BSc (Hons) Audio & Music Technology
Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University
3 years full-time for BSc (Hons)
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham
UCAS course code:
Entry and admissions criteria:
- A-levels – BBC; or
- BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
- 112 UCAS Tariff points from at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
- GCSE – English and Maths Grade C / 4.
Fees and funding:
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.
Would you like a career in the audio and music industry? If so, this industry-focused course will give you the professional, creative, intellectual and technical skills needed to succeed.
The audio and music technology industries provide a broad range of career prospects for graduates. You’ll explore subject areas that will develop your knowledge in the subject area and help prepare you for the diverse nature of your industry.
The course curriculum balances theoretical study alongside practical application. Throughout the course you’ll be challenged to develop your decision-making in new, and at times, complex and unpredictable contexts. The content of the course also closely reflects current working practices in industry, and aims to prepare you for work in a highly competitive workplace. Students in audio and music technology will increasingly be faced with freelance and self-employed models of work upon graduation.
You’ll also have access to a range of specialist facilities, including industry-standard audio recording and production studios.
Overall the course aims to develop your knowledge and skills and allows you to apply this in various scenarios, in order to improve your employability and/or prepare you for further study at Masters level and beyond.
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Audio Production Technology (40 Credit Points)
A solid understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of audio production is essential for employment in the audio and music technology industries. Throughout this module you’ll learn how developments in audio technology have shaped the way we use technology to create, edit and manipulate sound and music. You’ll be encouraged to develop important critical listening skills when working in a variety of recording and mixing situations. The module will focus predominantly on practical recording techniques in the recording studio environment, alongside opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills in other location recording scenarios. Towards the end of the module you’ll also be introduced to various approaches and tools for mixing music. The overarching aim is to equip you with a range of practical skills that are grounded in a historical, cultural and theoretical context.
Electronic Music Production (20 Credit Points)
This module aims to give you grounding in the skills necessary to create an audio work derived principally from electronic (analogue or digital) means. Core technological concepts, such as sequencing, sound syntheses, sampling, audio programming and mixing are studied alongside core musical concepts such as melody, harmony, rhythm and arrangement; the module offers a holistic view of the subject through contextual research and historical analyses, as well as critical listening in key genres, both historical and contemporary.
The Audio and Music Industry (20 Credit Points)
This module aims to equip you with knowledge and understanding of how changes in industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. In addition, the module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on you completing work for client(s) as part of your study in the module. You’ll be required to carry out independent study into current industry trends, examining and evaluating how changes in technology have affected the creation and consumption of music and audio content. You’ll also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for work and employment in industry.
Research Methods in Audio and Music Technology (20 Credit Points)
In this module you’ll develop an awareness of appropriate research methodologies in order to progress your studies in audio and music technologies. An ability to select the correct method of research is a skill that will assist you in your further studies across all disciplines; including practical assessments, written assignments and professional development. To understand and apply research methodologies develops a foundation in learning and helps you contribute to an ever advancing knowledge base.
Sound and Audio Theory (20 Credit Points)
This module aims to develop your understanding and application of scientific principles underpinning audio and music technology, such as sound theory, analogue and digital audio principles. Understanding such principles can aid in developing, a higher-level application of audio and music technology in various associated areas, such as creative microphone use, manipulation of audio signals, positioning of sound sources and modification of audio equipment. You’ll be required to adopt a technical and scientific approach to the module, in order to solve mathematical problems, interpret and analyse data, independently research technical literature and present your findings in a clear and convincing manner.
Advanced Audio Production (40 Credit Points)
This module explores advanced working practices and principles employed in the audio production environment. The overarching aim is to develop your understanding of the interrelationship between the importance of decisions at each stage of an audio production (recording, editing and mixing, through to final master), and the impact this has on the quality of the final product. The work you carry out for the module will be completed with a strong research emphasis and you’re expected to employ an investigative approach to your study in the module – researching current and historical trends in audio production in order to frame your own work within a wider industry context. The module will develop your technical proficiency alongside your problem solving and critical listening skills. There is an emphasis on professional practice and the delivery of work that has an appreciation of customer (e.g. client) and consumer expectations.
Creative Audio & Music Technology (40 Credit Points)
This module will develop your understanding and practical knowledge of music and audio technology outside of the context of the commercially led recording-mixing-mastering paradigm. You’ll focus on other specialist aspects of music technology, working both collaboratively and individually on a wide variety of projects, culminating in a portfolio of your creative work. During the completion of your projects, you’re encouraged to creatively use a range of different methodologies in the production of your audio work, e.g. fusing together computer software with various hardware technologies in sound creation, control and interfacing. The module will also allow you the opportunity to explore other growing fields where music, media and technology converge; such as live and interactive sound installations, sound design for film/TV, animation and gaming. You’ll also explore historical and contemporary contexts through research, and develop an understanding of the context of creativity in music and sound and how this applies in your own creative work.
Ultimately, this module is designed to extend your skill set to enable the exploration of new audio and music technologies as they emerge, and to think creatively and solve problems with technology. You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in some aspects of your assignment work for this module and your final portfolio will demonstrate your wider skill sets in music and audio technology, enhancing your employment opportunities in new and emerging fields.
Acoustics & Electronics (20 Credit Points)
This module aims to develop your understanding and application of acoustics and audio electronics. Understanding such principles can develop an appreciation and higher-level application of sound sources, acoustic spaces and audio and music technology equipment. You’ll be required to adopt a technical and scientific approach to the module, in order to solve mathematical problems, interpret and analyse data, evaluate audio systems, independently research technical literature and present your findings in a clear and confident manner.
Industry Practice (20 Credit Points)
During this module you’ll undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries. The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources. Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy. This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.
Audio Mastering (20 Credit Points)
This module will introduce you to the processes and techniques involved in professional audio mastering. You’ll study the relationship mastering has with other creative stages of a production (e.g. recording and mixing). Throughout the module you’ll study signal processing within the context of mastering and develop a proficiency with key technologies in order to produce and deliver audio masters that conform to prescribed formats. The primary role of a mastering engineer is to provide an independent critical ear and apply processing that is sympathetic to both genre, playback environment and restrictions of the audio delivery format. Therefore, there is a strong emphasis throughout this module on developing your critical listening skills.
Recording on Location (20 Credit Points)
This module aims to expand your scope of recording experiences and equipping you for a variety of recording situations outside a controlled studio environment.
Recording music on location requires a different approach to that of a recording studio. In this module you’ll explore the theory and practice of recording and mixing material from various situations outside of the traditional recording studio environment, for example orchestral recordings, chamber music, brass bands and live amplified concerts etc.
You’ll investigate techniques associated with recording and mixing various live performances, in order to justify your choice and use of the equipment (e.g. venue acoustics, microphone techniques, instrument acoustics, digital set up etc.) Also as part of your developing professionalism, you’ll be expected to carry out preparatory research in order to complete recording on location and be prepared to solve problems in complex and potentially unpredictable situations.
Throughout the module you’ll develop your critical listening skills through examining different approaches to mixing live performances, psychoacoustics, musical acoustics, and analysing reference recordings to investigate the wider context of contemporary practice and in some cases apply techniques that are at the forefront of the subject area.
Music and Sound for Visual Media (40 Credit Points)
This module aims to instruct you in the practices, tools and conventions of sound and music in visual media art forms. You’ll examine the historical context of sound design in visual media, initially focusing on sound and music in film and TV before exploring the application of sound in other media such as web, video games and animation. You’ll explore the relationship between sound and visuals and the impact on the consumer experience.
Alongside this theoretical and contextual underpinning, you’ll also study practical tools and technologies and utilise a range of methods for composing, recording, editing and processing sound work. This will include musical composition and arrangement, dialogue recording and editing, Foley and location recording, and surround sound mixing. You’ll also examine other aspects integral to the completion of a professional sound design product, such as metering standards and delivery formats.
Technology Investigation (40 Credit Points)
This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake sustained investigation into a specific area of creative technology that builds on your previous knowledge, experience and skills acquired during levels 4 and 5. This module will allow you to explore critically a specific issue or area of personal interest within your chosen field allowing you to explore individual lines of enquiry connected to your career goals. You’ll achieve this by undertaking a self-initiated practical research project supported by tutor supervision.
As part of this investigation you’ll also enhance your abilities to communicate your findings with an audience and consolidate your skills in project management and self directed work, both of which are vital for a career within the creative media industries.
The module serves to acquaint you with the key skills and practices required to undertake and complete independent project research and to create practical creative media technology products as a response.
You’ll study diverse disciplines including audio recording, editing, mixing and music production techniques through the course. Year 1 focuses on core audio principles, such as recording, sound and audio theory and electronic composition. Year 2 focuses on critical listening and mixing, with support of acoustics, creative technologies. Year 3 will develop on your skills and knowledge developed in the first two years, through studying audio mastering, recording on location and audio for visual media. These are alongside a technology investigation, which will be self-directed and in a subject area of your choice with approval from a designated personal supervisor.
Teaching and learning will take place in a range of bespoke studios, IT suites and classrooms. You’ll develop your practical, technical and critical thinking skills through a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars, academic tutorials and guest lectures. In these classes you’ll explore the core aspects of the module subject areas whilst also reporting back on your individual progress and research findings.
The audio and music industry is embedded in the course, with industry and work-related opportunities including live client briefs, Confetti’s Industry Week, guest lectures and short work placements. These will be offered in addition to your studies. By the end of your studies, you’ll have developed the skills to independently gain industry experiences.
On this course you’ll study at Confetti’s brand new Contemporary Music and Events Hub. You’ll have access to:
- Studer A827 2-inch machine
- Brand new 48-channel SSL Duality desk
- Freestanding Exigy monitors
- Edit rooms equipped with 8-bus consoles
- Industry-standard production studios including SSL, Neumann and Schoeps equipment
- Specialist IT Suites with Logic, Pro Tools, N.I Komplete M4L and Ableton software
- Performance rehearsal rooms
- 300 capacity live events venue
- Post-production suites including Soundfield, 5.1, Foley Room, Binaural and VR technology
Typical job roles in industry might include:
- Sound designer
- Audio producer/engineer
- Mastering engineer
- Technology R&D
- Post-production engineer
Right for you?
A three year Bachelor degree is a great choice if you’re looking to gain a full Level 6 qualification. With a higher UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more theoretical approach to your studies combined with significant elements of practice. After graduating you will be able to progress onto a postgraduate course or start your creative career.
A two year Foundation degree is a great choice if you want to have the option to graduate with a Level 5 qualification and start your creative career early. With an accessible UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more practical approach to your studies. After completing two years you will graduate with an FdSc/FdA qualification and choose whether you want to continue and enroll on a top up year for a full BSc qualification or whether you would rather stop your education and start your creative career.
Topping up your existing qualification
If you already have an FdSc, HND or equivalent you can join this BSc course by direct entry into year 2 or 3, depending upon your qualification and experience.
Each case will be considered individually, but if you have passed an FdSc from Confetti and decided you want to continue your studies, you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year to ‘top-up’ to a full honours degree.
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As part of your course you’ll also have access to Confetti’s annual Industry Week.
Our heavyweights have included the likes of award-winning filmmakers Nick Broomfield, Shane Meadows, Aardman Animations – the Oscar winning creators of Shaun the Sheep, TV’s Stacey Dooley, Rockstar Games, Playstation, as well as some of the most respected names in the music industry – from Radio 1’s Andy Rogers and Mistajam to Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis and Professor Green.