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Music, Sound & Technology - BSc (Hons) - Video

Creativity Made Audible

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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • BBC
  • Rotor Video
  • Celtronic Studios

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Sound Design
  • Sound Engineering
  • Interactive Audio Applications
  • Audio Post-Production
  • Performance incl. Public Audio Visual Installations
  • Musician
  • Event Management

Overview

Creativity Made Audible

Summary

The BSc Music, Sound and Technology course is an interdisciplinary course that explores how sound can be created and manipulated to create contemporary, audio-driven, user experiences by combining digital composition, technology and performance. The course will deliver a range of creative and technical skills and accompanying theoretical knowledge with a practice focus.

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About this course

In this section

About

Students will develop a broad understanding of technology within the context of the creation, manipulation, interaction, storage and communication of music and sound. They will have the opportunity to learn and engage with leading edge tools that enable the expression of ideas in new and innovative ways.


Students will learn modern production and performance methods and techniques (sequencing, sampling, synthesis, microphone techniques, composition/arranging, scoring for screen, processing and editing/post-production) that enable them to gather and manipulate audio content using desktop, studio and portable technologies. In so doing, students will engage with industry–relevant tools and techniques such as: DAW (digital audio workstation) and studio recording; audio editing and postproduction software; programming using Max/MSP/Jitter, Pure Data, P5.js, and Juce. Students will also work with hardware including analogue and digital modular synthesisers, and Arduino and related physical computing and embedded system platforms. Emerging web technologies will also be discussed through which students can explore interactions between users and devices, supporting a range of contemporary production and performance activities and innovative interactive applications and user experiences in music and audio–focused media.


Graduates will be technologically literate and will be comfortable in creating and communicating ideas and content within and beyond the domain of music. They will also understand music, sound and technology within the context of cultural developments and in collaboration with other arts fields, supporting work which engages with a range of cultural, community and creative industries opportunities.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

This is a full-time three year course with an additional, optional placement year.

The course is made up of workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials, peer review/feedback, supervised studio sessions and independent study.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. It is expected that you will not only engage with the taught elements but also with independent learning in the studios and labs - it is here that your individual learning can be expanded through informal conversations with your fellow students and feedback from staff.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching and learning assessment

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Sound, Technology and Culture

Year: 1

This module aims to introduce students to the relationship between cultural and technological developments within sound and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In doing so, it will seek to provide conceptual frameworks which will aid students in engaging critically across a range of creative practices, media, genres and technologies.

Desktop Music Production

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the production of audio within a modern computer based 'Digital Audio Workstation', commonly referred to as a DAW. Students will encounter key computer based production technologies and will explore these through the production of audio. This will allow students to establish creative and efficient practices in the use of digital music technologies.

Creative Coding

Year: 1

This module provides students with an initial competence in the development of software through JavaScript and the p5.js library, with facilities for both structured and object-oriented programming.

Web Audio

Year: 1

Students are introduced to more advanced programming concepts and will be expected to acquire a higher level of competence in writing software for the web.

Performance Interface Design

Year: 1

This module explores the combination of electronics and software to develop interactive performance based interfaces for musical expression. The skills and knowledge acquired here will inform further work by enabling students to learn how various elements of hardware and software can be brought together to create user driven applications.

Designing Sound

Year: 1

This module aims to introduce students to designing sound. Key aspects include theoretical analysis and approaches toward synthetically creating and/or manipulating sound for a particular application.

Year two

Acoustics and Cognition

Year: 2

This module introduces students to auditory perception and cognition, along with associated academic writing skills around research/literature review, and written documentation and analysis strategies.

Sound Synthesis and Interaction

Year: 2

This module will introduce students to sound synthesis, including subtractive, modulation-based and modular approaches, covering both theoretical and practical elements.

Sound Engineering

Year: 2

This module provides an overview of the studio environment and of the techniques involved in the different stages of modern music production.

Project Development & Management

Year: 2

This module is designed to develop an understanding of project development and management issues, and roles and activities within creative projects. Students will be exposed to the core concepts, principles and techniques within project development/management with an enhanced awareness of the issues related to: ideation methodologies; managing project resources; managing risks/resources. This range of skills and knowledge will be utilised within their academic life and beyond.

Audio Application Development

Year: 2

This module is designed for students who wish to pursue audio application development on Apple's MacOS or iOS platform.

Electronic Music, Sonic Arts and Sound Design

Year: 2

This module introduces students to the key theoretical principles, creative practices and tools for electronic/electroacoustic music production, in addition to other sonic arts and sound design activities.

Year three

Industrial Placement

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides students with the opportunity to experience life as a professional in the creative industries as a paid employee of a company. They will be expected to conduct themselves professionally being an employee of a company and an ambassador for the University during this period. They will be supported by an academic coordinator.

Diploma in International Academic Studies

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year four

Final Project (Practice)

Year: 4

This module involved students in designing a project and negotiation with an appointed member of staff suitable learning outcomes (including technologies, artistic output and presentational issues and contextual/theoretical development) and assessment strategies. The project's practice-based elements must be of a suitable scope to be public-facing either as a creative project or development of tool(s) for relevant creative technologies. The project should also incorporate forms of learning undertaken in the previous two years.

Final Project (Theory & Context)

Year: 4

This module involves students in designing a project and negotiation with an appointed member of staff suitable learning outcomes and assessment strategies. The practice-based project elements must be of a suitable potential scope to be public-facing either as a creative project or development of tool(s) for relevant creative technologies, appropriate to the theory/practice weightings. The project should also incorporate forms of learning undertaken in the previous two years.

Creative Business

Year: 4

This module assists students in the developing specific skills and awareness to maximise their ability to conceptualise, manage and market digital businesses.

Audio Post Production

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study in audio post production; specifically, audio mastering, and sound design for film and TV.

Immersive Audio

Year: 4

This module is optional

Students will consider practical techniques to apply principles of audio recording, synthesis and production to immersive applications. This will include:

  • the aesthetic considerations of sound design
  • consideration of any associated narrative
  • sound interactivity
  • programming of audio

Music and Moving Image

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides students with a historical, theoretical, stylistic and aesthetic study of music and moving image and the opportunity to compose for the screen. The module focuses primarily on film music and its genres but also covers other screen media, in particular music video and music for television. The module is divided between theoretical and analytical work, including the discussion of selected case studies, and practical work composing and editing in the lab.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

Grades BBB - BBC.

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade (B or C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

*** To note that only qualifications defined as “Applied General” will be accepted for entry onto any undergraduate course at Ulster University.***

BTEC Awards

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DDM (to include 9 unit Distinctions)

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DDM

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma(2012 Suite)

Award profile of DM (to include 6 unit Distinctions) plus A Level Grade B

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade B

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of Distinction (to include 3 unit Distinctions) plus A Level Grades BB

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)

Award profile of Distinction plus A Level Grades BB

Grade profiles (equating to the final A level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) may be substituted by a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is grades

H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 - H3,H3,H3,H3,H4 at higher level

Applicants are also required to have Higher Level English Grade H6 or above OR Ordinary Level at grade 04 or above.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades

BBBCC - BBCCC

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades

CCC - CCD

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of

26 points to include 13 at higher level - 25 points to include 12 at higher level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall mark of 65% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access course)

Overall profile of 24 credits at distinction, 21 credits at merit - 15 credits at distinction, 30 credits at merit (60 credit Access course) (GB Access course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above English Language.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

HND - Overall Merit with distinctions in 60 Level 5 credits (4 units) entry to Year 1.

HNC – Overall Distinction with distinctions in 90 Level 4 credits (6 units) for entry to Year 1.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).

Foundation Degree - An overall mark of 55-50% in Level 5 modules for Year 1 entry.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications.

Transfer from degree level study at other institutions

Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution or year 2 entry) will be considered on an individual basis.

Exemptions and transferability

Applicants from other institutions should apply via UCAS. Applications will be considered on their individual merits.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • BBC
  • Rotor Video
  • Celtronic Studios

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Sound Design
  • Sound Engineering
  • Interactive Audio Applications
  • Audio Post-Production
  • Performance incl. Public Audio Visual Installations
  • Musician
  • Event Management

Career options

This programme has been developed to meet the emergent needs of the creative industries. Students acquire a broad range industry-focused skills including: collaboration and team work, adaptability, communication and self-expression, self-management, project management, interdisciplinarity, and most importantly, creativity and know-how with a range of leading edge technologies.

Those wishing to research and develop their own work to a higher level go on to pursue a Masters qualification either at the Ulster University or at other institutions in the UK and further afield. There is also the potential for entry onto a PhD.

Lastly, there are opportunities for those wishing to teach after the completion of a postgraduate teaching qualification (PgCE).

Work placement / study abroad

In third year you have the option to spend a minimum of 25 weeks in industry. Here you are expected to work as part of the professional practice designed to acquaint you with alternative business cultures and protocols to enhance your personal and professional development.

Alternatively you can study in a wide range of approved instutitions around the world.

Successful completion, obtaining a total mark of 40%, of the placement year leads to the award of the Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or (DPPI) International or a Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS) upon graduation. A mark of 70% and above will enable the award to be granted with commendation.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,275.00

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

International:
£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Discounts for student from England, Scotland and Wales:

You have three discount options to choose from:

  • £2,000 discount on tuition fees.
  • £1,000 discount on tuition fees + £1,000 towards accommodation +£500 towards travel
  • £1,000 discount on tuition fees + £1500 towards travel

Terms and conditions apply. For more infomration please visit Study at Ulster

International Undergraduate Scholarship:

Open to all new international (non-EU) entrants on the first year of a full-time undergraduate course delivered on one of our Northern Ireland campuses, commencing September 2018.

Value: £2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee. More information here

Information on other scholarships available to international students.

Other awards and prizes:

A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.

Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.

Additional mandatory costs

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

Field trips to museums, galleries and exhibitions may incur additional costs.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Dr Greg O'Hanlon

T: +44 (0)28 71675529

E: g.ohanlon@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Office

T: +44 (0)28 70123210

E: admissionsce@ulster.ac.uk

International Admissions Office

E: internationaladmissions@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Arts and Humanities

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.