Sound editing software on Mac screen
UCAS Code
GJ49
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

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.

Accredited by

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 one of only two Universities in the country to be a Wwise certified school, enabling us to teach and use Wwise game audio software, and we're an Avid Learning Partner which means we deliver Protools training to Avid's professional standards.

You are also able to access additional certificates with both Wwise and Protools to enhance your future career prospects.

What you'll experience

On this Music and Sound Technology degree 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
  • Be able to manage complex recording sessions and generate music, sounds and effects for everything from films to 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 suites, 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 (Genelec) including a Slate Raven multi-touch console for multichannel work and spatial audio projects
  • A Buchla System 7 synthesizer (one of only two 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 Komplete (including Reaktor), Pure Data and Game engine software

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.

What jobs can you do with a Music and Sound Technology degree?

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.

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

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Music and Technology degree

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.

Modules currently studied

Core modules in this year include:

  • Creative Music Technology
  • Digital Culture and Creative Industries
  • Introduction to Studio Techniques
  • Music in Context
  • Sound for Moving Image
  • Sound: Practice and Theory

Core modules in this year include:

  • Creative and Critical Research Design
  • Digital Sound
  • Recording and Production Techniques

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Acoustics: Studio Design and Live Studio
  • Audio Programming
  • Composition Portsolio
  • Creative Coding Practice
  • Creative Technologies Study Exchange
  • Engaged Citizenship through Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Laptop Music Performance
  • Music Business Practice
  • Professional Experience
  • Sound Design and Music for Games
  • Student Enterprise

Core modules in this year include:

  • Final Year Project: Preparation
  • Final Year Project: Resolution
  • Sound Application

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Experimental Music Programming
  • Free Composition
  • Implementing Game Audio
  • Key Issues in Contemporary Music Studies
  • Music and Sound Synthesis
  • Professional Music Production Techniques

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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.

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 study abroad, or 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.

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.

You'll also be able to use our CCI Creative Careers service to learn extra, or get help with learning new or improving existing skills from our CCI Creative Skills team.

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.

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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • work placements

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Music and Sound Technology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, workshops, and project and studio supervision for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

Student support advisor

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

Academic skills tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Creative skills tutors

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

IT and computing support

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty 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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Technology degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • A relevant qualification or experience in music/sound is required. Applicants without relevant qualifications may be asked to submit a digital portfolio.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start) 

  • Tuition fees for 2020 entry will be confirmed soon 

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, 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 Module, you’ll need to pay an additional cost of approximately £20.

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

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up 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.

When you apply, you'll need:

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

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. 

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.

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