Masters degrees in Film & Sound Recording equip postgraduates with the skills to devise, record and undertaking the recording of visual and audio pieces to create a moving image sequence. This includes film, video or advertisement.
Taught MA, MFA and MSc courses are available in this subject. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject, such as Film Studies or Media and Communications.
Effective filmmaking and audio skills are required across a range of industries. Though this discipline is mostly associated with cinema, skills in this field can also be utilised in journalism, documentary production and even live arts.
Multidisciplinary in nature, these courses will cover techniques drawn from a range of methods and practices, including dramaturgy, music technology and visual arts. For example, through undertaking creative sound production, you could work with various bands or even orchestras to curate sound pieces for films or television programmes.
As well as roles in TV and film, you may wish to explore careers in radio, website content creation, exhibition design for museums and galleries, or stage management for theatre companies and festivals.
Something happens when you add sound to an image. And filmmaking depends upon the strength of this relationship. Ultimately it’s what makes a film work – it’s what moves your audience.
MA in Filmmaking (Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design), is housed in a new purpose-built media facility equipped with state-of-the art teaching spaces including a film studio for sound shooting, Pro Tools suites, Audio Postproduction facilities with Foley recording studios, Avid Media Composer, screening rooms and an Avid ISIS SAN network linking all teaching spaces. The new Curzon cinema provides the department with digital projection along with its weekly programme of first-run films.
You'll learn the fundamental technical skills necessary to begin a career in screen sound, both as a location sound recordist and post-production sound designer. But equally importantly, you will gain an understanding of how a film’s narrative relies on the precise partnership between image and sound.
Within this MA programme you'll expand your existing knowledge of sound. Through recording and design you'll investigate what it means to listen with awareness and to translate that experience to your audience. And you'll study how sound is created, how you can manipulate its form, whether it’s natural, synthesised, digitised or analogue, and how to work with sound as a storytelling medium.
The Sound curriculum focuses on the structure of the soundtrack, deconstructing it from its beginnings in pre-production to the final mix, experimenting with the ways in which different components (dialogue, atmospheres, sound effects, music) allow an audience to engage with a film’s story. Through iterative exercises, group reviews and regular feedback, you gain the awareness and ability to construct soundtracks that interpret stories through sound.
As a sound specialist you work on one film each term, ending with a major production. You learn about related fields such as directing, editing, producing and documentary, and work with students across specialisms within Goldsmiths Screen School. As well as developing your awareness of the discipline and learning software such as Pro Tools, the Options modules provide the opportunity to learn the concepts and debates informing the wider filmmaking industry. This means you have the chance to explore your craft with other filmmakers and get used to the unique dynamics of the industry
You'll also benefit from guest lecturers who bring their professional expertise into our classrooms. Last year, specialist classes featured Oscar-winning sound recordist Ray Beckett (The Hurt Locker), film/TV sound editor Adele Fletcher (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and composer Stuart Earl (The Secret Agent, Lilting).
In addition, MA Filmmaking students collaborate with composers and players from Goldsmiths’ Department of Music who offer a wide range of musical styles from classical to electronic to popular.
Pro Tools tuition is offered to all Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design pathway students giving you the opportunity to achieve Pro Tools Certified User accreditation.
This MA doesn’t just deal with technique and technology and it’s not about objective theory. We explore the space in between. Not only do we want you to acquire the skills and understanding to follow a career in professional filmmaking but also we prepare you to use your new-found expertise in the wider world of media and the arts.
You work in depth on at least one film per term in your specialist role, culminating in a major production towards the end of the degree. You will also lead and take part in a number of other sound-based and music-based projects in Screen Lab. This collaborative framework is designed to stimulate collaborative practice by providing you with a breadth of filmmaking knowledge combined with a high level of expertise in sound recording and design.
For two terms you will spend a full day a week in specialised contact with your specific programme convenor, plus a further day in Screen Lab working with colleagues across the programme in a Talent Campus-style project-led learning structure with:
You will also have a variety of research projects to undertake, as well as other module options.
The third term will be taken up with your final substantive project, and in writing up a process paper on your work and research over the year.
You will also advance your collaborative skills by working in teams with fiction and documentary producers and directors, edit, cinematography and music students, on a variety of projects and at least three scheduled films across the year.
You will leave the programme with a diverse portfolio of performed work that may span a variety of formats – music video, web series drama, documentary, campaign/commercial, experimental art pieces and feature-scale short fiction films.
Screen School options
As well as your Sound Recording, Post-Production & Design specialism, you will undertake three short courses to enhance your other skills and critical approaches.
The programme is a gateway to any career that involves sound, particularly those that concentrate on narrative storytelling. Our graduates go on to work in a range of fields from film, theatre, radio, and web design, to advertising, documentary, and animation.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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.
This course provides the opportunity for you to develop as a thinking practitioner of film-making or television programme-making, someone who is able to innovate while questioning and interrogating existing values and traditions. The emphasis is firmly on practical film-making and television production work, underpinned with contextual theory throughout, engaging with contemporary issues and emerging trends in film and television production, as well as established film/television theories and practices.
The first two semesters of study provide a range of modules which will allow you to develop your film/television “craft skills” – this may include work with camera, lighting, sound, editing, directing and producing – while working on short film/TV projects of your own devising. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other students, and you will be encouraged to make contact with, and work with, contributors (e.g. interviewees, actors) from outside of the university. You will also develop your skills as an academic researcher by carrying out research which feeds directly into your film projects.
The course culminates in the Masters Project, where you will be the key creative leader of a film or television production, taking on the role of producer or director.
In a typical week, a full-time student on this course will have up to ten hours of class time which will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshop sessions. Most course modules will blend these different teaching methods within a given timetabled session, so there will be plenty of variety.
In lectures, you will typically be given ‘food for thought’ in relation to your own project ideas. In workshop sessions you will get to practice film-making techniques related to your own project work needs. In seminars you will share ideas and discuss with tutors and fellow students. In tutorials you will have one-to-one or small group discussion about your works in progress.
The general flow of the course for a full time student is to start with production skills, research skills and scriptwriting in the first semester. In the second semester you move on to a small personal project which will combine all that you have learned from these three areas. In the final semester, you bring it all together in a personal film/TV production project which is seen as the culmination of your studies.
Part-time students experience exactly the same course modules and course content, but necessarily broken down into smaller groups of modules.
The course is built upon negotiated production work, which means you get to propose and develop your own ideas for film and television. The teaching staff are experienced with production across documentary, drama and social action production, and will guide you according to your ambitions, skills and needs.
There is always the opportunity to work on ‘live’ project briefs, which can be used as the basis of a module project, or alternatively as an extra-curricular experience which informs your development on the course and allows you to network with students on related courses.
The course is taught in the School of Media, which houses a three-camera live television studio, fifteen editing suites with Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro X and other professional software packages, and a sound-recording/foley production suite. It also has an equipment store from which you can borrow all the camera, sound, lighting and other equipment you need to produce your work.
Who will teach you on this course?
The course teaching team includes four active doctoral or postdoctoral researchers – Adam Kossoff, Tracy McCoy, Phil Nichols and Gavin Wilson – whose interests include documentary film, social action video, screenwriting and adaptation, and cinematography. They are all qualified higher education teachers, and have many years of experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level. They are also experienced film and programme makers.
Our students and graduates have a track-record of success in competitions and festivals, such as the prestigious Royal Television Society Student Awards, the Midland Movies awards, and the Business Disability Forum's Technology Taskforce Film Festival.
Film-maker and editor Andrew Webber has had his films screened at international festivals in the UK, Jamaica and West Africa. He says, “The University has been extremely supportive, through my studies and after graduation.”
Niki Gandy has pursued a teaching career, and now teaches photography and art in a High School. Calling herself a “proud graduate” of our related undergraduate course, she says, “I chose it for its practical content and which helped furnish me with numerous transferable skills necessary to forge my career in teaching. Almost a decade on, my lecturers continue to provide me with support and guidance - I feel certain that my relationship with the university will continue for many years to come.”
Actor and director Brian Duffy, creator of TV series Small World – a comedy series about a group of deaf flatmates which has been shown on TV and online – says, “Studying at the University of Wolverhampton helped me with networking and organisation – especially as filmmakers came to Wolverhampton for Deaffest, the UK’s leading deaf film and arts festival. My lecturer could also sign which was a great help and a huge weight off my shoulders – I could talk to her one-to-one. That’s something I never had the pleasure of pre-university.”
Lauren Shinner has been working in media production ever since graduating. She says, “My time at the University was invaluable, I wouldn't be where I am today without it. The tutors were always helpful and push students to do their best with plenty of support and understanding and the course prepares you well for your prospective career. I've gone on to work as a video editor in education, ran my own media business and have done videos for high end charities and new bands, and am now working in media in another area. Without my degree, none of this would have been possible.”
We were the first UK university to offer a Master’s degree in sound, and we continue to offer the opportunity to harness your skills within The Faculty of Media & Communication’s vibrant production environment.
This degree will advance your sound knowledge in a variety of different genres, ranging from documentary to drama and animation. Relevant industry practice underpins teaching and learning methods on this course, which aims to enable you to develop creative opportunities in sound.
You may have an undergraduate qualification in a related subject or may be able to show your suitability for this programme of study through associated work-experience or evidence of and outputs from other related activities.
In collaboration with other disciplines from the postgraduate media production framework, you will learn how to work with sound more effectively in location and post-production environments. You will also have the opportunity to develop collaborative projects with computergenerated material through Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) or via other creative ventures.
You will have the advantage of working in a range of tailor-made facilities, including specially built post-production sound studios, foley/ commentary recording suites, as well as other facilities. Course-specific sound resources are available to book 24 hours a day, seven days a week for most of the year.
As part of the AVID Learning Partnership, this course has greater relevance and credibility within the industry.
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 artistic and production landscapes involving music and media continuously evolve at an overwhelming pace. A globalized, technology driven world not only opens doors to new creative possibilities, but also to new challenges, as well as artistic and business oriented expectations. The paradigms are quite different from those of the "legacy" industry of just a few years ago. How does one define success? Who is the composer nowadays and what must s/he do to be competitive in the marketplace and increase her/his chances of achieving success?
The Master of Arts in "Music for Applied Media" follows a modular platform affording graduate students and professionals access to geographical and scheduling flexibility. Moreover, as technology and trends develop, the modular system allows the program to remain up-to-date and ahead of the curve. The curriculum comprises: Theory and Research, Aesthetics and Artistic Creativity, Hands-on Experience, and Business and Self-Management -- including disciplines such as Music Aesthetics, History, Composition, Theory of Sound, Acoustics, Audio and Recording, Signal Processing, Synthesis, IP / entertainment Law, Project Management, Professionalism, Entrepreneurship, Communications, and Ethics -- as such, affording our graduates an expansive learning experience, while working with our international faculty roster comprising established educators and professionals.
The Masters of Design (M.Des) in Sound for the Moving Image offers the opportunity for postgraduate students to engage with the craft and creative practice of sound production applied to film, animation, television, new media, electronic games and visual art, as well as equipping students with the tools required to develop a research project within this field. The programme promotes production of original work, through individual or group-based research, that is conceptually-driven, aesthetically challenging and wide-ranging in its use of sound design and music production/compostion.
The programme is delivered via a series of taught workshops, set and elective projects, lecture and seminar based sessions, and self-directed learning. The emphasis of the programme rationale is the interplay between creative practices underpinned by theoretical research, mediated through the craft elements of sound production within a visual environment. Students will be expected to engage in a high level of self-directed learning, research and independent critical reflection, as well as participating in the taught elements of study.
The programme prepares students for entry into a professional sound production environment, to enhance their creative practice with sound and sonic art, or for further academic study by research. Opportunities for further research can be accessed within The Glasgow School of Art or in the wider academic community, and will be driven by the ethos of research underpinning the programme. Current trends and emerging methodologies in professional practice will be defined by a visiting lecturer timetable bringing students into contact with established practitioners within the field of sound for the moving image.
Past students have won a range of awards including recent wins for Scottish BAFTA New Talent, and Sound Design work on award winning films.