Duration:

2 years full-time for FdSc (Foundation Degree)

Upon successful completion of this course you'll have the option to join our BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Audio Production and top up to a Level 6 qualification. Find out more about topping up your degree.

Location:
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham

UCAS course code:
J943

Institution code:
N91 (Nottingham Trent University)

  • A-levels – DDE; or
    BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP; or
    64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
    GCSE - English and Maths Grade C / 4

You will also have at least one of the following music qualifications:

  • A level or other level 3 qualification in a related subject such as BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology or Production (or similar, e.g. RSL Awards)

We welcome suitable applicants without standard entry requirements but you will need to evidence your relevant experience and interest in using Music Technology in this straight forward way:

  • Either a short 2 – 3 minute video where you talk through a production you have been involved in on a DAW or where you have recorded live instrumentation

For tuition fee costs, visit our fees & funding page for more information.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

A budget of £250 would be appropriate for most audio and music software. External storage media to save large amounts of data from audio sessions (£50).

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think. There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

The world of sound engineering and audio production offers many opportunities on a global scale, and on this course you’ll explore the technical world of sound recording, creation and processing in numerous applications.

You'll experience sound capture and manipulation within contexts such as game audio, and sound for film and post production, recording studio engineering, mixing, and sound design – all wrapped up within employability contexts, as part of our Do It For Real ethos.

You’ll get to learn and perform in world-class studios and performance spaces, surrounded by experts who are working professionals in the music and creative industries.

You’ll also benefit from being assigned an industry mentor in your final year to support you with your industry-focused modules and provide a network of contacts and opportunities for when you graduate.

The overarching teaching and learning ethos is to develop your practical, technical and critical thinking skills through a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars, academic tutorials and supervision.

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 emphasis is on you to carry out significant amounts of sustained research throughout the programme of study.

The delivery of the course consists of:

  • IT Lab sessions
  • Technical workshops
  • Independent project work
  • Presentations
  • Studio sessions
  • Academic tutorials
  • Independent Research
  • Guest Speakers
  • Offsite visits/experiences

All the modes of delivery are structured to develop your on-going abilities and skills. The course offers a broad range of assessment methods within its modules to appeal to a variety of learning styles.

There are a range of different assessment methods used throughout the course.

This includes: practical audio and music work, portfolios, technical report writing and reflective writing.

You will also undertake a sustained research project on a topic of your own personal interest within the subject area.

Right for you?

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

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 of the equivalent BSc degree to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree.

What you'll study in year 1

You will begin your journey into the studio environment by developing your understanding of the fundamentals of recording. You will learn about large format consoles, signal flow, connections, microphone types, and DAWs to record audio.

You’ll be able to apply these skills whether you’re in a traditional studio or have a small home set up: get this right now, and it will set you up for all of your future studio work.

In this module, you’ll discover the magic of recording various artists using different styles of recording such as multitracking and overdubbing, in session and in your own time, to form a portfolio of studio work.

In the professional audio world Pro Tools is the DAW of choice. In this module, you’ll learn how to use this powerful application by covering Pro Tools navigation and operation, setting you up for the rest of your course and career in audio, and paves the way for Pro Tools accreditation.

In this module, you will learn how to conceptualise, design and create sounds using recording, procesing and synthesis techniques. The art of sound design can be applied to many disciplines; such as sound design for games, film and TV, general sound design and Foley.

Through a range of projects involving both linear and non-linear timelines, you will learn how to analyse sounds, how to choose from and creatively implement a range of synthesis techniques, and how to prepare your sound design work for real-world application.

Software and hardware synthesisers and samplers, as well as MIDI, and DAW skills will come into play, in a creative, practical and playful approach to the discipline.

In this module, you will experience the core principles of the subject area, in order to understand fundamental theory and how this can be applied to the relevant technology in this field. Areas such as sound wave principles, audio signals, analysis tools and industry standards will be developed, both in understanding and application.

The module is designed to underpin all the technology applied in other modules to ensure you have a solid base of knowledge to build upon.

You will explore contexts of working in the international world of sound and music and how you might establish a career by exploring the flow of money through the industry and relevant current and emerging trends. You'll assess your current skill set and discover what you need to do to improve your chances of success on your employable journey.

You'll choose work like briefs lasting at least 80 hours to enable you to experience working opportunities in a field of interest, then reflect on your learning to set you up for the rest of your course in an employable mind set. Your future starts now!

What you'll study in year 2

You will explore digital, analogue, and hybrid studio technologies, developing recording and processing techniques to take on a variety of productions over the module: this could be using  traditional studio environments (on-site or external) or your own DIY production set ups.

You will collaborate with performers, artists, and other students to work on a wide base of genres, selecting a range of your productions for a portfolio that should be approaching commercial standards.

In this module, you'll work to client supplied briefs as well as your own self sourced material, engaging in technical and creative post production and mixing processes to create a portfolio of work. You'll critically compare your mixes with industry outputs from around the world and learn approaches to help you meet commercial benchmarks.

You'll cover techniques with compression, effects and automation with additional production skills such as vocal editing and production, drum production and other genre specific approaches of additional production through a range of projects.

In this module you will develop your sound design and implementation skills, for games, using a range of industry-standard software and techniques. You will create in-game audio content for objects, such as weapons, vehicles, ambience, and user interfaces.

You will develop a personal showreel that will showcase your audio for games skills, which will support your employability in the industry.

In this module you will undertake the full audio production for a piece of film from sound design, location and field recording, Foley, right through to editing, ADR and final mix.

You will be in charge of gathering all audio assets to complement the video and create an audio visual product you can use as your showreel for potential employment.

During this module you will source and execute appropriate self-directed projects, working individually and collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the research, 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 along with analysis of the processes involved along the way.

Study Sound Engineering and Audio Production at Confetti and you'll learn in our very own live music and events venue, Metronome.

With its unrivalled reputation for the quality of its sound and visuals, Metronome hosts a successful commercial programme of live events throughout the year – and it’s here where you’ll learn from the best and gain real work experience.

This world-class venue is home to some amazing facilities, jampacked with recording studios, rehearsal rooms, performances spaces, and a 400-capacity venue.

Industry kit and facilities

  • Exigy and MPC ATC monitors
  • Specialist IT and production suites with software such as Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton
  • Industry-standard recording, mixing and mastering studios including SSL Duality, Neumann and Schoeps Studer equipment
  • Specialist IT Suites with Logic, Pro Tools, N.I Komplete M4L and Ableton software
  • Performance rehearsal rooms
  • 400 capacity live events venue
  • Post-production suites including Soundfield, 5.1, Foley Room, Binaural and VR technology
  • Synth Lab: a shrine to the synthesiser
Metronome-studio-live-room-binaural-head-Nottingham-Confetti

Confetti Album

Each year, Confetti students write, perform, record, mix, master and promote the Confetti Album. Supported by our expert staff, it's a great way to experience doing it for real in the music industry.

Degree Showcase

It's not just music that we deliver at Confetti.

Take a look at some of the inspiring work our degree students from across all our creative subjects create each year.

If you want to do more than just study a qualification, ‘Do It For Real’ at Confetti. This is our commitment to all our students to provide real, creative, hands-on experience in their chosen specialism whilst accessing the best facilities.

Our Talent Development team work closely with Course Leaders to link students with opportunities across the music industry. Some of our alumni have gone onto do great things in the music industry – have a read of their stories here.

Metronome

Metronome is a national centre for music, moving image, video games, live performance and spoken word - and it's part of Confetti.

Confetti students have access to state-of-the-art studios, as well as the 400-capacity venue where free student membership gets you exclusive ticket deals and offers.

Work experience

As Confetti has its own live events venue, along with several other creative businesses, you'll be presented with countless opportunities to gain real-world experience. We also have our own record label, Denizen Records, giving students the chance to undertake live projects and paid work opportunities.

Guest speakers

Throughout the year, students are able to attend talks and events, and work on projects with visiting industry experts. We have music giants regularly visiting Confetti or dialling in from across the globe to deliver masterclasses and insights.

Confetti Album

Each year, a selection of our Music students feature in our Confetti Album, released under our record label - Denizen. Our students write, perform, record, mix, master and promote the album!

Industry Week

We also hold an annual Industry Week, the biggest of its kind in the UK, where guest speakers and mentors from the music industry are invited in to talk to students. Our students have the opportunity to learn from people working in the industry right now, and can make invaluable contacts during this week.

Past Industry Week guests have included:

  • Michael Eavis - Glastonbury founder
  • Susan Rogers - Prince
  • Tony Visconti - David Bowie
  • Sylvia Massy - Aerosmith
  • Alan McGee - Creation Records founder
  • Nick Raphael - Co-President at Capitol Records
  • Steve Albini - world-renowned producer and engineer

Your career

Our aim is to create high quality, entrepreneurially-adept graduates to work in all aspects of the sound and audio industry.

Typical roles include sound engineer, location recorder, music producer, audio post production, game audio designer, broadcast audio, technician, and producer.

The great thing about studying at Confetti is that you'll have the option to top-up on the final year of our BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Audio Production in either Nottingham or London.

Open Days

Wednesday 7 December
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Wednesday 18 January - London Virtual Open Day
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