BSc (Hons)

Music Computing

One of just a few courses of its kind in the UK

I150UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This exciting course is designed to deliver graduates who understand the potential of computers in music and have the skills and knowledge to exploit the significant employment prospects in this field.
This course will give you the freedom to work in new ways that aren’t constrained by existing software design. It covers the creation, manipulation and delivery of computer-generated music and sound, and is one of the few in the country to offer such a range of study. With a strong practical and creative basis, you will gain a solid set of skills in sound, computing and music. 

What will I experience?

You will study:

  •    Audio programming
  •    Interactive audio and game sound
  •    Digital effect design
  •    Generative music composition
  •    Development of new music and sound software tools
  •    Synthesis and the manipulation of sound
  •    Alternative musical controllers, sensors and physical computing

What opportunities might it lead to?

Graduates of the BSc Music Computing course will have a strong foundation upon which to build careers in music technology and music computing.

With skills in both audio programming and music technology, you'll have an increased range of employment prospects including: music software development, sound recording and production, composition, mobile music and sound application development, sound effects development, sound artists, music and sound for games or multimedia, teaching, performing and research.

Ashley Armstrong, BSc (Hons) Computing and the Digital Image student 2013

The facilities are at industry-standard level, just as you would find in the workplace.

Ashley Armstrong, computing student 2013

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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. See full entry requirements

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

112 points from A levels or equivalent. 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
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
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 5566
School of Creative Technologies
Programme specification
Accreditations & Endorsements


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

The first year is your introduction to the fundamental concepts of computing and digital sound creation and manipulation. Alongside this theoretical learning you’ll experience practical lab sessions, including the use of specialist facilities for digital editing.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Electroacoustic Music Composition
  • Eportfolio
  • Scripting and Interactive Web
  • Sound: Practice and Theory
  • Tools for Games and Animation
  • Sound for Moving Image

Year two

Tailor your course via a range of options and broaden your computing and digital sound production abilities, including web programming, project management, electro-acoustic music and creative digital sound.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Audio Programming
  • Digital Sound
  • Laptop Music Performance
  • Program Consoles
  • Project Initiation and Career Management

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Games Audio
  • Music Business Practice
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise

Year three*

In your final year, you’ll continue to expand your knowledge of information systems, software engineering and sound manipulation. Again we offer a selection of optional units allowing for specialisation in an area of your choice. There is also a significant amount of project work for you to consolidate your learning.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Experimental Music Programming
  • Final Year Project
  • Performing Experimental Music
  • Sound and Music Programming

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Applications of Virtual Reality
  • Interdisciplinary Group Project
  • Sound Application


*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

Here at the University, we aim to provide a lively and modern learning environment. During this course you will experience a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and project work. While lecture classes can be large, the more personal approach of seminars and tutorials offer more one-to-one support from our expert academics.

How are you assessed?

We assess you in ways that encourage a deeper understanding and allow you to develop your skills including through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays and portfolio work
  • written exams
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • case studies
  • review articles
Mark Sexton

Tutor's view

Mark Sexton

On graduating from this course you will have strong skills in sound, computing and music and will be well placed to take advantage of the many career opportunities available in this field.

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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-standard.

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 Komplete. 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.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

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 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?

Digital sound impacts directly on a wide range of fields, from multimedia and website development, cinema and television production, to emerging medical technologies. Improvements in the available technologies suggest there will be an expanding range of opportunities in other areas such as crime prevention and audio surveillance among many others. This rapidly-evolving and dynamic industry has many very promising career routes depending on your interests and speciality. Alternatively, you could continue your studies to MSc or PhD level.

Overall you will be well qualified for many of the major computing graduate programmes or employment in varied fields of the computing industry.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • software engineer
  • web developer
  • computer programmer
  • 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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