Sound Engineering and Production
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
In a nutshell
Sound engineers are essential to how we perceive live and recorded sound. As digital listening experiences expand, and listeners engage on different platforms and in different locations, sound quality and delivery is paramount. With this degree course, you'll develop the professional knowledge to experience and deliver audio at the highest standard.
With a focus on your career and real-world applications, you'll explore a range of audio modules which will equip you with the skills to build a career in the music and audio industries. Combining audio engineering theory and studio-based delivery, you'll critically evaluate new audio developments and apply them creatively.
Designed to get you industry-ready, this course has been awarded accreditation status with JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Services), which means you will be educated to the highest industry standards.
At the forefront of audio and acoustics teaching and research for over 60 years, Salford is home to some ground-breaking and world-class facilities. As a sound engineering and production student, you’ll experience cutting-edge acoustic testing facilities, advanced laboratories and industry-standard studio equipment across our Peel Park and MediaCity campuses, that will help to develop your knowledge and your practical skills.
Start your study journey
Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying Sound Engineering and Production, explore our facilities and meet the course team
- Develop your knowledge of the recording process, enhanced by scientific and technical aspects
- Acquire production knowledge of a variety of practical applications, including radio, TV, studio recording and live sound, as well as game audio and augmented reality
- Learn how to use the industry standard software tools for the generation, control, processing and audio reproduction
- Experience the relationships between sound and the environment, wherever it is being produced
This is for you if...
You're creative and like using technology to find solutions
You want to pursue a career in audio, music production, acoustics or in the creative sector
You're passionate about music and sound with a demonstrable interest in production and audio technology
All about the course
Sound Engineering and Production explores a variety of practical applications for sound including radio, TV, music recording, live sound, gaming audio and VR.
Building a strong understanding of audio systems, studio recording and live sound in year one, you will progress to explore topics such as audio installations and sound design in year two. By your final year, you’ll study more advanced modules in specialist areas alongside completing a project based on a real-world issue.
Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.
With our strong industry connections and links surrounding Greater Manchester, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain practical experience and network with industry experts on live music scenes at venues, clubs, and bars.
At Salford, we want you to learn from expert tutors using world-class facilities, so our rich and varied curriculum provides you with access to multi-million-pound standard software Pro Tool enabled studios, TV and video suites and digital media performance labs. This degree embeds theoretical knowledge with creative application to help you capture the best audio possible and deliver an exceptional listener experience.
More importantly, collaboration is core to our values, so you’ll experience small group teaching which ensures that you learn in practical environments around campus. This engaging teaching equips you with professional knowledge and skills to deliver audio at the highest standard, so you are ready for working life after you graduate.
On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.
Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.
This module will enable you to design and prototype analogue electronic circuits for use in audio and other signal processing applications. You will cover the fundamental design principles of Analogue Electronics and how these are applied in electronic circuit implementation.
You will learn 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).
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.
Live Sound Connections
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.
Music Technology Systems
You will learn how to use typical computer based 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
Signal Chain Theory
This module introduces the basic fundamentals of sound, signals, and systems, and then explores the signal flow of a complete generic audio system, from capture (microphones) to playback (loudspeakers) and transmission.
Industrial Studies and Career Management
You will 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.
Group Design Project
You will work together with course mates on a specific real world audio design task and come up with a real practical solution using.
Audio Production for TV and Radio
This module introduces the world of sound for TV and Radio (with a hint of film, too!). You will learn how to record and deliver broadcast audio to a professional standard, and what the technical requirements which underpin broadcast audio are.
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.
Advanced Audio Production
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.
This module builds on the Studio Production module from year one. You complete a sound design for a piece of visual content. You use our studio complex to record and master your design.
Audio Programming Project
In the Audio Programming Project module, you will master audio software development, blending programming with digital signal processing. You will create unique sound effects and advanced tools, culminating in a significant, original audio project. Incorporating AI techniques, you will explore cutting-edge sound generation and manipulation, readying you for a future in innovative sound engineering.
Audio Forensics and Restoration
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.
Audio for Games and VR
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 recorded audio and sounds to your own virtual environment.
You will create a virtual environment or use one of the presets provided. Methods of lightning, creating object and materials along with enabling objects to be "grabbed" and moved will be explored (virtual environment physics). The impact sounds of such moving objects will be added, delving into parameters and taking in account the dimensions of your enclosed space(s), surrounding materials and object material (e.g. audio propagation, reflections). Various recorded techniques will be examined, and you will explore their use fitting to your objects and environment.
By the end of the semester, you will be able to create a Unity Project of your virtual created enclosed spaces along with "audio objects", both stationary and movable with fitting sounds and audio parameters.
The final year project is your opportunity to carry out, under supervision, an extended study into an agreed topic relating to your degree. You will complete independent investigation to demonstrate initiative and the skills and knowledge acquired elsewhere in the course. The project provides invaluable experience in the planning and delivery of a major study that solves a problem with a unique solution.
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.
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?
You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:
- Laboratory exercises
- Case studies
- Group work
- Project work
Some of the course is delivered in a production environment, so you will spend time developing your practical skills in our sound recording studios, music technology rooms and TV studios.
You will be assessed through a combination of formats:
- Examinations will assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
- Assignments will assess your response to in-depth problems and challenges
- Practical tests in acoustics laboratories will assess your problem-solving rationale
- Projects will assess your ability to create, deliver and evaluate a plan for an identified solution
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.
Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.
As a sound engineering student, you will use professional facilities across both our Peel Park and MediaCity campuses.
Our world-class Acoustic Laboratories at our Peel Park campus are home to specialist test environments, including anechoic chambers, a transmission suite, reverberation chambers, an ITU standard listening room, a 3D Ambisonic listening booth and audiometric test facilities.
At our MediaCity campus, you can enjoy access to multi-million pound Pro Tools enabled studios, 3D animation suites, TV and video suites, and digital media performance labs.
Industry collaboration and research
When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.
Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global issues and challenges with noise, sound and vibration.
Read on and discover how you are part of something bigger.
What about after uni?
This course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly employable. These include report writing and presentation skills, data interpretation and IT skills and team work and project management skills.
Successfully completing a sound engineering and production degree course can put you in a great position to become major players in the diverse world of sound, music production, acoustics and audio, with fantastic opportunities for studio and live producers/engineers, broadcast engineers, gaming audio engineers, product developers, acoustics and audio researchers, and acoustics consultants.
Salford audio and acoustics graduates have excellent career prospects in acoustic consultancy and audio-related industries, with our alumni securing roles with Arup, BBS, Apple, Dolby, Jaguar Land Rover, Thales, NHS, and Sandy Brown Associates.
You might find that you want to learn more about acoustics and audio. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni who apply for our postgraduate courses also qualify to receive a generous fees discount.
Some graduates choose to pursue postgraduate and doctoral research. For over 60 years, the Acoustics Research Centre at Salford has led audio and acoustics knowledge-building and innovation. Funded by research councils, government bodies and industry, the Centre offers a range of postgraduate research opportunities for acoustics graduates.
Industry collaboration is at the heart of your learning at Salford. Thanks to a longstanding partnership with Soundsnap, you will have free access to sound effects resources during your studies.
Our acoustic and audio staff hold strong industry links through collaborative research and development projects with our Acoustics Research Centre.These connections keep course content relevant to industry needs and in tune with new research.
What you need to know
We welcome applicants with a passion for sound and a desire to build a future career working in this field. You will ideally have studied mathematics or a technical or science-based subject at college, and would like to gain a deeper knowledge in these and other related subjects, with particular interest in applying this knowledge to sound and audio.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.
Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
112-120 UCAS points, including a scientific or technical subject
112-120 UCAS points including minimum of a grade C or above in a technical or scientific subject such as Mathematics, Physics, Music Technology, IT or Electronics
BTEC National Diploma
DMM from technical or scientific subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, Music Technology, IT or Electronics, or similar. E.g. BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology including modules in Sound Creation and Manipulation, Acoustics for Musicians.
Access to HE
Pass with 112-120 UCAS points from a QAA-approved Science or technical programme
120 UCAS points to include Mathematics or a technical or scientific subject (for example, Physics, Music Technology, IT or Electronics)
Irish Leaving Certificate
120 UCAS points to include Mathematics or a technical or scientific subject (for example, Physics, Music Technology, IT or Electronics)
Pass in Diploma of at least 80%
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of 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.
To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).
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International student scholarships
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
Learn more about our latest international scholarships.
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Course ID H349