This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits.
You will develop an enhanced research and design proposal, culminating in a new body of work that will showcase your development and achievements.
This unique and convention-breaking programme has a strong emphasis on personal creative freedom and design innovation, ensuring you have the best chance of employment and career development upon graduation.
You will be encouraged to challenge your existing research and design knowledge and develop new skills and networks. You are expected to experiment and explore: independent study is paramount but underpinned by a number of supporting projects, workshops and events.
We expect collaboration within the School of Design, with the creative industries and where appropriate with external clients to allow you to realise personal and project possibilities to the full. There is a strong international student input which introduces diverse experience and encourages wide-ranging thinking.
We encourage bold, lateral approaches, coupled with a clear understanding of process and technique, to produce innovative, emotive and enduring design from students who learn through intense, sustained involvement with the design process.
The curriculum is student-led with an emphasis on independent learning. With tutorial guidance, you will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of research and practice, alongside set projects to support and inform your line of enquiry.
You will initially focus on the research and development of a study proposal. With support from our dynamic team of experienced tutors (all industry practitioners or researchers) you will be encouraged to expand on your preconceived ideas and let your findings dictate future development. We expect you to engage in sophisticated design dialogue to push your ideas to their full potential. There is a hotbed of debate and prototyping before any designs are taken into production.
The written context of the programme helps amplify and contextualise your understanding of process and this wider awareness of design feeds back into your practice-based work. You will produce written context assignments alongside studio based work.
We are committed to providing our students with enhanced career prospects and the ability to achieve at the highest level. Graduates are professionally vital and well-informed, and are able to enter the design industry with a freshness of approach and the flexibility and adaptability to be able to respond to change.
Our Graphic Design graduates work in a wide range of creative career paths. The variety of projects, approaches and opportunities on course enable graduates to apply their knowledge and experience of the design process and their considerable skills onto many disciplines. Typically though our graduates leave to become valuable members of a graphic design agency.
Our extensive links with industry built through industry-led projects and staff research, and our range of visiting speakers, ensures that graduates are aware of the full range of career possibilities and are provided with a strong footing from which to develop their chosen career.
Previous career paths have included experiential design, packaging, advertising, digital design, interaction design, exhibition design, design research, marketing, retail design, exhibition design, multimedia, design management, education. Graduates may freelance or seek employment within a company.
A specific scheme we run within the programme is the Design Agency project which, in 2013, won a Guardian University Award for Employability Initiative.
Design Agency is a flagship initiative that enables graphic design students to form their own design agencies. They create their own brand for the agency and work collectively towards a common objective based on ability, regardless of age or experience. Edinburgh-based design agencies act as ‘mentor partners’ to the student agencies. The long-term relationships that are built with mentors ensures that students have the chance to show, over an extended period rather than just a few weeks on placement, what they can contribute to potential employers.
In 2013, the ECA Design Agency won the Guardian University Awards 2013 prize for Employability Initiative, with the judges praising its ambition and said its risk-taking innovation “should be applauded.”
*New for 2017, subject to final approval.
The MA in Sound Design is a forward thinking course, which invites you to explore the creative use of sound within film and other visual media at an advanced level. The course focuses on the more creative aspects of sound design and post-production while providing you with the necessary technical skills.
You’ll develop your work within your areas of interest without stylistic boundaries. The content areas include:
• Sound editing (production audio, dialogue/ADR, SFX, music)
• The language and aesthetics of sound design (narrative, dramaturgy)
• Field recording
• Sound sculpting and processing
• Working with directors
• Post-production workflows
• Surround sound
• VR audio
• Industry deliverables
The course delivers a mixture of advanced technical skills related to sound design and audio post production for film and other visual media. It also provides creatively-oriented insights into contemporary sound design practice and encourages students to push the boundaries of the field. Subject areas include:
• Sound sculpting, processing and synthesis
• The language and aesthetics of sound design
• Storytelling and dramaturgy
MA Sound Design is part of a suite of postgraduate courses available across music and sound, operating alongside ‘sister’ pathways in Sound Production and Sound Arts, which allow further specialism in these areas.
For more information on the course structure, please go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-design/
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.
In trimester two, the core module is the Sound Design Practice module. It explores the creative and practical application of Sound Design within a visual narrative and storytelling context.
Alongside this core module, you’ll be offered a wide range of options. The Post Production module explores an industry-level workflow for Audio Post within film and visual media and covers a wide range of associated skillsets. Intertextuality in Sound Production, from the Sound Production pathway, explores the overlap between Urban Music production and what are considered more experimental genres. The Visual Music module, from the Sound Arts pathway, explores the idea that musical thinking can be extended to the visual, and encourages students to develop multimedia projects that explore this idea.
There are also choices in Composition, Performance, Musicology and Professional Practice.
In trimester three, you'll complete the course with a independent research project, compromising of a large-scale practical project, supported by a reflective account.
For more information on modules please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-design/
The delivery of the course involves a mixture of teaching and learning activities, including lectures, workshops, seminars, online study materials and guest speaker sessions.
The workshop / seminar sessions will include ongoing peer review and tutor support opportunities. Some parts of the course are delivered using a ‘flipped classroom’ model, where students independently work through online study materials and tasks, which are followed up by practical support workshops.
The assessment is majorly based around practical coursework, with the aim to build an extensive portfolio of sound design and post production work. Practical coursework is typically supported by a written commentary or evaluation. The Research Methodology and Context module is assessed through a more substantial written 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 audio post production roles are required alongside broader practice in sound, music and other media.
Our graduates have range of successful careers in production, composition, music for film and TV, sound design for moving image and games, sound art, software development, engineering, further education, higher education and research.