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BSc (Hons) Music & Sound Production Technology

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  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    W390
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

From 2019 entry: this course will be changing its title to: Music & Sound Production.

Our captivating Music & Sound Production Technology degree will help you to develop your audio creation skills and push the boundaries of the field, by utilising cutting-edge technology and various sound production techniques to generate audio in a range of contexts. Ultimately, our expert lecturers will teach you how to compose, arrange, record, edit, manipulate and produce music and sound to a professional standard, while also helping you to hone your creativity.

88% of our final year students think our staff  are good at explaining things. Join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day.

If you’re passionate about music and want to continue to develop your talents while you’re studying for your degree, our BU Music scholarships are available to support you.

For 2019 entry: In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses.

This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in June 2018 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

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 2018, September 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

4 years, with an optional 30-week placement

Accreditations:

Joint Audio Media Education Support

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 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.

Level 4

Core units

  • Studio Techniques 1: You will complete recording projects in large-format recording studios, developing an in-depth knowledge of recording studio architecture and audio signal pathways. Emphasis is placed on capturing high-quality source sounds using appropriate microphones and outboard equipment.
  • Production Techniques 1: In this unit, you will learn about contemporary mixing practices and editing techniques, and how they can profoundly enhance your musical arrangements. You’ll develop a range of mixing skills in order to create dynamic productions of a professional standard.
  • Composition & Arrangement: You’ll develop a solid grounding in musical composition and arrangement using music production software in order to enhance your overall musicianship. You will develop techniques for songwriting and instrumental composition whilst exploring how music functions.
  • Creative Business Awareness: You will learn about various competitive strategies to critically analyse business performance within the creative sector. By learning about business growth models and portfolio analysis, you will aim to identify opportunities for expansion and growth potential, as well as predicting the creative sector’s evolution and progression. This will involve working in teams on a business research project.
  • Synthesis & Effects: This unit covers in detail the opportunities available to music producers within a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). You will examine synthesis techniques along with modular software platforms for the development of bespoke instruments, giving you the ability to create new and innovative musical tools.
  • Software Programming for Digital Media: This is an introduction to creative coding for music - no prior programming background is required. You will gain important insights into the nature of digital sound and the technical, aesthetic and compositional principles. You’ll also explore principles of sound design and algorithmic composition, and will be encouraged to question your existing ideas of sound and electronic music. 

Level 5

You'll begin to specialise according to your degree title. Some units will be common to BSc (Hons) Music & Audio Technology and BSc (Hons) Music & Sound Production Technology.

Core units

  • Production Techniques 2: This unit will give you the required skills and knowledge to understand the art of remixing. You will also gain a thorough understanding of the theories and techniques that underpin mix preparation and mastering, the final polishing involved in a recorded product’s route to market. 
  • Recording and Acoustics: This unit will give you a broad understanding of the physics of sound and space. You will develop knowledge of advanced recording techniques, applying various multi-microphone techniques to capture large ensembles in acoustic environments.
  • Synthesizers & Sequencing Systems: You will be exposed to advanced music technology approaches which will enable you to develop your understanding and skill in using various music software packages covering MIDI sequencing, advanced sound synthesis, recording and editing techniques. 
  • Composing Using Technology: Be an avant-garde sonic artist exploring the non-conventional creation of music and sound using cutting edge techniques. You will learn how to make music and design sounds within experimental musical contexts, and then use these approaches to create unique audio for moving image. 
  • Creative Practices: Learn how to create research-based creative projects. You will be equipped with all necessary skills for effective communication and the ability to work as part of a team. Throughout this unit you will explore musical innovations and the ground-breaking technologies, ideas, musicians and scientists that have shaped and created the most original music of the last century.
  • Commercial Business Environment: In this unit, you will have the opportunity to develop commercial and professional skills for operating a business in the Creative Industries. 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. 

Level 6 (Final year)

Core units

  • Advanced Recording & Production: You will develop a thorough understanding of the theories, techniques and practices required to create soundtracks for film, television, animation, games, and new media. You will create original music compositions and soundtracks for different visual content, exploring areas such as sound and visual relationships, music compositional techniques, cueing and spotting, synchronisation, layering of music, dialogue and sound effects to create a full soundtrack, audio recording and production, spatialisation, sound design and Foley.
  • Creative Music Technology: In this unit, you will look at developing your own innovative music making device. Informed by current contextual discussions of instrumental playability and expression you will look at what features make a successful musical instrument design and develop your own approach with a combination of software and hardware based solutions.
  • Innovation & Business Development: Create innovative business ideas, and learn how to manage your own business. You will refine and extend your knowledge of project planning, financial costing and contracting, and will develop your presentation and pitching skills using a range of written, oral and video techniques.
  • Individual Project: Create a body of work that you can present to the music marketplace, making you ready to compete successfully with other industry professionals upon graduation. This is a bespoke, individually negotiated project during which you will develop your identity as a creative practitioner, acquiring skills such as organizing a project, managing resources, planning research and engaging with professional practice. 

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.  In addition to the taught units on this course you will spend time in our dedicated studios on campus as well as commercial studios. You will have access to the latest software and build your own personal portfolio. We have many high-profile guest lectures from industry professionals giving students an insight into the world they will be working in once they've graduated.

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: 21 hours

Year 2 – 29% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 353 hours
  • Independent learning: 847 hours

Year 4 - 17% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 224 hours
  • Independent learning: 976 hours

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 97% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

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 & Sound Production 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

Placements provide an excellent opportunity for you to gain first-hand industry experience which will support you when making decisions about your career, as well as enhancing future employment prospects. Read what our current students think about their placements.

As a BU student you will have access to advice and guidance to improve your interview techniques and support in gaining a placement that is right for you.

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.

Placements abroad

Employment prospects are now truly international and BU encourages students to consider an international work placement or volunteering experience during their degree.

Your application

Background and experience

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a strong interest in producing music and sound
  • Are looking to develop a career in music and sound production
  • Looking to use sound more creatively.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications. 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 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

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) 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 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 Future Students Enquiry team 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 Future Students Enquiry team – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 112 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104-112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Principal Subjects

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires 112 tariff points
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 28-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Higher: 104-112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

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:

Careers

This innovative course is designed to give you all the technical skills and theoretical knowledge you need to succeed in the music and sound production industry. There is growing demand for skilled graduates in this area within the music and entertainment sector, particularly given the expansion of the multimedia environment.

Students from our music courses have gone on to work for organisations such as Absolute Music, BBC, Allen and Heath, It's Done Technology, Sound Tree Music and Focusrite.

Among the roles you can take on with this degree are:

  • Music hardware developer
  • Music technology software developer
  • Music and audio consultant
  • Sound assistant
  • Sound engineer.

Industries worked in

  • Entertainment
  • Music
  • Audio
  • Media
  • Multimedia.

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.

Further study

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

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 receive more details about these 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.

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.

Dr Panos Amelidis is a composer, sound designer, sound artist and music technologist. He is active as both performer and composer in a variety of fields, including electroacoustic composition and performance, sound installation, live-coding and sound recording. Panos has worked as a composer and sound designer for a number of short films and TV productions.

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

Course changes

The table below indicates any changes to the course content.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
15/11/17

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790
20/9/17 Suspension of recruitment to BSc (Hons) Music & Audio Technology for 2018 entry About the course

This course shares a first year with BSc (Hons) Music & Audio Technology allowing you to change courses at the end of the year.

06/09/2017 Change to 2018 GCSE entry requirements:

GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

2018 Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Science or Physical Education, English and Maths or equivalent qualifications

06/09/2017

Change to 2018 entry requirements:

104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

Key Facts and 2018 Entry Requirements

104-120 tariff points including 3 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

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
11/2/16

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

What our students say

Asha Blatherwick

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

Hear from our staff

Tom Davis

Our practice and theory based output involves the creation of technology led environments for interaction and new musical instrument design.

Hear from our alumni

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

Absolute Music

Absolute Music

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

Music studio

Music facilities

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

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

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

Open Days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

Purbeck House common room

International students

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