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


If you want a career in the music industry in a creative or technical capacity, this 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 (Genelec) 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


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.

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.

Entry requirements​

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

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


How to apply

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can register and start your application from 21 May 2019 and submit it from 5 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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