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Sound (Design)


Postgraduate degree

MA Sound (Design)
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're 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:

Develop a range of sound design skills, industry-standard experience, and a high-quality portfolio that showcases everything you’ve learned on our MA Sound (Design).

  • Take a contemporary, innovative approach to sound design, storytelling with sound and immersive audio experiences.
  • Gain the technical skills you need to work at the forefront of the industry and refine your craft in our professional-standard facilities.
  • Explore a wide range of sound design techniques while you build a unique portfolio of work to take into the next phase of your career.

Explore the creative use of sound within film, TV, animation, gaming, theatre and other audiovisual media with this forward-thinking sound design course. The course focuses on the more creative aspects of sound design and advanced audio workflows. It provides you with the necessary technical skills to create work that you’re passionate about – without stylistic boundaries.

You'll join a vibrant and immersive community of creative artists designing sound and music. Creative practice thrives at Bath Spa in many forms, allowing you to learn through joint projects and seminar discussion with other creative artists such as filmmakers, animators, game developers, theatre practitioners, and musicians.

What you'll learn


Gain a mix of advanced technical skills relating to sound design and advanced audio workflows for film and other visual media, game audio, theatre sound and audio installations.

Learn about contemporary sound design practice to push the boundaries of the field.

We support your continued professional development by working with you to improve both your practical and your academic skills.

Subject areas include:

  • Sound sculpting, processing and synthesis
  • The language and aesthetics of sound design
  • Storytelling and dramaturgy
  • Immersive audio.

You can practise a wide range of audio skills including:

  • Sound editing / track-laying 
  • Dialogue editing
  • Foley and field recording
  • Advanced audio workflows for:
    • film and TV
    • animation
    • gaming
    • sound and audiovisual installations
    • theatre sound
  • Dubbing mixing / multi channel speaker arrays
  • Surround sound and spatial audio: 
    • 5.1
    • Dolby Atmos
    • ambisonics
    • VR
    • binaural audio.

You won’t be expected to cover all of these areas. You’ll be able to use this sound design Master’s degree to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills, experience and high-quality work across them. The course also provides the breadth necessary, where required, to prepare you for PhD research and beyond.

You’ll join a community of students and staff working across a suite of Sound courses, including related pathways in Sound (Production) and Sound (Composition and Sonic Art).

Course structure

Trimester one

At the beginning of the course you focus on making new work by developing your skills and exploring the contexts in which you work. You begin two modules which run across trimesters one and two. These modules support you over an extended period, focusing on core technical skills and the mutually beneficial links between research and practice. These support the core module in which you produce a portfolio of creative work.

The Sound Skills module is built on the idea that you’ll already have a set of core technical skills that underpin your practice, and offers opportunities to extend your capabilities. You can choose a set of skills projects from a large number of options – these cover skills right across the Sound Design, Sound Production and Composition and Sonic Arts pathways and include (optional) elements of multimedia.

The Research and Practice module helps you interrogate your own practice and think about how it relates to current artistic and cultural contexts, drawing on our programme of visiting practitioners who discuss their work. Focusing on developing skills in postgraduate-level research and writing, it’s designed to give you the tools to reflect on how you work, what you make, and how it exists in the world. It also helps prepare you for further study as a researcher-practitioner if you continue to a PhD.

In the Creative Portfolio module you’ll be involved with the practice of Sound Design. You’ll learn to apply sound design creatively and practically in the contexts of narrative storytelling and sonic immersion. You’ll explore the use of sound to immerse audiences in fictional and non-fictional ‘worlds’ – this could be within a game, film, animation, documentary, or sound installation. The module also involves advanced sound sculpting and processing techniques. You’ll produce a portfolio which focuses on your interests as a sound designer while giving you the space to experiment with new ideas. 

Trimester two

In the second trimester, the Advanced Audio Workflow module explores industry-level immersive audio workflows within the areas of:

  • audio post production within film, animation and TV
  • game audio implementation 
  • sound and audiovisual installations
  • theatre sound design.

It covers a wide range of associated skill sets. You’ll be assessed through a Practical Project within one of these areas.

You’ll continue to explore new ways of working through the Sound Skills module, and complete your Research and Practice module with a project summarising the contextual artistic research you’ve undertaken.

Trimester three

You’ll complete the course with an independent research project. While most postgraduate courses include a dissertation, MA Sound (Design) culminates with a large-scale practical project, supported by a reflective journal. The project will allow you to develop your own individual and original research area, through your practice. The exact nature of this work will be negotiated with the module leader. 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.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Sound Skills
  • Practice and Research
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Advanced Audio Workflows
  • Major Project
How will I be assessed?

Our aim is for you to build an extensive portfolio of sound design and audio workflows. For this reason, the majority of assessment is based on your practical coursework.

Some practical projects are accompanied by short, informal written assignments, and for the Research and Practice module, you’ll produce a more substantial paper, which investigates your interests as an artist and helps you understand the contexts in which you work.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through a mix of activities including lectures, workshops, seminars and online study materials. Throughout the year, we bring in composers, sound artists and industry professionals to talk about their work and deepen your knowledge and understanding of current contexts.

The Major Project is taught through individual tutorials, where the focus will be entirely on your own practice. In the Sound Skills module we make use of a ‘flipped classroom’ model where you work independently through online materials at your own pace, supported by weekly seminars and workshops with tutors.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.


Work placements, industry links and internships

We have good links with sound related industries and have regular guest speaker visits from industry practitioners, including Alumni, during the year.


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 audio post production roles are required alongside broader practice in sound, music and other media.

Our graduates have had a range of successful careers in:

  • Sound design for:
    • film and TV (including documentaries)
    • animation
    • games
    • theatre
  • Audio post production
  • Sound art and installations
  • Composition
  • Game audio
  • Software development.

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

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Based at our Newton Park Campus, you’ll have access to a range of specialist music and sound resources, as well as other University services, venues and facilities. 

  • Commons building, with its superb classroom facilities, social spaces, and specialist digital resources.
  • Post Production facilities, including: 
    • two high-end equipped audio surround suites
    • audio editing suites
    • Foley and dialogue recording room
    • surround viewing theatre
    • video editing/colour grading suites
    • two TV studios.
  • Mac workstation room with networked music technology labs with high-spec workstations, running core software including Ableton, Pro Tools, Logic, MAX/MSP, and Adobe.
  • Musiclab Studios with three control rooms and a live recording room.
  • Michael Tippett Centre, housing a purpose-built concert hall with excellent acoustics and PA.
  • University Theatre
  • Newton Park Library, including a large collection of books, periodicals and CDs with extensive eBook and online journal access.
  • Writing and Learning Centre, which provides support for your academic work, including feedback on written drafts and other help with academic writing.
  • English Language Unit, which can help you improve your English, reach your full potential and boost your confidence.
  • Virtual Learning Environment, which provides online access to learning materials such as lecture slides, assessment information, discussion boards and other resources. 
  • Access to our free equipment loan service, which provides a huge variety including field recording, film and other audio related equipment. 
  • Access to thousands of business, design and tech courses online via LinkedIn Learning.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,825
UK part time £4,413
International full time £17,065

Fee notes

*Fee shown is for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for creative individuals who have proven experience in sound design, audio post production, game audio, sound installations, theatre sound or music production.

Typical offers

Generally we look for a good honours degree or higher. Often this will be in audio post production, film, music, music technology, or another closely related subject. However, we accept applicants with other degrees where they can demonstrate relevant experience. We make offers based on your previous experience, which may be conditional on completing current courses, or unconditional. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

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.

Application and portfolio guidance

Your application should be accompanied by a portfolio of creative work. The nature of this portfolio will depend on the work you make, but is likely to contain a mix of film, sound design, music production, sound installation work, or similar. It is easiest to put the materials in a folder (Dropbox, Google Drive etc.) with a document listing what it contains, and links to any external work online.

Typically, a portfolio consists of two or three pieces. Above all we’ll be looking for the creative use of sound in your work.

Please email the course leader if you have any questions about the course, and don’t forget to book an Open Day so that you can meet us in person and take a tour of our facilities.

Guidance for international students

Just like our domestic applicants, international students are asked to submit an online application portfolio (see above). An online meeting with the course leader can be arranged if you have questions about the course. Further information will be provided on application. 

When to apply

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.

Course leader: Jan Meinema

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