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Music Production BSc (Hons) modules

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

Block 1: Introduction to Studio Recording & Production

The module is divided into two sections; digital audio recording and production which includes an introduction to the practice and theory of digital audio recording, mixing and mastering, and digital audio sequencing which covers the study and development of ability in the handling of sequencing and MIDI control along with an introduction to basic audio signal processing.

This module is delivered by a mixture of studio practicals, critical listening, reading and self-directed study. 

Practical: 74 hours
Consolidation: 40 hours
Reading: 44 hours
Self-Directed Study: 122 hours
Assessment: 20 hours  

Block 2: Ideas in Music & Technology 

This module is a seminar and lecture series introducing students to a diverse range of issues and perspectives related to recent and current cultures in music and the sonic arts. The focus will be on central historical and philosophical threads of the last century to contextualise contemporary sound- and music-making. Exploring individual artists and thinkers, broad aesthetic movements, and the development and impact of technologies on culture, music and sound. Listening will be a key activity: inquisitive, contextual, critical and analytical.

This module is delivered through lectures, critical listening workshops, reading and self-directed study.

Lecture: 48 hours
Workshop: 24 hours
Listening: 56 hours
Self-directed study: 144 hours
Assessment: 28 hours

Block 3: Sound Analysis & Synthesis

An understanding of how sound works is essential in developing an appreciation of, and an ability to work with, sound as a medium. This module first familiarises students with the physical/acoustical foundations of musical sounds. Students will study sounds through both waveform and spectral representations and understand how temporal and spectral acoustical features relate to the primary perceptual parameters such as musical pitch, dynamics, and timbre.

The module is block taught over 7 weeks, delivered by a mixture of lectures, workshops, listening, reading and self-directed study.

Lecture: 24 hours
Workshop: 12 hours
Practical: 36 hours
Reading: 40 hours
Reflection: 70 hours 
Self-directed study: 94 hours
Assessment: 24 hours

Block 4: Industry Practice

This module covers the music industry, and how to make a career in the music industry. Topics include: the evolution of the music industry including current and likely future trends, copyright, licensing, royalties, and media rights, and artist multifaceted income streams, consumer music delivery processes/systems, past, present, and future including streaming. Live music promotion festivals and events. It also covers professional working techniques, equipment, and achieving professional standards in the studio. As well as the chain of production and the role of ​artists/engineers/producers/mastering engineers in it.

The module is block taught over 7 weeks, delivered by a mixture of lectures, studio workshops, listening, reading and self-directed study.

Lecture: 28 hours 
Studio Work: 42 hours 
Independent Studio Practice: 48 hours
Reading: 40 hours
Independent Research: 60 hours 
Reflection: 60 hours 
Assessment: 22 hours  

Year two

Block 1: Creative & Professional Work: Presentation & Promotion

This is an open module designed for students to undertake a short intense project to allow the development of specialist creative, technical, professional and/or research-led skills, while simultaneously developing professional practice. Special thematic sub-projects, supported by lectures, workshops, and personal tutorials, are offered each year, from which the students may choose one or more across the duration of the module. Indicative examples of sub-projects include:  

  • Improvisation Ensemble  
  • Sensors and interfaces   
  • Advanced Synthesis & Sequencing  
  • Electronic Instrument Building   
  • Coding or Live Coding  
  • Spatial Performance  
  • Spatial Composition  

For each chosen project, students will devise ways of promoting and presenting their work, both collectively (e.g. organising a group performance) and individually (e.g. accumulating a personal portfolio) within a public forum.  

Teaching will vary according to the projects undertaken, but will comprise lecture and seminar activity, technical instruction, contextual and critical study within regular workshops. Work towards student projects will be guided through tutorial support.

Workshop: 44 hours 
Tutorial: 12 hours 
Reading: 40 hours
Reflection: 60 hours
Self-directed study: 104 hours 
Assessment: 40 hours

Block 2: Film, Games & Media

Covers the technical and aesthetic considerations of the creation original musical compositions and sound designs in a variety of audio-visual contexts. Content includes application of existing skills and the development of new skills in relation to designing sound and context-specific compositional strategies in a range of "real-world" scenarios, focusing primarily on sound and moving image.

The module is block taught over 7 weeks, delivered by a mixture of, workshops, listening, reading and self-directed study. Workshops will bias listening and analytical exercises in early weeks, along with group discussion. In later weeks, they will turn to peer listening and tutorial support for student work in progress.

Workshop: 21 hours
Tutorial: 28 hours
Self-directed study: 230 hours
Assessment: 20 hours

Block 3: Studio Recording & Production

Learn more advanced studio recording and production, including detailed knowledge of the nature and physics of acoustic and electronic instruments, microphones, and recording spaces such as studios. Covering a variety of structured recording, mixing, and production strategies and work practices to enhance efficiency and quality of work, as well as advanced techniques of applying effects and other processing in mixing.

This module is delivered by a mixture of studio practicals, critical listening, reading and self-directed study.

Practical: 74 hours 
Consolidation: 40 hours  
Reading: 44 hours 
Self-Directed Study: 122 hours 
Assessment: 20 hours

Block 4: Studio Technologies

This module looks at a range of studio technologies, developing a comprehensive awareness and understanding of the studio context through investigation of its anatomy, from the underlying digital and analogue technology to the acoustic environment.  Covers the measurement of the parameters and characteristics of audio equipment, electronic circuits for primarily audio and music technology applications, and qualitative and quantitative concerns surrounding the acoustics of environments in which music and sound are performed, recorded, produced, and configured.

The module is block taught over 7 weeks, delivered by a mixture of lectures, practical workshops, listening, reading and self-directed study.

Lecture: 22 hours 
Practicals: 28 hours 
Independent Practical Work: 68 hours
Reading: 40 hours
Independent Research: 60 hours 
Reflection: 60 hours 
Assessment: 22 hours  

Year three

Block 1: Advanced Production Skills and Mastering

This module develops the students technical and contextual knowledge within the framework of professional practice, testing the full breadth of skills needed to be successful in this area.   

Students will experience the audio recording and production process through taught sessions using multichannel studios. Students will develop a portfolio of targeted practical projects that will demonstrate confidence with live recording practice, while also developing project management skills, including working in small teams; they may also participate in broadcasts, such as DemonFM and will compile and produce programme material in a format appropriate for its intended distribution.

Lecture / Large Group: 24 hours 
Studio: 48 hours 
Workshop: 6 hours
Reading: 40 hours
Self-directed study: 142 hours 
Assessment: 40 hours

Block 2: Digital Signal Processing

Knowledge of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is essential to understand the logic at work in digital systems and software that process audio signals. This module provides students with the basic mathematical tools and explores time/frequency representations, especially the Fourier transform.  It also looks at the theory behind digital filters – convolution, z- transform, transfer function, impulse response. 

This module is delivered by a mixture of lectures, lab practicals, reading and self-directed study.  

Lecture / Large Group: 24 hours 
Laboratory/Tutorials: 48 hours 
Workshop: 6 hours
Reading: 40 hours
Self-directed study: 142 hours 
Assessment: 40 hours  

Block 3: Live Sound and Location Recording

This module offers students advanced techniques in production practice in a range of common sound-mixing and recording scenarios outside the controlled studio setting. Teaching focuses on planning and management of live sound production sessions, and adapting audio equipment to given occasions (e.g., music, talk, film set), devising suitable capture, routing, and mixing approaches, and considering monitoring, avoidance of signal feedback, wireless transmission, and/or the use of specialist microphones and recording techniques.

This module is delivered by a mixture of studio practicals, critical listening, reading and self-directed study.

Studio: 48 hours  
Lecture: 12 hours  
Tutorial: 12 hours 
Reading: 24 hours  
Reflection: 156 hours
Assessment: 48 hours

Block 4: Final Project

Students will engage in an in-depth investigation of a music technology topic of their choice and design, supported by an individual tutor. The final research may take the form of a purely written document (a dissertation), or students can choose to pursue a practice-based investigation (a ‘final project’, or ‘final performance project’), in which research is reflected both in written work and a portfolio of creative work that is informed by and/or helps investigate the topic.

In either case, the module is designed to enable students to advance considerably as independent learners, being able to imagine and define a project of interest to them, plan and manage that project over several weeks, develop their capacity to build their own ideas or creative work on the ideas of others through research, and make arguments and/or articulate the context and ideas behind creative work.   

Lecture: 10 hours
Tutorial: 10 hours  
Research: 100 hours
Reflection: 180 hours