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Course content

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.

Why this programme

  • We are Scotland’s leading research centre in Music, with a mutually supportive community of scholars and practitioners.
  • Glasgow offers a huge range of venues for creative sound work, including the Old Hairdressers, Tramway, Mono, SWG3, and City Halls, all of which have hosted our students’ work.
  • You will benefit from studying in the city of Glasgow, the UK’s first UNESCO city of music, with its vibrant and exciting music scene. Festivals abound, such as Sonica, Counterflows, and Tectonics, as does grass-roots sonic activity such as the Lights Out Listening Group. The presence of ensembles such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RSNO, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ensemble, and experimental music ensembles such as the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra provides a rich context for your studies.
  • The Glasgow Sound Network provides a forum for sharing of sonic practice involving some of Glasgow’s leading creative media companies, artists and academics, offering excellent opportunities for building professional networks.
  • Sound Design & Audiovisual Practice at Glasgow integrates sound design with visual media through a unit in Audiovisual Composition.
  • The programme offers interdisciplinary perspectives and the chance to work with students from Glasgow School of Art through a unit called Sound Art in Dialogue.
  • We work with the city’s cultural programme (Glasgow Life) to bring leading sonic artists to Glasgow, with associated workshops and collaborative opportunities for our students.
  • Your work can be showcased in our annual postgraduate event Sound Thought, which takes place at the Centre for Contemporary Arts.
  • Your work can also be showcased at the GLEAM (Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) Festival.
  • You can experiment with building devices for making and controlling sound, enhanced by the presence of prototyping facilities in Glasgow such as Maklab, through our Creating with Technology unit.
  • Our students and graduates engage in a wide range of professional creative work including sound design for film and theatre, live performance and award-winning composition.
  • You will benefit from access to our facilities including an audio lab, three studios, the University’s Concert Hall with Genelec and d&b sound diffusion system, seminar and practice rooms.

Programme structure

The programme aims to:

  • provide artistic and technical experience in working with sound as a culturally significant medium
  • enable you to build your knowledge of tools and methods for manipulating sonic and audiovisual media
  • enable you to design, repurpose and reconfigure technologies for creative compositional ends
  • enhance your creative practice through taking an exploratory and critical approach to sonic design and composition

The MSc comprises 180 credits as follows:

Semester 1 compulsory courses (60 credits):

  • Sound Shaping and Design
  • Creating with Technology

Semester 2 compulsory courses (40 credits):

  • Field Recording, Sound and Place
  • Audiovisual Composition

Semester 2 option (one 20 credit course chosen from):

  • Sonic Art Performance
  • Sound Art in Dialogue
  • Sonic Art Aesthetics and Criticism
  • Music, Sound & Screen

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.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

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.


Visit the Sound Design & Audiovisual Practice (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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