- Options: MA Sound (Production), PG Dip Sound (Production), PG Cert Sound (Production).
- 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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), with options across programmes.
Develop your own signature sound and production style through this forward-thinking music composition and sound production course. You’ll be able to tailor the MA Sound (Production) course's content to your own style and skills.
The content will cover aesthetic considerations, 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
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
- 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.
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.
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 one Skills Portfolio module.
The Intertextuality In Sound Production module 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 focuses 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 represents the culmination of the course in an independent research project. While most Master's 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.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.
- Research Methodologies and Contexts
- Skills Portfolio
- Sound Production Creative
- Intertextuality In Sound
- Sonic Architecture
- Visual Music
- Sound Design Practice
- 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 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.
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 is 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:
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, including studio microphones, contact mics, hydrophones, and portable recording equipment, as well as cameras and videography equipment.
UK and EU students full time
|2019/20 entry||Published Jan 2019|
|2020/21 entry||Published Jan 2020|
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.
|Year 2||Published Jan 2019|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2019|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2020|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2020|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2021|
International students full time
|2019/20 entry||Published Jan 2019|
|2020/21 entry||Published Jan 2020|
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. These 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.