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Music Technology and Sound Production MSc

2023-24 (also available for 2024-25)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

18 September 2023

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)

30

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Knowledge – Learn the latest music technology and sound production knowledge and skills to boost your technical and creative effectiveness. 
  2. Research – You'll have the opportunity to undertake independent work in your Individual Project module, giving you an opportunity to focus on a relevant topic that interests you. You'll also work on a group research and development project, helping you to extend your intellectual abilities while delving deep into a relevant topic. 
  3. Access Industry Standard Equipment – You'll learn in fully equipped professional facilities, like our Applied Psychoacoustics Lab and audio electronics labs. 

The course is designed to meet the requirements of the contemporary music technology industry. We aim to develop both technical and creative skills and knowledge, encouraging you to develop your technical understanding through industry relevant practice resulting in original output and knowledge development.

This Masters course is aimed primarily at music technology graduates who are looking to develop their technical skills and knowledge, and to explore new ways of engaging in music technology practice. The course also provides opportunities for experienced practitioners to gain a formal postgraduate qualification through development of technical and practical skills and knowledge related to the cutting edge of the contemporary music technology industry.

Our aim is to enhance the technical and creative effectiveness of recent graduates, thus increasing your immediate worth to industry. This is achieved by developing knowledge and understanding beyond undergraduate level across a range of appropriate modules . Above all, it seeks to develop your ability to apply knowledge, understanding and analytical skills in support of music and audio related work within the industry.

Course detail

Spatial Audio Production and Analysis

The module is designed to provide you with systematic understanding on both theoretical and practical sides of spatial audio recording and reproduction. The module will start with introducing the psychoacoustic principles of auditory spatial perception, followed by exploring various spatial audio recording and processing techniques, such as microphone arrays, panning and binaural audio synthesis techniques. You’ll learn how to design a microphone technique to capture desired spatial sound in an acoustic environment based on psychoacoustic principles. You’ll also develop critical listening skills as well as objective analysis techniques for spatial audio quality evaluation.

Mixing Audio

This module focuses on the theory, processes and tools involved in mixing a range of contemporary music. You will explore mix practice, exploring theoretical and analytical approaches that can be applied in both live and studio environments. Analysis of mix engineer practice will be combined with a systematic technical and perceptual analysis of the impact of processing tools on the musical reception of mixed music. The affordances of established mix workflows will be explored in detail, informing developments in mix practice through traditional and practice led research methods. You will study Live and studio approaches.

Research Skills

Emerging technologies are changing the way in which we interact with audio and sound as a consumer and a practitioner. Underpinning all of these developments is academic research. The aim of this module is to provide you with a fundamental understanding and awareness of how cutting-edge music technology research is conducted so you can undertake your own Masters level individual research project. By the end of the module you will have formulated a plan for your own individual research project. The transferable skills that you will develop in this module (i.e. problem solving, extracting and critiquing information, planning projects and communicating effectively in written form) are fundamental attributes of any professional practice and will assist you in employment that involves circumstances that require sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.

Audio for Virtual Reality Environments

This module will provide you with a strong, systematic understanding of methods for creating, processing and integrating complex audio into virtual reality environments. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of sound spatialisation techniques and apply them to audio generation in simulated environments. You will research and analyze audio in immersive games and other VR environments which will inform development of audio systems. You will apply techniques to produce an spatialised audio ambience soundtrack, sound effects associated with objects and environmental sound (such as water, wind etc). You will critically evaluate software commonly used in this area, working directly in games engines and also exploring implementation in mobile devices.

Sound and Music Signal Analysis

The module is structured to give you a deep and systematic understanding of well-established sound and music signal analysis principles. Objective and subjective test and analysis of sound and music signals, incorporating both qualitative and information retrieval based approaches will be explored. Elements of technical report writing and presentation will be included. Using leading edge measurement practises, music information retrieval, practical examples and application of audio theory the measurement of sound and music signals will be explored. This measurement and analysis will build on the basic understanding and practical skills associated with these practises. You will develop skills associated with; sound and music measurement and analysis, critical evaluation and detailed report writing.

Studio Design, Acoustics and Sound Measurement

The module is designed to educate you in the measurements used within acoustics and how these measurements relate to the principles of acoustics. Acoustic principles range from the physics of waves and vibration through to the design of structures. The measurements will use industry standard methods with reference to International standards and regulations where you will be asked to produce reports that adhere to commercial practise. Not only will you be able to produce reports with measurements but also by understanding the core principles, you should be able to suggest improvements to structures and designs. We will develop your skills ranging from acoustics, physics and basic architecture through to report writing, time management and safe working practises. We will also consider measurement of and solutions for the provision of multi-channel immersive environments. Studio layout and workflow will also be considered in this module, with design proposals including cable schedules and patchbay layouts where appropriate.

Audio Mastering

This module focuses on providing a strong systematic understanding of the theory, processes and tools involved in mastering for peak normalised as well as on-line environments. You will concentrate on advanced concepts, theory, and practice at the forefront of professional mastering standards, and engage with signal, and perceptual, analysis of automated/algorithmic-based processing. The affordances of monitoring, and critical listening will be considered in detail, and we will aim to develop a broad theoretical and practical understanding of stem mastering and mastering for multi-channel formats.

Group Research and Development Project

The project provides you with the opportunity to work as part of a small group (2 to 3) to undertake a development project provided to the group by the academic team. Your work must focus on an area of study that is highly relevant to the discipline of Music Technology and Sound Production. Examples of relevant projects may include design of hardware and software tools for music production, new interfaces for music production and innovation generation of analytical data. It will significantly extend your intellectual abilities, enable you to apply and increase your knowledge in a chosen field.

Individual Project

The project provides the opportunity to undertake a major programme of advanced independent work. Your work must focus on an area of study that is highly relevant to the discipline of Sound and Music Production. Examples of relevant projects include, perceptual listening experiments, new recording and mixing techniques for popular music, design and build of hardware and software tools for music production, new interfaces for music production and exploration of music composition techniques.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a Music Technology, Audio/Sound Production or a related discipline.
  • Other qualifications and/or experience that demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at an Honours degree level - the qualification and experience should be in the area of Music Technology.

If entry is with a qualification at a lower level, but with compensating experience, the qualification and experience should be in the area of Music Technology. Claims for the accreditation of prior (experiential) learning (APL) will also be considered through submission of portfolio work and detailed documentation of experience demonstrating prior knowledge at the appropriate level. It will be possible to undertake further activities as discussed with the course team to further develop and support applications on a person by person basis. Applications by mature applicants is also encouraged, with both academic and industrial experience considered through the application process.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why Huddersfield?


Find out why some of our students chose to study with us. From feeling at home as soon as they came to campus, to the fantastic facilities, friendly community and engaging courses.

Enhance your career


We would expect graduates from this course to be prepared for employment in a range of occupations in the music industry. These include working in recording studios, game audio, and film and television broadcast. You could also go on to further study and the University has many options available for postgraduate research which may interest you.**

* Percentage of graduates from the School of Computing and Engineering who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 19/20, UK domiciled graduates).

** Source: LinkedIn

 

88.2%*

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.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Computing and Engineering, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Support Office: a one stop shop for students studying within the School. The team deal with every aspect of student life from enrolment, module queries, timetabling, exams, assessments, course-related committees and graduation. They are the first place to go with any query, and they can also signpost to other support networks.

Student Guidance Office: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic study skills and learning development. The team provide support with academic skills including research and project planning, referencing and paraphrasing, essay writing, critical thinking, understanding assessments and the presentation of academic work. Common learning development topics include, developing effective study habits, time management, how to manage deadlines, plan, structure and organise work and understanding the University regulations and systems.

Technical Support: technicians support our students across each department. Based in our labs with different specialisms and knowledge they are on hand to advise and guide, students can access our technician’s expertise during lectures and seminars as well as during self-study. A technical Helpdesk is also available to all students within the School of Computing and Engineering to help troubleshoot any computer issues or to borrow hardware and software.

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.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

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, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

Equal opportunities

The University of Huddersfield is an equal opportunities institution. We aim to create conditions where staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, age, race, caste, class, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, family responsibility, trade union activity, political or religious belief, or age. Please visit our website to see our Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Data protection

The University holds personal data on all enquirers, applicants and enrolled students. All such data is kept and processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Legislation. The University’s Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notices are available on the University website.

Students’ Union membership

Under the 1994 Education Act, students at all UK universities have the right to join, or not to join, the Students’ Union. There is no membership fee. If you choose not to join you have the right not to be disadvantaged; however, you are not entitled to vote, take part in elections, or hold any office. The following arrangements apply in order that non-Union members are not disadvantaged: Non-members are welcome to take part in the activities of Affiliated Clubs and Societies on payment of the appropriate subscription. However, they may not vote or hold office in the society or club. Union members may be offered a discounted subscription. Non-members are free to use Union facilities on the same basis as members. Welfare, catering and shops are available to non-members as well as members. Union members may be offered a discounted price.

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

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