Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Music: Creative Music Technology with Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

As the first UK institution to offer pioneering and distinctive courses in Popular Music and Recording and Band Musicianship, our reputation for innovation and excellence within music education continues to flourish.

This course builds upon our long-standing reputation and offers a full specialisation in the field of music technology and has been ranked the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West and number two in the UK in the 2021 Guardian university league tables. Plus, overall satisfaction with the course among students is 97% (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data).

The Studio Recording and Production modules enable you to develop confidence in traditional studio skills, backed up by a solid academic understanding of historical developments and aesthetic considerations. Audio for Media trains you in the specific discipline of composing, arranging and producing audio for film, radio, television and gaming. Studio Composition covers a broad range of technical and genre viewpoints, from popular electronic music techniques to electro-acoustic composition. Thorough technical training and the study of acoustics underpin all of the creative work undertaken through the course.

Find out more about the course by visiting our Instagram at @SalfordCMT.

The foundation year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Music: Creative Music Technology course.

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any generic questions please contact course enquiries.

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Music courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Music: Creative Technology with Foundation Year course.

You will:

  • Prepare to progress to our degree programme
  • Be able to take full advantage of the region's world-renowned music scene as both an active participant and an enquiring spectator 
  • Study on the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West (Guardian League Table, 2020)
  • Study as an instrumental performer, receiving one-to-one tuition on your instrument in the first year of the degree

This is for you if...


you want to access to industry-standard facilities.


you want to be part of a diverse and vibrant music department and benefit from numerous performing and showcasing opportunities in Manchester and beyond.


you want to be taught by practicing music technology professionals on a course well known for producing graduates who excel in their chosen careers.

Course details

All about the course

Building upon our established reputation in music technology, the Creative Music Technology pathway offers a broad-based curriculum in Year One followed by the opportunity to specialise in music technology throughout Year Two and Three. Creative work is underpinned by technical training and study of acoustics. 

Foundation year

Foundation Musicianship Skills

This module develops both your individual and ensemble instrumental ability. You will receive weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition from a specialist tutor, focusing on technique and its application across a broad range of repertoire. You will also join one of the many Ensembles within the Directorate, including Popular Music Choir, Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band and Classical Choir.

Introduction to Music Theory

This module aims to provide the theoretical foundations for all further areas of study. You will learn to recognise and confidently use fundamental theoretical terms in your work, notate all perfect, major, minor, augmented, diminished intervals, and identify and notate a range of basic chords and progressions. The assessment requires you to compose idiomatic music incorporating all these elements. You will also develop your Aural and Transcription skills with focused ear training tuition.

Case Studies

This module will equip you with the necessary analytical skills, IT skills and research techniques to complete written academic assignments. You will analyse a broad range of musical styles within the Popular, Jazz and Classical idioms. It will provide you with the appropriate reference framework from which to critically evaluate examples of these styles, as well as the use of harmonic and analytical terminology within the discussion of music.

Foundation Performance Studies

This module consolidates and expands the instrumental skills developed in semester one, with a continuation of the weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition with your specialist tutor. For your assessed Ensemble activity you will have the option to form your own Popular Music group, or join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band or Classical Choir.

Music Theory and Compositional Techniques

Building upon the theoretical knowledge, this module introduces more advanced concepts and techniques including extended chord progressions, notation and recognition of diatonic melodic lines, moving bass lines, and complex rhythmic patterns, and SATB scoring. You will also receive further ear training within the Aural and Transcription tuition.

Introduction to Music Technology

This module introduces software based solutions for recording and composition. You will learn to notate musical ideas appropriately with respect to instrumentation and genre and to identify appropriate software pathway to communicate musical ideas effectively. You will work with notation, sequencing and recording interfaces and interrogate the relationship between them.

Year one

Foundation Musicianship Skills

This module develops both your individual and ensemble instrumental ability. You will receive weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition from an internationally recognised specialist tutor, focusing on technique and its application across a broad range of repertoire. You will also join one of the many Ensembles within the Directorate, including Popular Music Choir, Big Band, Brass Band, Brass Ensembles, Wind Band and Classical Choir.

Fundamentals of Composition, Arranging and Technology

The core aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for composing and arranging music in a variety of styles. You will gain a working knowledge of the key aspects of instrumental voicing, score layout, formal design and the manipulation of texture. The module also provides an introduction to location recording techniques, appropriate sequencing software, musical acoustics and their relationship to music technology.

Performance Studies

Continuing on from Musicianship Skills in trimester one, this module continues to develop your skills in Individual Performance, Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (Conducting). Within the Ensemble component, you will have the opportunity to join Session Orchestra, Choir, an ensemble from the small ensembles, or create your own ensemble. 

Applied Composition and Technology

This module will provide you with a strong understanding of advanced diatonic harmony, melodic writing, and technical skills concerned with rhythm as applied to the broad field of composition. You will explore the creative uses of a range of microphones in relation to musical instruments and acoustic environments and be introduced to techniques of sound synthesis using a range of hardware and software-based synthesisers.

You will choose one of the following options for each semester:

Music in Context: Fundamentals

This module combines theoretical discussion with practical application, covering a number of clear themes across its duration. The themes covered will include - Static Harmony, Functional Harmony, Song Forms and Word Setting, Instrumental Forms and Rhythmic Patterns.

Popular Music Style and Genre

This module introduces a methodology for the analysis of style in popular music, problematising the concepts "style" and "genre" along the way.

Music in Context: Advanced Fundamentals

 Continuing from Trimester One, this module combines theoretical discussion with practical application, covering a further series of themes across its duration. The themes this trimester will cover - Counterpoint and Voice Leading, Development and Recapitulation, Solo and Ensemble Musicianship, Group Improvisation, Extended Techniques. 

Interpreting Popular Music

This musicology module investigates meaning in popular music texts by introducing a method of semiotic analysis specifically designed for popular music texts and supplementing that with a range of theoretical perspectives aimed at understanding popular culture's place in 21st century Britain.

Year two

Studio Composition

Studio Composition allows you to compose directly with studio-based technology, moving away from the need to represent compositional material through a traditional score. The technology investigated will have a direct influence on compositional output, and although human performances on traditional instruments can be integrated into the composition, there is an expectation that much of the work will be constructed within a Digital Audio Workstation. The module investigates synthesis deeply and requires students to demonstrate creative use of both hardware and software. The technology is investigated covering a broad range of defined genres, with the intention that students begin to develop a distinct individual compositional voice. 

Audio for Media

This module will encourage you to use your unique skillset as a musician to create soundtracks for film and audio drama productions. You will be introduced to sound design, foley, scoring for film and recording dialogue and sound effects in the studio environment. You will also apply and develop digital audio editing, synchronisation and mixing techniques to refine your final stereo soundtrack. 

Studio Recording and Production

This module is designed to give you a solid foundation in studio engineering and production practice. Particular attention will be given to microphone technique, signal flow and an investigation of strategies by which the needs of both engineer and performer(s) can be reconciled in the studio environment. Students will gain an understanding of historical developments in the field, exploring many musical genres. As aspiring producers, students will be guided through the process of developing a clear production aesthetic from the outset of a recording project. 

Professional Development in the Creative Industries

Focusing on current economic structures and potential development, this module provides an in-depth examination of the UK creative economy. You will explore concepts of copyright, authorship and ownership and gain an understanding of the processes involved in successful personal development planning.

Advanced Studio Composition

This module is designed to build upon the techniques explored in the level 5 module Studio Composition (sequencing, synthesis and sampling / editing) and introduce students to composing for and within a 5.1 / 7.1 surround environment. There will be an exploration of electroacoustic compositional techniques around the themes of spectromorphology, abstract and abstracted synthesis, landscape and narrative and a historical analysis of how this practice relates to popular electronic music compositional practice. The module explores the concept of compositional interface, encouraging students to become deeply aware of how the technology they engage with shapes their compositional output.


Advanced Studio and Location Recording

This module is designed to develop existing skills in the studio environment (building on the L5 module Studio Recording and Production), working towards the completion of ambitious multitrack projects of a releasable quality. The module includes an investigation of mastering processes and places emphasis on the engineer / producer nurturing the best possible performances from the musicians involved. The module will also introduce the practice of recording live public performances, covering a wide range or acoustic and amplified ensembles, on location.

Year three

Project Scope

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Arts Administration, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.


Negotiated Major Project

This module  will enable you to develop your chosen areas of study in two final projects, equipping you with the skills, guidance and portfolio of work to take into your next venture, whether this is professional work or postgraduate study.

Professional Practice

By broadening your work experience in areas requiring a leadership and/or team role, this module gives you the opportunity to further develop your own professional practices. You will gain experience in one of the following areas of professional practice: music events management, sound reinforcement, business enterprise, and community music in its broadest sense.

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?

Lectures are enhanced with audio/visual material. A lecture on a topic is followed up by a relevant seminar. You will be encouraged to prepare materials in preparation for seminars, where you’ll contribute to discussions.

  • Masterclasses - Visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music industry
  • Supervision both individualy and in groups
  • Individual Instrumental Tuition to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary
  • Ensemble Tuition in order to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary in an ensemble setting
  • Workshops to explore concepts and develop research techniques within a workshop environment, mixing class-based discussion and activities with library and archive work, providing you with the opportunity to develop creative ideas and to interact with leading scholars in the field Virtual Learning Environment(VLE) – 'Blackboard', supports every module within the course.


All our Music courses  are delivered by the  Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry. 

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 

Other Facilities

In addition to the six large studios, our students have access to:

Voice Acting Studio

This facility is designed predominantly as a recording environment for radio drama or video game production. It is possible to achieve a range of capture, from foley recordings in the acoustically flexible ‘live’ room to extremely dry spoken word in the ‘dead’ room.

Computer Suite

Our computer suite contains twenty-six workstations (iMac; audio interface; controller keyboard; headphones) equipped with licences for all of the software we teach. The current software provision comprises: Logic X; Pro Tools; Ableton; Max MSP; Sibelius; Soundtoys; GRM Tools and a huge selection of Universal Audio and Waves plug-ins. This software is also available across all studio spaces.

7.1 Mix

A teaching space designed for mixing in 7.1 and 5.1 surround. The space is used extensively in the teaching of our Advanced Studio Composition and Advanced Audio for Media modules.

Studio 9 – Composition Lab

This studio facility is equipped with an impressive range of hardware including many synthesizers; DSI OB6, Korg MS20, Roland Juno 106, Moog Sub Phatty, Korg Volca FM, Vermona DRM Mk3 accessed through a full MIDI interface / patchbay. The space is acoustically treated and equipped for 5.1 mixdown. 

Rehearsal Facilities

The New Adelphi Building houses twenty-six rehearsal spaces designed to facilitate popular and classical ensemble rehearsals, individual practice, one-to-one instrumental tuition and ensemble teaching. The rooms are well specified with a wide range of carefully chosen and well-maintained equipment including drumkits from DW, Sonar, and Yamaha; Keyboards from Nord and Roland, guitar amplification from Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender, Orange and Marshall and Bass amplification from Ampeg, Mark Bass and Aguillar.

One-to-one Tuition / individual practice spaces are equipped with well-maintained Yamaha acoustic pianos, a selection of classic keyboards and Bluetooth amplification for playback. All performance spaces have natural light and have been acoustically treated (absorbent and reflective) to suit discipline.

Performance Spaces

Performance assessments, public concerts and masterclasses take place across a number of spaces on and off campus. We operate a high quality modular PA system which is employed across:

Peel Hall

A three-hundred seat concert hall with an excellent acoustic. The hall is used extensively by our large ensembles and houses the BBC Philharmonic Red Brick Sessions.

New Adelphi Theatre

The 350 seat theatre features flexible seating configurations to suit a range of events and performances and is equipped with a range of intelligent and generic lighting, a highly adaptable EM Acoustics PA system, and a high-powered Christie projector.


Our Student Union bar and venue hosts a number of both staff and student led performances throughout the year.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Salford’s music courses are renowned for producing graduates who excel in their chosen professions. Our graduates have forged careers as signed recording artists, professional performers, studio producers/engineers, live sound engineers and freelance composers/arrangers. Many have become events organisers, promoters and entrepreneurs while others have developed successful careers in music education as teachers, lecturers, senior administrators and educational advisors. Those who continue their studies at a postgraduate level find themselves well-equipped to cope with the academic and technical demands of a higher degree.

A taste of what you could become


Sound Engineer



an Arranger

Career Links

We have direct links with professional institutions such the BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as well as the ‘Sounds from the Other City’ festival. We have a good working relationship with many venues in the local area including Islington Mill.


What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our  International Foundation Year course page.  

Once we have received your application, you will be invited to an interview on campus. Ideally, you should have understanding and experience of music technology and music theory.

Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/level 4 or above is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A Levels

72 points including Music

T Levels

Pass: D or E in core subject. 


UCAS tariff points

72 points

BTEC National Diploma

MPP including Music

Scottish Highers

72 points including Music

Irish Leaving Certificate

72 points including Music

International Baccalaureate

24 points including Music

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including Music

Access to HE

Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 72 points including Music

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £9,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID WH74

Institution S03