BSc (Hons)

Music and Sound Technology

Combining creativity and technical ability

GJ49UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course understands the needs of people who are interested in sound and music and wish to develop and apply their skills in the modern creative workplace.

Its strong music technology theme will help you develop technical skills aimed at producing musical or sonic artefacts for use in multimedia or digital media products as well as the music industry. We aim to produce “Audio Professionals” with an array of skills that can be applied in a within a wide range of creative industries.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Use our fully equipped sound/music studios and multimedia labs to enhance your learning experience
  • Get creative – compose design and produce your own musical or sonic art.
  • Opt to do a salaried placement year

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is geared towards producing graduates as audio professionals with experience in developing music and sound within digital media products as well as the music industry. It is expected, therefore, that you will find a range of employment opportunities within the creative industries.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • sound recording / engineering
  • sound design
  • composition
  • performance
  • film and video production
  • multimedia application
Ken Wharton-Emms, BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Technology student

There hasn't been anything I haven't enjoyed on this course – teaching music is hopefully going to be my destination after I graduate.

Ken Wharton-Emms, BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Technology student

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent. A relevant qualification or experience in music/sound is required. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,700 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £13,300 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 2421
School of Creative Technologies
Programme specification


Computing and Creative Technologies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on, practical work and real-life learning, which is transferable to future careers
  • Modern facilities and access to the latest technology including numerous computer labs, TV studios and a motion capture suite
  • Approachable lecturers who have experience and contacts in the industry

Browse all courses in Computing and Creative Technologies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

In this first year, you will get to grips with the software you’ll be using throughout the course, specific recording techniques and the theory, history and analysis of music.

Core units in this year include:

  • Electroacoustic Music Composition
  • Introduction to Studio Techniques
  • Popular Music in Context
  • Sound for Moving Image
  • Sound: Practice and Theory
  • EPortfolio

Year two

During your second year you can take a deeper look at the recording, production and performance aspects of music. Also, gain more technically advanced skills in composition by creating your own soundtrack, plus get the chance to perform in the University’s orchestra, big band, wind band or choir.

Core units in this year include:

  • Digital Sound
  • Laptop Music Performance
  • Recording and Production Techniques
  • Project initiation and Career Management

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Music Business Practice
  • Professional Experience
  • Soundtrack Creation
  • Student Enterprise
  • Songwriting
  • Games Audio

Year three*

Your final year focuses on your preparation for work.  A major feature of this year is project work. You’ll undertake an individual project, as well as a group project where you’ll be working together to produce a multimedia artefact.

Core units in this year include:

  • Performing Experimental Music
  • Sound Application
  • Final Year Project

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Interdisciplinary Group Project
  • Experimental Music Programming
  • Professional Music Production Techniques
  • Key Issues in Contemporary Music Studies
  • Music and Sound Synthesis

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Placement year

Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:

  • Professional/industrial placements – work for a company or organisation on a professional placement year

We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree.  You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment.  The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.

  • Self-employed placement year – set up and run a business on your own or as a group

Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.

To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.

Teaching and Assessment

You will experience a variety of teaching through lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops.

We aim to conduct the practical elements of the course in smaller classes to aid personal professional development. You’ll also benefit from our staff’s wide variety of expertise including sonic art, digital and analogue recording, popular music performance, composition and songwriting.

How are you assessed?

Due to the practical nature of this course, assessment is extremely varied and includes:

  • practical projects
  • working journals
  • academic and evaluative essays
  • performances
  • oral presentations
  • examinations
  • case studies

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Sound and Music Studios

You will have access to four purpose-built sound studios that will enable you to compose your own high-quality music and specialise in your chosen area. With the addition of a Genelec 7:1 surround studio using the Slate Raven interface. You will use an impressive range of professional recording and mixing equipment including a valve 32 Channel TL Audio mixing desk, an SSL Matrix 2 console with 10 Neve 1074 pre amps and 16 chanels of Neve and SSL dynamics and EQ. You will also get to use the only Buchla System 7 synthesizer in a university in Europe (One of only 2 in the UK), as well as 4 Oakley Modular Synthesizers that can combine to create a single mega synth. All this equipment enables you to get plenty of practical experience and ensures you are working to an industry-stand.

Specialist Software and Equipment

You will have easy access to a wide range of powerful and modern multimedia computers equipped with the latest software. The Mac Labs contain iMac Dual i7 computers running: Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton Live 9 software, MaxMsp, Reaktor, Pure Data, and Sibelius. Though these may seem daunting at first – you’ll have day-to-day contact with knowledgeable, enthusiastic and highly-motivated staff who will be happy to lend a helping hand. There are also practice rooms for project work and recording activities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider


You may need to spend £50 - £100 per annum on drawing and modelling materials, CDs, and DVDs.

For the optional Student Enterprise Unit there is a cost of approximately £20.

For the optional diving skills units: The Underwater Filming and Media unit is available if you have not dived before. It includes a PADI Open Water course, combined with the Underwater Filming and Media course, and costs around £800. The Underwater Filming and Media B unit is available if you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent). It includes a further diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), combined with the Underwater Filming and Media Course, and costs around £700 to cover tuition, transport and diving costs.

For one of the optional units you will need access to a digital camera.


You may select an optional Student Enterprise Unit which incurs a cost of approximately £20.

For one of the optional units you will need access to a digital camera.

Occasional coach trips may require a contribution of up to £20.


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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Sound and music are key aspects of media production, whether it’s film and video production or audio for websites. The entertainment industry also relies heavily on sound design and development. Blockbuster films, computer games, children’s shows, live musical theatre, festivals – the list goes on. Whichever route you wish to take, this course ensures you are fully prepared with all the industry-standard skills to secure yourself a career in this versatile job market.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • computer games animator
  • web designer
  • music teacher
  • audio developer
  • musical technician

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 5 November 2016

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