About the course
Ever-advancing technologies in the recording industry mean there’s a demand for people with the skills to work on developing the next generation of music and audio technology. This course aims to give you these skills and prepare you for a wide range of careers in production and technical roles within the music industry.
This course is all about how recording studio engineers, producers and mix engineers create the sounds and music that we listen to. We also cover live music production and sound design. This course is the most technical course we offer. It is popular music orientated and covers technical skills in software development, audio theory and technology. It’s our goal to prepare you for exciting careers in music production, audio engineering, live sound production, TV and film post-production, audio software development or audio electronics.
We focus on popular music, and aim to give you the technical skills to work in this exciting and rewarding industry. We’ll look at music technology and production, as well as sound design, acoustics, live music production and audio engineering. Although we look at audio theory, the focus is very much on the practical side of things, and we’ll study software development and the latest audio technology too.
Most tutors on the course have worked in the industry, and many are members of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). You’ll have the chance to draw on their expertise, and gain hands-on experience too, using our professional standard equipment and software. On campus we have nine fully equipped Pro Tools recording studios (including five with Pro Tools HD), six production studios, live sound facilities, electronic design labs and much more.
Our graduates have gone on from the course to work for companies like Adlib Audio working on live sound with major touring artists and Calrec Audio working on new digital mixing desks, while others have gone on to technical positions at companies like Abbey Road Studios.
Not only will you be taught how to use a broad range of industry standard equipment from a highly qualified and passionate team, but you will learn how to harness the theories and concepts needed to develop the music production tools of the future. From creating your own audio plugins for music production to building and testing high quality preamplifiers; from using digital technologies for live music production to assessing the acoustic characteristics of a live environment; the BSc in Music Technology and Audio Systems will equip you with the skills you need to evolve the 21st Century music technology industry.
Chris Dewey, Lecturer in Music Technology and Production
Professional Skills and Research Awareness
This module focuses on broadening student horizons by exploring cutting edge research and career opportunities in the context of Music Technology / Production and Audio Engineering whilst developing core transferable skills that prepare students for gainful employment and entrepreneurship.
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.
Audio Technology 1
This module aims to provide an overview of the technologies found in a modern audio recording environment. You will be introduced to audio principles such as signals, acoustics, hearing, basic electronics and digital audio processing fundamentals. You’ll be supported in using these principles to develop an understanding of audio technologies found in music production, such as microphones, mixing desks, amplifiers, audio processors and speaker systems.
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.
Live Music Production
This module introduces students to the live music production industry and practical use of a broad range of equipment used for live sound reinforcement.
Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
This module will introduce both theoretical aspects of psychoacoustics and room acoustics. The theory will be further supported by practical works such as the capture and analysis of acoustic signals and the binaural simulation of human auditory perception. You'll also learn the MATLAB programming language to conduct the practical works.
Studio Production and Spatial Recording Techniques
This module will introduce advanced concepts, theory and practical use of a broad range of equipment used for recording, editing and mixing sound. Practical experience of sound recording will be gained in analogue/digital recording studios, in a concert hall and on location. It aims to develop your ability to edit multitrack audio using advanced post production techniques and develop the skills required to capture accurate stereo and multichannel recordings in a concert hall environment.
Programming C and Microcontrollers
This module will enable you to explore the use of the C programming language for Music Technology applications. You'll systematically explore program language features and design, code and test MIDI applications for both the desktop computer and microcontroller based platforms. You will also gain an understanding of the hardware and software aspects of embedded system design and interfacing.
Through the study of this module you will gain a working knowledge of audio transistor amplifiers, integrated circuit (IC) audio amplifiers, audio filters, audio equalisation networks, valve amplifiers, direct inject units and effects units. Assignment work will be undertaken to develop your basic understanding and practical electronic skills with a focus on audio systems. You’ll be supported in developing the skills associated with analysis, design, build, test, measurement and report writing.
The module provides the opportunity to work as part of a group to undertake a research and development project from a suitable objective to a satisfactory conclusion. You'll be able to select from a number of areas of study, each relevant to your degree course and supervised by an appropriate member of staff. It aims to extend your intellectual abilities, enabling you to apply and increase your knowledge in a chosen field.
Choose one from a list which may include-
Making Interactive Tools for Music and Audio
You will be introduced to the techniques and underlying concepts of audio programming languages/interactive environments such as MaxMSP, Supercollider, Csound and Chuck, allowing you to design complex interactive audio software without dealing with the details needed within programming languages like C and C++. You will gain practical experience of working with at least one domain specific language or environment, and techniques will be presented in relation to core transferrable programming and audio concepts. You will also develop some awareness of the existence and relative merits of a range of relevant technologies for audio programming/interactive work.
Desktop Music Production 2
This module will provide further study of the techniques of computer-based music production. Techniques examined in-depth will include synthesis, sequencing, sampling, editing, processing and mixing, as well as their creative application. You will also explore pre/post production and arrangement, covering these topics through practical technical and creative work that will improve your techno-fluency as well as your ability to listen critically. Seminars support you in applying different production techniques to your creative ideas, leading towards a coursework portfolio for assessment.
Live Event Audio Visual Systems
This module builds on the Live Music Production studied in the first year. It explores the variety of events engineers commonly encounter and the audio and visual technologies required to deliver each event. A consideration of PA design supports the case studies presented. The second half of the module focuses on the visual elements of live events.
This course offers an optional one-year work placement after Year 2.
Individual Project (Music Technology)
The module provides the opportunity for you to take a substantial project from a suitable starting objective to a satisfactory conclusion. Your project can be based on any of the subject areas of your course, or on a combination of subject areas. This module has been designed to enable you to apply and increase your knowledge in a chosen field and allow you to demonstrate your capabilities in a Music Technology related area.
Designing Audio Plugins - Effects and Synthesisers
This module provides an overview of advanced programming techniques. It builds on prior knowledge of the C programming language, and focuses on the principles of object oriented programming using C++. This is covered within the context of creating audio plugins which are both sonically and visually appealing.
Digital Audio Systems and Processing
The module concentrates on the digital storage and processing of audio signals within a digital audio system. Algorithm and design theory behind signal analysis and manipulation will be undertaken and will be performed both in the time and frequency domains. The module enables the design of digital audio systems for specific purposes such as filtering, effects and audio routing.
Advanced Music Production and Mastering
As well as focusing on mastering for peak normalised as well as loudness normalised environments, this module covers advanced concepts, theory and practice of recording and mixing. Whilst considering these processes from a historical context, it reviews approaches and techniques at the forefront of modern music production, nurturing individual styles at the same time as emphasising professional sonic standards.
Choose one from a list which may include-
Sound for Film and Video
This module will introduce advanced concepts, theory and practical skills in the use of a broad range of equipment used for recording and mixing sound for Film and Television. The focus will be on Sound Design, Foley, Sound Effects, Dialogues recording and editing, track lay, and mixing in stereo and surround. Practical experience of location sound recording will be gained and will form an integral part of the module and its assessment. It aims to develop your ability to track lay, synchronise and edit audio along with video in a DAW and develop advanced post-production editing and mixing techniques. Discussions of the theoretical, philosophical and creativity aspects of the area will underpin the module content in lectures.
Interfaces for Music Expression and Production
This module focuses on the development and evaluation of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME). This is achieved by a presenting and critiquing a range of existing commercially available interface paradigms and input devices and academic literature. By exploring cutting edge technological developments, students are able to consider future interaction paradigms for audio engineering and music production. Following on from this, core principles of user-centred design and evaluation are considered. This theoretical background underpins the final component of the module, which involves the development, and evaluation of a new interface for musical expression/production.
Advanced Interactive Tool Design for Music and Audio
Building on the skills and knowledge acquired in Making Interactive Tools for Music and Audio, this module will examine specific techniques of signal processing and synthesis in an audio programming environment such as Max, Supercollider, Csound or Chuck. Teaching may focus on one language in particular but will also present concepts that are relevant to and transferable between a range of software environments. The significance and creative potential of real-time software for synthesis and audio processing will be explored, both in lectures and in a range of supervised projects for you to work on.
The course is popular music orientated and covers technical skills in software development, audio theory and technology. It’s our goal to prepare you for exciting careers in music production, audio engineering, live sound production, TV and film post-production, audio software development or audio electronics.
All of this work will take place within the context of the music and audio production so the following subjects are also incorporated into the course: popular music recording and mixing techniques, including, cutting edge production techniques, advanced post production, use of large format mixing consoles, hybrid tracking and mixing methods.
You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. 23.6% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. You’ll have guaranteed studio time each week for relevant modules and the ability to book further time in the Music Technology facilities. You are able to book time in our studios for your own work outside of tutorials and practical session. We also aim to support you in developing your research skills and learning from academic staff and post graduates who are researching into areas such as perceptual audio evaluation, automated mixing, new interfaces for audio interfaces, music production techniques and film sound.
Audio Electronics, DSP and Microcontroller labs are delivered in state of the art engineering facilities. The majority of the production-based lectures are delivered in a surround sound lecture theatre with Genelec monitoring. The Live Music Production module is taught and assessed in a dedicated, purpose built facility using a range of high quality PA components. Depending upon your modules you will work in different studios and facilities at the different stages of your course and will have the opportunity to use various SSL mixing consoles, a large format 48 channel Audient mixing console, industry standard outboard processors and effects and high quality industry standard audio plugins.
Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course. Feedback (usually written) 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 exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
BBBat A Level . A Levels must include must include the accepted qualifications as listed in Additional Information.
120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications which must include a scientific, technical, technology, computing or mathematical content/qualification.
DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma. See additional information for details of what is accepted.
Entry is also possible from the Engineering Foundation Year. You must have passed the Foundation Year.
In addition you must have GCSE Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme.
Formal Music grades do not contribute to UCAS points
A Levels must include a mathematics, technical, computing, science or engineering subject.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma must be in a technical, science, computing or engineering related subject.
Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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 three years running*.
- 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.
- 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 and 2018.
**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.
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