Music Technology and Audio Production - BSc (Hons)

Studying Music Technology and Audio Production will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to launch your career in the music industry.

Overview

On this exciting programme, you develop technical skills to an advanced level and learn how to use audio hardware and software to a professional standard.

Areas you explore include: recording techniques, audio production, music programming, music and media, and music event technologies. Your critical skills are developed through an in-depth understanding of the technology and its associated music.

Our degree programmes

Our three innovative undergraduate music programmes specifically meet the needs of those pursuing careers in the music industry. They combine rigorous academic study, technical instruction, creative outputs and professional opportunities.

In addition to this programme, we offer:

Study abroad

We have partnerships with universities around the world, offering you the chance to study abroad for a term or for a year. Rising to the challenge of living in another country and immersing yourself in a different culture is a rewarding experience and demonstrates to potential employers that you are independent and flexible in your outlook.

Year in industry

It is also possible to undertake a year’s placement in industry either at home or abroad, gaining experience working in a professional environment. We offer support and advice to help you find a placement either in the music industry or other sectors such as charities and arts organisations.

Study resources

We are based on an inspirational waterfront environment in the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of our Medway campus. We have excellent, industry-standard facilities and our studios are installed with state-of-the-art technology from leading manufacturers.

Our flagship studio integrates a new Neve Genesys Black G48 mixing console with our existing Genelec 5.1 surround system, and has a large live room and vocal booth.

We also have a number of other studios including an Avid HD studio with SSL Matrix mixing console, a Genelec multi-speaker studio, Foley recording studio and other well-equipped post-production suites and iMac workstation rooms.

In addition, our Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre is one of the best in the UK.

Students can perform music in a variety of specialist spaces at the Medway campus and can also use the fantastic performance spaces at our Canterbury campus.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC including Music or Music Technology at B.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Grade C or 4 in Maths.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    DMM (in a music subject, or alongside an A-level in Music or Music Technology at B). Alternatively, any BTEC can be considered alongside an A-level in Music or Music Technology at B.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 14 points at Higher Level, including Music HL 5 or SL 6 and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average. Applicants need to have a background in music, which can be technical or artistic (voice or instrument). Applicants will need to submit a portfolio – a music video or program – to the Music Admissions Officer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry), 6 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to important concepts that underpin sound and sound technologies, starting from an understanding of how sound is produced, how it travels and how we perceive it. The module also explores the principles by which sound can be recorded and encoded in both analogue and digital formats. Practical demonstrations and experiments are used to investigate scientific theories, providing students with a solid understanding of theory that will inform future practical work in the recording studio and with the digital audio workstation.

Find out more about CMAT3010

The module explores the current creative industries, particularly focusing on music industry characteristics and structures, music organisations and relevant arts groups. Students will be guided to appreciate a broad range of career opportunities in these areas and they will develop an understanding of the skills and specialisms required for specific areas. This will provide a clear context for their further studies on their chosen degree programme. Students will also develop their critical awareness by examining recent historical trends in music and the creative industries.

Find out more about CMAT3050

Students will deepen their understanding of a broad range of topics concerning recording, processing, mixing and mastering in the studio environment. Advanced concepts of audio manipulation will also be studied in order to perform audio signal processing and post-production disciplines. Mixing and mastering techniques will be studied in some detail including delivery formats for music industry distribution. Students will work on an individual project, recording others in the studio and editing, processing, mixing and mastering their work to produce a final product.

Find out more about CMAT3080

The purpose of this module is to make students aware of the technological resources used in contemporary music events, how to use these resources effectively and creatively, and how to ensure good practice with regards to health and safety. Students will be introduced to standard technological set ups for a variety of venues during lectures, with opportunities to gain practical experience during workshops. Two extended workshops will allow time for setting up and derigging more complex systems, with time for critical evaluation and experiment. Student will work in small groups to develop a live sound project, which they will present in the summer term.

Find out more about CMAT3090

This module provides students with an overview of the history of sound synthesis, placing important techniques in context. Musical examples will be drawn from composers, pioneers and inventors such as Don Buchla, Robert Moog, Max Mathews, Jean Claude Risset and John Chowning. Students will be guided to explore important components of synthesis, such as waveforms, filters, modulators and low frequency oscillators using industry-standard software.

Find out more about CMAT3100

The module will explore critical listening and sound within the wider framework of the environment as a whole, helping students to develop a comprehensive understanding of sound relationships, sensitise their hearing and enhance their expert listening skills. Students will learn to recognise structural elements of sound, they will learn new concepts and be introduced into novel areas of sound-making. The module will culminate in the production of a substantial piece of creative work and a detailed evaluation that links theory and contextual issues with practice, strengthening students' critical listening and sound-making skills.

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Find out more about CMAT3130

This module will provide an overview of standard digital audio workstation architecture, file management and good practice in the handling of digital audio and MIDI data. Recording principles will be introduced to students, including the recording chain, microphones and their placement, signal paths, use of DI boxes and establishing correct audio levels. The structure of the mixing desk, including inserts and auxiliary sends will also be examined. Students will be introduced to industry-standard software for the recording, manipulation and mixing of sound. Students will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops.

Find out more about CMAT3160

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

In this module, students will develop an understanding of a broad range of topics concerning recording and post-production processes in the studio environment. Topics covered will include digital formats, sampling, filter design and compression. Concepts of data manipulation will be studied in order to perform audio signal processing such as delay, chorus, reverberation and equalisation. The module will also cover stereo and spaced microphone techniques.

Find out more about CMAT5010

Basic electronics theory is accompanied by practical, hands-on circuit design in this module. Students will be introduced to the standard components used in electronic circuits, and will develop an understanding of how components are used to make some of the key types of circuits used in audio applications. These range from microphone amplifiers to electric guitar electronics, through effects units and synthesis modules. Students will gain practical experience of soldering which will also cover studio maintenance as well as circuit construction.

Find out more about CMAT5040

The module investigates music for media in both theory and practice. The focus will be on music used in moving image media, including an exploration of musical languages and compositional techniques commonly deployed in relation to moving images. Students also study film music history, gaining insight into critical approaches that have informed the practice.

Find out more about CMAT5080

The module introduces students to the field of media sound in both theory and practice. The focus will be on sound production techniques, including postproduction crafts such as Foley (sound effects), ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) and sound design (special audio effects). Students also study film-sound theory and the history of film sound gaining insight into critical approaches to the analysis of sound and sound design for moving image and its impact of view engagement.

Find out more about CMAT5150

Students will build on their knowledge of basic electronics and will be introduced to a processor based computer interface (e.g. Arduino). Students will learn how to write code for the interface, and will work towards an assessed design project that includes some electronic circuit design as well as some programming in order to create an interface to control audio. Some design and construction using wood, metal and/or plastic, will be necessary for building final projects.

Find out more about CMAT5170

Optional modules may include

Students will be required to devise a short, original composition for a live performer with technology. A series of lectures will introduce students to various compositional models, contemporary compositional theories will be explored in relation to key works and scholarly texts and workshops will develop the students' technical skills. Work-in-progress will be performed during the module, and students will be encouraged to engage in peer evaluation and criticism. A final performance of all works will take place towards the end of the module.

Find out more about CMAT5050

The module takes a holistic approach to the theory and practice of community music. Students engage with the creation and facilitation of music-based experiences for groups and individuals in a variety of settings within the local community. The core aim is to provide a foundational training for budding or potential educators, therapists, facilitators and researchers. A variety of topics form the subject matter of the course, which is interdisciplinary in scope. The curriculum includes an introduction to the history, development and literature of music and community studies using selected key publications in community music, ethnomusicology, music education, and music, health and wellbeing/therapeutic music studies. Given the high number of publications in these fields the core texts will be chosen for their ability to provide (i) connections and synthesis and/or (ii) disciplinary distinction, especially when highlighting methodological differences. As noted the aim is to provide a relatively unified and holistic introduction to community music in theory and practice.

Find out more about CMAT5090

A highly practical module which will introduce you to the complex formal conventions surrounding professional score presentation, instrumentation and orchestration, harmonising and reharmonising melodies, creating introductions, basslines or countermelodies, layering and textures. You have the opportunity to work across a wide range of styles and will also explore timbre in the context of original arrangements. Following a series of given briefs, you will work towards the production of a portfolio which will contain orchestration, arrangement and harmonisation assignments.

Find out more about CMAT5120

In this module, students will be exposed to a variety of song-writing techniques and will develop and nurture the wide-ranging skill set necessary to succeed in the current music industry. Students will learn to carry out basic harmonic analyses of existing songs and apply theoretical approaches to produce original work, investigate different ways to structure songs, explore creative methods to write and develop lyrics, and learn how to enhance basic song templates with melodic accompaniments (e.g. strings, brass etc.).

Find out more about CMAT5160

The module explores advanced audio design techniques and critical listening skills demonstrated and applied in specific music contexts. Students will develop the ability to discern and analyse sound characteristics, record and sculpt sonic events to create original sound design, and produce advanced creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound processing and arranging techniques. Students will look into works of significant composers in the field, and will be taught through a series of interactive seminars, studying both the aesthetics and the technology of audio-based composition and sound design.

Find out more about CMAT5180

Spatial sound is a powerful tool for immersion and is fast becoming a must-have knowledge for many different media and technologies including cinema, theatre, sound installations, exhibitions, live performance and game sound. This module will explore spatial sound, multi-loudspeaker and surround sound formats, including an outline of the developments of spatial sound music and the work of significant composers in this field. Students will study both the aesthetics and technology of multichannel music, including live diffusion techniques, large sound distribution systems and multichannel sound installations. Students will be led to produce creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound spatialisation techniques, which will culminate in a live performance with the Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST) system.

Find out more about CMAT5190

Year in industry

You can extend your studies from three to four years by taking the Year in Industry option (this option is not available if you are studying on a part-time basis). This provides the opportunity to gain relevant workplace experience as part of your programme of study.  You can also increase your contacts and network so that you can hit the ground running when you graduate.

The Year in Industry is taken in addition to your standard undergraduate programme and normally falls between your second and final year. You typically work on a placement for the full calendar year, and salary and holiday entitlements vary according to the employer. The year is assessed on a pass/fail basis through employer feedback and a written report that you submit. Students also have the option to take a Term in Industry.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad.

The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.

Stage 3

These modules are not yet available to view online. For full details please contact the Centre at ArtsHumsAdmissions@kent.ac.uk

Compulsory modules currently include:

Optional modules may include:

Compulsory modules currently include

The Music Industry contributes over £4.1 billion (ONS) to the U.K economy and supports over 120,000 full time employees, many of them freelance. The opportunities that are available are explored and career pathways are analysed in relation to prospects for long term employment. Partnerships, company start up, taxation, accountancy, VAT, bookkeeping, National Insurance, pensions, time management, cash flow management, investment and hourly charge out rates are all discussed with the view to giving the student a firm grounding in employment or self-employment for the future.

Find out more about CMAT6070

In this module, students bring the expert knowledge they accumulated during their studies in one final project, which takes the form of an individual study in one practical area relating to music or music technology. The project can be (but is not restricted to) a large-scale composition, a songwriting project, sound design and foley, audio-visual work, sound installation, audio programming, sound spatialisation, or performance. Students will choose an area of study in conjunction with a tutor, who will oversee the development of their project. Expertise gained through the undergraduate course will be enhanced and strengthened in this final work.

Find out more about CMAT6090

Sound and music are used in video games both as an element of the entertainment but also to communicate to the player different types of information. Unlike in composition or performance, the sound and music is affected in real time by the decisions made by the game player. This module deals with many issues surrounding the production of interactive sound and music, including designing reactive sonic environments; triggering of sound events; complex adaptive sound generation; and how sound can carry meaning. Software will be used to allow students to create interactive sound environments.

Find out more about CMAT6110

Optional modules may include

The purpose of this module is to provide opportunity for self-directed group exploration in the creation of a collaboratively developed interdisciplinary practical research project, such as performance projects, audio-visual work and multi-media projects. Although each student will have to negotiate an individual and personal Learning Contract with a supervising tutor, the focus of this module remains interdisciplinary and collaborative. This will be achieved through a system of lectures, workshops, mentoring, negotiation and tutor supervision. Projects are undertaken and evaluated with tutor guidance.

Find out more about CMAT6040

The module presents an opportunity to undertake research on a specific topic in music studies/music technology working largely alone, and to present in a structured form the results of that research. The research may be of an empirical or library based nature, or a combination of each. It will provide students with an opportunity to profit from pursuing studies outside of taught courses; to develop the student's interest in areas of and approaches to music studies, which may not be covered in taught courses if agreed by their tutor. Therein lies the opportunity to be assessed on the basis of skills different from those required for a traditional examination. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate organisational and planning skills together with initiative.

Find out more about CMAT6060

Since the 1960s, electronic instruments have featured more and more in live performance. This module balances the history of live electronics with contemporary practical instruction. It charts the history of live electronics, through fixed media playback, electronic signal generation and processing, and interactive audio systems for composition and performance, addressing the breadth of live electronics across sound projection, enhancement of acoustic instruments, through hybrid acoustic/electronic instruments, to include a wide range of performance practices. Lectures will cover history and case studies, while workshops and lab sessions will cover practical issues of hardware and software design and performance practice. Students will encounter a vast range of electronics from DIY to high end digital systems, and this module will prepare them for these encounters.

Find out more about CMAT6120

The module takes a holistic approach to the study of music, arts and health. Firstly, it interprets health research broadly involving health sciences, psychology, wellbeing studies, therapeutic studies, environmental studies and sustainability. Music students will therefore work at the intersection of both the medical and environmental humanities. Secondly, it invites the involvement of dance or drama in its curriculum and project work. The module is concerned with people, place and planet and celebrates the contribution and impact that the arts as a whole make to society. As a wide range of research has shown, the arts help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived. The arts can help meet major challenges facing health and social care: ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health. The arts can help save money in the health service and social care. Artists and artisans have also engaged with issues of environmental degradation, regeneration and resilience (the health of the planet) and with the use of natural and sustainable natural resources.

Find out more about CMAT6130

This module will address the issues around different ways in which software can be used to develop audio applications. Taught via a combination of lectures and practical computer lab sessions, students will have the opportunity to design and build their own audio plug-ins, or standalone applications. These may range across a wide spectrum of uses, from performance to recording, from entertainment to interactive installations. Emphasis will be placed on various parts of the design process including prototyping and usability testing, so that students build up a good awareness of the context for which applications need to be designed.

Find out more about CMAT6140

The module explores advanced audio design techniques and critical listening skills demonstrated and applied in specific music contexts. Students will develop the ability to discern and analyse sound characteristics, record and sculpt sonic events to create original sound design, and produce advanced creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound processing and arranging techniques. Students will look into works of significant composers in the field, and will be taught through a series of interactive seminars, studying both the aesthetics and the technology of audio-based composition and sound design.

Find out more about CMAT6180

Spatial sound is a powerful tool for immersion and is fast becoming a must-have knowledge for many different media and technologies including cinema, theatre, sound installations, exhibitions, live performance and game sound. This module will explore spatial sound, multi-loudspeaker and surround sound formats, including an outline of the developments of spatial sound music and the work of significant composers in this field. Students will study both the aesthetics and technology of multichannel music, including live diffusion techniques, large sound distribution systems and multichannel sound installations. Students will be led to produce creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound spatialisation techniques, which will culminate in a live performance with the Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST) system.

Find out more about CMAT6190

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £7700
  • International part-time £10250

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our staff bring with them a broad range of experience, from our expert academic staff to our highly qualified technicians and practising professionals. Together they support, develop, challenge and inspire you throughout your studies.

We use a variety of teaching methods including practical and technical workshops, performance platforms, seminars, lectures and group projects.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Independent rankings

Music at Kent scored 89% overall and was ranked 13th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Careers

Career opportunities for music graduates include many aspects of the creative industries, such as:

  • music recording and production
  • audio software development
  • sound for film
  • music performance
  • music management
  • composition and songwriting 
  • research and academia. 

It is also possible to pursue careers in areas including: 

  • video games 
  • live sound for theatres and festivals
  • audio installations for museums 
  • sonic arts and computer music.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

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