Sound Design Technology BSc (Hons)

About the course


On the Sound Design Technology degree you explore the latest digital audio hardware, software and programming packages and are involved in sampling sequencing, mixing, editing, recording and digital signal processing. You study MIDI protocols, MAX programming, as well as internet audio, with a focus on the production, development and applications of sound design and audio technology, sound effects and manipulation. The programme runs in parallel with the BSc Honours Music Technology.

This Sound Design Technology degree enables you to explore the nature of current sound and music technologies, utilising the latest digital audio hardware, software and programming packages. You will investigate topics such as sampling, sequencing, sound editing, recording, digital signal processing, MIDI protocols, MAX programming and internet audio, ensuring that you will be equipped with the knowledge and hands-on experience expected of today's professionals.

The development of technical expertise is central to the philosophy of the courses and the role of the technologist sits between those of the hardware software engineer and the creative artist. In one direction this allows the delivery of effective systems for users, and in the other, aids artists in the realisation of creative works.

Year 1

This introductory year provides you with a foundation in the use of music and sound technology, including aspects such as MIDI, sampling and sequencing, mixing and processing, fundamentals of sound and vision, electronic audio and visual systems and programming principles.

Year 2

From the technological foundation of the first year, you develop such aspects as advanced sampling, hard-disk recording, sound and media, digital capture and manipulation, networked multimedia processing, content creation and manipulation.

Final Year

Much of your work will be built around a major project relevant to the programme you have chosen. This can take the form, for example, of the production of a multimedia CD-Rom, the development of an original piece of software, or the recording, editing and production of an audio CD.

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 and MAX/MSP.
  • You will benefit from our high quality studio resources: SSL and Yamaha mixing desks, and hardware by top names such as 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.
  • On this degree you will explore your own creative work through song writing and other compositional tasks. Participate in "live" projects such as the UHR record label, and JamJar showcase concerts.
  • Collaborate with film makers 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.)

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:

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


  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


You can expect to develop a career in hardware/software system specifications, world-wide web based music creation and delivery or technical support within the music industry (eg in sound reinforcement and recording, multimedia installations, or for music studios/production companies).

Soud Design - Film/Television/Radio/New Media

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


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.

  • 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.


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.

  • 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 Audio Systems and Applications 2 (Version 2)

    Building upon Audio Systems and Applications 1, this module explores extended functionality within key hardware and software tools for audio production. Further creative skills in sound design in audio-visual media are covered. Multimedia authoring techniques are also explored in greater depth.

  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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

  • 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.

  • MT Technology Project (Version 2)

    This module allows students to undertake a substantial piece of independent work, which demonstrates an area of interest or specialism. Students will be assigned a tutor, and regular tutorials and guidance will be given throughout the academic year in order to help the student maintain sufficient progress to complete the project successfully.

  • MT Audio Systems and Applications 3 (Version 2)

    Building upon Audio Systems and Applications 1 and 2, this module explores advanced concepts of linear and non-linear sequencing in a variety of creative contexts. Also covered are the specification and application of sound design in the wider context of new media and interactive systems. In addition, advanced systems for sound synthesis are explored.

  • 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.


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


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


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)