Audio Recording and Production BSc (Hons)

About the course

1/

Building on the University’s long-standing and highly successful Music and Sound-Design courses, the BSc (Hons) in Audio Recording and Production, focuses on technical aspects and the development of a career as an audio engineer and/or producer in the modern music industry.

With the input of industry professionals, you will investigate the tools used by some of the world’s most successful engineers and producers, as well as studying the modern business of music, and gaining exposure to the wide range of career options open to audio professionals wishing to specialise within this field.

You will develop studio techniques allowing you to record, process and mix your work to the highest professional standards, and can further develop your own interests towards live, studio, location or broadcast sound, based upon a thorough understanding of areas such as acoustics, studio design and installation, monitoring, mixing, webcasting and advanced digital signal processing techniques.

You will also have plenty of access to ‘Studio 1’, our industry-grade recording studio connected to the University’s own record label, and Studio 2, our dedicated Pro-Tools Studio with AVID C24 controller desk and Neumann 5.1 monitoring system.  Importantly, you will pursue professional work experience and build working relationships with other students within the School of Creative Arts, as well as participating in live projects such as ‘JamJar’ - our student showcase concerts and projects for the University record label, held monthly in the Forum / Elehouse entertainment venues.

This course shares the same ethos as our other awards, Sound Design and Music Technology, and you will be working alongside our composition students too; as such you will benefit from teaching and experiences within a large community of musicians, composers, technologists and performers.

Why choose this course?

  • On the Audio Recording and Production degree you will focus on the practical and technical aspects of developing a career as an audio engineer and/or music producer.
  • You will develop studio techniques allowing you to record, process and mix your work to a professional standard.
  • You will develop your own focus towards live, studio or broadcast sound, based on a thorough understanding of areas such as acoustics, studio design and installation, monitoring, mixing, webcasting and advanced DSP techniques.
  • Develop your programming, mixing and production skills using state of the art software including Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, Ableton Live, and MAX/MSP.
  • Whilst on the degree you will benefit from our high quality studio resources: SSL, Yamaha, and Avid C24 mixing desks, and hardware by top names such as Quested, Genelec, Neumann, TLA, Lexicon and Drawmer.
  • Participate in "live" projects such as the UHR record label, and JamJar showcase concerts.
  • Our music industry advisory panel is second to none in the UK and includes key figures in the music industry such as Tim Clark (Robbie Williams's manager), Mike Smith (MD Columbia Records) and Korda Marshall - who signed Take That, James Blunt etc.
  • The University of Hertfordshire is the no. 1 new university for Music, ahead of many established universities and conservatoires (The Guardian Subject League Tables 2011).
  • We have some of the best resources in the UK, including the 39 million pound Forum where our students perform every month, and state-of-the art music studios and film and TV facilities in our 12 million pound building for Music and Film.
  • We have a strong, ongoing record of student satisfaction over several years since the launch of the national student survey.

Entry requirements...

260 UCAS points including: A Level or equivalent in Music Technology, Science or Technology based subjects. Plus GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above. If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0. Equivalent qualifications welcomed. 

The University also accepts a number of other equivalent qualifications including BTEC, IB and Access courses – to find out more about the requirements for these and  other equivalent qualifications please go to: http://www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/explore-your-options/entry-requirements/tariff-tables

Our offer for the International Baccalaureate (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing our tariff point offer by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points.

Study routes

  • Full Time, 3 Years
  • Part Time, 6 Years
  • Sandwich, 4 Years

Locations

  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Careers

You can expect to develop a career in hardware/software system specification, world-wide web based music /sound creation and delivery, or in technical roles within the music and sound industry e.g. in sound reinforcement, recording and engineering, multimedia installations, music studios and / or production companies. 

A number of graduates have gained contracts with EMI and Sony Music, worked for the BBC and PRS, as well as created sound design for computer games.  Several have continued their studies to Master's and PhD level.  Each year, former students return and talk to our current students about their employed roles and how their degree has been beneficial.

Whilst a number of our students go one to work for established companies, there are always a number who set themselves up independently, developing their own business.  The following includes a very small selection of very recent graduates who are already achieving success….

Chris Pavey – Mastering and Restoration Engineer
http://chrispaveymastering.com

JJ Mitchell – Producer, Mix Engineer  & Drummer
http://www.jjmitchellmusic.com

Stefan Baranowski – CEO Insight Music – Digital Label & Publisher
http://www.insightmusic.co.uk

Marjan Kalinaki – Independent Sound Designer & Music Signal Processing Specialist.
http://www.marjisound.com

Teaching methods

You will receive interactive lectures, seminars and tutorials, with much practical and studio-based teaching. You will have opportunities to collaborate with film makers and digital animators, and to benefit from the input of movers and shakers in the music industry visiting our university on a regular basis.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad through the University's study abroad programme.
Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Work Placement

In Year 1, you’ll gain a solid grounding on a number of major DAW packages, as well as develop your creative and technical skills in mixing, processing, and studio work.  Acoustics, psychoacoustics, and Audio and Midi protocols are also investigated, as to is developing your critical ear.  You’ll also investigate various music business models, whilst also using lab time to develop an understanding of audio electronics through building your own synthesizer.  In addition to these core areas, audio recording and production students also complete a studio-recording project, study location recording and delve deeper into audio electronics.

In Year 2, you’ll continue to develop your critical ear, have the opportunity to engage in as short work experience project, and also support the delivery of a live event, through an artist liaison or sound technician role.  You will be introduced to programming within Max/Msp and also exploit networked audio possibilities, getting to grips with our excellent Rednet system.  Much focus is also placed on getting your music out there, with considered work on digital distribution, digital delivery and mixing and mastering approaches.  In addition to these core areas, audio recording and production students also complete a studio-recording project and investigate live to air / broadcast sound.

By Year 3, we find that the vast majority of our students have already formed a number of professional connections, and students are able to make use of these and reflect on their approaches within a dedicated field project.  In addition, there is the final major project which under the supervision of a dedicated tutor allows you to specialize in your chosen area which could be for example album recording and production, software / hardware development, an experiment, or dissertation based study.  You’ll also continue to develop your programming skills, as well as exploring surround sound, live sound and advanced HD recording.  In addition to these core areas, audio recording and production students complete a studio post-production project, investigate studio design & specification, and audio restoration.


Guest Speakers

  • Key industry professionals regularly visit us to speak to our students. Recent Guest Speakers include…
  • Phill Brown- Sound Engineer, Producer (worked with Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Dido, to name but a few)
  • Alistair Meachin- Acoustics, Audio & AV Consultant – Harmonia Consulting Ltd.
  • Ian Wallman- Producer, Composer, Mixer & Remixer
  • Chris Calcutt- Focusrite Audio Engineering Limited
  • Nicky Bignell- Business Affairs Manager – Music, BBC Rights, Legal & Business Affairs
  • Kim Bailey- Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA)
  • Cindy Truong- British Academy of Song writing, Composers and Authors (BASCA)
  • Laura Young- Music Industry specialist on negotiating sales with recording, publishing and library companies.

Professional Accreditations

Skillset Media Academy

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Professional & Industrial Context 1

    This module introduces a range of developmental material. Students are shown a range of differing resources and the requirements for their safe operation. The use of StudyNet to enhance the learning and teaching experience through MAPS and in general use, is also introduced. In addition the key legal concepts and frameworks within which the industry works are introduced, and students are introduced to career planning material. Students also perform within a percussion ensemble, supporting and developing team working.

  • Sound Bytes 1

    This module gives an introduction to the physiological processes underlying human perception of sound, and the principles of audio data coding and file reduction techniques from a perceptual perspective. Although in general the material is treated in a non-mathematical way, some basic mathematical techniques are taught within the module as necessary.

  • Audio Engineering 1

    The learning outcomes will be supported by coverage, both in lectures/tutorials and practical sessions, of a selection of the following topics: Effects and processing; sampling, sequencing and production hard and software, using industry standard tools. The module goes on to cover audio cabling, fault finding, the basic electronics involved in signal matching and distribution and a basic circuit building exercise, as well as an introductory level recording project.

  • Studio Technology 1

    This module introduces students to a range of key studio technologies, such as microphones, samplers and basic sequencing packages, analogue audio protocols and MIDI. It also introduces basic acoustics and how this affects and dictates sound production, transmission and capture. This module involves a mixture of theoretical background and practical applications. Assessment will normally involve two pieces of coursework and two in-class tests or minor tasks requiring students to demonstrate how well they have assimilated the disciplines and principles covered.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Sound Bytes 2

    This module introduces you to the principles of digital music networking and distribution, in the contexts of both creation and delivery of sound or music; standalone or alongside other media. The emergent areas of Internet radio, IPTV, online collaboration, file sharing, networked audio, remote control and applications are explored from both technical and commercial perspectives. Building on relevant first year studies, encoding standards are analysed and utilised in the creation of music distribution channels. Technical material is supplemented with investigation into the the legal, procedural and logistical requirements of digital distribution.

  • Audio Engineering 2

    Building upon Audio Engineering 1, this module explores extended functionality within core hard and software systems for audio recording. Creative production and mixing skills are further developed, whilst the broadcast industry is introduced as a specialist environment for audio technologies. An intermediate level studio based recording and mixing project is also included.

  • Professional & Industrial Context 2

    Building upon Professional & Industrial Context 1, this module introduces students to a range of more advanced studio resources. The music industry is further explored and practical experienced gained via realised practical projects and / or a short work placement opportunity.

  • MT Studio Technology 2 (Version 2)

    Building upon Studio Technology 1 this module develops higher understanding and advanced skills concerning key studio technologies. Students work with industry standard sampling and sequencing tools, utilising a more advanced feature set, whilst elsewhere software programming using the MAX/MSP environment is introduced. Students understanding of the nature of sound, and the technicalities of sound capture are extended by the Sound Cognition and Microphones and Recording topics. The module involves a mixture of theoretical background and practical applications.

Optional

  • Professional Work Experience 30: Music

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

Year 3

Core Modules

Optional

  • Year Abroad

    The Year Abroad will provide students in Creative Arts with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first two taught years of the degree within a different organisational and cultural environment in a partner academic institution. The host institution will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator who will oversee the student's programme during the Year Abroad and will liaise with the appointed UH Supervisor.

  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)

    The optional 'Sandwich' placement year may be undertaken between the levels 5 and 6. Students undertake the placement within a commercial, public or not for profit setting that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience related to the creative and cultural industries. A placement could take a variety of forms, including: * working in an external organisation; * working with a University company or professional team within the University; * self-employment within defined context and externally refereed. The placement duration would typically be sustained for at least 48 weeks, though may be sustained for a full year. While the Faculty/School actively supports the placement process, ultimately it is the placement provider that will agree to manage and select students, normally through an interview process. During the placement a member of the academic staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.

Fees & funding

Fees 2015

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2015 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module

International Students

Full time: £11,500 for the 2015 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships for UK/EU and international students

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2015

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Part Time)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2016

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Part Time)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)