BA; BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Design

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

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Contact information

Overview

Creating a buzz in the music industry

Looking to develop your skills in music production and sound design and gain the ability to carve out a career within the creative industries? In this course you will build on your knowledge and discover the wide range of opportunities that exist in electronic music production, and explore additional opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations across other courses.

This specialism is taught by a team with extensive professional expertise in state-of- the-art facilities, enabling you to forge your own career path within a dynamic work environment. On completion of the course you will have the opportunity to showcase your creative production in the creative technologies show which evidences to employers that you are ready for a career in an ever-changing digital and technological landscape.

Sound studio control room

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.

Listen to music and interviews from LSBU Music and Sound Design students presented by Senior Lecturer, Adam Parkinson (aka Dane Law). From industrial techno and grime to Shakespearian soundwalk and music made using a video game engine!

Why study Music and Sound Design at LSBU?

Ranked 4th in UK and 1st in London for Teaching Quality in Music (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021), and ranked 2nd in the UK and 1st in London for Student Satisfaction in Music (Complete University Guide 2021)
Get access to high-spec studios, instruments and software at our multi-million pound studio facilities, Elephant Studios
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

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.

Chris Holtum, BA (Hons) Sound Design

Accreditations

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 Years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus

Modules

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.

Year 1

  • 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.

Year 2

  • 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 Technology
    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.

Year 3

  • 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.
  • 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)

Employability

Employability Service

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.

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:

Work placements and internships

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:

Facilities

You’ll cover music production, film sound, game audio and studio practice.
Your practical work will be supported by a dedicated teaching team with extensive experience across a range disciplines in music and sound production and you’ll have access to cutting-edge studio facilities, editing suites and sound recording equipment. The main software used on the course include:

  • Ableton Live
  • Avid Pro Tools (Avid accredited)
  • Max/MSP
  • Unity & Fmod
  • VCV Rack

Teaching and learning

Covid impact

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.

Course team

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 Self-directed learning
Year 1 25% 75%
Year 2 25% 75%
Year 3 22% 78%

Personal Tutor

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.

Entry requirements

  • A Level BCC or;
  • BTEC National Diploma MMM or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions 36 Merits or;
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs Grade 4 or above)
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Advanced entry

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.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Home/EU applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 Years
Start date
September
Application code
W215
Application method

Accommodation

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.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Finance

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.

Home/EU postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system.

Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

International applicants should use our international application system. Full details can be found on our How to apply section for international students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 516 KB).

Considering your application

Your application will be circulated to a number of potential supervisors who will look at your academic qualifications, experience and the research proposal to decide whether your research interest is something that could be supervised at LSBU.

There will also be an interview either by telephone or at the University. If you are successful you will be offered a place on a course and informed of the next enrolment date. The whole process normally takes between six to eight weeks, from receipt of your application to a decision being made about your application at the School.

Prepare to start

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment

Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

Full-time

BA (Hons) Music and Sound Design (FT) - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT

The fee shown is for entry 2022/23
UK fee: £9250International fee: £15400
AOS/LSBU code: 5791Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK £27750
International £46200

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 226 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Scholarships

We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 226 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

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International team enquiry

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

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Full-time

  • School of Arts and Creative Industries