Sound Design Technology BSc (Hons)

About the course

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Attracting students who are motivated by this dynamic and rapidly developing specialist environment, this Sound Design Technology course is designed for students specifically interested in the production, development and application of sound design through practical work with other media – such as film, TV, animation, computer games and audio installations.

You will investigate the use of sound design, foley, and the manipulation / creation of effects to both complement and enhance a variety of media forms, including multimedia applications and game audio.  Substantial focus is also placed on designing sound from scratch through exploring and exploiting synthesis, as well as through live capture and manipulation to support you with building your own substantial sound libraries for use not only within course related work, but also within your own professional portfolio.

As a sound designer, you will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with student composers, film makers and animators in the realisation of fully featured, professional-standard media projects, and will learn both how digital technology has transformed the music and sound industries in recent years, as well as studying the work and approach of key sound designers in the field, to highlight both the contextual and creative avenues in which techniques within the field of sound design can be applied.

In addition to our dubbing suite which is primarily used for sync work, you will benefit from access to our other high-quality Rednet connected resources and studios, as well as our numerous dedicated 5.1 surround sound monitoring spaces.

Why choose this course?

  • On the Sound Design Technology degree you will learn how digital technology has transformed the music industry in recent years, and how you can benefit from these fundamental changes.
  • 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.
  • Study the electronic principles underlying hardware devices, and the programming techniques for software development.
  • Investigate the physical and scientific principles behind sound and music.
  • The Sound Design Technology degree enables you to build a substantial sound design portfolio through direct work with a number of differing medias.
  • Participate in "live" projects such as the UHR record label, and JamJar showcase concerts.
  • Collaborate with filmmakers and animators in realising fully featured, professional standard media projects.
  • 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.

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; Key skills are accepted as equivalent. If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 or TOEFL 550 (213 CBT or 79 IBT). 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, 5 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

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, sound design technology students also study media applications, creative sound design in context and are introduced to the fundamentals of sound design, effects and foley.

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, sound design students also continue to develop high level sequencing and synthesis skills, and continue developing skills in media applications and sound design, effects and foley.

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, sound design technology students also study game audio and develop their sound design portfolio.

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

  • 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.

  • T/Audio Systems and Applications 1 (Version 2)

    This module provides an overview of typical audio production systems and their applications in a creative context. This module also introduces software applications for sound design and arrangement and multimedia authoring.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • 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 4

Core Modules

  • Professional & Industrial Context 3

    This module provides students with a wider perspective on music and media related industries and associated career options. Project management skills are covered with a view to professional development. Also included is the evolution of music/audio technologies and companies from historical origins through to the present day. Students participate in managing, staging or recording Music activities such as UHR, Infuse, Schools outreach projects and MayFest, or may generate their own field project.

  • T/Studio Technology 3 (Version 2)

    Building upon Studio Technology 1 and 2, this module develops a higher understanding and advanced skills concerning key studio technologies. Typically, aspects of multi-microphone recording techniques and advanced sound-editing and manipulation are investigated through in-depth tasks and assessed exercises which will require the full use of DAW (digital audio workstation). In addition, the module will introduce modern surround-sound production techniques along with studio and field techniques for the support of live sound. Additionally, this module also covers sophisticated interactive and real-time audio applications through the use of Max/MSP programming.

Optional

Fees & funding

Fees 2015

UK/EU Students

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

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)