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BSc (Hons) Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games

Do you have a passion for music and sound and its ability to enhance both film and games? If so, our Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games course is designed just for you!

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All staff are active in the industry and at the forefront of current thinking in the field of study

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State-of-the art music studios and specialist facilities for sound, film, animation and game develop

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Our teaching integrates the latest advancements in technology, encompassing all major film and game

Course overview

Our BSc (Hons) Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games degree is one of five exciting courses in the Undergraduate Music Programme. It will provide an insight into the important role the soundtrack plays in shaping narrative across film, computer games and interactive media.

Merging both technology and creativity, this course embraces a forward-thinking approach. There is a strong emphasis on preparing you for the demands of the modern film and game workplace, giving you all the tools to exceed in this rapidly expanding and extraordinary industry.

On this course you will collaborate extensively within the School of Creative Arts, connecting with peers in the fields of Film, Digital Animation and Game Design. These networking opportunities will enrich your growing skills in composing, producing and implementing all layers of the soundtrack, using technical depth and production excellence.

Our university staff and industry professionals will teach you about film/game workflows, middleware, and the interplay of musical parameters with visuals.

If you dream of being a modern-day media composer / sound designer or realising a complete soundtrack for Film, TV or interactive Game titles, then this course could be the ideal fit for you.

Why choose this course?

Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games course is part of the School of Creative Arts, a dynamic academic community with flexible learning.

Situated close to London and with excellent access to industry, our vibrant creative community offers an inspiring and supportive environment in which to build your creative career.

Our academic team are all practitioners. Many are specialists in providing audio for film and games, including composers, performers, arrangers, producers, programmers, sound engineers, journalists and music industry experts. They all share a common passion for providing an inspiring and exciting environment to develop the next generation of talent.

Packed with amazing facilities and the latest technology, our campus includes state-of–the-art music studios and specialist film, animation and game design resources.

Listen to our students’ work

Professional accreditations

MAP (Music Academic Partnership)
A ground-breaking collaboration between educational institutions and the membership of UK Music (the collective voice of the UK’s world-leading music industry).

ISM (Independent Society of Musicians) and the MU (Musicians’ Union)
Members of staff within the music department are certified trainers for key music software applications.

Your future career

This course will enhance your employability, equipping you with the expertise and skills for a range of multi-sector positions and disciplines. Career opportunities are varied and can include the following:

  • Music Composer
  • Sound Designer
  • Audio Programmer
  • Audio Producer
  • Audio Engineer
  • Music Editor

(…for Computer Games, Film/TV, Trailers, Commercials, Radio, Postcasts, Social Media, Audio Identities, and Interactive and Immersive Experiences, AR/VR, etc)

Our graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including Frontier Games, Rebellion Games, Universal Music, EMI, Sony Music, and the BBC. Others have developed highly successful freelance careers. Recent graduates have won notable awards, including BAFTAs.

We will get you ready to enter the job market with a portfolio that will stand out from the crowd. This course is specifically designed to ensure you leave with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your career.

You will benefit from CV-boosting opportunities and optional modules that further enhance your employability.

See what recent graduates are up to

Music composer at TOEM

Meet Jamal Green, a music composer and part of the team that won Best Debut Game at the BAFTA Games Awards 2022.

Winning a BAFTA Games Award

Music composer Jamal is part of the team that won Best Debut Game at the BAFTA Games Awards 2022. The winning video game TOEM is entirely hand drawn, with players embarking on an expedition to uncover mysteries. Jamal said, ‘I've been waiting for that feeling we got backstage after we won to wear off, but I guess it won't! You only get one shot at winning Debut Game and that makes it so much more exciting!’

A supportive learning environment

‘I didn't have any equipment of my own whatsoever when I started at Herts so I woke up early every morning to get to the Mac Suites to work before people would flood in for their classes. I was often allowed to stay in those rooms and work quietly at the back and so I'd really stay for as long as possible, stopping for lunch or going to classes when I had some of my own to go to (or sometimes not). I would stay in one of the mac suites until one of the proctors closed up at night. Herts has great facilities and state of the art equipment and I'm grateful I was able to use it to its fullest. Herts definitely nurtures students who want to push themselves by just allowing them the freedom to use equipment they otherwise wouldn't have access to.’

Advice for other students and graduates

‘My biggest bit of advice for undergrads is "find your people". I'm always telling people most of what I learned at uni came from the friends I made. We're a tight knit group of people who are still sharing ideas and guiding each other now and those friendships formed at university! Allow yourself to be surrounded by people you admire and people you feel comfortable sharing your worst ideas and vulnerabilities with. Discover, learn, fail and succeed together and you might find people you can still rely on years after university.’

Aspirations for the future

‘After winning a BAFTA Games Award, now is the best time to remain level-headed and pragmatic about the future, but I also want to remain ambitious, and I'd like to return to the BAFTAs to take home the award for Best Original Score - and why not throw in a Grammy and an Oscar for good measure.’

‘I recently went back through my social media and website bio's and took out "Composer for films, game and TV" and instead replaced it with just "Composer" I will always love writing music for films and games and I'm immensely proud of my work so far, but I also want to explore myself as an artist, musician and composer in my own right. I want to be able to look back and feel like I've explored my own ideas to their fullest.’

Junior Audio Designer at Ubisoft

Meet Robin McGovern who has worked as an audio tester on some amazing projects since graduating, like Jurassic World for Frontier Developments. Robin is currently working as an Audio Designer for Ubisoft.

University experience and opportunities

Robin ascribes a lot of his career success to the skills he learnt throughout his studies. He says, 'My studies provided me with the skills and ability to be able to recognise and create high quality audio. Straight after finishing my studies I got a job at Frontier Developments as an Audio Tester, working on Jurassic world and Elite dangerous. I was then promoted to Audio Test Engineer, at which point Ubisoft contacted me asking if I was interested in a job audio testing with them.'

Robin speaks fondly of the University of Hertfordshire and how his studies helped him develop professionally. He says, 'The University had a great reputation for it’s facilities, particularly audio and animation. My course helped me to develop my work ethic and creative voice. I really learnt how to work hard, to make my own work, that I loved.'

However, Robin does stress that hard work is important and that students should take advantage of the opportunities given to them during their studies. He says 'Work doesn’t get done by not doing it. Though this is blatantly obvious, if I had really known what this meant when I started everything would have been far easier.'

Aspirations for the future

Still wanting to develop himself further, Robin is looking to progress within Audio Design for games. He notes, 'One day I would love to work on the audio of a feature-length film.'

What you'll study

You will receive a mixture of interactive lectures, workshops, one-to-one tutorials, and mostly practical learning. Module content is reviewed each academic year to remain current and industry relevant, and you will have opportunities to independently collaborate with student filmmakers / game designers and specialists studying related music courses.

The BSc (Bachelor of Science) outcome is reflective of the sharp emphasis placed on technology, as well as creativity and entrepreneurship. You will leave the course with up to date theoretical, practical, and technical knowledge needed for global employment across a wide range of career options.

At the start of your course, broad fundamental principles in applying music and sound to the moving-image will be established through small-scale practical film projects.  You will then progress towards more advanced workflows producing effective immersive and adaptive soundtracks within both Unreal and Unity as well as industry standard middleware such as FMOD and Wwise.

Practical projects will increase in scale as you move to course completion where you will be asked to consider the future of the industry and role you can play in shaping it, the importance of experimentation and possibilities afforded by emerging and advanced technologies. All of this will culminate in the submission a major showcase project, ensuring you exit the course with confidence and a portfolio ready to show to prospective employers or clients.

Optional sandwich year

Graduate with invaluable work experience alongside your degree and stand out from the crowd. This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a year in industry, typically between your second and third years of study. It’s a chance to explore career possibilities, make valuable contacts and gain sought after professional skills.

Research shows that over 70% of employers prefer students with work experience, which is why we believe work placements are career gold. Our Careers and Employment service are here to support you explore your options and make valuable contacts for your future career.

You’ll pay no tuition fee for this year and won’t need to worry about the details of your placement until your second year of study.

Study Abroad offers the opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.

If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.

Graduate with invaluable work experience alongside your degree and stand out from the crowd. This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a year in industry, typically between your second and third years of study. It’s a chance to explore career possibilities, make valuable contacts and gain sought after professional skills.

Research shows that over 70% of employers prefer students with work experience, which is why we believe work placements are career gold. Our Careers and Employment service are here to support you explore your options and make valuable contacts for your future career.

You’ll pay no tuition fee for this year and won’t need to worry about the details of your placement until your second year of study.

Find out more about work placements

Study Abroad offers the opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.

If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.

Find out more about study abroad options

Where you'll study

The undergraduate music programme is delivered from the heart of the School of Creative Arts situated on the College Lane Campus – primarily within the attractive Film, Music and Media Building. You will have access to a stunning array of well-maintained resources and facilities aligned to industry standards, including recording studios, performance spaces, critical listening spaces, high-spec computing labs and a loan store full of free-to-access kit.

Take a further look at our facilities.

Check out our student blogs

How we support our students

At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible.

We offer a range of support services, from childcare to counselling, ensuring that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying, having fun, and have the support you need.

Music Rehearsal

As music is a creative subject, many of your assignments will be completing practical, composition tasks while showing your identity through your work. The more original thought you have in a piece the better you will stand out from your classmates and your lecturer can help you gain contacts with companies🎶
The first year is about figuring out student’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, highlighting if you are more classically trained but a beginner with technology or vice versa. Your lecturer’s aim is by the end of the year, every student will be on the same level. When I started university, I was a beginner at technology. I didn't know how to mix pieces or even use a DAW. My advice would be if you are like me, you may benefit from perhaps downloading logic on your laptop before you start university. If you are able to. Experiment with it so you are more comfortable when you start to use it in class. If you are unable to download logic, you could try to find a free DAW software to even watch logic tutorials on YouTube and write notes. This was a lifesaver for me! It saved me loads of time so I could focus more on what I wanted to write, rather than how to write it🎧

The course is divided up into two semesters: Semester A (September to December) and Semester B (January to April). The music composition and technology group works closely alongside the song writing classes, so you can also work together on some assignments🎤
The main format of our classes is that you start the semester receiving your assignments in the first few weeks. You will have around 6 for the first year. I found this beneficial as I was able to plan my deadlines over a month ahead. Your classes at the start of the semester will start by working with your whole class. Understanding the assignment and learning about the module. Later, when you have started your assignment, there will be tutorials with your lecturer and smaller groups to show your work and ask questions. Your lectures and tutorials are designed to help you complete each lecturer’s assignment. So, there is plenty of time to ask questions, show your progress on assignments and receive detailed and helpful feedback.

Your assignments will range from theory, instrumentation and technology tests. Composing to films, adverts and games. Collaborative compositions, conducting or singing course and an essay from time to time. If you struggle with essay work, you can contact your course leader or student support. They will be happy to help you. After these two semesters, the university hosts a “Sonic Herts Festival” where you can work with a range of students within the Creative Arts school. This is a time to show off your talent in a non-graded way and make contacts for future collaborations.

I wish you the best of luck starting university. It will feel daunting at first, but the experience will be rewarding. The Creative Arts School at Hertfordshire is a friendly and encouraging environment. We look forward to seeing you in September!😊💫

Music rehearsal

The film, music and media building is specially designed to support your learning and creativity💫 The building includes multiple labs where you can compose music and work around other students. You will spend a lot of time here. Your classes will be held here and you are encouraged to use these facilities outside of class for independent study🎶They are designed so you can complete your assignment to industry standard. The computers contain multiple DAWs and plug-ins so you will find one that suits your style! The software available includes Logic Pro X, Reason, Ableton Live Suite, Sibelius, Adobe CC and many more🖥

The recording studios include a Solid State Logic AWS 900+ mixing desk with Quested and JBL 5.1 surround sound monitoring. They also have a large selection of hardware outboard gear and plug-ins. The studios are fully equipped so students can change acoustics to suit their music🔈. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t been able to use the studios as it's hard to practice social distancing in a small space. But when restrictions ease we have been promised that we will have plenty of classes showing us how to use the studios to an industry-standard so we can do independent work there also🌟

In addition, the FMM block includes control rooms and sound booths. The acoustically isolated booths help to reduce sound transmission, making it easier to mix your music🎧 The monitoring space can be used as a control room. It includes an Apple Mac and multiple software including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Reason, and Waves etc. These spaces make the University of Hertfordshire stand out as they are crucial for music student’s knowledge, development and confidence as they help to prepare students for working in the music industry🎹

If you enjoy performing, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved! There is a room on the ground floor that includes a stage and multiple pianos where you can perform work and take part in masterclasses. In first year, we used this room for our performance module. We learnt how to conduct an orchestra. You can take part in this or singing🎵 This room is used as a lecture theatre but has been designed to be used as a creative space too as it also includes a PA system, holdback monitors, stage lighting rig and projector. The space feels more like a professional venue and will help prepare students for life after university. Also, there is a room where you can experiment with gamelan instruments and steel pans along with other interesting instruments to help broaden students' imagination and use of instrumentation in their work. There are also opportunities to work in ensembles. You can also perform your work in the forum which is the university’s entertainment venue🎤

At the University of Hertfordshire, you are encouraged to use these facilities to help you produce outstanding assignments and build a varied portfolio to help you apply for jobs after university!🤩

Entry requirements

The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.

Typical offer (UCAS points)112—120
Typical A Level offerBBC—BBB
Typical IB offer112—120 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core)
Typical BTEC offerDMM—DDM
Access coursesDiploma with 45 level 3 credits at merit
Additional informationFind out more about our standard and contextual Undergraduate Entry Requirements.

English language

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

Additional information

Find out more about International Entry Requirements.

Ready to apply?

UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK
Start date Study typeApply
September 2024 Full time Apply via UCAS
Full time with placement year Apply via UCAS
Full time with study abroad year Apply via UCAS
Part time Apply with Herts

International and EU applicants without pre-settled status in the UK

Apply through our international/EU application portal

Fees and funding

At Herts, we’re dedicated to providing world-class teaching supported by industry-level facilities and incredible social spaces. We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to higher education, and we strive to keep both our standard and additional costs as low as possible.

Study typeFees
UK students Full time £9,250 for the 2024/2025 academic year
Part time
£1,155 per 15 credits for the 2024/2025 academic year
EU students Full time £15,500 for the 2024/2025 academic year
Part time £1,940 per 15 credits for the 2024/2025 academic year
International students Full time £15,500 for the 2024/2025 academic year
Part time £1,940 per 15 credits for the 2024/2025 academic year

Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

Scholarships, grants  and bursaries

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a non-repayable scholarship, grant or bursary to support your studies.

Disabled Students' Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowance can cover any study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

Student loans

Find out about securing a student loan, from how much you could be eligible for to when you need to start making repayments.

Accommodation costs

We offer a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

Additional course fees

Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet.

More about the course

Course fact sheets
BSc (Hons) Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games Download PDF
Programme specifications
BSc (Hons) Music Composition and Sound for Film and Games Download PDF
Additional information

Applications open to international and EU students

Yes

Course length

Full Time, 3 YearsPart Time, 6 YearsSandwich, 4 Years

Not ready to apply?