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Sound Design (MSc)

Course Description

This online masters degree is for audio professionals who wish to enhance and formalise their industrial experience with industry relevant theory and practices.

The degree is made up of three parts: taught classes, work-based learning, and a research project. All of these elements are designed to apply theory and advanced practice to enhance current approaches to sound design for linear and interactive media.

The MSc Sound Design is delivered over either 18 or 30 months on a part time basis. All of the modules are delivered by distance learning. In addition, you will also develop a deep understanding of how to assess approaches of affecting audiences’ perceptions of linear and interactive media using sound design.

Emphasis is placed on cognisance with professional standards for the production and documentation of sound designs for linear and interactive media, and familiarity with a comprehensive set of methods of assessing listening experiences.

The course builds upon Edinburgh Napier University’s close contacts with internationally recognised professional sound designers for both linear and interactive media. Information about past guest lecturers can be found on Twitter (@SoundDesignMSc).

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MSc-Sound-Design-Postgraduate-Distance-Learning-part-time

What you'll study

Year 1:
- Listening
- Sound design for linear media
- Sound design for interactive media
- Advanced professional practice

In the first year, you will study Advanced Professional Practice (APP) for three trimesters. This allows you to tailor your learning needs to those of your organisation or the relevant industries.

Within the first few weeks of this module, under the direction of your academic supervisor you will develop your own learning agreement, which defines the deliverables of this module. If you are an employee you will do this in negotiation with your organisation.

If you are freelance, you may either negotiate with key clients or discuss an equivalent with your supervisor. Your supervisor will mentor you throughout the three trimesters towards the achievement of the deliverables. You will provide a reflective journal on your learning.

During the first year, you will also study one module per trimester: sound design for linear media, listening and sound design for interactive media. These modules will be taken in the order determined by the date of entry to the course.

Each module is independent of the others. One objective of the APP module is for you to apply immediately, in your practice, the knowledge gained from these three taught modules. After successful completion of the year, you will be eligible for a PG Dip Sound Design. In the second year, you will complete your MSc dissertation in part time mode.

Year 2:
Masters Dissertation:

In this 60 credit module you will take control of your studies to produce a substantial piece of focussed academic research. Success in the dissertation module indicates an ability to work independently, so you are expected to take the initiative and manage your own project. In effect, you are undertaking independent research as an apprenticeship to an experienced academic supervisor.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


This degree gives you the opportunity to build on existing competencies and develop new skills in linear and interactive media sound design. The emphasis is on becoming an advanced sound professional within linear and/or interactive media.

Career opportunities:

sound engineer
sound editor
sound designer
sound researcher
sound archivist
sound artist
sound recordist

Currently sound designers can gain employment in:

audio Books
audio Branding
computing (Auditory Displays, Sonification, Web)
product design
soundscape design (domestic, leisure, retail, travel, workplace)
video games

Visit the Sound Design (MSc) page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above with three years experience working as an audio professional, for any form of media. We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry. If English is not your first language, it is usually required that you sit an English language test in order to gain entry onto our postgraduate programmes. This course requires the standard IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score of less than 5.5 or equivalent.

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