On this course, you’ll gain practical, theoretical and creative experience of sound engineering, music production and audio technology.
You’ll explore the design, manipulation and production of audio across many platforms, using our state-of-the-art audio-post recording, radio and TV studios to study a mix of sound engineering and theory modules.
The aim of the course is to develop the skills that you’ll need to create and deliver professional audio, whilst under pinning these skills with a sound theoretical background.
94% of our postgraduates go on to employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.DLHE 2009 and 2010
This course entails both practical based and theory modules. The modules are delivered in the recording studios, the audio technology suite, audio post production suite and lecture theatres.
MSc (one year full-time or up to three years part-time)
PgDip (nine months full-time or 18 months part-time)
MSc (16 months full-time)
PgDip (one year full-time or up to two years part-time)
Teaching and learning involves a mix of lectures and practical sound engineering work, involving individual and group learning, There is an emphasis on motivated students' self-study.
Assessment involves a mixture of practical work, report writing and project work. By the end of the course students will have built up a substantial portfolio of audio, video and new media work.
Assessment is approximately divided across the course as follows:
This degree is based in MediaCityUK,the new home for the BBC, ITV, Coronation Street and parts of the University of Salford. MediaCityUK is located at Salford Quays on the banks of Manchester's historic ship canal. The University has the first four floors of a new, purpose built facility that looks over the water to The Lowry theatre, Imperial War Museum North and the new Coronation Street set. ITV occupy the floors above us, with the three BBC buildings on one side of us and Peel Media Studios on the other.
A number of BBC departments are based at MediaCityUK, having moved from London, including BBC Breakfast, BBC Children's, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Future Media and Technology, BBC Learning, BBC Sport and BBC Academy. All of the BBC Manchester operations have also moved to MediaCityUK, including BBC Religion and Ethics, Current Affairs and the BBC Philharmonic.
Here is a summary of our relevant facilities at MediaCityUK:
On the main campus, we also have a Pro Tools equipped studio recording complex consisting of four control rooms and recording areas. Please see this brochure for more detailed information brochure.
The wide range of skills provided on this course will enhance your employability. Possible career paths include: audio manufacturer research and design, broadcast engineer in audio for radio or TV, audio and visual design and installation, education, interactive media and sonic arts.
Possible career paths include:
Staff have strong links with industry either through collaborative R&D projects with industry through the Acoustics Research Centre and our commercial test laboratories. Our research department is a Centre of Excellence for BBC Research.
Some students could go on to study a PhD at our world-class Acoustics Research Centre. We have been carrying out acoustics and audio research for over 30 years. Our research is funded by research councils, government bodies, and industry. It has fed into audio products that companies make and sell worldwide, as well as regulations and standards used in the UK, Europe and beyond. We are also involved in public engagement - getting more people aware of and interested in acoustic science and engineering.
Audio engineering is the application of science to design, analysis and problem solving in sound recording and audio production, and it is a key aspect of all areas of modern computing, communications and entertainment. If you are technically minded with a strong science or technology background and possess a passion for music and audio, this course is ideal.
The topics you will study on this course have wide reaching impact. Digital signal processing is fundamental to processing and delivering voice and audio in the digital domain. A huge amount of research is being conducted into the way we interact with the digital world, and our Interfaces & Interactivity and Audio Software Engineering modules will explore this area in-depth.
The Acoustics and Advanced Audio Engineering modules will investigate how sound behaves in the acoustic and electro-acoustic domains by exploring loudspeaker design, audio hardware design, building acoustics and environmental acoustics. You will have access to reverberation and anechoic chambers, high-specification recording studios and the latest computing resources for audio engineering.
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University demonstrated strength in five emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including in music, drama, dance and performing arts.
You will have access to an array of the latest equipment, including our reverberation chamber in which you can move panels to control reverberation time and accurately create spaces, while our anechoic chamber will provide you with experience of measuring audio equipment.Thanks to our strong links with live sound industries and audio plug-in development software companies you will hear from industry experts at guest lectures, while our tutors are some of the best acousticians around.
If you are an audio professional, we will help you formalise your knowledge of acoustics and live sound - from setting up PA systems, sound checks and making modifications when the audience arrives, to improving your knowledge of what is happens to sound so you can build a system that gives an audience the best possible experience.
Artist in Residence Programme
The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.
This course will give you a specialist skill set across software, hardware, acoustics and interfacing. You could find yourself working for audio equipment companies, in technical roles in the TV, film and media industries, in acoustics consultancy, in research roles or in live sound engineering.
Music Technology is a rapidly evolving field of study with a diverse and expanding range of possibilities.
The MSc in Audio Technology is designed to go beyond the simple provision of training, and to instead enable you to engage with current debates and actively participate in some of the most vibrant areas of contemporary research.
Throughout the course you will be encouraged to demonstrate self-direction and autonomy as you critically explore and define your position within the wider field. One overarching aim is that you should leave the course as not only an adept user of various hardware and software technologies, but as someone able to actively shape and develop their own, responding as necessary to future developments.
Thus, in addition to developing your theoretical and methodological understanding, the MSc in Audio Technology features a strong emphasis on practical work in a number of different (but related) areas. For example, you will study modules in Advanced Studio Practice, Sound on Screen, Music Computing and Musical Human-Computer Interaction. These are supported by a technology-orientated Research and Development module that provides robust foundation for the final Audio Technology Project.
Acting as summary of all that you have learned and a portfolio going forward, the Audio Technology Project provides an opportunity to plan and execute a substantial project in an area of personal specialism or interest. Innovative projects are encouraged, and there exists the potential for interdisciplinary and/or collaboration with practitioners in other fields.
Advanced Studio Practice
This module explores various methodologies employed in the planning, recording, editing, mix down and mastering stages of audio production. You will conduct research into genre and equipment-specific working practices, which will lead to the development of innovative engineering concepts and techniques. You will evaluate and use a variety of software and hardware tools and produce work in both stereo and surround sound.
Sound on Screen
The module aims to investigate the relationship between sound and the moving image in contexts such as film, television, advertising and video games. Throughout the module you will develop your understanding of theories, practices and techniques used in the production of music intended to be experienced in conjunction with other media. This will initially involve analysing and deconstructing a range of audio-visual media, examining their aims and how effectively these aims are met. You will then use your understanding of the work of others in the field to critically inform and evolve your own approaches. Using a variety of techniques and technologies, you will create a number of short practical pieces to accompany a variety of linear and non-linear media.
In this module you will explore the relationship between theories of music and computing and creative practice. More specifically, you will study perception and cognition of sound, the ways in which computers can analyse music and audio, generative musical structures, and how these compositional processes can be applied to the generation and transformation of audio. In carrying out the practical assignment, you will critically evaluate, understand the differences between, and demonstrate mastery of common musical programming languages in the realisation of your ideas.
Musical Human-Computer Interaction
Musical interaction is a vibrant area of contemporary research with considerable crossover into more established areas such as Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Physical/Ubiquitous Computing. In the first part of the module you will look at recent work by the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) community, using these examples to examine and explore a range of pertinent design issues. These include: novice versus virtuoso users (i.e. ease of use versus the potential for mastery), single versus multi-user, discrete versus continuous data control, the provision of haptic feedback, and causality of sound. Using appropriate Physical Computing technologies (e.g. Arduino, Beagleboard, sensors, actuators, basic electronics), you will then design and implement a musical interface for a chosen real-time application (i.e. analysis, composition, or performance). Finally, you will consider how HCI-inspired evaluation methods may be applied to your work, and document your design (online) in such a way that it can be recreated and developed further by interested others.
Research and Development
The Research and Development module initially explores the nature of innovation, then moves on to examine research process including design and development, fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative traditions, and HCI-inspired methodologies for the evaluation of audio software, musical interfaces and other technologies. Towards the end of the module the emphasis then shifts to the development of an individual research design/proposal that may form the basis of your final Audio Technology Project.
Audio Technology Project
The Audio Technology Project is an opportunity for students to pursue a substantial, self-directed project in a chosen area of audio or musical technology.
The course will actively equip both graduates and those already in industry with a diverse range of skills to enhance their career prospects. It will also develop a range of opportunities for experience and employment in areas such as studio recording, media production and content creation, video game and software development, education (FE/HE), research assistantships/studentships, and employment in HE institutions.
In addition to subject-specific practical skills, you will also acquire a range of transferable skills relevant for pursuing a research degree. These include critical, analytical, project management and research skills from the study of a broad spectrum of literature, research, and external projects.
The MA Creative Music Production is aimed at applicants specifically interested in applying studio technologies and production skills to the creation of their own original music (as opposed to “producing” other artists’ music). In addition to equipping students with solid bases in studio technology, processes and practices, the course addresses the purely formal, artistic and aesthetic aspects of music-making, and the specific compositional devices and strategy applicable to DAW-based realisations of original material.
By surveying the defining traits and aesthetic concerns of a number of popular genres centred on electronic composition-production, students develop a sophisticated awareness of current artistic and aesthetic trends, and an enhanced knowledge of the musicology of production. On this course, you will develop a portfolio of original works showcasing your talent as a composer-producer, opening up a wide range of possibilities for your professional career.
Taught sessions will typically cover the following topics:
Graduates from this award will be equipped with a wide range of specialist knowledge and skills in the field of music technology and music creation – from purely technical to creative and intellectual. As such, they will be ideally positioned to pursue a career in the music and media industries, creating their own musical content for production music library, film/TV synch, or commercial release. You may, in addition, consider positions in music publishing, music journalism and criticism, or teaching, or you may continue your higher education at doctoral level.
Lecture, seminars and tutorials are typically scheduled over two consecutive days a week, plus some extra sessions for particular workshops, performance, recording, as necessary. In addition to scheduled sessions, students are expected to engage in continuous self-directed study and studio practice.
The MA Creative Music Production is led by Bruce Aisher. Bruce is a music producer, songwriter, composer, remixer, sound designer and technology journalist whose work is to be found on over 100 commercially released tracks (including a US Billboard Club Chart No.1) on TV programmes such as ‘CSI’ ‘Numb3rs’ and 'Top Gear' and products by Apple, Clavia and Native Instruments.
Our industry partners include:
A good (1st, 2.1 or 2.2) BMus/BSc/BA in Music / Music Technology (or equivalent qualification), or 5 years professional industry experience at the discretion of the admissions or programme tutor. Evidence of solid compositional work with technology prior to undertaking the course is required (determined by the submission of a small portfolio of original compositions with the student’s application).
All international students are required to demonstrate suitable levels of English language competence. This can be through previous study in English, but we often require specific performance in English tests. All undergraduates must be able to prove a minimum of IELTS 6.5 with at least 5.5 in every component or equivalent.
Fees for 2018/19 are still to be confirmed for home students.
Full time: £12,500 for the 2018 academic year
Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged £1040 per 15 credits for the 2018 academic year
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
For more information about our new MA in Creative Music Production, please contact Bruce Aisher on [email protected]
This course will equip you with a solid grounding in the specialist skills and advanced theory that apply to post-production practice.
During your time with us, you will tackle self-directed and team-orientated industry briefs. This will give you a practical understanding of the creative processes, production workflow and industry techniques looked for by employers.
The teaching of this course is comprised of seminars, workshops in storytelling and production practice, study of broadcast and editorial guidelines, independent research, collaborative project work and film screenings.
The aim is to support your learning with an effective blend of theory and creative practice and to encourage ownership of your learning through self-directed projects.
Methods of assessment depend on the module and elective pathway you are taking. They include:
Each module has its own assessment package and this is structured appropriately to reflect the module content. Practical-based modules are assessed by project and a reflective critical evaluation.
This course is your route to careers across media. Roles could involve audio and video editing, special-effects work and audio dubbing. Past students have taken work placements with 360 Media, Granada, Sumners Post Production, Films @ 59, Flix Facilities and the BBC Natural History unit.
To develop your skills and employability, there are opportunities on our Media Production courses to work on live briefs and gain valuable work experience. Previous students have worked with:
The following prominent speakers have delivered guest lectures:
*New for 2017, subject to final approval.
Develop your own signature sound and production style, through this forward-thinking, cutting edge music composition and production course. The MA Sound Production programme is tailored towards individuals who are keen to hone their composition and production skills inside an intertextual and cross-disciplinary framework that pushes at the stylistic boundaries of genre.
The content will cover aesthetic considerations as well as technology and techniques utilised in modern music making. The award is deliberately unbounded by genre and there are opportunities to take an interdisciplinary approach to sound production, including contemporary electronic music, studio and field recording, experimental music and sound design for composition.
The programme encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative working methods with students from the wider music community at Bath Spa, as well as visual media and other departments within the University. While the programme has a music production focus, it also covers key areas of practice such as:
• Sound design
• Electronic music composition
• Soundscape and field recording
• Traditional studio practices
• Sound engineering
• Spatial audio and sound design
• Composition for visual media
You won’t be expected to cover all of these areas. You’ll be able to use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills, experience and top-level work across them.
The course is part of a suite of courses available across music and sound, operating alongside ‘sister’ pathways in Sound Design and Sound Arts, which allow further specialism in these areas.
For more information on the 'sister' pathways please refer to the website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-production/
In trimester one, you'll gain the skills you’ll need to fulfil the rest of the course. The Skills Portfolio module is built on the idea that you’ll already have technical skills in this area. It therefore allows you to choose a handful of skills projects from a large number of options – these cover skills right across the Sound Arts, Sound Design and Sound Production pathways and include (optional) elements of multimedia.
The Research Methodology and Context module develops skills in postgraduate-level research and writing. It is designed to give you the tools for an onward journey in academia, but not to be, in the colloquial sense, ‘academic’.
In trimester two, you’ll advance the knowledge gained in the the first trimester and begin exploring the intertextual possibilities of music composition. In addition, you’ll develop a creative project that will further extend the work undertaken on the trimester 1 Skills Portfolio module.
The module Intertextuality In Sound Production aims to capture and contextualise emerging trends and innovation at the forefront of sound production and composition, and develop composition skills that extend beyond the limits of genre.
Alongside the Sound Production modules there are additional optional modules that you can study from the other pathways. From the Sound Arts pathway, the Visual Music module explores the idea that musical thinking can be extended to the visual, and encourages students to develop multimedia projects that explore this idea. From the Sound Design pathway the Post Production module explores an industry-level workflow for audio post production for picture.
In trimester three, you'll complete the course with a independent research project. While most Masters level courses consist of a substantial written dissertation component, the MA Sound Production programme focuses more on high-level practical work and the concept of ‘practice as research’ through the creation of a large-scale practical project.
The project will fulfil the same function as the traditional dissertation; you’ll develop individual and original research, but through the creation of a portfolio of works, rather than through the written word.
For more information on modules and course structure please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-production/
Most modules are taught through small-group seminars and workshops, where you’ll benefit from close interaction with tutors and peers. The Major Project and parts of the other modules are taught through individual tutorials where the focus will be entirely on your own practice.
You’ll be assessed entirely on coursework. The majority of this will be practical and creative work, including the dissertation-equivalent Major Project. Some practical projects are accompanied by short informal written assignments, and the for the Research Methodology and Context module you’ll produce a more substantial paper.
You can use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills. This will equip you for the current employment landscape, where a combination of traditional music roles are required alongside broader practice in sound and other media.The course also provides the breadth necessary for FE and HE teaching in the field, and provides the basis required for PhD research and beyond.
The MSc in Digital Audio Engineering is a unique and innovate course designed to give you advanced knowledge and skills related to digital audio, which can be found in every area of modern technology and culture. On this course you will gain the creative, investigative and critical thinking abilities to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world situations and problems, such as audio analysis, effects and synthesis plug-ins, digital controllers, installation and embedded systems for public spaces.
Digital audio is part of all aspects of modern life. This includes areas such as music and sound production, media and gaming, 3D spatial audio, mobile devices and streaming, online media and the internet of things (IoT), plus many others. The need for people to have the necessary technical and creative abilities to enable and progress how digital audio is embedded in all these areas and many more, is significant.
The course promotes an independent and self-motivating approach to learning by encouraging you to develop real-world technical expertise to effectively innovate, design, develop and operate a range of digital audio systems. Upon graduation you will be prepared as a professional, equipped with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to develop a successful career as a digital audio engineer.
The course provides you the opportunity to engage in a wide range of digital audio application developments and potential collaborations with postgraduate students in other areas of the university. These include music technology, software engineering other subject areas in the School of Computing and Engineering and the London College of Music.
The development of learning skills includes processes and activities such as critical appraisal, reflection, literature searching, information technology, peer review, group work, presentation, research, practice/professional skills, note-taking, writing skills, electronic information retrieval, communication skills and independent study at home. These skills will be an integral part of learning courses.
The course modules will enable you to evidence your ability to combine different but related audio engineering subjects in an applied manner. Students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds in related subjects will be able to enrol and succeed on the course. The type of undergraduate courses students may join the MSc from include:
As would be expected at masters’ level, there is an appropriate balance of theory and practice, and in order to be successful students will need to demonstrate high levels of analytical, critical and reflective skills alongside a professional level of practical skills and knowledge. Teaching and learning on the programme is underpinned by the research and development activities of the course team.
Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.
Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.