Sonic Arts and Composition BMus(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

Duration

3 years full time
4 years including placement

UCAS Code

A459

About the course

We’ll give you the chance to develop your skills in acoustic and computer-based composition, as well as production and orchestration. We take a broad view, studying everything from using the studio as a creative tool and computer to manipulate sound to writing for specific instruments. It could give you a great grounding to go onto a career in composition, sound, sonic arts or many other exciting creative routes.

QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 ranked the University of Huddersfield 25th in the world for 'Performing Arts'.

You’ll be able to use our professionally equipped studios, and take your pick from lots of recording and composition studio space. Rest assured, we update our equipment regularly too, so you’re kept up to date with the industry. You’ll be joining a large community of music and music technology students. There’s always lots of creativity and experimentation going on, and you’ll be studying alongside aspiring classical and pop musicians, recording engineers, programmers, audio electronic experts and interface designers.

Every year we also get involved with the world-famous annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and label-defying Electric Spring Festival, so you can experience contemporary music in action.

During your studies you might be able to meet and work with leading performers to help realise your compositions. In previous years we have hosted the Bozzini String Quartet (Canada), Juliet Frazer (soprano, UK), the Quasar Saxophone Quartet (Canada) Garth Knox (Viola, UK), Mieko Kanno (Violin, UK), and Distractfold (Ensemble, UK).

The Sonic Arts and Composition course is aimed at students with a background in both more traditional forms of notated instrumental composition and also electronic music making, although it allows for specialism in one area as the course continues. It’s really exciting to be able to discuss and share with students the wide range of approaches to music making that we are excited about in the 21st century. The University of Huddersfield offers not only outstanding facilities, but also an ideal community in which to expand your thinking about how and why we might create music, as well as to develop your own personal compositional voice. It is inspiring, as a lecturer to see how the exchange of ideas amongst students and staff has an impact on all our creative work, whatever our level of experience!

music academic

Alexander Harker, Lecturer in Music Technology

Course detail

Core modules:

Introduction to Music Research

This module equips you with the skills needed to be a successful and confident music researcher. Drawing on examples from a range of styles and genres appropriate to your course, lectures and seminars will consider the idea of music and musicians as part of historical and contemporary culture. Coursework will allow you to focus on repertoire and issues of your choice, investigating the musical links between aesthetics, society, politics, and technology.

Desktop Music Production 1

This module will introduce you to relevant techniques and technologies for computer-based music production, including sequencing, sampling, arrangement, and a variety of other sound processing techniques. A range of practical work - both technical and creative - will develop your critical listening and production skills, and seminars will support you in applying these techniques to your own creative work.

Sonic Arts and Electronica 1

As a basis for your own creative work with sound, this module will introduce you to a broad range of electronic music and models for thinking about sound as a creative medium. You will explore electronic music from a range of contexts, including electronica, EDM, IDM, acousmatic music and sound installation work. You'll be equipped with the skills to use technology in a creative and imaginative way, leading towards a portfolio of original pieces that demonstrate your awareness of contemporary and historical trends in the sonic arts.

Composition 1

This module introduces you to the fundamentals of musical composition by exploring various aspects of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and texture. You will work on a series of preliminary exercises in seminars and group tutorials, before building on your skills through the creation of a portfolio of short pieces for piano, voice, and strings. Professional visiting artists and ensembles provide additional demonstrations, performances, and workshops. Assessment is though your individual portfolio of coursework.

Option modules:

Choose two from a list which may include:

Introduction to Analysis

Equipping you with a range of techniques and methods for analysing music, this module will give you the skills to analyse both classical and popular repertoire. Printed scores and recordings will be studied, giving you opportunities to develop the complementary skills of score-based analysis and critical listening. The module is assessed by coursework.

Performance Skills 1

This module is designed to help you to gain a range of key musical skills. You will study improvisation and improve your aural awareness, as well as learning how to critique your own music-making and the performances of others. You will perform in musical groups, with a wide choice of styles and genres available. You will be assessed based on your contributions to performances, through practical musical tests, and through written coursework.

Studio Engineering and Mixing Essentials

This module equips you with the core skills and practical principles involved in producing, engineering, and mixing popular music. You'll gain experience of working in an analogue/digital recording studio, allowing you to put your theoretical understanding to practical use in a range of situations.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is split between large group lectures and computer and studio based seminars, workshops and masterclasses. Final year studio tutorials are in small groups of one to six students and there's a welcome community of peer evaluation and feedback that is nurtured at all levels across all degree courses.

Study and assessments will be based on your choice of modules; this can include performances, compositions, presentations, examinations, learning journals, portfolios, recitals, essays and technical documents. The final year large project is based on your choice of specialism. Study and assessments will be based on your choice of modules; which can include performances, composition presentations, examinations, learning journals, portfolios, recitals, essays and technical documents. The final year large project is based on your choice of specialism.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Entry requirements

To find out if you are eligible for this course, please call our Clearing helpline on 0330 123 227701484 472777.

Placements


This course offers you the opportunity to take an optional one-year (48 week) work placement after your second year, in the UK or abroad. This provides an opportunity for you to relate theory to practice and to develop skills in a real work environment. Our teaching staff have developed excellent links with local employers and will help you to find a suitable placement if necessary. Previous placement providers have included Warner Music, Pinewood Studios (Avid), WigWam, Angel Studios, Shoot Productions, the Institute for Music/Acoustic Research and Co-ordination (IRCAM) in Paris, as well as schools, audio electronics companies, radio stations and various media and production houses.

Working for Warner was a great pleasure and a very eye-opening opportunity that allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the music industry. Without this opportunity to learn and have the opportunity to network, I don’t know where I would be currently.

Laurence>

Lawrence Berry, Creative Music Technology BMus(Hons) completed placement at Warner

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Music Technology Department

Take a look what the Music Technology department at the University of Huddersfield has to offer, from student experiences to facilities. Click images to find out more.

Your Career


Previous graduates on similar courses have gone on to work in a range of careers including studio managers, post-production, freelance engineers, programmers, sound design and professional audio sales. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include Abbey Road Studios, Calrec Audio, ITV, BBC, Kiss FM, British Grove Studios and Metrophonic.** There is support available after you graduate from our 3M Buckley Innovation Centre where you can get advice on starting your own business. The university also supports students to progress to postgraduate and research study.

*Percentage of graduates from this subject area at Huddersfield who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17)

**Source: LinkedIn

89% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

You may also be interested in...

Creative Music Production BA(Hons)

Enhance your artistic potential with production and recording techniques – giving you the creative skills to compose, perform and innovate in the studio.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Music and Sound for Image BA(Hons)

Film, TV, computer games – we’ll help you learn how to apply sound to the moving image, looking at composition, orchestration, recording and performance.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Music Technology and Audio Systems BSc(Hons)

Both technical and creative, you'll learn a broad range of skills covering technical aspects of audio system development through to the creative process of music production.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Sound Engineering and Music Production BSc(Hons)

This industry-focused course aims to equip you with the skills to work in recording studios, live music and in the production of content for radio, computer games, film and TV.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Popular Music BMus(Hons)

Songwriting, composition, production, performing as a soloist or part of a group, we give you the chance to build skills for a career in popular music.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Music Performance BMus(Hons)

If you want to pursue instrumental or vocal performance to a high level, we’ll give you opportunities to perform solo and in orchestras, choirs and bands.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Music BMus(Hons)

Music BMus(Hons) includes composition, performance and musicology, plus chances to collaborate, research, and perform in orchestras, choirs and bands.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate