Music and Sound Technology BSc (Hons)

student using a music and sound machine
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2018, September 2019

If you want a career in the music industry in a creative or technical capacity, this professionally accredited BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Technology degree is the perfect course for you.

Using the same technology as the professionals, you'll learn to manage complex recording sessions and perform and compose music for media such as film and video games.

If you’ve got the imagination and determination, we’ll help you develop skills that allow you to thrive in the music industry. At the end of the course, you'll be set for a career in a variety of roles, from producing music to working as a studio engineer.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Learn the professional and practical skills you need to work effectively in the music industry
  • Tackle topics like games audio, composition, sound design, and studio recording and production
  • Be taught by a team of lecturers who have diverse musical interests and experience in areas such as sonic art, digital and analogue recording, popular music performance, composition and songwriting
  • Graduate able to manage complex recording sessions and generate music, sounds and effects for everything from films art installations
  • Get the chance to take an optional Protools certification unit as part of your degree
  • Have the opportunity to further supplement your musical talents by joining the University's orchestra, choir, wind band or big band

You’ll get your hands on some exciting gear in our studio suite, including:

  • A valve 32 channel TL audio mixing desk
  • An SSL Matrix 2 console with 10 Neve 1074 preamps and 16 channels of Neve and SSL dynamics and EQ
  • A 7.1 surround studio (Genelac) including a Slate Raven multi-touch console for multichannel work and spatial audio projects
  • A Buchla System 7 synthesizer (1 of only 2 in the UK and the only one in a European university)
  • 4 Oakley Modular synthesizers
  • iMac Dual i7 computers running Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Max/MSP (including Max for Live), Native Instruments (including Reaktor), Pure Data and Game engine software

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies, further develop your skills and build your portfolio.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the music industry.

Previous students have done placements at organisations such as:

  • Hot Vox Studios
  • Blackhill Studios
  • Mayfield Studios

In your placement year, you can also set up a business on your own or in a group with fellow students.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in roles such as:

  • audio developer
  • music technology lecturer
  • musical technician
  • studio manager
  • studio engineer
  • music teacher
  • game audio professionals (composition and sound design)

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support). JAMES is a group of industry professionals and employers that represent the APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services), MPG (The Music Producers Guild) and associate industry bodies.

The JAMES accreditation lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in the music industry when you graduate. This gives you an edge over students who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

We’re also licensed with Audiokinetic to teach and use Wwise audio software and we're an Avid Learning Partner, which means we deliver training on Avid's products and technology to Avid's professional standards.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,000 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

If you take the Student Enterprise Unit, you’ll need to pay an additional cost of approximately £20.

You’ll need access to a digital camera for one of the optional units.

You may need to contribute up to £20 towards occasional coach trips.

You may need to buy items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes to use on practical units, which cost approximately £20– £30.

You’ll also need to cover:

  • the material costs for individual project work, which usually costs £50–£100
  • the costs for performance work and other practice based units, which are normally in the region of £50–£100

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Studio Techniques
  • Electroacoustic Music Composition
  • Music in Context
  • Sound for Moving Image
  • Sound: Practice and Theory
  • Eportfolio for Media, Audio and Graphics

Core units in this year include:

  • Digital Sound
  • Recording and Production Techniques
  • Project Initiation and Career Management
  • Options to choose from in this year include:
  • Music Business Practice
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise
  • Composition Portfolio
  • Sound Design and Music For Games
  • Laptop Music Performance

Core units in this year include:

  • Professional Music Production Techniques
  • Sound Application
  • Final Year Project
  • Options to choose from in this year include:
  • Interdisciplinary Group Project
  • Experimental Music Programming
  • Key Issues in Contemporary Music Studies
  • Music and Sound Synthesis
  • Implementing Game Audio
  • Live Electronic Music

​We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • work placements

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You can also use many of the facilities and get support from Faculty staff in the evenings and weekends.There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 20% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 80% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 18% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 82% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 14% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 86% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

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

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 55% by practical exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 3% by written exams, 42% by practical exams and 55% by coursework 
  • Year 3 students: 19% by practical exams and 81% by coursework
  • Apply

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.
    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    How to apply

    Want to start this course this year?

    There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on (+44) 23-9284-8090 or ask us to call you back.

    Want to start this course in 2019?

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – GJ49
    • our institution code – P80

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    Contact information
    • Admissions
    • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

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