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Music and Sound Design (BA)

BA Honours

Music and Sound Design

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Key Course Information

Entry Year

2017

Course length

3 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

ABB

Faculty

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

No

UCAS Code

W371

School

Arts, English and Languages

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

The BA Music and Sound Design is a new multidisciplinary programme delivered from the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) - a leading institute dedicated to creative practice in music and the sonic arts. The programme is designed for musicians interested in composing music and designing sound for a wide range of contexts but with particular emphasis on film and theatre. Students gain extensive experience of designing sound for a variety of contexts, composing in the studio, composing for instrumental forces, song-writing and scoring for picture. Students also learn innovative methods of capturing, synthesising and manipulating sound, enabling the design of sonic environments to accompany picture, stage productions, radio and gaming. The programme is delivered by an expert team of staff with additional tuition provided by leading music industry professionals.

Why Queen's?

SARC is one of the largest and best-equipped institutions in the UK working in the field of music and sound. Students on the BA in Music and Sound Design have access to state-of-the-art audio resources including two dedicated computer suites, ten sound studios and the world’s first Sonic Laboratory – a unique performance space capable of three-dimensional sound projection.

  • QS World University Ranking recently placed the School in the top 50 university departments worldwide for the performing arts.
  • SARC is an Avid Learning Partner and Avid-accredited courses in Pro Tools for audio production are embedded into the curriculum.
  • SARC benefits from strong partnerships with BBC, Ulster Orchestra, Opera NI, Hard Rain Solo Ensemble, Cathedral Arts Festival, Moving on Music, Diatribe Records, DTS and Dolby.

Course Content (including module information)

Level 1

students develop their musical practice in the areas of composition, critical listening and improvisation in addition to gaining a thorough grounding in sound recording principles and practical experience of audio mixing and sound synthesis. Students also explore the range of musical practices ranging from mass market music to the 'classical' tradition and its contemporary proliferation.

Level 2

students explore the broader field of sonic art and develop skills in sound design for screen including dialogue editing, atmos tracklay, SFX editing, ADR recording and mixing to broadcast specifications. Optional modules are available in areas such as audio production, radio production, instrument and installation design, song writing or improvisation.

Level 3

students continue to develop skills relevant to sound design and the creation of sonic art. Students can also opt to take modules in spatial audio mixing, designing musical interactions, composing for film and television, audio production, or undertake a work placement. The programme concludes with the completion of a project focussing on an aspect of professional practice in sound design or composition.

Contact information

 For more advice regarding course content, please contact:

Name: Mr Chris Corrigan

School: School of Arts, English and Languages

T: 028 90974830

E: c.corrigan@qub.ac.uk

W: www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment: The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Module Outline Document which is provided to all students at the beginning of each teaching semester.

Feedback: Students receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module convenors, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards students should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

 

Once students have reviewed their feedback, they will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work. 

 

Learning and Teaching

The Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) is the primary resource for teaching on the course.  In addition to 10 studios and 2 computer suites dedicated to audio production work, it comprises the world's first Sonic Laboratory - a concert space containing a 48-channel loudspeaker system for experimental, three-dimensional sound projection. The SARC facility supports the School’s curriculum in performance, sound recording, composition and sound design.

Students on the programme are provided with a range of learning experiences which enable them to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies that enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners.  Examples of the learning opportunities provided on the course are:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Practicals:  provide opportunities for the development of technical skills and the application of theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  interactive group workshops; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; on-line assessment; opportunities to use software applications associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, performance practice, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback and assignment research and preparation is carried out.
  • Work placements:  Students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in Level 3.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
  • Supervised projects:  In final year, all students take a ‘Professional Practice’ module which provides the opportunity to develop a body of artistic work in a professional context. Each individual or group will be assigned a member of staff to act as a mentor. Mentors and students will meet fortnightly to review work in progress and to discuss practical concerns.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them regularly during the year to support their academic development.

Entry Requirements

 

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: ABB

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level): H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Music and Sound Design.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Sound design is a key element of the film, gaming and immersive (VR) industries. The Level 3 Work Placement module is an excellent opportunity for students to gain real-world industry experience. Some of the organisations our students have completed placements with include: DTS, The Sound Studio, Lamb Films, Pi Communications, Q Radio, Maverick Renegade Productions, The Soundhouse, The Big Telly Theatre Company.

The programme prepares students for a wide range of possible career paths including sound design for screen, sound design for theatre, broadcasting, audio post production, foley, composition, scoring, interactive system design, education and other areas of the music and audio industries. Companies currently employing our graduates include the BBC, UTV, YellowMoon Post Production, NI Screen, SNK Studios, The Soundhouse, The Nerve Centre, Steven’s Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.

Further study, including Masters programmes, is also an option; see the School website for further information. 

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

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