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The main focus of our inspirational Music & Audio Technology course is the development of hardware and software technologies that can be applied to music, audio and recording in a creative way. It shares a first year with BSc (Hons) Music & Sound Production Technology, which allows you to change degrees at the end of your first year if you decide your interests lie in that discipline.

On this course you’ll gain comprehensive knowledge of the technology used in the music industry as a whole and will find out how to apply this to a variety of environments. This course is accredited by the Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES) and has been praised by the organisation for the quality of teaching, the focus on design and technology, and the high level of technical engineering and design within the course.

100% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things – why not come and meet us?

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


4 years, with a minimum 30-week placement


Joint Audio Media Education Support

Relevant subjects:

Computing, IT, Maths, Music Technology, Physics, Science or Technology

Required subjects:

For 2017 entry: All subjects considered.

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff) : 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components), or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Synthesis & Effects: Gain an understanding of sound analysis and practical skills in creating sounds. You'll begin building a portfolio of work that you'll add to throughout your course.
  • Composition & Arrangement: Develop your creative skills by crafting musical and audio material. Focusing on critical listening, aural skills and composition basics, you'll learn to work with musicians in a creative context.
  • Production Techniques 1: An introduction to creating music using computer technology. You'll become familiar with production software and learn how to use these creatively.
  • Studio Techniques 1: The principles of studio techniques for recording, covering areas such as signal flow, gain structure and dynamic processors.
  • Software Programming for Digital Media: Acquire the fundamental computer programming skills needed for developing music apps and web based audio solutions.
  • Creative Business Awareness: An overview of the Creative Technology Industry and how businesses of different sizes work in this sector. You'll take part in business simulations and develop a range of professional skills like working in a team, project management, presentation and information communication.

Year 2

You'll begin to specialise according to your degree title. Other units will be common to both courses.

Core units

  • Synthesizers & Sequencing Systems: You'll extend skills and understanding of creating audio using a sequencer and MIDI instruments. You'll learn how MIDIs are used and its relationship to sequencing musical compositions. You'll also explore advanced synthesis techniques and create your own synthesizers.
  • Software Programming for Music & Audio: There will be a focus object oriented design, coding techniques, software debugging and performance profiling. You'll learn methods for coding algorithms.
  • Digital Audio Signal Processing: The foundation of modern music and audio technology. You'll develop the intellectual skills needed for sampled signal analysis and time processing models.
  • Recording and Acoustics: You'll use various various recording practices for the capturing of acoustic and electronic sources, using advanced stereo and multiple microphone recording technique, including the  creation, recording and post-production of audio and video. There will be a focus on current techniques used in the industry.
  • Creative Practices: On this unit you will develop and apply a broad range of skills in the context of creating and presenting practice-based projects. This will equip you with the necessary skills for effective communication, the ability to work as part of a team and project management skills.
  • Commercial Business Environment: An opportunity to develop commercial and professional skills for operating a business in the Creative Industry. The unit incorporates teamwork on simulated business projects.

Year 3 (Placement)

You will normally complete a 30-week minimum work placement which can be carried out anywhere in the world. You'll get an opportunity to include a period of academic study during this time. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future. Previous students have completed placements at Walt Disney and The Royal Shakespeare Company. You can exceptionally take a short 8 week placement, subject to agreement by the Placements Panel. 

Year 4 (Final year)

Core units

  • Individual Project: An opportunity to use what you've learnt to develop multimedia, network and business systems. You'll use strategies to help you with research, synthesis, realization and evaluation, and present your project using oral, written and modelling skills.
  • Creative Music Technology: Improve your knowledge of key developments in music technology research and use cutting-edge technologies creatively.
  • Mobile Creative Applications Development: Sound and software programming for creating audio applications and interfaces for mobile platforms.
  • Innovation & Business Development: You'll create innovative business ideas, and learn how to manage your own business.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

Year 1 – 28% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 336 hours
  • Independent learning: 864 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 14 hours

Year 2 – 31% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 382 hours
  • Independent learning: 818 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 7 hours

Year 3 - Placement year. 0% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

Year 3 - 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 224 hours
  • Independent learning: 976 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 7 hours

59% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 51%
  • Year 2: 83%
  • Year 3: 0% (placement year)
  • Final year: 100%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Music & Audio Technology.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career so we offer every student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement.

The experience that you will gain during your placement is invaluable in helping to make informed decisions about your future career path, as well as enhancing employment prospects upon graduation. During the placement year you will have the chance to develop your interpersonal and transferable skills and build on the theory and knowledge you have gained so far. Many of our students find that they are offered permanent jobs after graduation by their placement companies.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30 weeks.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • Walt Disney
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company.

A placement year is a vital part in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences? What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Your application

Background and experience

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a strong interest in music technology
  • Are looking to develop a career in the music technology industry
  • Looking to use Music Technology more creatively.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications then students will be invited to attend a short meeting at BU to discuss their application. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Maths and English or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2.If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: We welcome Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma in ICT/Science/Business (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.   

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-Levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71 - 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate. This course requires 28 - 31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:


Graduates with knowledge of creative music and audio systems seek careers within the music and entertainment industries and have become increasingly sought after with the growth of the multimedia environment.

Among the sectors you could work in are research and design (software and hardware), music and audio consultation, multimedia and games development and the wider music and audio sector. 85% of our students from the subject areas of music and other technology are employed or studying six months after finishing their degree.

They are working for a range of organisations, including Absolute Music, BBC, Allen and Heath, It's Done Technology, Sound Tree Music and Focusrite. Among the roles you can take on are:

  • Music and audio consultant
  • Tour manager
  • Multimedia and games developer
  • Software developer/designer
  • Hardware developer/designer.

This course is accredited by JAMES on behalf of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), the Music Producers Guild (MPG) and the UK Screen Association. This accreditation is recognised throughout the music, audio and entertainment industry and will make you stand out to potential employers.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Standard enclosed headphones

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services. You will get more information if you are offered a place on the course.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Student section of the website

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit.  

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates any changes to the course content.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
5/2/2016 Change of title to Year 2 unit

The unit previously called Studio Techniques 2 has been renamed Recording and Acoustics.

Course details content

Studio Techniques 2

11/4/16 Year 2 Group project unit replaced by new unit called Creative Practices

Course details content

Group Project: Working as part of a team, you'll develop transferable skills such as time and project management, and learn how to review. You'll create effective online and offline communication materials.

15/02/17 Removal of required subjects for 2018 Key Information

For 2018 entry at least one of: Computing, IT, Maths, Physics, Music Technology, Science, Technology

Meet our staff

Dr Tom Davis is a lecturer in Music and Audio Technology and is the Pathway Co-ordinator for the Music Technology degrees. In addition to PhD supervision he teaches on the BSc and Masters programmes. Davis is also a practicing artist working mainly in the realm of sound installation and live performance. Davis has exhibited and performed throughout Europe and in the United States and holds a PhD from the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast.

Read more about the specialist interests of our Creative Technology staff online, or register now to meet us!

What our graduates think

Asha Blatherwick

We get to combine creative technology with audio content and make cool stuff.

Hear from our staff

Andrew Kitchenham

Unlike a lot of other courses ours is about applications and software and learning about the technical elements rather than just creating an aesthetic output.

What our graduates think

Tom Clarke

I’m working for Sonnox in Oxford with Ant Nicholls (a 2013 graduate) as a graduate software developer – really happy and loving it!

Facilities & opportunities

Music studio

Music facilities

Read about our on-campus music facilities and find out how you can make use of them during your course.

Absolute Music

Absolute Music

Discover the facilities at Absolute Music, where you can access recording studios and live rooms.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

Discover what makes our Open Days so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

Omolola Fagbule

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.