music-technology-students-at-work
UCAS Code
W370
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

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

In year 1, you'll explore subjects relating to recording and production, composition, and music computing. You'll then choose a pathway through the course that focuses your studies to prepare you for your future career.

The 3 pathways you can choose from are:

  • Music Technology (Recording and Production) – this emphasises studio recording, production and engineering skills. You'll study designated studio modules and embark on a range of practical projects.
  • Music Technology (Composition) – this emphasises creative practice, especially composition and sound design. You'll explore technological approaches to help realise your own musical works.
  • Music Technology (Computing) – this focuses on software design and development, coding, and audio programming and processing for creative projects. It'll prepare you for emerging employment and research development opportunities.
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

What you'll experience

On this Music Technology degree course you'll:

  • Learn how to use professional studio hardware and software to engineer and produce music and sound
  • Use sensors and alternative controllers to create installations and perform live
  • Develop original software tools for music and sound
  • Create and mix music using digital audio workstations
  • Develop transferable skills you can use beyond your degree, in areas such as critical thinking, academic writing, research, creative and reflective practice, project management, collaborative working, time management and peer assessment
  • Enhance your professional skills through experience with emerging technologies and innovative creative practice – such as using artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Have the chance to specialise in an area of music technology by studying specific 'pathway' modules in years 2 and 3

You'll get hands-on with professional quality studio equipment, including:

  • a valve 32 channel TL audio mixing desk
  • a 7.1 surround sound studio (Genelec) including a Slate Raven multi-touch console for multichannel work and spatial audio projects
  • an SSL Matrix 2 console with 10 Neve 1074 preamps and 16 channels of Neve and SSL dynamics and EQ
  • 4 Oakley Modular synthesisers 
  • a Buchla System 7 synthesiser – 1 of only 2 Buchla synths in the UK, and the only Buchla synth in a European university

Pro Tools and Wwise certifications

You'll also have the opportunity gain Avid Pro Tools and Audiokinetic Wwise-110 certifications.

These assure employers that you can use these industry-standard applications to a professional standard. (We're one of only 2 universities in the UK to offer Wwise certification.)

Optional pathways

You'll specialise in a specific area of music technology by choosing specific 'pathway' modules in years 2 and 3.

Depending on the pathway you choose, you'll get one of the following exit awards when you complete the course:

  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology (Recording and Production)
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology (Composition)
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology (Computing)

Careers and opportunities

Music technology is a continually developing field which is fundamental to many areas of the creative industries, including television, film, animation, computer games, and digital media.

What can you do with a Music Technology degree?

The practical experience you get on this course means you'll be ready to use the latest technology and equipment available to employers, giving you a head start over others when it comes to applying for jobs.

Areas you could work in include visual media, computer games, audio programming, music studio work and education.

What jobs can you do with a Music Technology degree?

You could work in roles such as:

  • composer
  • sound designer
  • audio developer
  • software developer
  • music technology lecturer
  • musical technician
  • studio manager
  • studio engineer
  • music teacher
  • game audio professional (composition and sound design)

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Whatever comes next after your studies, our Careers and Employability service will give you support and advice for up to 5 years after you graduate.

​What you'll study

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

In each year (apart from your optional placement year), you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules

All pathways
  • Studio Theory and Practice – 40 credits
  • Creative Music Technology – 40 credits
  • Creative Computing for Music and Sound – 40 credits

Core modules

Recording and production pathway
  • Creative and Critical Research Design – 20 credits
  • Recording and Production Techniques – 20 credits
  • Sound Design and Music for Games – 20 credits
  • Acoustics: Studio Design and Live Sound – 20 credits
Composition pathway
  • Creative and Critical Research Design – 20 credits
  • Composition Portfolio – 20 credits
  • Sound Design and Music and Games – 20 credits
  • Electroacoustic Composition – 20 credits
Computing pathway
  • Creative and Critical Research Design – 20 credits
  • Advanced Creative Computing for Music and Sound – 20 credits
  • Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality – 20 credits
  • Applied Music Computing Project – 20 credits

Optional modules

Recording and production pathway
  • Music Technology in Performance – 20 credits
  • Composition Portfolio – 20 credits
  • Music Enterprise and Career Development – 20 credits
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
  • Institution Wide Language Programme – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience – 20 credits
  • Student Enterprise – 20 credits
  • Creative Technologies Study Exchange – 60 credits
Composition pathway
  • Music Technology in Performance – 20 credits
  • Recording and Production Techniques – 20 credits 
  • Music Enterprise and Career Development – 20 credits
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
  • Institution Wide Language Programme – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience – 20 credits
  • Student Enterprise – 20 credits
  • Creative Technologies Study Exchange – 60 credits
Computing pathway
  • Music Technology in Performance – 20 credits
  • Sound Design for Music and Games – 20 credits
  • Electroacoustic Composition – 20 credits
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
  • Institution Wide Language Programme – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience – 20 credits
  • Student Enterprise – 20 credits
  • Creative Technologies Study Exchange – 60 credits

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

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

Core modules 

Recording and production pathway
  • Final Year Project – 40 credits
  • Professional Studio Practice – 20 credits
Composition pathway
  • Final Year Project – 40 credits
  • Free Composition – 20 credits
Computing pathway
  • Final Year Project – 40 credits
  • Audio Programming/Sound and Music Programming – 20 credits

Optional modules

Recording and production pathway
  • Specialist Studio Project – 20 credits
  • Emerging Music Technologies – 20 credits
  • Flexible Client Project – 20 credits
  • Collaborative Sound Project – 20 credits
  • Music and Sound Synthesis – 20 credits
Composition pathway
  • Composition for Visual Media – 20 credits
  • Emerging Music Technologies – 20 credits
  • Implementing Game Audio – 20 credits
  • Collaborative Sound Project – 20 credits
  • Music and Sound Synthesis – 20 credits
Computing pathway
  • Foundations of AI – 20 credits
  • Emerging Music Technologies – 20 credits
  • Implementing Game Audio – 20 credits
  • Collaborative Sound Project – 20 credits
  • Music and Sound Synthesis – 20 credits

Changes to course content

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.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do a paid placement year. Possible placement destinations include:

  • Hot Vox Ltd – a music promotion and events company operating around London and beyond
  • Blackhill Studios – a professional recording studio in Southampton
  • Mayfield Studios – a Portsmouth based recording studio, record label and video production studio
  • University of Portsmouth Music Studios – our own music production facilities

You'll also have the option to start your own business in your placement year, such as working as a composer or sound designer.

We’ll help you secure a placement that fits your career goals. You'll get support from our Placements Office with applications, interviews and assessment days. You’ll also get mentoring and support to make the most out of your placement year, including visits from lecturers.

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 and build your CV.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials 

Teaching and support staff skills, professional experience and research interests include music computing, programming, game audio, composition, musicology, and engineering and production.

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

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • practical projects
  • working journals
  • academic and evaluative essays
  • performances
  • oral presentations
  • 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.

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 BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials for about 12 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 Technology degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • 112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. A relevant qualification or experience in music/sound is required. 

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

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process

  • Applicants without relevant qualifications may be asked to submit a digital portfolio.

All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.

This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.

A student moving cables on an analogue soundboard.

You'll need a Music Technology portfolio

Get tips on putting together a creative portfolio for your course application.

View portfolio guide

What skills and qualities do I need for this Music Technology degree course?

To get the most out of this course, you'll need to have studied A levels or a BTEC National in Music Technology or Music Production. You can also demonstrate your music and/or music technology knowledge through a portfolio, if you lack qualifications in the area. 

We're looking for enthusiastic, motivated and ambitious applicants, with backgrounds in the fundamentals of music recording, production, composition, creative computing and broader creative practice.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,100 a 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.

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

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

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

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.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us. 

Common Music Technology questions

Music Technology is about applying music hardware and software in a creative way.

These applications can be anything from engineering and producing music in a recording studio, to creating music and sound for videogames.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W370
  • our institution code – P80

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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.

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close