- MA Sound (Arts)
- Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
- Campus or location
- Newton Park
- Course length
- One year full time.
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: email@example.com.
Cover the spectrum of music, sound and technology appropriate to a wide range of work in existing and emerging sectors.
- Offers broad coverage while facilitating individual specialism.
- Covers music in any genre alongside other areas of creative practice in sound.
- Runs alongside Sound (Production) and Sound (Design) with options across programmes.
Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.
Explore sound as a creative medium at an advanced level, and focus on the areas that interest you most. We’ll help you develop the technical skills you need, but the course is about sound more than technology, and values lo-tech and no-tech as much as the latest technological developments.
You can work in any music genre, and/or cover areas such as soundscape recording and sound design, interactive audio (for applications such as live performance, gaming, VR, immersive environments and installations), spatial audio, hardware/software (instrument) design, and interdisciplinary practice incorporating other media.
What you'll learn
The course caters for those working in a wide variety of music genres, and at the same time also covers areas of practice such as soundscape recording and sound design, interactive audio (for applications such as live performance, gaming, VR, immersive environments, and installations), spatial audio, hardware/software (instrument) design, and interdisciplinary practice incorporating other media.
Most students won’t cover all of these areas but will use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills, experience, and top-level work across them. We believe this to be appropriate to the current employment landscape, where many combine traditional roles in music with broader practice in sound and other media. The course also provides the breadth necessary for FE and HE teaching in this field, and provides a basis, where required, for PhD research and beyond.
A large number of options available within the course makes this choice and specialism possible. The course is part of a suite of courses available across music and sound, operating alongside "sister" pathways in Sound Design and Sound Production, which allow further specialism in these areas.
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 Arts, Sound Design and Sound Production 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.
At the centre of trimester two, and MA Sound (Arts), is the Sonic Architecture module. This is intended as an expansion of traditional music composition teaching (an area in which we have long-standing expertise), where the aesthetic, rather than technical, aspects of individual work will be examined and developed. Through intensive tutorial support, you’ll be encouraged to explore your work at a structural level. Our teaching on this module recognises that spatial, multimedia, and interactive elements bring aesthetic challenges. We therefore offer a creative model that can be applied across the full range of artistic activity represented by the course.
Alongside this core module, you’ll be offered a wide range of options. 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. Intertextuality in Sound Production, from the Sound Production pathway, explores the overlap between Urban Music production and what are considered more experimental genres. Post Production, from the Sound Design pathway, explores an industry-level workflow for Audio Post for picture. There are also choices in Composition, Performance, Musicology and Professional Practice.
Trimester three represents the culmination of the course in an independent research project. While in most postgraduate courses, the equivalent module (often known as "the Master's module") will consist of a dissertation, in this case it comprises a large-scale practical project. It will fulfil the same function in allowing you to develop your own individual and original research area, but here through your practice. You’ll be able to use it to develop a body of practical work which will serve as a substantial portfolio for the next stage in your career.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.
- Research Methodologies and Context
- Sound Arts Skills
- Sound Design Skills
- Sound Production Skills
- Sound Production Creative Project
- Sonic Architecture
- Sound Design Practice
- Intertextuality In Sound Production
- Visual Music
- Post Production
- Major Project.
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 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.
Our graduates have had a range of successful careers in production, composition, music for film and TV, sound design for moving image and games, sound art, software development, engineering, further education, higher education, and research.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
As an MA Sound (Arts) student you’ll be taught at Newton Park campus. You’ll benefit from access to:
MA Sound (Arts) students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment including laptops, PA and recording equipment, video cameras, and DSLRs.
Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.
UK students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
International students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
Interested in applying?
What we look for in potential students
We’re looking for individuals with a proven track record in creative sound/music practice.
Generally we look for a 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 webpages.
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, or similar.
Above all, we’ll be looking for the creative use of sound in your work.
Want to apply for this year?
Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.
Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.
Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.