Creative Music Technology

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How to Apply

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Music courses at Bath Spa University are ranked 10th out of 71 providers nationally for overall satisfaction, and BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology scored 91% for overall student satisfaction in NSS 2015!*

Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University has been nurturing and supporting artist producers, audio professionals and sonic artists for nearly 20 years. It was a pioneering move by the university in 1998 to be among one the first universities to launch what was then a new wave of Creative Music Technology degrees in the UK.
It has come a long way since that time, and continues to pride itself on keeping ahead of any generic notion of Music Technology and its creative potential. Our legacy in the field and the array of graduate success stories continue to demonstrate that the course is consistently evolving in response to the ever changing technological and artistic landscape of music production and audio in the creative industries.

Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University fuses production composition, sound design and manipulation, critical listening, and the creative exploration of audio technologies alongside a wider view of digital media through three core areas -
● Cutting edge urban and commercial music creation and production
● Experimental music, the sonic arts and ‘visual music’
● Sound design, music and audio production for the AV sector such as gaming, broadcast and audio-post.
Our course seeks to extend your individual creative voice as well as your technical confidence and knowledge, developing the range of skills required by the creative industries.

Our students enthusiastically share a common commitment to exploring and harnessing personal creative outcomes whilst developing innovative approaches to their work. You’ll no doubt be obsessively interested in music technology, and you will have the opportunity to work and learn with students who share your commitment. The teaching team have very high levels of specialist professional practice and expertise. You will also have access to superb resources and facilities, and benefit from being part of a vibrant community of students and staff creating exciting work and collaborating across subject boundaries.

*Source: National Student Survey 2015.

Why study Creative Music Technology?

On the course students explore and gain confidence on a very wide range of software and technologies that can edit, process and organise audio and sound, and even visual media if you choose. We do not describe music in ‘traditional notation’ terms. Though many students will have high levels of instrumental skills and accompanying theory, others will view software and hardware as their ‘instrument’.

Culturally we are all too aware that software and technology is in a constant state of change and development, so our approach is to equip students with transferable techniques, artistic approaches, and working practices that can continue to stay current and evolve well after they graduate and throughout their careers.

Course structure

The course has a clear trajectory across your three years of study. First and second year modules are intended to offer a firm basis from which to explore and develop toward much more individualised and wider choices available in the third year pathways.

Year 1
The first year of study combines an open encouragement for you to continue to explore and grow your existing creative activities along side an array of foundational practical and interpretive skills. This is supported in topics such as audio recording and production, sound design for moving image, critical listening, and the exploration of the relationship between music and sound to picture.

Year 2
The second year begins the process of encouraging you to take your skills and creativity into the professional arena, with a series of high level industry guest lectures, and the opportunity to engage with external collaboration, an internship or an industry placement. You will also be guided toward greater technical competence in the core areas of sound production, critical listening and sound design, alongside the introduction of multimedia skills that will open the opportunity of creative multidisciplinary projects and support the creation of powerful self-marketing and promotional tools.

Year 3
The final year of the degree offers many industry level optional pathways including the areas of Advanced Music Production, Game Audio, Sonic Performance, Visual Music, Audio Post Production, and Composition for Media, from which you can select a specialised route to support your creative and professional aspirations. This combines with individual support in managing a larger scale creative project of your choice, which we offer as an alternative to a traditional dissertation. All of the assignments in this final year are designed to be the foundation of your professional portfolio, and many are submitted as public facing online web content.

Please see a listing of all modules below.

Modules

Year 1

• Creative Practice (20 Credits)
• Sound Design for Moving Image (20 Credits)
• Synthesis and Sampling (20 Credits)
• Digital Audio Recording (40 Credits)
• Critical Theory (20 Credits)

Year 2

• Digital Audio Techniques (20 Credits)
• Digital Signal Processing (20 Credits)
• Multimedia Production (20 Credits)
• Sonic Art: Theory and Practice (40 Credits)
• Professional Development (20 Credits)

Year 3

• Devised Project: Proposal, Project, Online Presence (40 Credits)

• Professional Portfolio A (40 Credits). Choose two Optional Pathways from:

  • Production Techniques
  • Composition for Broadcast Media
  • Audiovisual Composition and Performance
  • Electroacoustic Composition

• Professional Portfolio B (40 Credits). Choose two Optional Pathways from:

  • Audio Post for Moving Image
  • Game Audio
  • Sonic Performance
  • Audio Software Development

Course assessment

You will most often be assessed through a personal portfolio of themed work. This accounts for perhaps 75% of the assessment balance. Sometimes practical work is supported by written evaluation. We also occasionally use short multiple choice style examinations to enable students to demonstrate technical knowledge. Tutors are always available to discuss any particular assessment style preferences if needed.

You will no doubt be obsessively interested in music technology. You’ll work and learn with students, who are equally committed, and be taught by staff with very high levels of professional practice and expertise. Equally importantly, you will be part of a larger vibrant community of students and staff who are passionately involved in developing creative projects for coursework and beyond, and there will be inspiring opportunities for collaborating across stylistic and subject boundaries.

Teaching methods

Across all three years the programme delivery combines lectures, music lab workshops, large and small group seminars, individual tutorials, online delivery and self directed study. The majority of taught sessions are in specialised spaces such as music studios and fully equipped computer labs that allow each student individual access their own workstation with all relevant software and audio materials. Access to specialist rooms such as the recording studios and our comprehensive equipment hire system allow students to work on coursework and undertake directed and private study.


Specialist resources
Our facilities are specified and maintained to a high standard. This includes three fully equipped ProTools HD recording studios and a number of mixing suites, all with professionally installed and calibrated industry specification monitoring.


We also offer students priority use across three Apple Mac labs with up to 50 workstations in our main presentation lab. There is a full range of hardware and software to support the curriculum content including ProTools, Logic Audio Pro, Ableton Live, Max/MSP, and numerous plug-ins and processing software including Waves bundles, Native Instrument suites, GRM tools, Lexicon reverbs, MacDSP, and surround sound encoders. We also support visual and media based work with current versions of applications such as Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Jitter and a full range of multimedia authoring packages.


We have a comprehensive equipment loan system with everything that students might need for extended project work, including an array of microphones and pre amps, specialist field recorder equipment, portable high specification monitors, professional still and movie cameras and lighting etc..

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

We have consistently high numbers of applications for the course. To help us find the right match of students for our course, and to help applicants find out if we are the right course for them, we hold a number of interview days between mid December and mid April each year.


We also request an audio portfolio of example musical productions that we will listen to and talk with you about during the interview. Discussion about your portfolio is designed to encourage you to share how you approach your audio productions, your current area of musical or production focus, and your future aspirations. If you are invited to interview you will receive detailed guidance as to the interview process and the expectations of the audio portfolio.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please email enquiries@bathspa.ac.uk.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

280-320 UCAS Tariff points including A-level Music Technology at minimum grade B or equivalent award in Music Technology or a closely related subject.

Career opportunities

The statistics for how our graduates progress after leaving the course are impressive. We have consistently averaged over 90% of graduates in employment within 6 months of leaving us for many years now (2015 = 91% in the DLHE survey). Most of these are in what is known as graduate level employment, where they are getting an income that is considered appropriate for someone that has a degree qualification.


Studying Creative Music Technology will offer expertise to many areas of employment, freelance and entrepreneurial working in the creative industries. Your second year of study includes a Professional Development module which will help you investigate and gain valuable insight into real world employment profiles and opportunities in the related creative industries. All third year pathways and project assignments are submitted as publically facing online portfolios. These can then be readily referenced by graduates to perspective labels, collaborators, employers and project funders.


Our graduates form an impressive array of artist-producers and recording artists that have made significant contributions to the UK music scene, signed to numerous record labels and publishers. These include Fred V & Grafix, Appleblim, Emika, Addison Groove, Bruce, Vessel, Assusu, Wedge, Arkist, to name just a few.


Over recent years graduates have moved into other exciting roles such as Sound Designers for iOS games, Audio Engineer for Jaguar cars, Musical Director, Art Designers and Artistic Programmers for events and Festivals, and Composer and Producer assistants. Others have found employment with the likes of Apple Macintosh, Under the Bridge Studios, !K7 Records, Mirim Sound Production, Codemasters game audio, and Native Instruments software and sound libraries.


Example professional destinations of previous graduates include -
• Audio Production
• Artist Producer
• Composition
• Sound design
• Game Audio
• Audio Post Production
• Performance in sound/AV
• Teaching / Education
• Audio/mix engineer
• Sound recording / Foley artist
• Software/hardware development and design

It is a long and ever changing range of opportunities relevant to a mobile employment landscape in which self-employment and entrepreneurship are likely to feature strongly.

What students say...

Here are some reflections by graduates about their experience on the course -

Jethro Dunn : Senior Audio Designer at CodeMasters UK
“CMT gave me the basic skills to do my work; To record, edit and manipulate sound and to use a wide variety of software audio tools in a creative way. It also gave me the framework to pursue my end goal of working in game audio. The open-ended nature of many of the modules meant that I was able to focus on game audio as a foundation for much of my work. There’s very little that I learned during my three years at Bath Spa that I haven’t used and built upon, on a daily basis in my professional career. From surround mixing to DAW use (and abuse), from live performance with home-made “instruments” to video editing and the foundations of programming. Game Audio requires a very multi-discipline skill set touching on all aspects of music, sound and media production so for me, CMT was perfect.”

Sam Salem : Composer and Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University
“CMT helped me so very much that it is hard to quantify: the course (and tutors) literally changed my life. It was my first introduction to electroacoustic music, sound art, audio DSP programming... so much!”

Fred Vahrman & Josh Jackson : Record Producers Fred V & Grafix
“Everything we learnt in CMT can be applied to our work in one way or another; working with different software and developing confidence in exploring the unknown.”

A graduate 2015
"The opportunities on the course really confirmed my interests in composing for film and broadcast, and as a direct result I'm now finding work with scoring agencies and music libraries in London and Bournemouth, so a big big thank you!"

An alumni comment received in April 2015
"CMT at Bath Spa University is the Music Tech Degree for people who want to cross artistic boundaries and break technical ones. Great facilities, great staff and a great course. There’s very little that I learned during my three years at Bath Spa that I haven’t used and built upon, on a daily basis in my professional career."