Music Composition and Technology BSc (Hons)

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About the course

1/

This Music Composition and Technology degree encourages you to develop your own personal musical language. You will have the opportunity to explore your creative interests and ideas through a series of compositional projects. On this degree you will investigate a wide range of compositional trends, using both acoustic instruments and technology in your own creative work. You will be in the centre of these investigations, empowered to explore and engage in the full spectrum of current compositional practices. The degree runs in parallel with the Music Commercial Composition and Technology degree.

Why choose this course?

  • On the Music Composition and Technology degree you will be encouraged to develop your own personal musical language.
  • Investigate a wide range of compositional trends, utilising both acoustic instruments and technology.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore your creative interests and ideas through a series of compositional projects.
  • Music at the University of Hertfordshire came a full 12% ahead of the rest of the HE Music providers as rated by final year students in the new National Student Survey.
  • The University of Hertfordshire is the No. 1 new university for Music, ahead of many established universities and conservatories (The Guardian Subject League Tables 2011). 
  • We have some of the best resources in the UK, including the 29 million pound Forum where our students perform every month, and state-of-the art music studios and film and TV facilities.
  • 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.)

Entry requirements...

2014

Please call the clearing hotline number on +44 (0)1707 284848

2015

260 points, including GCE A Level or equivalent in music or music technology or grade V theory ABRSM theory or grade Vll/Vlll ABSRM practical. Plus GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above; Key skills are accepted as equivalent.

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 Diploma (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by multiplying the IB score by 10 i.e. 28 IB points will be counted as 280 UCAS points.

Study routes

  • Full Time, 3 Years
  • Part Time, 5 Years
  • Sandwich, 4 Years

Locations

  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in the BBC and PRS, as well as composing for television, sound design for computer games, sound engineering and teaching. Several have continued their studies for Master's and PhD degrees.

Work Placement

Placements are a valuable means of establishing industrial contacts and gaining an insight into the commercial reality of a chosen discipline. We have a long history of students working with industry supplementing the taught university curriculum with real life on the job experience.

This has seen students working right across the creative industries sector: in graphic, product and interior design consultancies, working as artist in residence in galleries, producing props and sets for the film & TV industry, shadowing teachers in education, working with commercial photographers through to students working right across the Music industry.

We expect students interested in obtaining a work placement; to be proactive, to self-initiate this interest and to communicate and work with programme staff in their identification of companies and organisations that are able to provide the appropriate range of experiences and opportunities.

We value the opportunity and benefits of the placement experience highly and as such, we encourage all students to consider obtaining a placement as part of their course. However, we recognise that this may not be a viable option for a number of reasons. In addition, we are not able to guarantee that all students will undertake a work placement as part of their studies.

Professional Accreditations

Skillset Media Academy

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Perspectives of Music 1

    This module introduces the student to characteristic streams of music from the 20th century and will examine models which demonstrate differing stylistic parameters and techniques of construction. The issue of recorded sound and image and how this has changed the creation and perception of music in recent decades, will also be explored. Finally, the fundamental principles which govern the relationship between music and other media will be examined through the presentation and discussion of relevant examples (all pathways).

  • Composition and Performance 1

    This module encourages students to explore their creative, musical ideas, through the related subjects of performance, improvisation and composition. During the module, students are required to complete two compositions, which should be performed by individuals or groups of peers from the class, or played back through recorded means to peers. Students will also be guided into sensitive and appropriate ensemble techniques, whereby teamwork and dedication to purpose is encouraged.

  • Learning Skills

    In this module, students will be guided to develop important study skills, such as computer file management, word processing, using books, journals and the internet as a study aid, essay presentation, and the use of appropriate, academic English in written work. Other skills essential to the practising musician, such as aural discrimination of intervals, chords, rhythm and timbre, will also be fostered.

  • C/Techniques and Technology 1 (Version 2)

    Students will be introduced to the Department computer workstation and basic skills such as sample recording, sequencing, mixing and processing will be covered. Students will also be guided through the basic techniques of instrumental writing and the presentation of an instrumental score using computer notation software.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Composition and Performance 2

    Building on the foundation of Composition and Performance 1, this module examines compositional models and their attendant techniques from a variety of schools and traditions. Students are encouraged to explore the application of these ideas within their own creative work, producing compositions which demonstrate a practical working knowledge of the methods examined. The relationship between acoustic instruments and digital technology will be explored and emphasised. Students will be led to explore in practice a wide variety of performing styles and musical conventions from differing traditions. Students will be led to explore in practice a wide variety of performing styles and musical conventions from differing traditions. A greater degree of fluency in interpretation, integration, sensitivity and understanding is expected.

  • Studies and Investigations 2 (Version 2)

    Studies and Investigations 2 is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and independent thought. Students are offered a range of options, each examining a particular aspect of musicology or music history in detail. Two options should be chosen, which make up a third of the credit points for the module. The remaining third of the module is taken up by an independent study, which can take the form of a 3-4000 word essay, formal presentation or project. The topic for this is decided in conjunction with a tutor, who will guide the student to relevant resources. Compulsory tutorials and seminars ensure that the student maintains an appropriate timetable for the completion of the study. In addition, a short-term work placement is permissible, replacing the self-directed independent study.

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.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Perspectives of Music 3

  • Project (Composition)

  • Techniques and Technology 3 (Version 2)

    Students will explore the features of the computer workstation at an advanced level, covering interactive techniques and hard disk sound editing and transformation. In addition, this will include multi-speaker sound projection and mastering.

  • Studies and Investigations 3 (Version 2)

    Studies and Investigations 3 is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and independent thought. Students are offered a range of options, each examining a particular aspect of musicology or music history in detail. Two options should be chosen, which make up two thirds of the available points for the module. (The options include topics such as Sound Cognition and Perception 3, Experimental Music, Crossovers and Fusions, World Music or Film Music Analysis 3.) The other third of the module is taken up by an independent study, which can take the form of a 4000 word essay, formal presentation or experimental project. The topic for this is decided in conjunction with a tutor, who will guide the student to relevant resources. Compulsory tutorials and seminars ensure that the student maintains an appropriate timetable for the completion of the study. The outcomes from work experience may replace the independent study submission. The Summer Work Experience provides students with the chance to experience aspects of professional practice in their discipline within the creative and cultural industries. A wide variety of placements are possible in commercial, public or not-for-profit sectors. The work experience would be taken over the summer period prior to the start of level 6 and be reported on as part of the assessment submission of the module, normally the outcomes from work experience would form part of the Independent Study submission although it may replace one of the optional topics given the approval of the Programme Leader and Studies and Investigations tutor.

Optional

Fees & funding

Fees 2014

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2014 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: £10,600 for the 2014 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

Clearing

Please call the clearing hotline number on +44 (0)1707 284848