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Music Technology and Audio Production - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code W352

2020

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

Overview

On this exciting new 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. 

Independent rankings

For research quality, Music at Kent scored 3.20 out of 4.00 in The Complete University Guide 2019.

Of Music students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

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 Credits

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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 de-rigging more complex systems, with time for critical evaluation and experiment. Students will work in small groups to develop a live sound project, which they will present in the summer term.

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15

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.

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15

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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15

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.

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30

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

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.

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15

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.

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15

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).

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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.

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15

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 cmat@kent.ac.uk

Compulsory modules currently include:

Optional modules may include:

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.

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.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBC including Music or Music Technology at B.

GCSE

Grade C or 4 in English and Maths.

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.

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.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 14 points at Higher Level, including Music HL 5 or SL 6, and HL English at 5 or SL English at 6 and HL Maths at 5 or SL Maths at 6.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2020/21 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £19000
Part-time £4625 £9500

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

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

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

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.