar presentations, workshops and tutorials, depending on the nature of the module. The department is committed to small group teaching wherever possible in order to maintain a student-centred approach to teaching and to enable your participation in the learning process. This programme will include an average of 12 contact hours per week. In addition, you will be expected to undertake 23 independent study hours per week. There is also a placement module and a sandwich year option.

Approximate study time, based on choices made by students in 2019/20 is as follows:

Year 1

Scheduled learning: 19% Independent learning: 81%

Year 2

Scheduled learning: 19% Independent learning: 81%

Year 3

Scheduled learning: 14% Independent learning: 86%
  • Student profile
    This course opens the door to a variety of career pathways, and the lecturers are very open, welcoming and willing to help you find your place. All you need to do is ask for help.
    Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons)
After you graduate

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

Contact details

Request a prospectus

Find out more about City and all our undergraduate degree programmes.

Get your prospectus