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Sound Engineering and Production

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Acoustics, Audio and Video

UCAS Code: H349 three year full-time; H350 four year with professional experience

Start Date(s): September

Duration:

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

Fees:

UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,400 per year

In Brief:

  • Encompasses both the creative production and technical and theoretical parts of audio engineering
  • Teaching locations include our MediaCityUK campus – the heart of media production in the North, next door to the BBC and ITV
  • Delivered by Salford's world-renowned acoustics team
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Our new Sound Engineering and Production course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to create a successful career in audio engineering and production. 

By expertly combining theory and practice, you will gain a sound grounding in the theoretical side of audio. You'll also acquire production knowledge of a variety of practical applications including radio, TV, music recording and live sound. Throughout the course, you will have access to a wide range of cutting edge facilities, from our world-class anechoic chambers and reverberation suites through to our advanced recording studios and spatial audio installations. 

Developed and taught by the Salford Acoustics department, with over 60 years of experience and is considered one of leading authorities in all things sound-related, the course is ready to launch your career in sound management.

Course Structure

Year 1  

In this module you will learn about the theory and workflows behind broadcast audio and apply that knowledge to practical work in the radio and TV studios.
This module will introduce you to a broad range of audio systems and components including microphones, transmission, digital audio and loudspeakers. You will also learn how to make sound effects for a computer game.
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 based recording studios to record a band.
You will study the methods of connecting audio 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 will have the organisational skills necessary to specify systems and plan in advance according to the requirements of the venue and performers.
You will be taught how to use typical software tools for the generation, control, processing and audio reproduction in music technology. You will be able 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.
You will be taught about a wide variety of specialist acoustic and audio measurements, in terms of equipment familiarity, correct use, interpretation of data and correct reporting (both oral and written).

Year 2  

In order to better prepare you for a career in audio, this module will help you understand the nature of entrepreneurs and the development of entrepreneurial organisations. You will cover popular business theories such as theory of management, the role of enterprise in the economy, leadership and management of an enterprise and developing and managing quality in the enterprise.
You will work together with course mates on a specific real world audio design task and come up with a real practical solution using the acoustics laboratory facilities and the new Newton Building Maker Space facilities and equipment.
In this module, you will study the use of audio API and JavaScript programming in the web development context. This will enable you to produce web-based audio applications.
You will explore different types of audio installations from home theatre to cinemas and right through to stadiums. Acoustics and system design will feature heavily and this will culminate in designing an installation for a particular acoustic space.
This module will help you develop the production techniques associated with computer based 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.
This module builds on the Studio Production module from year 1. You will complete a sound design project for a short film. The project will involve dialogue replacement, Foley, location recording, background music and sound effects.

Year 3  

You will gain an appreciation of the factors that affect the perception of sound by humans in 2 and 3D and how this knowledge can be used in spatial audio. The module involves 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.
IP networks are extensively used in transmission of audio in broadcast. This module provides an understanding of network applications and future broadcast formats. Lab-based projects will investigate IP networks in recording studios, live sound use and outside broadcast.
Audio forensics and restoration may involve enhancement of audio recordings, verification of the authenticity of a recording and identification of acoustics events, such as type of car engines or human voices. You will explore famous case studies such as JFK and Watergate and learn how to apply modern restoration and analytical audio techniques.
Game and VR audio is becoming an important element in entertainment and media. You will learn about audio game design, workflows, acoustic modelling, augmented reality and the techniques required to employ them.
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.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSE
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Grade C or above in Maths and English Language
UCAS tariff points 112-120 points
GCE A level 112-120 (minimum C in a technical or scientific subject, including mathematics, physics, music technology, IT or electronics
BTEC National Diploma DMM
Scottish Highers 112-120 (C at Advanced Highers A at Higher, Maths or Physics or Chemistry Advanced Higher)
Irish Leaving Certificate 112-120 (Higher Level Physics and Maths)
International Baccalaureate 30 points grade 5 in Physics or Maths or Chemistry at Higher Level.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

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

The course is designed for students who have both creative and technical ability and wish to pursue a career in audio, music production, acoustics or in the digital sector. You will have an interest in combining musical knowledge and audio technology. You should demonstrate an aptitude for audio engineering and technology through your choice of further education subjects and/or through your hobbies and interests.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

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

Teaching

This course is delivered using a mixture of lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practical-based work. Each module is delivered and assessed in the most appropriate way.  In the final year you carry out a major project.Lectures which are enhanced with audio/visual material. teaching methods include:

  • Seminars
  • Masterclasses - visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music/audio industry
  • Lab exercises
  • Individual and ensemble instrumental tuition to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary
  • Workshops

Your time will be spent undertaking a range of production-based project work both on your own and as part of a small project group, as well as developing a deeper understanding through theoretical studies. Some of the course is delivered in a production environment meaning that you will spend time developing your practical skills in our sound recording studios, our music technology rooms and our TV studios. You will be taught the more theoretical components of the course via more traditional methods such as lectures, labs and tutorials.

Assessment

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Assignments

Employability

Career Prospects

Graduates from this degree course are well-placed to become major players in the diverse world of sound, music production, acoustics and audio.

Our graduates from related courses have forged careers as recording artists, studio and live producers/engineers, broadcast engineers, gaming audio engineers, product developers, acoustics and audio researchers, and acoustics consultants. 

If you wish to continue your studies at a postgraduate level you will find yourself well-equipped to manage the academic and technical demands of a higher degree.

Links with Industry

The acoustics group at Salford works with many leading companies in audio, acoustics, broadcast and related industries including BBC, Apple, Dolby, and Bang and Olufson as well as many professional institutions such the BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Further Study

MSc Audio Production

MSc Audio Acoustics

Facilities

Acoustic laboratories

The University established an Acoustics Department in 1975 and it has been a leading national centre ever since. Our acoustics laboratories on the main campus are acknowledged as world-class and were rebuilt at a cost of £2.5M and include a listening room, reverberation suite and three anechoic chambers. The University acts as a test house for the acoustic and audio industry especially the construction industry, linking us to current practice, and helping to keep courses up to date. Students have access to the laboratories, as well as state of the art measurement equipment, software and audio systems including binaural, ambisonic  and  wave-field synthesis. Music production facilities include recording studios featuring industry standard software and hardware.

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