Sound Production

MA

Postgraduate degree

Key facts

Award
Options: MA Sound (Production), PG Dip Sound (Production), PG Cert Sound (Production).
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
MA full-time: three trimesters (one calendar year); MA part-time: six trimesters (two calendar years); PG Dip full-time: two trimesters (one academic year); PG Dip part-time: four trimesters; PG Cert full-time: one trimester; PG Cert part-time: two trimesters.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Compose and produce contemporary music with an interdisciplinary and experimental focus.

  • Cutting edge interdisciplinary approach to music composition and production.
  • Flexible and adaptable to individual interests.
  • Runs alongside Sound Arts and Sound Design MAs, with options across programmes.

Develop your own signature sound and production style, through this forward-thinking, cutting edge music composition and production course. You’ll be able to tailor the course’s content to your own style and skills.

The content will cover aesthetic considerations as well as technology and techniques utilised in modern music making. The award is deliberately unbounded by genre and there are opportunities to take an interdisciplinary approach to sound production, including contemporary electronic music, studio and field recording, experimental music and sound design for composition. Opportunities for working with visual media are also encouraged.

What you'll learn

Overview

The MA Sound Production programme is tailored towards individuals who are keen to hone their composition and production skills inside an intertextual and cross-disciplinary framework that pushes at the stylistic boundaries of genre.

The programme encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative working methods with students from the wider music community at Bath Spa, as well as visual media and other departments within the University.

While the programme has a music production focus, it also covers key areas of practice such as:

  • sound design;
  • electronic music composition;
  • soundscape and field recording;
  • traditional studio practices;
  • sound engineering;
  • spatial audio and sound design; and
  • composition for visual media.

You won’t be expected to cover all of these areas. You’ll be able to use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills, experience and top-level work across them.

The course is part of a suite of courses available across music and sound, operating alongside ‘sister’ pathways in Sound Design and Sound Arts, which allow further specialism in these areas.

Course structure

Trimester one

Gain the skills you’ll need to fulfil the rest of the course.

The Skills Portfolio module is built on the idea that you’ll already have technical skills in this area, but that students entering the course have differing skillsets depending on background. It therefore allows you to choose a handful of skills projects from a large number of options – these cover skills right across the Sound Production, Sound Design and Sound Arts pathways and include (optional) elements of multimedia.

The Research Methodology and Context module develops skills in postgraduate-level research and writing. It is designed to give you the tools for an onward journey in academia, but not to be, in the colloquial sense, ‘academic’. It encourages your research to be around the practical and creative elements core to your practice and therefore to feed your creative work.

Trimester two

You’ll advance the knowledge gained in the the first trimester and begin exploring the intertextual possibilities of music composition. In addition, you’ll develop a creative project that will further extend the work undertaken on the trimester 1 Skills Portfolio module.

The module Intertextuality In Sound Production aims to capture and contextualise emerging trends and innovation at the forefront of sound production and composition, and develop composition skills that extend beyond the limits of genre. You’ll produce practical outputs exploring a range of influences from a rich milieu of sound related practices. The ultimate goal of the module is the creation of new music that explores the continuum between contemporary electronic music and more avant-garde musical forms.

Alongside the Sound Production modules there are additional optional modules that you can study from the other pathways. From the Sound Arts pathway, the Visual Music module explores the idea that musical thinking can be extended to the visual, and encourages students to develop multimedia projects that explore this idea. Sonic Architecture centres around the construction and organisation of sound, and focusses on the tensions that may be explored and exploited in both the spatial and temporal domains.

From the Sound Design pathway the Post Production module explores an industry-level workflow for audio post production for picture. There are also choices in composition, performance, musicology and professional practice.

Trimester three

Trimester three represents the culmination of the course, in an independent research project. While most Masters level courses consist of a substantial written dissertation component, the MA Sound Production programme focuses more on high-level practical work and the concept of ‘practice as research’ through the creation of a large-scale practical project.

The project will fulfil the same function as the traditional dissertation; you’ll develop individual and original research, but through the creation of a portfolio of works, rather than through the written word. You’ll develop a body of practical work which will serve as a substantial portfolio for the next stage in your career.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed entirely on coursework. The majority of this will be practical and creative work, including the dissertation-equivalent Major Project.

Some practical projects are accompanied by short informal written assignments, and the for the Research Methodology and Context module you’ll produce a more substantial paper.

How will I be taught?

Most modules are taught through small-group seminars and workshops, where you’ll benefit from close interaction with tutors and peers.

The Major Project and parts of the other modules are taught through individual tutorials where the focus will be entirely on your own practice. In the Skills Portfolio we make use of a ‘flipped classroom’ model where you work through online materials at your own pace, supported by intensive troubleshooting sessions with tutors.

Opportunities

Careers

You can use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills. This will equip you for the current employment landscape, where a combination of traditional music roles are required alongside broader practice in sound and other media.

The course also provides the breadth necessary for FE and HE teaching in the field, and provides the basis required for PhD research and beyond.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As an MA Sound Production student you’ll be taught at Newton Park campus. You’ll benefit from access to:

Resources

MA Sound Production students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from studio microphones, contact mics, hydrophones and portable recording equipment, as well as cameras and videography equipment.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2017/18 entry £7,000
2018/19 entry Published Jan 2018
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £3,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees
2017/18 entry £13,500
2018/19 entry Published Jan 2018
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for creative thinkers from a wide variety of backgrounds who have a passion for working with sound and music. You’ll need to be keen to explore music making at the edge of contemporary stylistic tendencies.

Generally we look for a good first degree, 2:1 or higher. Often this will be in music or music technology. However, we accept applicants with other degrees where they can demonstrate relevant experience.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your application should be accompanied by a portfolio of creative work. The nature of this portfolio will depend on your area of work. We don’t need much – two or three pieces will suffice, which might be music tracks, multimedia, documentation of performances / installations etc.

We’ll be looking above all for the creative use of sound in your work.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Course leader: Ben Ramsay
Email: b.ramsay@bathspa.ac.uk