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MA Sound Arts is a creative, interdisciplinary course that enables you to investigate exploratory and innovative Sound Arts practices including experimental composition, sound installation, field recording, site-specific practice, sonic art and improvisation. 

This programme is enhanced by a group of internationally active sound artists, composers and field recordists who curate and participate in the activities of the SARU (Sonic Art Research Unit) and the annual festival Audiograft. The weekly Listening Group complements the core provision and introduces you to the vibrant research culture around Sound Arts. 

You will develop individual and collaborative practice-based work in a stimulating environment that encourages dialogue and growth as part of a reflective community. This is a good basis for the intensive, fascinating and challenging work that thrives in this supportive, innovative and creative context.

Why choose this course?

  • The School of Arts offers state-of-the-art technical facilities for Sound Arts and 24-hour studio access.
  • This course is taught by leading Sound Arts practitioners creating ‘world-leading’ research as defined by the REF2014 (Research Excellence Framework).
  • You will have access to expertise in sound art, field recording, electroacoustic composition, site-based practice, experimental composition and improvisation.
  • Sound Arts is situated in an interdisicplinary context and you will work with students from Art & Design and Music.
  • The Sonic Art research Unit (SARU) and the annual ACE funded audiograft festival provide a stimulating environment for innovation and experimentation in your creative practice.
  • Many of our Arts MA students progress to PhD study.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and seminars held by staff on specialised topics.
  • Team teaching in group seminars involving generic issues in research methodologies for practice based research.
  • Feedback from staff during group feedback sessions, where staff make comments and provide you with constructive criticism and analysis of your work.
  • Staff led group discussions arising out of your practical work presentations.
  • Individual tutorials that address your individual research concerns.
  • Specialised introductions to creative strategies for generating and making practice based work.

Approach to assessment

  • Practical presentations of resolved ‘artworks’ and regular summative work-in-progress feedback.
  • Regular in-module formative feedback and formative feedback tutorials to ensure you are aware of your progress.
  • Written self evaluations for each creative project that reflect on all that has been achieved in the module, and how relevant insights will be carried forward. 
  • A written reflection at the culmination of the programme that reflects on all that has been achieved on the programme and in particular the Major Project and how these insights will be carried forward. This summative self reflective process is integral to the programme and in developing the necessary skills for ongoing focused practice-based research and/or ongoing independent research and practice.
  • Written case-studies, assignments and reports.
  • A final presentation of practical works as part of the MA exhibition/event/festival.

Specialist facilities

There are facilities for sound editing, photography, electronic imaging, video editing, printmaking and bookworks and a well-resourced 3-D Studio – with a kiln and casting facilities. You have access to other support equipment such as video cameras, video projectors, audio recorders, a dye-sublimation printer and a laser cutter.

The music studios are based in the basement of the Richard Hamilton Building - offering facilities for composition, sound editing, recording and music processing.


Visit the MA/PGDip Sound Arts page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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