Music and Sound for Image BA(Hons)

2020-21 (also available for 2019-20)

Start date

21 September 2020

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB

BTEC - DDM

See full entry requirements

UCAS Code

WJ36

Places available (subject to change)

15

Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472007

About the course

Films, television, videogames, and apps: music and sound are a crucial part of so much of today's media. If you enjoy working on your own compositions and sound design and want to push your accomplishments to a professional level, this course could help you prepare for a career in creating music for visuals.

Right from the start we’ll give you the chance to immerse yourself in an environment ideally suited to working with sound. The course offers training in music composition, orchestration, conducting and performance. You’ll also be able to get involved in sound recording, audio production, sound design and film theory.

  • QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 ranked the University of Huddersfield 25th in the world for 'Performing Arts'.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with commercially successful tutors and internationally recognised researchers who can help you build on your production talents.
  • You will study in state-of-the-art professional standard facilities. You’ll have plenty of recording and composition studio space to use if you need it. And we make sure to keep upgrading the equipment, so we’re always up-to-date with the industries you want to go into.
  • The course is accredited by JAMES.
  • You'll be able to explore the latest new music in the annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and get up-close and experience contemporary music in action at the Electric Spring Festival.
  • The course offers an optional placement year to help give you the edge in your chosen career.

We believe in being collaborative. The course is at the centre of a hive of creativity. You’ll be able to mix and work with fellow students who will be aspiring classical, jazz and pop musicians, recording engineers, programmers, audio electronics experts and interface designers.

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses and workshops given by distinguished visiting performers from the worlds of sound and vision. Recently we've hosted TV, film, and game composer Nitin Sawhney, documentary composer Ray Russell, sound designer David Sonnenschein, producers Charlie Russell and Brad Spence, and a whole range of professional session musicians and orchestral performers.

From day one, you will be introduced to writing music for film. Most of our modules are geared towards giving you musical and technical skills necessary for working in the audiovisual industry. With film composition as a core element every year, complemented by desktop music production, studio engineering, orchestration and sound design (among many options as you progress!), this course aims to make it possible for you to start pitching for work even before you graduate -and our best students do just that. There is an important emphasis on enterprise and awareness of the business side of things as well as more theoretical aspects to round off your education. Your lecturers and guest speakers will include commercially active composers and sound designers that will help give you insight into your future career. If you are serious about working in music and sound for image, this is your course. 

Music academic with his music software

Julio D'Escrivan, Senior Lecturer

Course detail

Core modules:

Music for the Moving Image A

This film music composition module explores the relationship between the soundtrack and moving image, giving you a practical understanding of the role of music and sound in the history of film. You will gain key skills in film composition, arrangment, and orchestration, including the art of creating quality mock-ups using sampled instruments. In addition to film, the module also examines videogame music, TV idents, animation, and music video, and you will work towards a portfolio of original compositions.

Stylistic Composition

Examining a range of compositional approches from the Baroque through to contemporary music, you will develop a heightened understanding of how various idiomatic musical styles work in terms of instrumentation, form, structure, and compositional materials. You will investigate how these idioms have been adapted by current film and videogame composers, and apply your findings to your own original music. Assessment is through a folio of short compositions in term one, followed by an extended composition with commentary in term two.

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.

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.

Introduction to Audiovisual Research

This module equips you with the skills needed to be a successful and confident researcher of audiovisual media. Drawing on examples from a range of styles, genres, technologies and contexts, lectures and seminars will consider music and musicians as part of both historical and contemporary culture - ideas relevant to your own developing practice as a multimedia composer or sound designer. Coursework will allow you to focus on repertoire and issues of your choice, investigating the musical links between aesthetics, society, politics, and technology.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include:

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.

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.

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level including a minimum grade B in Music or Music Technology.

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a minimum grade B at A Level or Distinction in BTEC Music or Music Technology.

DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Technology or Music.

  • A good standard of musical literacy for those not offering A Level Music. Practical and theory music grades are accepted in the total points (see UCAS tariff).
  • Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above to include modules in Music or Music Technology.
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications including Higher Level Music or Higher Level Music Technology at grade 6.

For international students:

We understand international and mature students may not have traditional Music or Music Technology qualifications, and are happy to accept a portfolio from you to demonstrate skills relevant to the course. For applicants to our Music and Sound for Image degree, we would like to see two examples of your composition or sound design work, at least one of which should be computer composition. We will also ask you to demonstrate your understanding of music theory to around grade 5 ABRSM (this could come from a graded exam, harmony exercises, or notated compositions in any style).

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 will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

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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.

My placement has given me a huge insight into the process of working as a musician in so many different spaces in the industry; such as, composing music for film and TV, recording and presenting concerts of original music as an artist, and producing music for other artists.

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Jay Witsey, Creative Music Technology BMus(Hons)

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.

Research Excellence

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. Our staff are recognised as leading figures in their fields, as evidenced by major commissions, performances, recordings, and publications.

In the 2014 REF, 85% of music research at Huddersfield was judged to be Internationally Excellent, with 44% of the overall submission ranked as ‘World-Leading’. In addition to a strong profile of individual research outputs, Huddersfield’s research environment for music was tied for 7th in the sector, alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research was judged to be 5th among the 84 submissions in music, drama, dance and performing arts, receiving the second highest possible score. The ranking for impact acknowledges the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with impact case studies encompassing innovations in music technology and audio software, historically-informed performance practice in early music, and intercultural exchange in music composition as a model for social change.

For more information, please refer to our research pages.

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 have prepared themselves for what is known as a portfolio career, setting up their own sound/music for image company; providing orchestral scores and arrangements for recording sessions, original soundtracks, library music and sound effects. They may also undertake bespoke sound design for clients. Some students have developed sample packs and set up a production company in their placement year making a smooth transition from being student entrepreneurs to professionals. 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.

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.**

*Percentage of graduates from these subject areas 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

89-95% 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.

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