The MMus in Sonic Arts is an opportunity to explore a wide range of creative approaches to studio-based music, including fixed-media composition, improvisation systems, sound art installation and composition for video/film.
You have full access to the Electronic Music Studios, which offers advanced facilities for electro-acoustic composition, multi-channel work and live/interactive performance.
You develop a rigorous conceptual framework for your creative practice, and engage critically with contemporary ideas and debates in sound art and computer music. As part of your studies you may choose from a range of options that encompass interactive/generative music, film music and film-making.
Studio composers taking this pathway may elect to take options in notation-based composition, providing they have the requisite prior experience.
Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, in conjunction with other academic departments and/or external organisations, are also facilitated and encouraged.
The pathway is particularly useful for students wishing to pursue studio and computer-based research or professionals seeking to develop their expertise in technology-based creative practice.
You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
If you enjoy creating sound and experiment with the type of sounds you can make within a musical framework Sonic Arts provides a discipline in which you can explore and develop your knowledge of sonic arts and sound technology. Digital music started to make an impression on society in the pop world but it is now increasingly used across all genres of music to augment the experience for audiences worldwide. Creative practitioners can find niche areas of work which they become known for producing or they can work across the genres and become known for their creative ability in producing recordings, re-recording music, finding a novel creative sound and so on.
You can progress your musical knowledge and range directly from studying at undergraduate level or you may have a combination of training and a portfolio of work which you can continue to progress. You get a wide range of opportunities to advance your skills, experimentation and musicology at Aberdeen to then present a wide ranging portfolio of sonic arts creativity. This area of music is a growth area of the industry due to the wide ranging effects which can enhance any type of musical performance across the recording and performance industry, into theatre, outdoor events, and more. Aberdeen provides the type of environment where you can build your portfolio of work and progress your skills whilst refining your creativity.
The programme prepares you for a career in creative industries in artistic, commercial and academic areas where creative approaches to sound are in demand, offering you a comprehensive overview of sonic arts.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs
The Masters in Sound Design & Audiovisual Practice provides advanced training in creative practice with sound and audiovisual technologies. The programme offers topics relevant to practicing musicians, artists, and the creative industries, such as sound shaping and design, audiovisual composition, field recording, creative and experimental approaches to technology, live performance, interdisciplinary perspectives on sound, and sonic aesthetics. You then develop an individual portfolio of sonic and audiovisual artwork based on your particular skills and interests.
The programme aims to:
The MSc comprises 180 credits as follows:
Semester 1 compulsory courses (60 credits):
Semester 2 compulsory courses (40 credits):
Semester 2 option (one 20 credit course chosen from):
Additionally you will produce an individual creative portfolio over the summer (60 credits).
Teaching methods include small group tutorials, seminars and workshops, lab and studio sessions, and individual guidance meetings.
The attributes you gain will be attractive to employers from the creative industries, and are particularly relevant for contemporary music, sound design and sound production, games, theatre, film and television. Many of our graduates undertake successful portfolio careers as artists and sound practitioners in their own right. The programme also offers an excellent foundation upon which to progress to PhD studies and an academic career.
The Electroacoustic Composition/Sonic Art pathway invites you to help map out the next steps in Birmingham’s thirty year history as a world leader in the area of electroacoustic music composition and presentation.
A solid grounding in the field, its aesthetics and traditions is augmented by instruction in the latest techniques and technology.
You will study two core modules:
You will also choose two optional modules from a range which typically includes:
Full descriptions are available below.
Modules are assessed by a combination of practical and written assignments. You will also produce a composition portfolio of new musical works.
Your learning will be enhanced by our extensive facilities, including the Bramall Music Buildingand the Electroacoustic Music Studios and Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST).
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Music
Birmingham's Music postgraduates work in a wide range of careers within and beyond the music world. A postgraduate degree in Music develops a broad base of skills including general skills such as communication, problem solving and research, and also specific skills developed by practice and performance such as self-management, team work and presentation.
Over the past four years, 91% of Music postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Whilst some graduates pursue music-related careers, or go on to teaching and lecturing roles, others choose to use their transferable skills to follow career paths in fields including finance and the public sector.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Develop your theoretical understanding, technical skills and creative practice in the emerging field of sonic arts on a course that aims to challenge preconceptions surrounding musical composition, performance and sound art.
You will explore varied approaches to sound practice through exposure to cutting edge ideas and techniques in the areas of electro-acoustic music, spatial sound, contemporary music thinking and sound interactivity. You will have the chance to investigate new software and hardware tools, inquire into the ideas and practical work of the most influential contemporary music thinkers, such as John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer and Brian Eno, and produce a variety of creative artefacts to begin building your own music and sound repertoire.
The course is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops by a team of internationally acclaimed practitioners dedicated to helping you achieve your goals in this field.
You will be taught by subject experts such as composer Dr Nikos Stavropoulos, whose work is regularly awarded at international competitions and who has presented around the world, and Kingsley Ash, whose live performances and interactive installations feature at international events and major exhibition spaces around the country.
As well as working directly with your tutors, you will have the opportunity to interact with established artists through guest lectures and workshops and our artist in residence programme. Previous visiting artists have included BBC sound recordist, electronic music group UTAH Saints amd Twin Peaks sound designer Kim Cascone.
You will also 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.
You will develop a broad range of technical and creative skills preparing you to enter a diverse variety of careers in the music and sound industry. You could work as a music and sound artist creating original tracks and multichannel installations or as a composer and sound designer for film, TV and interactive games.
Study with experts at the cutting-edge of technical, creative and theoretical knowledge in this rapidly evolving area of study. The course focuses upon the relationship between technology and creative practice, training musical students to use software tools and enabling students with a solid music technology background to investigate creative opportunities.
Initial intensive training in the knowledge and methods of the field at the start of the course is followed by opportunities for increasingly independent research and exploration.
We take a broad and inclusive view of the sonic arts; embracing anything from sound installations to free-improvised performances, computer programming through to fine art practice, art in which sound is the medium through to that in which sound plays a supporting role.
Music at Sheffield attracts world-leading academics and musicians working in a wide range of specialist fields. This is reflected in the diversity of the MA programmes we offer, both on campus and by distance learning. Our courses are taught by experts and backed by world-class research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 84 per cent of our work was rated internationally excellent or world-leading.
We are influential in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance, music technology, music management and psychology of music. Our MA programmes allow students to take advantage of the department’s distinctive interdisciplinary research environment and to be part of a strong postgraduate community by taking modules from other specialist areas. Our three research centres, Music, Mind, Machine; Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre, and Music and Wellbeing provide a hub for research collaborations in music psychology and audience research.
Performance is an important part of our work. You will have the chance to participate in orchestras, music theatre, contemporary music, folk and world traditions. We have strong links with the community, giving you the chance to volunteer with local arts organisations.
Our graduates are employed by universities, colleges, concert agencies and music promoters. Many work in education; others are performers in various genres, in the UK and abroad. Some work in recording studios.
We have a postgraduate research suite and several studios for advanced compositional work, software development, sound recording, laboratory and field experimentation, transcription, music notation and other research applications. You will have access to scores, books, periodicals, recordings and online resources.
Through a series of graduate study days you will be able to use the tools for digital recording, video and film. We also have excellent practice facilities and collections of historical and world music instruments.
Our team of professional musicians bring performance expertise to the department – including clarinettist Sarah Watts, pianist Inja Davidovic, jazz guitarist Ronan McCullagh and North Indian tabla and santoor performer John Ball.
University and faculty funding is available each year. The closing date for applications is mid-January. The department has a number of studentships available for our strongest candidates. The closing date for these is the end of April. You can also apply for a small grant to support your postgraduate research project.
Adrian Moore and Adam Stansbie are both highly experienced and internationally recognised composers whose work is widely performed, published and prized.
The course is informed by new technologies and methods of working. There are seminars, laboratory-based demonstrations and individual tutorials.
Assessment takes a variety of forms such as problem-based assignments and the completion of a creative portfolio.
As computer and media technologies continue to converge and develop, the creation of music and sound has become increasingly more sophisticated. This course will immerse you in the technical and creative aspects of the latest emerging music technology.
You will explore the skills, techniques and theory behind the tools and technologies used in the production and performance of electronic music and sonic art. We will encourage you to investigate a range of creative areas, including contemporary music, performing arts, visual arts and live installations.
You will create interactive systems using Max/MSP, explore sensor-based interfaces and develop your expertise in sound creation, manipulation and composition. We have designed this course for those with an academic or professional background in the field, as well as those experimenting with sound through composition, sonic art or technology.
Our high-quality facilities and equipment, regular guest speakers from the industry and our links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations will help you get the most from the course.
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 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. This, combined with visiting speakers from the music industry and our links to local and national music, arts and festival organisations, ensures that 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.
Your course will equip you with the skills needed for a career in music technology, interactive media or sonic arts practice, research or education. It also integrates well with the wider music and audio industries and will give you the confidence to get ahead in these competitive fields.
Build on your Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma and get the high-level music skills and critical perspective you need for a career in music or a related field. This one-year Master's programme will further your knowledge in either composition, sonic arts or performance and is also designed to prepare you for the Doctor of Musical Arts.
Study at New Zealand's most prestigious music school and learn from world-class musicians and academics who are leaders in their fields.
Choose 30 points worth of courses at 400 or 500 level. You'll need to select topics that explore critical perspectives relating to your creative work, such as aesthetics, performance practice and critical analysis. Your courses must contain substantial written components.
You'll complete a 90-point creative research thesis on an approved topic of your choice.
Composition students will complete a portfolio of compositions or sound-based works, and a written report of between 10,000 and 20,000 words.
Performance students will express their research through one or two public recitals, and a written report of around 10,000 to 20,000 words.
You'll need to submit a research proposal within one month of enrolment for approval by the NZSM Postgraduate Committee. Performance students will express their research through one or two public recitals, and a written report of between 10,000 and 20,000 words.
You'll normally complete your MMA within one year, but may take up to a year and six months from first enrolling. Part-time students can take up to four years to complete it.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week.