Postgraduate MSc/PgDip

Audio Production

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

Course

One year

16 month

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

New technologies are changing the way people experience sound and audio. With our specialist Audio Production postgraduate degree, you’ll gain practical, theoretical and creative experience of sound engineering, music production and audio technology.

During your studies, you'll develop professional audio skills, backed up with thorough theoretical knowledge. Using a suite of sophisticated recording, tv and radio studios at our MediaCityUK and Peel Park campuses, you'll explore the theory, design, management and production of audio across many platforms.

This course is highly-recommended for technology and engineering graduates, who want to pursue a career in the audio and media industries. Building on your engineering and technology fundamentals, the course will provide you with the specialist knowledge and a practical skill set, so you are ready to develop a career as a future leader in the audio industry. 

Salford is one of the UK's leading centre for audio and acoustics research and teaching. The course is delivered by an academic team at the pinnacle of audio knowledge. By taking this course, you'll be joining a community of alumni working at the heart of many leading audio and acoustics-focused organisations throughout the world. 

You will:
  • Study at our sophisticated MediaCityUK campus, next door the BBC and ITV
  • Utilise advanced audio-post recording, radio and TV studios to study audio engineering and production
  • Develop advanced skills relevant to the contemporary communication, media and entertainment industries
  • Tap into the expertise of world-class audio engineering and acoustics researches and academics
International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You are a technically-skilled graduate with a degree in audio, music technology or a related subject area, and want to build audio production knowledge

2.

You want to further develop your existing theoretical and operational audio production skills and knowledge

3.

You're excited by sound, and want a future career in the production of audio

Course details

All about the course

The MSc Audio Production postgraduate course is available in flexible study formats, including full and part-time pathways, with September and January start dates.  The course comprises eight 15-credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit dissertation project.

  • The full-time study pathway in September will take approximately 12 months to complete. Full-time January starts will take  approximately 16 months to complete. Full-time students will study taught modules in trimesters one and two, and complete their final project module during trimester three.
  • The part-time study route for both start dates will take approximately 36 months to complete. For part-time students, taught modules are spread over trimesters one and two for two years, followed by the project module in year three. 
  • Please be advised that the part-time pathway can be intensive. We recommend that part-time students dedicate approximately 19 hours per week to study. 

Modules are delivered at our campus in the recording studios, audio technology suites, post-production suites, acoustic facilities and lecture theatres.

Trimester one

Audio Production

This module will develop advanced sound recording, editing, processing and surround techniques, both within a group and in an individual context. You will be given the opportunity to work on a recording project that will entail both technical and logistical challenges.

Audio Post Production

This module covers the tools and techniques used in the audio post production process and how to apply these skills in an original and creative way by developing the advanced skills and techniques needed for sound design, dialogue editing, ADR (automatic dialogue replacement) and Foley work. You will also develop a systematic understanding of mixing for 5.1 surround and to apply these in an original and creative way and be able to develop mastering techniques in stereo and 5.1. On completion you should have the skills and techniques needed to produce broadcast-standard output.

Emerging Technologies and Digital Culture

This module will enable you to gain a systematic understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate likely future developments in media, in both a technical and commercial context. Topics covered include social media, cultural impacts and drivers; consumer markets, digital identity, ethics, privacy, copyright, licensing; content creation, sharing and reuse and digital rights management.

Audio Theory

Audio theory will give you a thorough understanding of analogue and digital audio signals and systems and the complex techniques for digitally controlling and interconnecting audio devices. This will include synchronization, clocking and automation across a variety of audio production platforms and contexts. Digital audio formats will also be examined.

Trimester two

Spatial Audio

In this module, the spatial hearing capabilities of the auditory system are further investigated and spatial audio systems including stereo, binaural, transaural, 5.1, ambisonics and wave field synthesis will be investigated both in terms of theory and practical use. There will be opportunities to audition and experiment with a number of different surround systems during practical sessions in the recording studios, listening room and anechoic chamber.

Recording Studio Design

You will learn the acoustics of sound propagation in enclosed spaces and will learn how to design methods of treating such spaces to achieve a desired acoustic result and the limitations of those methods. An assignment based on the design of a creative space (recording or control room) will tie all these strands together so that you can understand the acoustics, engineering and management required in the successful design of both control rooms and other creative audio environments. 

Sound Synthesis

You will develop theories of timbre analysis, the ways in which musical instruments produce sound, musical synthesis techniques, then undertake software-based musical sound synthesis using both emulative and abstract approaches. Additive, subtractive and modulation synthesis will be studied along with signal processing (effects) design. By the end of this module, you will have built a complex synthesizer and multi-effects unit in software.

Research Methods

You will learn a range of research techniques appropriate to audio, acoustics and video and the relationship between research questions, research methods and analysis techniques. This will help prepare you for writing your dissertation that takes place in the third semester. Topics studied include literature searching, data types, qualitative and quantitative data analysis and the integration of different research methods.

Trimester three

Project

The aim of the master's project is to carry out, under supervision, an extended individual study into a topic in audio, digital media or acoustics. A large number of topics will be offered to you to choose from or you could undertake a bespoke topic to be agreed between you and your supervisor. Your project will reflect the skills, knowledge and understanding from different areas of the course and will encourage initiative and project management.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

The majority of teaching and learning is delivered through tutorials, seminar groups, and studio-based activities in the recording studios, the audio technology suite, and audio post-production suite.

All students benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials, books and software. Interaction is face-to-face wherever practical, and there is a strong focus on guided self-learning.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment involves a mixture of practical work, report writing, and project work. By the end of the course, you will have a portfolio of audio, video and new media work to demonstrate to future employers.

Assessment is approximately divided as follows:

  • Practical work (30%)
  • Report/assignment (35%)
  • Presentation (5%)
  • Dissertation - that may entail practical elements (30%)

School of Science, Engineering and Environment.

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to take your career potential further.

FACILITIES

During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres, AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries.

As an Audio Production student you will use our post production and audio suites featuring industry-standard software packages including Pro Tools, Reason, Adobe Creative Cloud and the Native Instruments suite. The post-production suite includes Pro Tools S6 console and has Dolby Atmos monitoring capabilities. There are also dedicated dubbing and foley facilities.

Programme Team

The Audio Production postgraduate programme is delivered by an academic team with exceptional research experience and extensive professional connections.

 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

The growth of digital media has increased industry demand for talented professionals who can help deliver exceptional audio-visual experiences. Salford has over 25 years of experience nurturing graduates into audio and acoustics careers that span consultancy, research, development and design roles with leading companies such as Apple, Dolby, and the BBC.

Audio Production graduates typically build career in audio post-production, freelance sound engineering, convergent technologies (audio, video and new media) and broadcast. Today, you'll find our audio and acoustics alumni working with leading media organisations including the BBC, Sky TV and Channel 4.

FURTHER STUDY

Audio Production postgraduates can also choose research to take their subject knowledge even further through further study and research.  Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available at Salford through our Doctoral School.

For over 60 years, the Acoustics Research Centre at Salford has led the way in further audio and acoustics knowledge. Funded by research councils, national and international government bodies, and industry, our research has shaped audio products that companies make and sell worldwide, and set noise regulations and standards used in the UK, Europe and internationally.

A taste of what you could become

An audio manufacturer

A broadcast engineer

A sound engineer

A music producer

An audio and visual engineer

And more...

Career Links

Our academic team has strong links with industry either through collaborative research and development projects with the Acoustics Research Centre or our commercial test laboratories. These connections help to keep the programme aligned with the latest industry needs, including the latest research findings. 

Recent collaborative projects include integrated virtual models for acoustic design with Dyson, wind turbine noise auralisation and subjective testing with DELTA and DEFRA, acoustics for auralisation with Arup, the S3A Future Spatial Audio project with the BBC and SALSA (Spatial Automated Live Sports Audio) system with DTS and Fairlight.

We also hold regular informal research seminars with industry partners to share research outputs. Recent masterclasses include acoustic consultancy with RBA Acoustics, noise mapping software with Cambell Associates, environmental noise with WSP/Parcel, railway noise & vibration with AECOM, NVH & infotainment with JaguarLandRover, and measurement microphone technology with GRAS.

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

This course is recommended for sound engineering or music technology graduates or working professionals with a keen interest in the subject area. Applicants will require skills in both the operational and theoretical aspects of audio production.  

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY APPROVAL SCHEME (ATAS)

International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin study. To comply with Home Office regulations, you must obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

A second class honours degree that must contain significant elements of audio technology or production.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,640per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Part-time 2021/22 £1,440 per 30 credits
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
 
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

January 2022

September 2022