Professional Sound and Video Technology
BSc (Hons)

2014-15 entry

Industrial Placement
Based at MediaCityUK
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Professional Sound and Video Technology at Salford:

  • You will be based at MediaCityUK – the heart of media production in the north, next door to the BBC and ITV
  • You will use excellent facilities including TV Studios and ProTools based multitrack sound recording studios
  • You will have opportunities to build a great portfolio including, project work for real clients, making films and helping run the University TV channel QuaysTV and work experience

Key Information

Course Code: H649
Start Dates: September
Duration:

Three years full-time
Four years full-time with placement

Course Summary

BSc (Hons) Professional Sound and Video Technology teaches you the creative skills to generate and produce the best digital media content and the technical knowledge to deliver it to an audience. It includes production of television and animated content using our cameras, edit suites and TV studios, audio content using our ProTools based sound recording studios and web content.

The degree is based in our state of the art building at MediaCityUK, the hub of media production in the north. Big names here include BBC, who have three buildings and 2300 staff just next door, and ITV, who are in the floors above us. Coronation Street is moving here soon. Smaller businesses and freelancers occupy the Pie Factory and the Greenhouse.

Being based at MediaCityUK allows you to build your portfolio both within the course and on extra-curricular activities. On the course, assessment work is often for a real client. Outside the course, students take advantage of our location to gain work experience (BBC Blue Peter, Comic Relief, Children in Need, SIS), take part in client competitions (Hewlett Packard) and work on our own live QuaysTV show.

BSc (Hons) Professional Sound and Video Technology is accredited by the Joint Audio Media Education Support.

Watch our video

BSc (Hons) Professional Sound and Video Technology student Mel talks about life at Salford.

Course Details

BSc(Hons) Professional Sound and Video Technology is covers both digital media production and media technology. On the degree you will study the following strands:

  • Audio and Music Technology – here you study both sound production and the supporting technologies. In one lesson you may be in our sound recording studios with a band, in the next you may be in a lecture learning the underlying principles of surround sound systems.
  • Television and Animation – in this strand you learn how to make high quality films using our cameras and edit suites, and our high specification TV studios. You also learn how to produce 2D and 3D animations to make, for example, idents.
  • Web Design & Social Media – here you learn how to make high quality, interactive web sites and how to use social media in a professional context.

In your final year, you pick an individual project.

 

 

Year 1

This module is split into two parts. In the production part you have lectures to learn the underlying principles of film production and have practical sessions where you make a short film using single camera techniques. You have an introduction to the TV studios. In the technology part you have lectures to learn about the underlying technologies.
This module will introduce you to a broad range of audio systems including microphones, transmission, digital audio and loudspeakers. You will learn how to make sound effects for a computer game.
You will study the methods of connecting audio and video equipment for analogue and digital data transmission and power delivery in the context of PA and sound re-enforcement systems. This module also looks at the fundamental electrical principles and practices necessary for the design and assembly of public address and sound re-enforcement systems for delivery of music and sound to a live audience. On completion you should have the organisational skills necessary to specify systems and plan in advance according to the requirements of the venue and performers.
This module is designed to give you an understanding of the underlying concepts and principles of multi-track production, develop your production skills to translate multi-source live music and sound into a recorded stereo image, and develop the organisational skills needed to successfully record an artist/group. Typically, you will use our Pro-Tools sound recording studios to record a band.
You will be taught how to use typical computer based tools for the generation, control, processing and audio reproduction in music technology. You will be encouraged to evaluate the importance of the different parameters that influence musical sound. This module also introduces MIDI programming and musical synthesis using both software and hardware
This module teaches you the fundamental techniques of web design. You will produce a static web site using HTML and CSS. Your site will be hosted on the University web server. You will be taught techniques to improve the rating of your site in search engine rankings. You will also learn how to produce animated content.

Year 2

This module builds on Introduction to Video Production. In the production part, you move on to multi-camera shoots and begin using animation in your films. Technology lectures cover the techniques involved in digital video processing, coding and broadcasting.
This module will help you develop the production techniques associated with computer based hard disk digital audio recording, understand the principles and techniques of production planning and location recording and on completion you will be able to apply a range of techniques to a digital audio editing and production project.
In this module you will cover topics such as sound engineering and music production skills within a multi-track recording studio. The module is designed to help you gain the communication and organisational skills needed to successfully complete a recording of a live artist/band.
Here you will learn techniques needed to make a dynamic, interactive web site. You will have the opportunity to decide which subjects you study, but they typically include Javascript, PHP, MySQL, web design for phones and tablets, search engine optimisation and graphic design techniques. You assignment will be to design a web site for a real client.
On completion of this module you should be able to generate multimedia content across multiple online platforms as well as manage your digital identity, taking into account issues of privacy and ethics. Other skills taught include a high level of critical and professional awareness, taking into account online ethics, privacy, copyright and licensing issues. Recent assessments have included making a mobile phone film with students from New Zealand and France, taking part in an augmented reality game, using phones/tablets to shoot the backdrop to a new opera (State of Being) for its debut at the Tête à Tête Opera Festival in London.
This module is all about developing the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment in the media industry. During the module you will explore the range of career opportunities within the film, broadcast audio/video media industries, understand the employment practices with the industries, recognise how to develop a career pathway into the industry, appreciate the importance of transferable skills for employment and of Continuing Professional Development and be able to produce a CV and business plan.

Year 3

This module is based in our TV studios and is designed to help you develop a systematic understanding of television engineering; in particular, following the programme chain from shot to broadcast. The assessment is to produce an ‘as live’ piece of television in the studios.
In this module you will be taught the key methods and techniques used in the creation of digital animated graphics within 3D space and how to accurately use a range of techniques to create digital animations. Recent assessments have included producing idents for real clients.
You will gain an appreciation of the factors which affect the perception of sound by humans; an historical and technical overview of the audio recording and reproduction techniques used to provide spatial audio; an insight into relevant commercial developments in this field and an introduction to studio techniques for surround sound production.
This module will give you a systematic and detailed understanding of the tools and techniques associated with both audio and video mastering. Assessment for the video element typically includes making short clips in a variety of genres (music video, sitcom, horror, sci-fi, film noir), applying and evaluating appropriate colour correction and compression techniques.
The final year project will give you the opportunity to carry out, under supervision, an extended study into an agreed topic relating to your degree. You will be expected to undertake independent investigation to demonstrate initiative and the skills and knowledge acquired elsewhere in the course. The project is highly useful in providing training and experience in the planning and managing of a major study and of working on a problem for which there is not a unique solution.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSE GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 260-280 points
BTEC National Diploma DMM

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

You should show an aptitude for media production and technology through your choice of subjects studied and/or through your hobbies and interests.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Jos Hirst the Director of Admissions for further information.

Teaching

The majority of your time will be spent undertaking a range of project work both on your own and as part of a small project group. Much of the course is delivered in a production environment. You will spend much of your time in our sound recording studios, our music technology rooms, our digital video editing suites and our TV studios.

For some of the time you will be in traditional lectures where you will learn more theoretical material.

You will be taught by a wide a range of staff, all experts in their own subject area and each bringing research and/or commercial expertise. Some examples include:

  • Video and television modules are taught by Wilfred Darlington, who has many years of experience with the BBC
  • Animation modules are taught by Dawn Shaw whose credits include the Royle Family, Granada Tonight and BBC Reportage
  • Music Technology is taught by Jos Hirst. Previously, Jos worked as a sound engineer for 15 years working with bands including, A Certain Ratio, The Battlefield Band and Toss the Feathers.
  • Social Technologies is taught by Helen Keegan, an international expert in Social Media

Assessment

Much of the assessment is by the production of a piece of media. This is often supported by a written report or a formal presentation. There is a significant amount of assessed group work and we run peer assessment schemes to ensure that all members of the group get a fair mark. Example assessments include:

  • Recording a band for Studio Production
  • Producing a radio programme in Digital AudioProducing a short film in Introduction to Video Production
  • Producing an ‘as live’ TV programme for Television EngineeringProducing a web site for real clients in Web Technologies
  • Producing a mobile phone film in collaboration with students in New Zealand for Social Technologies

The more theoretical material is assessed by written report or by traditional examination.

Employability

BSc (Hons) Professional Sound and Video Technology graduates have an excellent track record of finding well paid jobs. Whilst many graduates work in organisations, a significant minority become freelancers in the media industry.

Alumni Profile

Rob Barstow, Runner, BBC Dragon’s Den

‘I am currently a Production Runner on BBC Dragons' Den. I did a work experience placement at the BBC and was kept on and employed after my placement had finished. PSVT helped me both by teaching me the practical skills necessary for my career but also by helping me secure different work experiences in the industry so that I was well prepared for the start of my career after I had finished my degree. The tutors were always there to offer help and advice.’

This list gives a flavour of the jobs our graduates go on to:

  • Jamie Ashton, Sound Engineer, Abbey Road Studios
  • Dane Sampson, Broadcast Engineer, BSkyB
  • Rob Barstow, Runner, BBC Dragons Den
  • Kristian Hampton, Digital Production Team, Vodaphone
  • Melissa Kabluczenko, Social Media Agent, Virgin Media
  • Tom Hargreaves, Creative Director, Glooware


 

Placement Opportunities

You have the opportunity to take a placement year between your second and final year. On your placement you will work for a relevant organisation and be paid a salary. This is an excellent opportunity for you to build your CV. Recent Professional Sound and Video Technology students have undertaken placements with, for example, Disney (London), the outside broadcast specialists SIS at MediaCityUK, L’ull Cec gallery in Barcelona and sound company StudioSpares in London.

Our student who went to Disney said:
‘They said they were really impressed with the research I had done, and the knowledge I had gained about compression and transmission, they also said they were really impressed with the fact I could understand and read code, so the things being taught on the psvt course are really useful for gaining employment in broadcast engineering.’

We have a placement team who help you in trying to find a placement. However, it is important that you are aware that this is a very competitive market and that we cannot guarantee a placement.
Work experience is another way for you to build your portfolio. Recently Professional Sound and Video students have gained work experience with BBC Blue Peter and BBC Academy.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2014-15

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9,000
Full-time International£12,800

Scholarships and Bursaries

We offer fee discounts and cash awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • Salford National Scholarship Programme  

There’s a lot more funding available to those who need it, including:

  • Disabled Students’ Allowance
  • Childcare grant
  • Helena Kennedy Foundation - Article 26  

For more information please see our all about money section

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Facilities

Our facilities at MediaCityUK include:

  • Audio Post Production & Audio Suite - Mac-based suites that run a range of audio software, including Pro Tools, Reason. The Post Production suite has a Digidesign Icon D-command desk running Pro Tools 10. You will be in these rooms for modules like Music Technology Systems and Digital Audio Production.
  • Post Production Suites - a mix of Mac and PC based suites for animation and video post-production using Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Suite. Introduction to Video Production, Intermediate Video, Television Engineering and Animated Graphics are in here.
  • TV Studios - full professional specification studios. Studio A has separate vision and audio control rooms. Studio B allows us to do a full 3D virtual studio. You have a taster in Introduction to Video Production and use them to make a ‘live’ programme in TV Engineering.
  • Radio Studios - two radio studios, including a small studio space. Used in Digital Audio Production in combination with the audio post production suites.
  • Computer Suites - a range of Mac and PC based computer rooms for general computer work, including, for example, Web Content Creation, Web Technologies and Social Technologies.

At the main campus, we also have a 4 studio recording complex, using Pro Tools in the 3 digital control rooms and with 1 analogue control room. Each control room has its own associated live room.

Watch our video

Guided tour of the University of Salford's facilities at our Media City campus. Come see our state-of-the-art television studios, gallery, editing suites, news rooms, radio studios and much more.