Music and Sound Design plays a key part in how we experience the world around us.
During the course, you will learn how music and sound design is produced and embedded in the creative industries. You will explore how analog and digital technologies have shaped sounds both in terms of the aesthetics and the practices of musicians and sound designers. You will learn as part of a broader creative school and be encouraged to explore collaborations across other creative courses, such as film and game design.
On completing the course, you will have gained skills in sound design, electronic music production, and critical thinking, which will enable you to forge a career in the creative industries.
South Bank Sound Lab
Students on the course take part in extra-curricular live music events, festivals and symposiums. We have staged concerts to showcase work in London, Berlin and on Twitch. Check out the latest from South Bank Sound Lab and alumni from the course.
100% of students felt that it was easy to contact teaching staff when they wanted to. (National Student Survey 2023)
Ranked 4th in UK and 1st in London for Teaching Quality in Music (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021) *Ranked 3rd overall for Quality of Feedback (Guardian University League Tables 2023)
Access to state-of-the-art music production facilities including a Dolby Atmos studio. high-spec studios, instruments and software at our multi-million-pound studio facilities, Elephant Studios
Be supported by experienced tutors in creative, technical, and academic skills. Get agency experience working for South Bank Collective – LSBU's registered commercial creative agency
We are a member of the Music Academic Partnership group, between 10 institutions and the membership of UK Music, to collaborate and maximise relationships. Take part in music events, exhibitions, screenings, and industry guest talks as part of the South Bank Sound Lab.
Access to mentoring through studio sessions that help you develop your productions.Start to focus on specialist skills in music and sound design as early as the second semester in your first year
Music and Sound Design gave me the skills and knowledge to expand my skillset and pursue any career aspirations. Before studying at LSBU, I had never attempted any form of computer programming and was actively intimidated by the thought, but now it has taken a central role in my creative and technological practices. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my tutors, who were always pushing me towards these new skills and knowledge.
If you do not meet the entry criteria above we also review any previous skills, knowledge or experience you have gained outside of your education and are happy to talk through any extenuating circumstances you feel relevant.
If you do not have the required English and Maths qualifications needed to satisfy the entry requirements for this programme, we have courses available at our partner College that you can take to upskill in these areas. Find out more at South Bank College.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
This course prepares you to work as a music and sound design specialist within the dynamic environment of the creative industries. You’ll graduate with a portfolio of work that highlights your expertise, providing you with a competitive advantage in the world of work.
There will be an inter-disciplinary first semester where you will work collaboratively on real world projects with students studying media production, game design & development, and photography & imaging to enhance your digital media production skills and to develop your ability to work effectively in a team and on project planning. In the second semester of your first year you will then focus fully on music and sound design gaining specialist skills, but still with opportunities to collaborate with students on other creative technology courses in subsequent years of study.
Your practice will be underpinned by a critical exploration of how music and sound resonate through culture and influences our perception of media artefacts. This will help you to articulate the intentions of your work through independent thinking and a deeper understanding of related concepts.
Methods of assessment for course overall: 100% coursework.
Remix. Remake. Recycle. This module introduces you to a range of approaches to contextual research and academic critique in relation to contemporary practice in the Creative Industries. By exploring key themes across a range of creative disciplines, you will gain perspective and insight into current debates within the creative sector. By extending your frame of reference, you will gain a better understanding of how to contextualise your own creative practice through the lens of history.
Sound and Vision One half of this module will focus on developing your visual literacy, so that you can better interpret the meaning or intent behind images. In the other half of this module, you will focus on developing an understanding of the impact sound has on how we perceive events and experiences. Taken together, these explorations will provide you with critical knowledge and understanding that you can apply to the production of your own audio-visual projects, using cameras, recording devices, and audio-visual editing software.
Creative Agency A creative agency consists of a team of experts with different areas of expertise working together to deliver a project in response to a design brief. In this module, students will work together to deliver creative solutions to a range of creative design briefs. In so doing, you will get a taste of how effective collaboration happens between specialist disciplines within the Creative Industries.
Sample and Sequence This module will introduce you to the key musical concepts of pitch, timbre, rhythm, and genre. You will learn different techniques to edit, process and arrange samples from pre-recorded multi-track arrangements. In doing so, you will gain confidence in working with musical material using digital audio workstation software. The module offers you the opportunity to engage with music production and express your ideas in terms of music, genre, and creative context.
Sound Recording This module will enable you to experiment with recording processes, and explore different types of microphone characteristics. Student will develop an understanding of how sound is recorded, the impact of acoustics on the recording, and how to edit and clean up sounds using a digital audio workstation. As part of the production process, you will be asked to document your work in a portfolio with detailed notes for each recording session.
Studio Composition This module with focus on developing understanding of musical arrangement and composition principles using a digital audio workstation within a studio environment. You will learn the fundamentals of creating music, and explore key concepts relating to tonality, timbre, and arrangement, as well as conventions that relate to film scoring and game music composition. Throughout the module, you will be introduced to the history of creative techniques for recording and composing sound that have been developed in sound studios.
Studio Production This module is designed to give an in depth understanding of studio production techniques, and builds on the introductory studio work in your first year. The module will enable you to experience different roles from engineering, to performing and producing within a studio environment. It forms an essential part of the course in preparing you for the rest of the practical modules in your second year and for your major project in your final year.
Music Image Text Int his module you are supported in further developing your analytical, research and writing skills by exploring connections between music, sound, performance, the moving image, and technology The module will help you to contextualise your production work, and to develop study skills towards your final year Research Project.
Creative Music Technologies This module is designed to give you the skills and understanding to craft your own sounds from scratch. You will experience working with music production and performance technologies such as modular synthesis, audio programming and explore how to use them within your own creative practices. You will be introduced to new and emerging music technologies, and develop a critical understanding of how these fit within creative ecosystems.
Sound Design This module provides you an opportunity to develop your sound design in either film or games. The module will build on the knowledge acquired during the Sound Recording module in your first year, and introduce you to sound design and post-production roles and processes. You will learn to combine recording, layering and processing, to design sounds for specific characters, spaces or objects.
Professional Development and Employability This module offers you an opportunity to engage with your professional practice and career expectations in a variety of ways, by offering a flexible approach to exploring the multitude of routes into employment or self-employment within the Creative Industries. You will have the opportunity to further your career ambitions through identifiable activities such as work placements, entrepreneurial activity, business planning, creative collaboration, self-promotion, and industry engagement through organised events such as conferences, festivals or design competitions.
Interdisciplinary Practice In this module you are encouraged to diversify your core skillset by engaging in either collaborative or independent investigation within the broader Creative Industries. You will be offered the opportunity to choose from a selection of topics for practical exploration that intersect with your own specialist discipline. In this sense the teaching, learning and investigation is geared towards the production of an interdisciplinary practical output, either independently or as a collaborative endeavour, dependant on the nature of the topic being explored.
Pilot Major Project This module develops your individual practice within your specialist area. Research into historic and contemporary theory and practice will enable you to develop a critical framework in which to consider your final year project. The emphasis will be on developing working methods to curate and complete a self-directed project within a specialist area of practice, and to communicate this through a fully formed proposal.
Music and Sound Design Major Project This module will provide you with the platform to showcase your abilities and skills through a sustained, self-directed body of work in your chosen discipline. The first part of the module focuses on the development of research and practical skills as a foundation for your final major project. You will then manage your own learning under the guidance of your supervisor. The module is designed to allow you to immerse yourself into a particular area of interest, allowing you the chance to shape your future career through a major piece of authentic work.
Research Project The final year Research Project module gives you the opportunity to conduct original research in an area of particular interest. It allows you to engage more critically with theories, topics and methods encountered on your course. You will manage your own learning under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The module is organized around lectures, seminars, and one-to-one supervisions. The Research Project form and structure is developed in consultation with your supervisor, who you will meet regularly for 1:1 tutorials.
Professional Practice and Portfolio The module has been designed to assist you with the transition from university to employment. The focus will be on identifying current opportunities in your sector, through a combination of research, guest lecturers and visits to production facilities. By the end of this module, you are expected to have completed a portfolio of work that you can show to potential employers.
The modules were the right mix of theory and practical experience which was a crucial part of my decision. The chance to learn from well-respected lecturers was also really important, as was using facilities I would be expected to understand in the industry.
Nate Gallardo, BA (Hons) Sound Design (2013)
There are seven Editing Suites available for concurrent use. They are all air-conditioned and acoustically treated. The Suites are ideal for editing video and sound and recording quick voiceovers.
All Editing Suites are networked with an ultra-fast 10Gb/s network, making it possible to edit and grade whilst sharing production files at blistering speeds.
The Editing Suites are part of Elephant Studios at LSBU – multi-million-pound multidisciplinary studio facilities at the forefront of digital technologies and multimedia creative practice.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Upon graduation students go onto either working freelance as music producers or in producing audio content for film and media.
We support students by developing their understanding of how the respective industries operate, and through external activities with:
Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS)
Avid Learning Partnership
UK Music Academic Partnership (MAP)
The course team are actively involved as practitioners in electronic music and sound design, as well as consulting on studio design projects. They are actively engaged in world-leading research in the field of sonic culture, ensuring a forward-looking course.
We maintain close links with industry and regularly invite guest speakers and alumni to share their experiences. Recent speakers include:
Throughout the course we encourage students to gain work experience through collaborations with industry partners, through workshops, collaborations and live briefs. We can provide advice when applying for work placements or internships. Below are some of the companies our students have worked with:
The course is currently being delivered using a blend of online and on-campus activity. Students are provided with access to the software required on the course and will be able to access facilities and equipment in line with university regulations.
During Your Course
During the course you will cover music production, film sound, game audio and studio practice.
You will be guided through your studies to develop an understanding of production and theory, and how these come together to inform your creative practice. You will be supported by research active academic staff to develop your critical and analytical skills which, will enable you to fuidly adapt and thrive within the fast-moving creative industries.
Your practical work will be supported by a dedicated teaching team with extensive experience across a range of disciplines in music and sound production and you’ll have access to cutting-edge studio facilities, editing suites and sound recording equipment. You can explore everything from stereo to surround, and Dolby Atmos. You will have access to tutors who can mentor your studio session to help you develop confidence in a professional environment.
The main software used on the course includes:
Avid Pro Tools
Unity & Fmod
Your Lecturers are leading practitioners and world-leading researchers in their fields, so everything we do is ahead of the pack and industry relevant. Inspiring guest speakers from renowned record labels, studios and production houses will give you further industry insight and build your professional connections
Our studio techs are experienced producers and sound engineers who will be on-hand to support your studio sessions.
Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
Lectures and seminars
As an undergraduate Arts and Creative Industries student, you will be allocated a personal tutor. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.
Your tutor should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will meet your tutor at least twice a semester throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional meetings or support via our dedicated communication app, Slack.