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Music, Technology and Innovation MA

​Explore the creative potential of digital technologies in music, extend your abilities in composition and production, and enhance your analytical insight into the theory behind this developing field.
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Overview

Whether your interests are in electroacoustic or digital composition, sound installations or audio-visual work, our course focuses on using technology to create original and innovative music.  

You will be able to tailor your study to focus on your individual creative practice area and choose from a diverse range of modules to develop your skills in fields such as hardware hacking, live coding and electronic instrument building. 

Designed to meet the needs of contemporary musicians who want to maximise their skills in the sonic arts, the course blends theory and practice to deepen your contextual knowledge, creativity and research skills. The hands-on nature of the programme means that it is also well suited to teachers or arts professionals who want to upskill or broaden their musical horizons. 

Our creative, research-active staff will support and encourage your work in a lively environment of constructive conversation and debate. You will also have the opportunity to engage with visiting artists and scholars in workshops and guest lectures. 

Digital music and sound design skills are in high demand for film, TV and radio productions, live theatre and festivals. This MA will prepare you for a range of employment paths in the creative industries, as well as offering further training for those already in work seeking career development opportunities.

“The MTI programme offers a very exciting opportunity for students to explore music composition and research ideas with no limitations. During my studies I was able to create, reflect, explore, recreate; and had the support and mentoring I needed to keep me on track. As well as being immersed in student and lecturer discussions, you’ll witness many electroacoustic performances in the immersive diffusion space and even get to perform your own! The opportunities I had on the course to develop my technical and creative aspirations have proved immensely helpful in my career of audio mixing and sound design for TV.”

Natasha Haycocks, Music Technology and Innovation MA graduate
Winner of the 2019 Underwire Festival Best Sound Designer Award for Retch short film. Read more testimonials here.

Key features

  • Learn in dedicated facilities, which include a diffusion studio for advanced composition and spatial design, an AV studio for combined video editing and 5.1 surround mixing and monitoring, a sound art laboratory, a professional recording and mastering studio, and a multichannel studio for 5.1 and 18.1 channel work respectively. 

  • Focus your development on a specific field of creative practice or extend into new areas. You will be challenged to question and experiment within your area of practice and to interrogate critically each avenue of your studies 

  • Benefit from DMU’s industry partnerships with local music venues, such as the Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre and Curve theatre, and national and international organisations, including the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, the ZKM and Philharmonia Orchestra. 

  • Stage your work in our on-campus performance and installation venues or through our partner organisations. DMU’s Dirty Electronics Ensemble, for example, have performed at Tate Britain and the Dome of Visions in Stockholm. 

  • Meet like-minded people by choosing to join our music ensembles (orchestra, chamber choir, jazz band and taiko) and societies, including acapella, audio recording, choir, DJ, gospel choir and modern barbershop. 

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: W30072

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Fees and funding: 

For 2021/22 full-time fees are £6,575

Part-time fees are £548 per module

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

To apply for this programme, please email admissions@dmu.ac.uk in order to receive an electronic application form.

Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26

Course code: W30072

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Fees and funding: For 2021/22 full-time fees are £15,100.

To apply for this programme, please email admissions@dmu.ac.uk in order to receive an electronic application form.

Entry criteria

You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant subject.

Applications are welcome from candidates whose primary study or professional practice has been in music technology as well as those who have completed more traditional music programmes in areas such as instrumental composition, musicology and ethnomusicology.  In all cases, the candidate will demonstrate the potential to engage with the practical, creative, critical or aesthetic dimensions of the application of technology to music.

Equivalent qualifications from other international systems will receive the same consideration.

As part of your application you will be required to:

  • provide a 500-word statement explaining why you want to study the programme
  • provide a portfolio including a sample of original creative work with sound and a sample of academic written work
  • applicants will be normally interviewed by the programme leader (or nominee) and one other member of the MTI staff

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it. 

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Structure

Teaching and assessment 

 

 

Core modules

  • Research Methods for Creative Projects
  • Aesthetics and Ideas in Sonic Arts            
  • Contextual Practice of Music and Technology or Contextual Theory of Music and Technology
  • Creative Portfolio or Dissertation or Creative Portfolio with short Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Sonic Arts Practices 1
  • Sonic Arts Practices 2
  • Theories of Electroacoustic Music
  • Technologies for Digital Arts Practice
  • Research in Practice
  • Digital Arts Practice

The MA in Music, Technology and Innovation is designed to offer you a blend of structured taught elements with opportunities to focus on areas of individual interest. There is a core of compulsory modules in terms 1 and 2 that provide a groundwork of contextual understanding, supported by optional modules focusing on creative work with music technologies and/or study in areas of special interest.  The course culminates with an individually designed research project completed in term 3, taking the form of either a creative portfolio or a dissertation on an approved topic.  

 

Our approach to your learning experience is shaped by the aim to develop original ideas through engagement with a broad spectrum of artistic practices and reading widely in your field, while developing a high level of communication skills through written argument and discussion.

  • Lectures by MTI2 staff and visiting scholars/practitioners
  • Seminars guided by specialist staff in research skills and the use of IT resources
  • Symposia and concert presentations by MTI2 staff and visiting artists
  • Individual tutorials with staff
  • Small group workshops enabling peer-led learning with scope for co-creation of study content
  • Peer-centred collaborative production of performances and events
  • Self-directed study in the form of independent reading, reviewing and creative practice.

 

Assessments are varied and reflect the aim of developing independent learning and the ability to develop critical insight through questioning of received ideas, through:

  • Practical creative work
  • Written work in the form of essays, analyses and case studies
  • Practice-based papers reflecting on the student's own creative work
  • Oral presentations
  • Research development projects including research design and literature reviews
  • Performances and design of performance events.

Facilities and features

MTI Research Lab

The MTI Research Lab is the premier facility of the Institute for Sonic Creativity. The 155-square metre facility in the Clephan Building was established in 2004 through a £550,000 SRIF2 (Science Research Infrastructure) grant, and has been continually upgraded to meet the developing needs of our researchers. 

The Diffusion Studio is a sonically isolated, air-conditioned, floating-construction room for advanced composition and spatial design in up to 32 discrete channels. The AV studio is housed in an isolated, floating-construction room supporting audiovisual work through combined video editing and 5.1 surround mixing and monitoring.

The Sound Art Lab is a flexible sound-making space that can be configured for installation work, diffusion practice, audio-visual presentation and self-directed study. Spacious and naturally lit with comfy seating, this lab also forms the hub of the postgraduate community.  The Courtyard Studio is a fully professional recording and mastering studio for stereo or 8 channel projects while the Surround Studio and the Multichannel Studio support 5.1 and 18.1 channel work (any configuration) respectively.

Library

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

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Opportunities and careers

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Graduate careers

This MA is designed to allow specialisation in both the practice and musicology of music technology.  An emphasis on the relationship between practice and theory is a feature of the programme—structured to equip graduates with attributes sought after by employers in the creative industries: practical capabilities, capacity for critical insight, research skills, and personal and professional organisational abilities.

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DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 

Students on Audio and Music courses have benefitted from the #DMU Global programme through visits to musical institutions in Japan, Germany and the USA.

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