Music and Sound Production
UCAS code: WW37
- Establish a strong theoretical and technical foundation alongside your unique creative output
- Access our superbly equipped Multimedia Centre featuring industry standard multi-track recording studios and facilities for mixing, post-production and broadcast
- Push your ability to produce studio recordings, digital music and sound design
- Top 10 in the UK for Music in The Guardian's Best Universities 2022
- Expert academic support in modules designed to enhance your professionalism, portfolio and employability
- Accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES)
Does professional studio recording and sound design thrill you? Are you seeking to push audio boundaries, discover emerging musical trends or forge new collaborations with musicians and creative artists?
You can achieve all this and more on our Music and Sound Production programme, which is designed to provide you with an in-depth exploration of music and sound’s role in the convergent media industries of today enabling you to become the professional you want to be. We believe that you learn best by doing, so over the duration of the course you not only develop a robust portfolio but the skill set needed to enter the workplace.
This course is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of the music production industry and to help you to develop a wide range of technical production skills. There’s an emphasis on creativity and modules are structured to allow you to explore your own creative interests as you refine your professional practice.
Year 1 allows you to experience the breadth of opportunities available in Music production, establishing a strong technological and theoretical foundation in production methods and delivery formats. Core modules include Recording Studio Practice, Digital Music and Guerrilla Recording.
Year 2 helps to hone your abilities through specialist modules as you learn how to create and manage live events, music videos and become record producers. The course structure continues to build theoretical and practical understanding while developing your creativity, technical skills and professionalism. Core modules include Creative Music Production, The Soundtrack: Sound Design for Cinema, Interactive Sound and Music, Music Video and Synthesis and Sequencing.
In Year 3, you develop as a confident professional. The defining activity of this year is a Final Major Project, which becomes the centrepiece of your portfolio. You are encouraged to explore your specialisation and produce an original piece of work to a professional industry standard, such as an album of multitrack recordings, a portfolio of sound design, a performance portfolio or a project exploring an area of audio/visual media production of interest to you.
You are expected to push your creative ability to the limit and are supported throughout with tutorials and professional development, together with modules designed to enhance your professionalism, portfolio and employability.
On graduation, you can seek work equipped with a strong foundation in sound for all aspects of media, a deep knowledge of technological and industrial practice and an understanding of how sound contributes to television, film and radio. Graduates find employment in key areas such as studio-based engineering, sound design and composition as well as production opportunities within broadcast, film and theatre.
The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.
Accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES). This programme is seeking to renew this accreditation during 2022/23.
Pre-approved for a Masters
University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
Suitable for Applicants from?
UK, EU, World
Learning and Teaching
Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.
You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.
In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.
Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 252 hours
- Independent learning: 948 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 252 hours
- Independent learning: 948 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
- Teaching, learning and assessment: 132 hours
- Independent learning: 1068 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.
All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:
Year 1 (Level 4)*:
- 75% coursework
- 6% written exams
- 19% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
- 74% coursework
- 0% written exams
- 26% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
- 100% coursework
- 0% written exams
- 0% practical exams
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.
2023 Entry: 104-120 UCAS tariff points
Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:
- A-Levels: BCC-BBB from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. BBB is comparable to ABC in terms of tariff points)
- BTEC/CTEC: DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
- International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
- T Level: Merit in a T Level
In addition to the above, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.
In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:
- GCSEs in Mathematics and English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.
If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:
- IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
- We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT.
If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.
Course Enquiries and Applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message
International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1962 827023
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.
Year 1: Level 4
This module focuses on recording and capturing sound outside of the high-end studio environment in diverse and challenging spaces. Lectures will cover the behavioural aspects of sound in different acoustical spaces and how microphone technique can be employed to get good results in adverse or limited circumstances.
Practical workshops will provide you with the means to work with ‘pure audio’ covering the basics of acquisition, ingest and editing of audio. You will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with different production workflows such as that of bedroom production DAWs or on location field recording whilst experimenting with different mono and stereo mic configurations and models.
This module focuses on the exploration and composition of varying styles of digital (and electronic) music. Lectures will cover the history and context of digital music, and explore key artists, composers, genres and trends.
Practical workshops will provide students with the means to work with different digital platforms covering the basics of sequencing, composition and manipulation of electronic, virtual instruments. Students will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with different production techniques through directed workshop tasks and per-review opportunities.
Students will work individually to produce two digital compositions that build on taught sessions in accordance to a specified brief. Students will also demonstrate an understanding of different approaches by ensuring that the two compositions contrast in style/genre and production approaches.
|Radio Production and Podcasting||15|
This module requires students to utilise their knowledge of audio production methods either a pre-recorded podcast or a live radio show. The pre-recorded audio package will be produced individually and is expected to be devised with digital distribution in mind.
Individually, students will be tasked with planning, rehearsing and recording these assignments. Students will have the opportunity to train in the radio studio prior to assessment, gaining the necessary skills to deliver a successful show. With guidance from tutors and technicians, this module will provide students with an introduction to the logistics, practices and pressures associated with traditional radio production and newer exclusively digital standards.
|Culture, Industry and Context||15|
In this module you will discuss the nature of the creative industries in which you are engaged and in individually present a polished presentation in response to an agreed brief. You must also submit an individual essay analysing a current and challenging topic assigned by the lecturer.
You will be introduced to practices used in the delivery of various media and concepts for understanding the benefits and disadvantages of different media platforms, including practical constraints of delivery. Through the use of contemporary case studies, you will analyse the production process and decision-making for a range of media texts. Theoretical understandings of media forms, such as issues of representation, copyright, adoption cycles, will be explored across different media. New and emerging media technologies will be examined.
|Studio Recording Techniques||15|
This module introduces the various skills required to record music in the recording studio environment providing students with a foundation in techniques including:
Students will study the practice of analogue recording techniques, developing a portfolio of short recordings that demonstrate a command of the recording studio and analogue domain. Students will also create a short video presentation that demonstrates knowledge of a chosen studio recording technique.
|Studio Recording Practice||15|
This module builds on the recording studio concepts and techniques developed in Semester 1 and students build a repertoire of integral recording studio practices that will include:
Students will study hybrid recording studio workflows which make use of analogue recording into digital domains, developing a portfolio of recordings that demonstrate a command of the recording studio and mixing multitrack recordings. Students will submit two multitrack recordings (and their relevant components) that they have recorded in the recording studios and mixed in a set Digital Audio Workstation. These recordings will include a series of required elements that will be set out in the lecture series.
|Sound Theory in Practice||15|
This module provides students with theoretical knowledge of sound in its journey from transmission as a sound wave in the air to storage in both analogue/digital domains, and ultimately its journey from recorded sound to reproduction in monitoring environments.
Lectures explore the sound propagation and reproduction whilst also contextualising the application of concepts to different media outputs beyond purely musical production. Seminars and workshops will afford the opportunity to discuss and experiment with these outputs and production processes therein. Practical classes will allow students to apply their knowledge of signal flow and develop a consciousness of audio signal processing.
Students will be asked to prove theoretical knowledge by way of a preparatory exam and presentation of a paper, workshop or performance at a conference.
This module focuses on the design of sound in the context of modern production environments such as applications and computer game audio. Consideration of implementation and the cohesiveness of the overall sonic work are paramount in this field of practice. Concepts of more general designed sound will be explored before discussion of both video game sound history and the changing nature of the audio production team in this industry. The relative merits of separate production workflows, integrated development environments and middleware will be investigated alongside a more traditional approach. Students will then be expected to work with dynamic and layered production processes to create original audio for a client brief.
Year 2: Level 5
|Creative Music Production||30|
This module builds on Recording Studio Practice at level 4 and encourages the use of the recording studio as a creative environment, as well as a technical space. There is emphasis on advanced approaches to recording and using the recording studio to enhance musical phenomena. Practical workshops will provide students with advanced technological skills including multi-microphone arrays, use of space, advanced editing and mixing, and creative use of audio processing. Contextually you will explore the ‘art’ and ‘science’ of music production and explore how pioneering producers made creative and musical choices within the recording studio environment; as well as more unique approaches to recording and mixing including 5.1 surround sound for music.
This module focuses on the convergent media form of music video which combines music and sound with visuals that are often creative, abstract, stylised and experimental. The core of music video is having an achievable idea that will complement and promote a musical artist’s work. Concepts of viral marketing will be explored and the delivery mechanisms discussed will be understood to exist in the online domain. However, the historical nature of music video television will also be analysed to provide a cultural and industry context.
|Synthesis and Sequencing||15|
You will work inside complex digital signal processing workflows, utilising synthesizers, sample instruments and incorporating programming to devise an original audio composition. The focus here is on sculpted sound and digital workflows of recording and mixing. As such, the nature of the music may be more experimental in nature and may feature fieldwork and home recording to a greater extent than studio based recording.
This module requires students to utilise the skills they have gained and apply them to a live sound environment to run a live event safely and competently. This is more likely to happen ‘off site’ and plans but be made by students to facilitate the installation or management of an effective sound system that is appropriate for the event. The presence of other professionals (i.e. lighting engineers, SMs, etc), performers and the public add considerable risk and must be adequately prepared for. Hence there is a major emphasis on planning, risk assessment and health and safety. Students must produce a logical and realistic portfolio that includes control measures, technical specification and all additional pertinent pre-production documentation.
|The Soundtrack: Sound Design for Cinema||15|
This module explores the world of post-production sound design for film and moving images, providing you with the knowledge and practical understanding required to carry out an effective piece of work in this specialist field. You will gain an understanding of how multi-modal sensory information competes, altering a viewer’s interpretation of sound when placed alongside the moving image. Theories such as Gestalt will be discussed as both an explanation of perception phenomenon and as a conceptual tool used by sound designers to exploit psychoacoustics. Alongside this, more purely practical techniques and strategies will be taught such as Foley & ADR recording; where they sit in the film sound industry and how one accommodates them in a studio. You will show your mastery of these theoretical and practical skills by designing sound for a short video sequence provided by the lecturer.
|Interactive Sound and Music||15|
You will devise original music and sound design for a project that is nonlinear and interactive. This is most likely to be either a live performance/dynamic sound installation or a computer game. Techniques of procedural audio, scripting, trigger mechanisms will be explained and some basic circuit design and electronics will be explored. Ultimately you should be able to produce music and sound design that exists within a stable and responsive system that reliably responds to user input.
Year 3: Level 6
|Final Major Music Production/Performance Project||60|
You will produce a considerable piece of work, to a professional industry standard, such as an album of multitrack recordings, a portfolio of sound design, a performance (live/recorded) portfolio, or a project showcasing an area of audio/visual media production which interests you. Exact specifications of the project are decided by negotiation between the student and supervisor and approved via proposal.
|Advanced Studio Recording||15|
This module will push learning of recording technique to a high standard, exploring ideas in specialist fields such as mastering and technique such as echo chambers. You should demonstrate mastery of the recording studio by independently recording a professional audio project in that space. The project itself must be for an outside client with whom they have negotiated a brief, which you must scope and satisfy. The emphasis is on technical standards and the ability to work within professional parameters.
|Music in the Community||15|
This module gives you the opportunity to work in a client led relationship to produce a project to an external brief while at the same time exposing you to the benefits of participating in community led or third sector ventures. Working in groups, you are encouraged to engage with the ethos of a not for profit organisation and use your production skills to benefit the community at large.
|Music Industry Practice||15|
This module explores enterprise and entrepreneurship in the creative industries. You will each work on developing a robust and commercially viable business idea, which you will present as a formative pitch as if to a venture capitalist. Your submitted portfolio must contain a fully formed business plan including market analysis, feasibility studies, cash flow forecasts and sensitivity analyses. Additional supplementary items in the portfolio will support the business plan through innovative marketing strategies.
|Original Music Composition||15|
Students will compose, arrange and record an original music piece with a rationale as to its purpose expressing engagement with the concepts, theories and practices of composition. This can be developed as a score to another media project or a stand-alone work. In either case it should feature comprehensive intentional musical choices illustrated with notation or midi sequencing and be presented as an audio recording.
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.
2023 Course Tuition Fees
|UK / Channel Islands /|
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland
|Optional Sandwich Year*||£1,385||£1,440|
|Total with Sandwich Year||£29,135||£45,540|
If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2023, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.
Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.
UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.
International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £122.50 and a 15 credit module is £1,837.
* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.
**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.
There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the optional costs for this course:
Printing and Binding
The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.
Disclosure and Barring Service
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.
Students have the option to attend the BVE Expo each year. Admission is free, but students are required to cover their travel costs. Indicative cost £10-50.
Short term loans of hard drives are provided by the loan counter but we recommend students come equipped with their own hard drive for the duration of the course. Indicative cost £50-80.
Students choosing the optional module 'Interactive Sound and Music' are advised that it would be advantageous to purchase their own soldering iron. Indicative cost £20-80.
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS
We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.
Key course details
- UCAS code
- 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
- Typical offer
- 104-120 points
- On campus, Winchester