Develop project and research skills for music and sound applications
Why take this course?
This course provides a new learning opportunity for those wishing to develop highly-focused skills in ‘creative computing’, specifically the design and application of digital music systems and software to create digital music content or musical-based artefacts.
It is project-based, allowing you to define the focus of your work, whilst we provide the expertise and support so you can develop your professional practice.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Design and develop software, hardware, networks for a project of your choice
- Use our fully equipped sound/music studios and multimedia labs providing access to our high-spec computing facilities
- Have the opportunity to engage in real-world, client-based research
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course is ideal if you have a computing background and wish to develop specific skills that would enable you to enter a wide range of professional fields as an audio specialist.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- Interactive technologies
- Virtual Reality
- 3D technologies
- Physical computing
- Games production
- Games development
- Electroacoustic composition
- Software application development
- Sound Design
- Sound Editing
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time
- A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject including music, music technology, audio, creative computing, multimedia, computing or physics, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £5,200, part time: £3,470 in year 1 and £1,730* in year 2
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,700, part time: £8,470 in year 1 and £4,230* in year 2
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2421
- School of Creative Technologies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
On this course we aim to emphasise the implementation, evaluation and reflection of subject-related issues, whilst building music and sound technological expertise. It provides you with the opportunity to research a unique aspect of the use of computation in the composition, generation or design of software for music.
Here are the units you will study:
- Professional, Academic and Research Development: This is a taught unit covering planning and managing development projects.
- Project Context and Definition: A unit of self-directed study that will help you specify your project’s scope and plan.
- Project Design and Development: This unit is a self-directed study covering a critical review of existing work.
- Project Evaluation and Resolution: This unit covers the development and evaluation of your project artefact, using Max/Msp/Jitter or similar.
Teaching and Assessment
The course is research based, focusing on your own chosen project. Taught units are limited to the first semester, although there is ample opportunity for contact with the staff through regular tutorials and workshops.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is solely based on your research-based project – its proposal, the artefact itself and your evaluation and technical report.
Facilities & Features
Sound and Music Studios
our specialist software and equipment giving you practical experience and ensuring you are working with music industry standards. Create, produce your own high quality music or sound designs in our music production studios with their impressive range of professional and audiophile grade recording equipment, which include; SSL Matrix mixer featuring 16 classic Neve and SSL channel strips. TLA all valve 32 channel mixer supported by an impressive list of classic, modern and vintage outboard mastering processors, including, Manley, Lexicon, Focusrite and outputted to Apogee converters. These production facilities are further enhanced by an impressive array of classic and modern microphones and preamps.
If pure electronic music or composition is the avenue you wish to pursue then you have at your disposition our analogue synthesis studios which include the legendary east coast Buchla 200e System 7 modular and an extensive west coast Oakly modular synthesiser. These and other of our synthesis and sound processing equipment provide an unparalleled sound creation environment in the UK.
Specialist Software and Equipment
You will have easy access to a wide range of powerful and modern multimedia computers equipped with industry standard software. The Multimedia Labs contain iMac Dual i7 computers running Max/Msp/Jitter, Pure Data, Reaktor, Apple Development SDKs for OsX and iPhone, TUIO frameworks and web-based development environments from Adobe, computer vision frameworks and Logic Studio Pro. You’ll have available support from knowledgeable, enthusiastic and highly motivated staff who will be happy to lend a helping hand should any technical problems arise.
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 may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
Sundry materials and CDs, DVDs may be required costing around £50-£100 each year.
If you choose to complete a project not supported by existing University resources, you may wish to purchase additional materials or software. These costs will depend on the nature of the project. Also, if the project involves working with an external client, you may have to pay travel costs for attending occasional development meetings. These may be in the region £50 - £100.
Careers & Opportunities
On completing this course, you will possess specialist skills which are in high demand by the creative and media industries. With the mobile technology and games world booming, the leisure and entertainment sector has an increasing number of opportunities in the field of computational sound, not to mention film, radio and the internet. Other areas where you may find employment include education, health and business which rely on the skills of audio specialists for the development of audio systems, software and interfaces, installation and monitoring, to contextual acoustic research.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.
Postgraduate Information Days 2016
Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm
Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.
Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.
Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.