Two students using a piano keyboard attached to a computer

BSc(Hons)

Creative Music Technology

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
WJ39
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Four years sandwich; three years full-time
Delivery:
Full-time, sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Natanya Ford
Key fact:
Develop and refine your creative process using inspiration from past and present composers. Express and apply this in different areas using a broad range of techniques and technologies. Recognised as the ‘most musical city’ in the UK (per capita) it is a fantastic place to study all genres of music.

Page last updated 11 September 2017

Introduction

Why BSc(Hons) Creative Music Technology?

Music as an art form is constantly evolving, with practitioners taking inspiration from composers and artists past and present. Creativity can now be expressed using an increasing number of technologies and techniques that can be applied in environments ranging from live performances, to music for film and computer games. As a result, musicians who understand the creative process, technical boundaries and how to work within these, are well equipped to forge careers in this exciting industry.

Why study our course?

This course is accredited by JAMES, the education arm of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

On this course, you will study composers and artists past and present. Taking inspiration from Bach to Boulez, The Beatles to Hans Zimmer, you will define and refine your own creative process. You will develop programming skills and learn how to enhance the sound and quality of audio using technology.  Alongside, you will study composition and enhance your overall formal musical training in both music theory and performance.

Real world experience

There are opportunities to perform in events organised by our celebrated Centre for Performing Arts. Activities range from big band, to chamber ensembles, bands and a full symphony orchestra. You can get involved with inspiring musical projects in the community, for schools and with local media companies. You will also develop a composition portfolio and carry out performances alongside other academic studies. These, and the chance to do a series of placements, will equip and prepare you for a career in the music industry.

Where it can take you

On graduation, careers are available in composition, performance, production and concert management, as well as audio and sound engineering. You will also be suited for work in creative areas where there is a heavy reliance on technology such as film, theatre, and the arts.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

The underlying content of this course is music and computing allowing you to develop your creative skills, as a composer and performer, and behind the scenes both backstage and in the studio.

Year one

In your first year you will be introduced to the programming skills that you will continue to develop in subsequent years.This is especially important in terms of developing general problem solving and fundamental engineering skills. You will study composition and keep up your performance skills by playing in a variety of settings.You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Introductory Audio Programming
  • Exploring Music
  • Audio Engineering
  • Audio Technology
  • Introduction to Composition.

Year two

Your second year will contain some technological aspects of music but with an emphasis on creativity and the creative application of technology. The course covers the physics of sound itself and how various musical instruments are engineered to produce their characteristic sound behaviour.You will study the following compulsory module:

  • Advanced Composition.

In addition, you will study three of the following optional modules:

  • Research and Practice in Music Technology
  • Audio Recording
  • Audio Process Design and Implementation
  • Applied Audio Systems.

In your third year, you will also have the option of spending a year on a salaried placement. For students on placement, there is an opportunity to complete a professional practice module* and be awarded 15 level 3 credits. The professional experience module is shown in the option list for the final year, but is actually completed during the year out.

Final year

In your final year you will study acoustics and recording in depth, as well as the appreciation of audio for video and film. Module options allow you the freedom to develop your own particular specialisms. These options are likely to change, depending on staff interests, and in response to feedback from the music business. You will also undertake an individual final year project, a showcase for your composition and performance skills.You will study the following compulsory module:

  • Music Technology Project.

In addition, at least two from the following modules:

  • Advanced Composition II
  • Advanced Performance Recital
  • Sonic Art.

As well as selecting from the following optional modules according to credit requirements:

  • Audio Post Production
  • Architectural Acoustics
  • Game Audio Programming
  • Live Sound
  • Instrument Recording Investigation
  • Audio for Games
  • Software Development for Audio
  • Professional Experience*.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

There will be a small group of you on this course. You will work together in the specialised Composition and Performance modules whilst for other subjects, you will join with students studying music technology from other aspects, so classes will be larger, including some lectures.

Using a practical approach, during studio and computer laboratory sessions , theory and principles can be more easily assimilated. Much of the work is carried out in pairs or small teams, which helps you to really understand difficult concepts by discussing them with friends and colleagues.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
129%71%0%100%
224%76%0%100%
317%83%0%100%

Assessment

Each module is assessed individually. There is a mixture of assessment styles but the pattern of assessments is designed to be appropriate to the learning within each module. Some modules are assessed entirely on practical work and in-class tests whilst for others there are written assignments and end of module exams.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
126%51%23%100%
231%63%6%100%
36%71%23%100%

Features

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by JAMES, the education arm of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

During the recent accreditation process, JAMES assessors commented, "The philosophy behind the team is very innovative and greatly benefits the students and the course. This innovative approach will ensure that UWE is at the forefront of this industry orientated education in the UK and internationally."

Placements

Students who do a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

Many of our students do a series of supported placements during their placement year. This helps develop their portfolio and entrepreneurial skills. It also reflects the contract-based work they are likely to do on graduation. Past students have worked in composition, library music or as session musicians. This is with organisations including the BBC, Dolby and Acoustic Design.

Study facilities

Create and perform in our well-equipped studios and performance spaces.

  • Compose and play in a choice of four performance spaces with options ranging from live to dead acoustics.
  • Record and mix audio in our recording studios with professional standard analogue and digital consoles.
  • Enhance, edit and mix music in our advanced surround mixing room, six control rooms or isolated booths.
  • Edit videos and audio in our video post room equipped with industry standard software including Pro Tools and Logic.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Perform and play

There is a host of opportunities for you to play and perform a range of musical styles at our celebrated Centre for Performing Arts.

Learn from industry

You can learn more about the industry at talks from visiting professionals including sound recordists and composers for TV and film from organisations including the BBC. There are also opportunities to see technology and sound systems on trips to the Albert Hall, BBC Studios Bristol, and Dolby Labs.

Showcase your work

Our students regularly showcase work at the annual plan+make degree show. Past exhibits include music students have composed and created for film and computer games.

Inspire and engage

To inspire your creativity, we arrange trips to performances such as the Welsh National Opera. We also encourage students to get involved in local projects. Recently, opportunities have included work with the BBC composing music for wildlife programmes and audio for food festivals.

Careers

Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will be creatively and technologically proficient with the ability to create professional quality music and sound in both live and studio environments.

Career opportunities are available in performance, production and concert management, as well as audio and sound engineering. You will also be suited for work in creative areas where there is a heavy reliance on technology such as film, theatre, and the arts.

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Creative Music Technology student, Jim learnt from inspiring musicians and sound technicians and now has a career as a Music Manager. Hear Jim's story in this short film.

Fees

Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: A pass in Music or Music Technology (preferred subjects) or one of the following science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computing / Computer Science, Design and Technology, Electronics, Engineering, ICT, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Statistics. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken on to full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Specific subjects: You should be approaching Music Performance grade 8 standard. Applicants will be invited for an audition (by Skype for applicants living outside the UK).
  • Relevant subjects: Any Science or Technology related subjects.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: Creative Media Production, Music or Music Technology preferred; or Aeronautical Engineering; Applied Science; Construction and the Built Environment; Electrical / Electronic Engineering; Engineering; Land-based Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; or Operations and Maintenance Engineering.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit, of which 15 credits must be from Science or Technology subjects.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A minimum grade of 5 in higher level Music preferred; or Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design Technology, Physics, Environment, Systems and Societies, Information Technology in a Global Society, Mathematics.

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Who should apply?
If you are a musician who has a basic understanding of the underlying technologies involved in the creative arts, you will find this course both interesting and rewarding. You may have considered a degree in music, or a place at music college, but decided on something broader. You will be expected to bring your instrument(s) along with you and to participate fully in our Centre for Performing Arts.

Audition

Applicants will be invited for an audition (by Skype for applicants living outside the UK). The audition will be with two music tutors, taking about 20 minutes, with the following activities designed to enable you to show us your capabilities:

  • Choice of either a performance exercise or the presentation of a portfolio of compositions- For the performance, you will be asked to play (or sing) a piece of music that you have prepared in advance. This should be of approximately grade seven or higher standard and need not necessarily be featured on a current syllabus. You should select a piece, or an appropriate extract that is about three minutes in duration. If you wish for someone from the University to accompany you, this can be arranged when you receive your audition invitation.
  • A short listening exercise - this will lead to an informal discussion of your musical interests and experiences.
  • Course discussion - the tutors will discuss the course with you, giving you the opportunity to talk about your interest in the course and your understanding of creative music technology.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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