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Masters Degrees (Music Production)

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The programme will provide you with reflective and research strategies through which you will develop your portfolio as innovators in the field of music production. Read more

The programme will provide you with reflective and research strategies through which you will develop your portfolio as innovators in the field of music production.

Key features of the programme are the provision of:

  • opportunities to explore the interrelationships between knowledge and practice
  • opportunities to place your own music production practice within business, entrepreneurial and critical frameworks
  • opportunities to produce music products, especially in relation to other disciplines and collaboratively with other art forms
  • the opportunity to specialise in an area of study of particular interest to your own practice, with the choice of a practical or written submission
  • opportunities to engage with the contemporary music industry as ‘Thinking Innovators’, capable of shaping its possible futures.

Course structure

The curriculum is uniquely designed to focus on the emerging field of research in the art of music production, and to place your own practice at the heart of your studies. You will be expected to be equally active in the production of music, as the reading and research into the theories and contexts that have shaped the development of the music business and its current crises.

Modules

Critical Perspectives on Music Production

Positioned at the beginning of the MA, this module is designed to provide you with an understanding of the theoretical and musicological heritage that has framed the study of music production. It comprises investigations into concepts that have shaped the study of music production as well as an examination of the epistemological and ideological frameworks that are impacting upon the evolution of these concepts.

Technology & Creativity

This module enables you to develop an understanding of the ways in which the practice of music production is a recent innovation dependent on the development of recording and related technology. You will engage in analysis, debate and research into the development of the technological tools and explore how they have influenced the development of music production practice. You will also explore how the development of the tools has been influenced by the practitioners, the audiences and the institutions of the music industry.

Producing Recorded Music

This module will deepen and broaden your understanding of the theoretical and musicological heritage that has framed the study of music production. In particular, it will provide you with the opportunity to develop, test and apply theoretical models in your own production practice.

The Business of Music Production

This module critiques the ways in which music is bought and sold. You will examine the influences of the audiences and markets on musical features and products. Following this you will identify paradigms and patterns in the commodification of music that have enabled a musical economy to be developed, and which will support the future of music business.

Music Production Project

This module represents your major project on the MA programme, providing an opportunity to develop your own practice and research relating to music production. In this extended period of practice-based research you are expected to synthesise the practical, reflective and conceptual developments in your work over the course of the programme.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.



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Our MA in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice. Read more
Our MA in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice.

Course summary

This new programme (which replaces the Production pathway of the Music MA) provides practical, theoretical and analytical study of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted which examines how creative studio practice is informed by perspectives provided by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology. Professional competences in various aspects of sound recording practice are developed and assessed, along with the underlying transferable knowledge. This is in addition to a cultural and historical perspective which encourages the understanding of production, with its own notions of style and genre, as an evolving and integral part of music making.

Aims

The MA in Music Production degree is aimed at students wishing to explore the practice and theory of Music Production. This combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focussed individual skills and scholarship. Music Production might involve anything ranging from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. There are also important philosophies and technologies underlying this discipline that are constantly evolving.

Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals. This is not a training course in specific pieces of software or hardware. It is a year-long exposure to thinking about and working in Music Production in its many forms. It is an opportunity to develop your own ideas, styles and career in this exciting discipline.

Structure and Ethos

The use of technology for the creation and capture of music is a core part of the Department of Music’s activities. The Department is home to the Music Research Centre: one of the finest facilities for listening to and recording sound in the UK. There is a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15), a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics and two mix down/control rooms. The department’s main concert hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. This remarkable set of facilities is populated with a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software. There are extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. Surround sound work is very well supported by multiple sets of 5.1 and full periphonic (i.e. with height) ambisonic reproduction systems.

Throughout the course MA Music Production students are expected to use these facilities to make recordings and other audio artefacts. Running alongside this practical activity are taught modules which provide an understanding and fluency in audio signals and systems and the production chain, listening and analytical skills. In the final six months students produce a self-directed portfolio as well as undertaking a large research project.

Industry and Employment Relevance

The role of producer is widely recognised within the music industry, across all styles and in many different areas of activity. This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for entrepreneurs or for candidates seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. The department is home to professional sound recordists, producers, performers, composers and technology developers and so offers a unique combination of expertise in this field. Rather than a narrow set of competencies which will quickly date, you will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers. A significant proportion of our graduates go on to do further research at PhD level.

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Our PGCert in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice. Read more
Our PGCert in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice.

Course summary

This new programme (which replaces the Production pathway of the Music MA) provides practical, theoretical and analytical study of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted which examines how creative studio practice is informed by perspectives provided by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology. Professional competences in various aspects of sound recording practice are developed and assessed, along with the underlying transferable knowledge. This is in addition to a cultural and historical perspective which encourages the understanding of production, with its own notions of style and genre, as an evolving and integral part of music making.

Aims

The PGCert in Music Production degree is aimed at students wishing to explore the practice and theory of Music Production. This combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focussed individual skills and scholarship. Music Production might involve anything ranging from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. There are also important philosophies and technologies underlying this discipline that are constantly evolving.

Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals. This is not a training course in specific pieces of software or hardware. It is a year-long exposure to thinking about and working in Music Production in its many forms. It is an opportunity to develop your own ideas, styles and career in this exciting discipline.

Structure and Ethos

The use of technology for the creation and capture of music is a core part of the Department of Music’s activities. The Department is home to the Music Research Centre: one of the finest facilities for listening to and recording sound in the UK. There is a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15), a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics and two mix down/control rooms. The department’s main concert hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. This remarkable set of facilities is populated with a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software. There are extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. Surround sound work is very well supported by multiple sets of 5.1 and full periphonic (i.e. with height) ambisonic reproduction systems.

Throughout the course Music Production students are expected to use these facilities to make recordings and other audio artefacts. Running alongside this practical activity are taught modules which provide an understanding and fluency in audio signals and systems and the production chain, listening and analytical skills. In the final six months students produce a self-directed portfolio as well as undertaking a large research project.

Industry and Employment Relevance

The role of producer is widely recognised within the music industry, across all styles and in many different areas of activity. This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for entrepreneurs or for candidates seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. The department is home to professional sound recordists, producers, performers, composers and technology developers and so offers a unique combination of expertise in this field. Rather than a narrow set of competencies which will quickly date, you will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers. A significant proportion of our graduates go on to do further research at PhD level.

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Our Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice. Read more
Our Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice.

Course summary

This new programme provides practical, theoretical and analytical study of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted which examines how creative studio practice is informed by perspectives provided by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology. Professional competences in various aspects of sound recording practice are developed and assessed, along with the underlying transferable knowledge. This is in addition to a cultural and historical perspective which encourages the understanding of production, with its own notions of style and genre, as an evolving and integral part of music making.

Aims

The PGDip in Music Production degree is aimed at students wishing to explore the practice and theory of Music Production. This combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focussed individual skills and scholarship. Music Production might involve anything ranging from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. There are also important philosophies and technologies underlying this discipline that are constantly evolving.

Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals. This is not a training course in specific pieces of software or hardware. It is a year-long exposure to thinking about and working in Music Production in its many forms. It is an opportunity to develop your own ideas, styles and career in this exciting discipline.

Structure and Ethos

The use of technology for the creation and capture of music is a core part of the Department of Music’s activities. The Department is home to the Music Research Centre: one of the finest facilities for listening to and recording sound in the UK. There is a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15), a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics and two mix down/control rooms. The department’s main concert hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. This remarkable set of facilities is populated with a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software. There are extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. Surround sound work is very well supported by multiple sets of 5.1 and full periphonic (i.e. with height) ambisonic reproduction systems.

Throughout the course Music Production students are expected to use these facilities to make recordings and other audio artefacts. Running alongside this practical activity are taught modules which provide an understanding and fluency in audio signals and systems and the production chain, listening and analytical skills. In the final six months students produce a self-directed portfolio as well as undertaking a large research project.

Industry and Employment Relevance

The role of producer is widely recognised within the music industry, across all styles and in many different areas of activity. This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for entrepreneurs or for candidates seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. The department is home to professional sound recordists, producers, performers, composers and technology developers and so offers a unique combination of expertise in this field. Rather than a narrow set of competencies which will quickly date, you will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers. A significant proportion of our graduates go on to do further research at PhD level.

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About the course. Explore the most advanced studio techniques, technologies and processes at the forefront of current music production. Read more

About the course

  • Explore the most advanced studio techniques, technologies and processes at the forefront of current music production.
  • Discover advanced compositional devices and strategy applicable to DAW-based realisation of original material.
  • Unleash your creative potential and cultivate your own individual style to produce original works that stand out from the crowd in their artistic and technical sophistication.
  • Survey the most exciting aesthetic trends in current music-making with technology, and their relation to the demands of the music industry.

Why choose this course?

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.

Course content

Taught sessions will typically cover the following topics:

  • Studio Technology, processes and practices
  • Audio production and design
  • Compositional strategies in DAW environments
  • Musical form, structure and discourse in Electronica
  • Rhythm and kinesis in EDM
  • Experimentation in IDM
  • Noise in Techno
  • Timbre and texture in Ambient music
  • Machine aesthetics in House music
  • Sampling and re-contextualisation in Hip-Hop
  • Lo-fi aesthetics and Glitch
  • Retro-revivalism - analogue sound in the digital age

Resources

  • A large recording studio featuring the high-end SSL AWS 900+ SE mixing desk / Protools HD system and Quested and JBL monitoring (2.0, 2.1 and 5.1).
  • A medium-size studio featuring an Avid C24 / Protools HD system with RedNET and Neumann 5.1 monitoring.
  • 4 x iMac control/edit spaces with Slate Raven Mti touchscreen control and RedNET.
  • 2 x live recording booth/spaces.
  • 3 monitoring spaces for surround sound mixing.
  • a dubbing suite for A/V work (foley, ADR, etc.)
  • 2 x 30 seat dual-monitor Apple iMac labs.
  • A 150-seats state-of-the-art performance venue with Soundcraft vi1 console and full RedNET integration.
  • Top class outboard including Digidesign Pro Tools, Lexicon TLAudio, TC Electronic, Focusrite, and more.
  • Vast selection of top-quality dynamic, condenser and ribbon microphones, including Soundfield, Neumann, AKG, Coles, Shure, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic.

Careers

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.

Teaching methods

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.

Staff team

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.

Industry links

Our industry partners include:

  • BAFTA
  • Splash Damage Videogame Company
  • Videofeet Media Company
  • Focusrite
  • SampleMagic
  • Dynamic Music
  • Extreme Music (Sony)
  • Grand Chapel Studios
  • iZotope
  • SSL

Entry requirements

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 and Funding

Fees for 2018/19 are still to be confirmed for home students.

International 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.

How to apply

For more information about our new MA in Creative Music Production, please contact Bruce Aisher on



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Build your practical and theoretical experience in the creative and innovative applications of music technology in a studio environment. Read more

Build your practical and theoretical experience in the creative and innovative applications of music technology in a studio environment. This course will give you the skills to take your ambition further and provide you with the confidence to work for major record labels and recording artists across a range of genres.

You will work alongside experienced industry professionals, exploring the technical and creative aspects of recording, arranging, mixing and mastering to develop a wide range of commercial and non-commercial musical scores.

You will have access to a suite of high-quality, professional music studios approved by JAMES, the accrediting body of the Music Producers Guild and the Association of Professional Recording Services.

In addition to a skilled and experienced teaching team, you will also learn from guest speakers from the music, film and television industries. We have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which will provide a variety of opportunities to test your knowledge and practical skills.

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.

Course Benefits

You will learn from regular visiting speakers from the music and film industries and a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team. We have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which help ensure you get the most from the course.

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.

Core modules

  • Creative Music Production
  • Studio Production Skills
  • Music Industries in Context
  • Negotiated Skills Development
  • Audio Visual Practice
  • Research Practice
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Orchestration, Arrangement & Programming
  • Sound, Music & Image
  • Electro-acoustic Music

Job Prospects

Your course will open up career opportunities in music production, interactive media, television, radio, research and education. It also integrates well with digital animation and video, games and the wider music and audio industries, ensuring you will be well placed to get ahead in these competitive fields.

  • Music Producer
  • Music Technologist
  • Performer


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The course gives students the opportunity to develop their existing creative music production skills using our experienced staff and world-class facilities as resources. Read more
The course gives students the opportunity to develop their existing creative music production skills using our experienced staff and world-class facilities as resources. Students who complete the award will be equipped with the skillsets necessary to compete for work related to music and sound production in the highly competitive environments of the creative industries.

Music production today not only involves being able to record, mix, and edit music in a variety of different genres and situations; it also involves an understanding of composition and arranging, an ability to work in different software environments with a high level of competence, an understanding of performance practices in different contexts, and an understanding of the relationships between music, sound and other media.

There are opportunities to develop all of these skills on the award, always with an emphasis on creativity and a focus on rigorous academic underpinning. Successful students will thus be afforded the opportunity to progress to further postgraduate research should they wish to do so.

Course content

Semester One
-Modern Composition in Context
-Audio Visual Composition
-Negotiated Study: Music
-Option module (Options include Advanced Recording Techniques, Mixing Techniques, Acoustics, Mastering and Signal Processing)

Semester Two
-Research Methods for Music
-Performance Practices
-Creative Music Software Design
-Option module (Options include Pro Tools for Music Production, Mastering Techniques, Electronics for Musicians)

Graduate destinations

Just some of the routes taken by our students after graduating:
-Software engineering (SSL)
-Environmental acoustics (RPS Group Acoustic Consultants, Hann Tucker Associates)
-Education
-Live sound
-Film sound

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You’ll study key aspects of advanced learning in music production, focusing on technical application and personal creativity. Your focus will be on real-world applications; this is enhanced by our links with commercial organisations and the professional expertise of our staff in related industrial activities. Read more
You’ll study key aspects of advanced learning in music production, focusing on technical application and personal creativity. Your focus will be on real-world applications; this is enhanced by our links with commercial organisations and the professional expertise of our staff in related industrial activities.

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the professional environment of the music and media sectors and develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to take advantage of current opportunities and to initiate new ones.

Music and sound production are integral to the creative industries sector, both in the UK and internationally, and are at the forefront of a diverse range of commercial, educational and research developments. Representing a significant area of commercial innovation and creative practice, the growth of new media platforms provides exciting employment opportunities and requires up to date approaches to the development of appropriate professional expertise.

Professional judgement, technical and creative ability, and appropriate knowledge and understanding are key to success in the music and media sector. Increasingly characterised by sophisticated technical systems and close integration of a range of media, music production encompasses a number of distinct specialisms and provides a dynamic field of postgraduate research activity.
This course is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) so you can be confident that the course meets the high standards demanded by industry.

You’ll study on your own and as part of a group giving you experience of working within multidimensional teams and managing leadership roles.

Whilst studying at Derby you’ll have access to our brand new, professionally designed recording studio complex, featuring Protools HDX systems, one of which is equipped with a vintage NEVE analogue recording console. Many of our control rooms are equipped with 5.1 surround monitoring systems and a variety of high quality Focusrite outboard equipment.

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The MA in Music (Popular Music Research) engages with scholarly debates and public controversies around popular music, while examining and developing both traditional and innovative ways of researching popular music. Read more

The MA in Music (Popular Music Research) engages with scholarly debates and public controversies around popular music, while examining and developing both traditional and innovative ways of researching popular music.

The Masters provides a grounding in the development of popular music research as a subfield of musicology, and encourages critical thinking about:

  • musical texts, artefacts and ecologies
  • audiences, reception and questions of interpretation
  • creativity, industries and production
  • repertoires broad in historical range and geographical scope

The course addresses contemporary issues of significance to academics, musicians, industries and organisations involved with popular music.

You'll develop research skills, critical thinking and rigorous methodological expertise with a range of applications both within the academy (at doctoral level) and outside (in music related industries, marketing, arts management, museums and archives, the sciences).

Although a knowledge of and passion for popular music is vital, it is not essential that your first degree is in music or popular music.

We welcome applicants from a wide range of disciplines: the course is designed to be of benefit not only to those wishing to continue their research at doctoral level, but also those wishing to reflect on their experiences as musicians, listeners, or media and arts industry professionals.

MA in Music student wins the 2015 Andrew Goodwin postgraduate essay prize

Ben Assiter, a student on the MA in Music (Popular Music Research) was awarded the prize by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music for an essay written as part of his coursework. Read his award-winning essay here.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

Core module

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Dissertation



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At the nexus of creativity, technology and business, this postgraduate degree is designed for graduates who want to further develop their music engineering and production skills, to establish a career as a professional producer in the music industry or related fields. Read more
At the nexus of creativity, technology and business, this postgraduate degree is designed for graduates who want to further develop their music engineering and production skills, to establish a career as a professional producer in the music industry or related fields.

As the music industry is constantly evolving, students on this course are equipped to deal with an ever-changing commercial landscape, while developing their personal potential. Key areas of the industry are studied from a wide variety of angles, but without losing sight of the primary goal to develop a sustainable career within music production.

An important element of the course is the practical application of your knowledge to generate highly creative work. Allied areas are also examined, which allows graduates to apply their skills in many other media-related fields, including film and animation. Such a strategic approach to your higher-level study engenders responsibility, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the highly creative generation of musical and visual tangibles.

In addition, our graduates will be trained in the use of Apple Logic Pro and Avid Pro Tools.

If you choose to study on a creative postgraduate course at the University of South Wales, you will also benefit from being part of a vibrant international student community.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/131-msc-music-engineering-and-production

What you will study

The MSc Music Engineering and Production includes:
- Recording or Professional Music Production
- Music Post-Production
- Sequencing/Synthesis/Sampling
- History, Analysis, Repertoire and Theory
- Remixing Production
- Major Individual Research Project (or Learning Through Employment Research Project)

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

NOTE: Modules are subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

The MSc Music Engineering and Production degree is taught through lectures, seminars and workshops, with emphasis on the practical application of your knowledge.

All assessments are coursework-based, allowing a detailed application of your knowledge and experience. Assessment is through continuous assignments, seminars and a dissertation based on real-life scenarios. The final major project is presented through written submission alongside an oral examination.

The Masters project may be in any area derived from, or related to, the course or the general discipline of music engineering and production, e.g, sound design in animation, music video, album recording and release, and sound synthesis. There are also opportunities to work on academic staff research projects, or with one of several PhD researchers in the Faculty’s Division of Music and Sound.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

Engineering and production professionals work as music producers, sound engineers, writers and arrangers, sound designers and mixers/remixers in surround. Career opportunities will vary according to an individual’s capabilities and passion, but it is expected that graduates of USW’s MSc Music Engineering and Production should play a full role in shaping the future of music and sound in the UK and further afield.

Assessment methods

Learning Through Employment:
Learning Through Employment is a University of South Wales framework that offers students who are already in employment the opportunity to gain credits towards a postgraduate qualification.

The programme is structured so that the majority of learning takes place through active and reflective engagement with your work activities, underpinned by the appropriate academic knowledge and skills. As such, it has been is designed for practising professionals to provide them with the tools to succeed in the workplace.

This truly flexible approach means that final projects can be based on an agreed area of work, benefitting students and employers, and because the majority of the project is carried out in the workplace, it can potentially be undertaken anywhere in the world.

The MSc project may be in any area derived from, or related to, the course or general discipline of Music Engineering and Production. For example, sound design in animation, music video, album recording and release, and sound synthesis. There are also opportunities to work on academic staff research projects, or with one of several PhD researchers in the Division of Music and Sound.

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This well-established Masters is the world-leading course in audio production, highly regarded both nationally and internationally. Read more

This well-established Masters is the world-leading course in audio production, highly regarded both nationally and internationally. It is accredited by the leading industry bodies, including APRS, and is the JAMES National Regional Centre – London, an Apple-accredited training centre and a Skillset Media Academy. The course is designed to meet and exceed professional standards and will enable you to reach the highest level in the creative use of audio, and explore how creative ideas and new technologies can be combined, enhanced and redefined.

As the major media education site in Europe, the University's Harrow Campus includes 14 professional recording studios (three surround studios), a new teaching recording studio, Music Lab and an array of TV, post-production, radio, film and multimedia facilities built and equipped to the highest standards.

This innovative course develops your creative abilities in audio across music production, sound design, radio, TV, film and multimedia, all supported by a robust understanding of the technologies involved. You will be able to explore and expand as a creative artist while achieving control and experience of a professional audio environment.

Course structure

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Modules

Facilities

We offer fully equipped rehearsal rooms, state-of-the-art recording studios and a brand new live music venue. We aim to give our students first-hand experience of "real world" recording environments and to set them on their paths to successful music industry careers.



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Our MA provides a broad range of personalised learning experiences underpinned by professionally relevant research, knowledge exchange and enterprise that is strongly aligned to. Read more

Our MA provides a broad range of personalised learning experiences underpinned by professionally relevant research, knowledge exchange and enterprise that is strongly aligned to:

  • Songwriting 
  • Production 
  • Music industries

Upon successful completion of the MA, amongst other valuable skills and experience, you will have:

  • Developed a wide range of advanced skills on a professional level 
  • Used the structures of the course to support professional development planning and career building 
  • Built extensive, detailed knowledge and understanding of a number of music specialisms 
  • Be able to work independently, demonstrate initiative, self-organisation and time-management, progressing through the degree course to become an independent learner at the forefront of professional practice

Placement Opportunities

There will be an opportunity for you to engage in live community music projects – a growing employment sector within the music industries – and other live events. Our existing music MA courses already have a significant track record in accessing live, high profile projects for students and graduates, some examples of which are below:

  • Digital Commonwealth 2014 
  • Pits, Ponies, People & Stories research project 
  • The Falkirk Music Pot via Creative Scotland

Course Details

There are four options on our MA course:

  • MA Music
  • MA Music (Songwriting)
  • MA Music (Sound Production)
  • MA Music (Industries)

Options

The four options on our MA course are:

MA Music (Songwriting) is for students interested in the practice of songwriting and composition, with a focus on practice-based / inquiry-based research, collaboration and the cultural contexts within which songwriters work. You will work towards the release of an album or equivalent professionally focused output.

MA Music (Sound Production) is for students with an interest in the technical aspects of music production. Working in our professional-quality studios, you will develop skills and competencies intended for work in environments including:

  • Studios 
  • Production houses 
  • Live music venues 
  • New media enterprises

MA Music (Industries) is for students with an interest in the businesses, processes and developments that underpin work within the music industries as well as the creative and cultural industries more broadly.

MA Music is our bespoke degree and for those that have a broad interest in the creative, technical and industrial elements of music. You will be able to design your own flexible and personalised curriculum, drawing from modules across the three specialised fields of: 

  • Songwriting 
  • Sound production
  • Industries

Teaching & Assessment

Our MA Music course is delivered across a range of methods. Some of these methods include: 

  • Intensive workshops 
  • Classroom and studio delivery 
  • Online delivery
  • Range of self-directed professional briefs

You will reflect on your learning using a combination of tutor and peer feedback.



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This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. Read more
This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. For your final major project you will focus on composition and production within the popular music genre, producing an extended professional-quality album of your popular music compositions/covers.

Key features
-The wide selection of option modules allows you to tailor the course to your interests.
-Several members of staff are engaged practically with the professional production of popular music. You will also have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international producers, performers and composers - such as Youth, Gavin Greenaway, Rick Astley and Steve Martland.
-We have five, state-of-the-art recording studios, including one with a large live room used for professional recordings. We also have two computer laboratories containing iMacs with full music software for sequencing and processing.
-Lunchtime concerts, involving students or visiting artists, take place throughout the year.

What will you study?

You will focus on the production of current popular music, creating and recording tracks using the University's high-quality recording facilities.

You will also explore the composition of popular music, recording techniques and the marketing of popular music. In addition, you will widen your musical knowledge and experience by choosing one option module from an extensive range, including those covering sound design, ensemble performance and composing for film and TV.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, compositions, productions, and major recording project.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Major Project
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-Performance Studies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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Be part of a lively popular-music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores and work alongside performers, composers and studio producers. Read more

Be part of a lively popular-music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores and work alongside performers, composers and studio producers.

You will join peers with backgrounds in cultural studies, sociology, music and the creative arts to explore today's local live music scene and its connection to the wider industry. From researching gigs and events to composing scores for film and television, you will discover how a variety of communities fuse together to create this vibrant and expanding scene.

Whether developing your songwriting and music editing techniques in our studios or organising events and liaising with artists at Leeds Festival, you will gain the hands-on experience employers are looking for while gathering evidence to carry through into your major research project.

With its combination of research and practice, your course will provide the perfect springboard to discover the interconnectivity of popular music and culture and engage with the vibrant and varied music scene in Leeds.

Course Benefits

As well as having access to modern, professional music studios, you will benefit from being taught by a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team, including Professor Karl Spracklen who is Secretary of the International Society for Metal Music Studies and the Editor of Metal Music Studies.

You will also have the chance to network with industry professionals during our guest lecture series. Previous speakers have included Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn and chart-toppers Rudimental. We also have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which help ensure you get the most from your course.

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.

Core modules

  • Popular Music as Leisure & Culture
  • Researching Popular Music & Culture
  • Popular Music Analysis
  • Popular Music in Contemporary Culture
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Studio Production Skills
  • Creative Music Production
  • Music Industries in Context
  • Music Industries in Practice

Job prospects

With more festivals and independent production companies than ever before, understanding the links between popular music, culture and the rapidly changing music industry is increasingly important, whether you are a researcher or practitioner. You could use the course to further your research interests by studying for a PhD or take up employment opportunities in sound engineering, performance, teaching, songwriting, production, music for film and television, music journalism, marketing and PR or events organisation.

  • Performer
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Technician
  • Events Organiser


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*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. Read more

*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.

COURSE STRUCTURE

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/

MODULES

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/

TEACHING METHODS

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.

ASSESSMENT

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.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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.



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