Music is one of the UK’s largest creative industries - and the UWS BA Commercial Sound Production course opens doors for those with talent, drive and ability to forge varied, lifelong careers in music promotion, tour management, sound engineering and production.
This professionally-accredited course teaches audio engineering and production in the fields of music, film, TV, radio and gaming.
Developed in response to industry requirements, the focus of the course is on a rapidly developing modern music business and its opportunities.
Lecturers are practising music industry professionals and guest speakers have included Shirley Manson and Ricky Ross. Designed for songwriters, producers and DJs, you will develop a variety of specialisms, giving our graduates a diverse range of skills to build a successful career in music.
Some classes may be delivered off campus, at our creative hub in Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts and Paisley Campus.
What qualifications do you need?
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience.
All applicants will be expected to submit a strong personal statement and reference. Applicants may be invited for interview.
SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Music Technology or Sound Production or Performance or screen-related discipline
SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Music - considered on an individual basis
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for most courses
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
overall score 6.0
no sub-test less than 5.5
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)
IELTS Score Exceptions (Research degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 6.5
no sub-test less than 6.0
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.
For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:
overall score of 7.0
score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and no less than 6.5 in writing
* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019).
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 5.0
no sub-test less than 4.5
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students. For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
C6 or above in English
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).
You will develop technical production skills in the subjects of music, sound design and audio production. And you will specialise in areas such as surround sound and audio for a wide range of media applications.
Extensive staff expertise will help you make the most of your experience at UWS. The courseis open to all those with an interest in music, particularly songwriters, producers, DJs, re-mixers etc. The course will encourage you to develop a variety of specialisms.
Guest speakers have included Donald Macleod, senior sound dubbing mixer STV Glasgow, and Kahl Henderson of Savalas, Scotland's largest audio post-production facility.
You will have opportunities to advance your study into new media and music product design and complete a four-week work placement. Record releases and events will be staged from the beginning of Trimester 2 onwards. Music and audio post-production modules provide the essential skills requirements for work in the varied audio industries.
Learn a Language (optional)
This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover multiple languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. The cost of your language module is included in the tuition fees. Find out more
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
Fixed-term, freelance contracts are the norm in this field and you will often find yourself working on a number of contracts simultaneously. Graduates will be required to build extensive contact networks and to work on a flexible basis.
Contract options include radio/television/film; computer games; broadcast media; arts administration; community arts; music performance; music publishing; and events organisation.
Employers include public sector bodies such as community arts/culture organisations, schools and colleges and independent film-makers and radio stations.
Some graduates choose further study, leading to an MSc, PhD or teaching qualification. See list of courses available.
Undergraduate Tuition Fees
Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2019/20
Scottish & EU
£1,820 cost per year of study (paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS*)
English, Northern Irish & Welsh
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Channel Islands & Isle of Man
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Note: The library will hold some copies of the textbooks but not enough for every student. Students can purchase second hand copies when possible or use older versions if advised by the module cordinator. Students can also sell their copies after the course. This helps manage the cost.
There are no expected additional study-related costs with this degree.
Graduation fees (Mandatory) These fees are set annually by the University and are subject to review. For session 19/20 these were set at £10 Registration Fee.
Tuition Fees* & Living Cost Support
Tuition Fees & Additional Costs
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, should apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)
The on-time application deadline for 2020/21 entry is 15 January 2020, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it may still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications via UCAS is 30 June 2020, 18:00 (UK time). Beyond this deadline, you may be able to apply via ‘UCAS Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places.
Students from non-EU/non-EEA countries can apply directly to UWS via our dedicated online application system. The latest we can process your application is 6 weeks before the course start date to allow for visa processing times. For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our International Undergraduate Application Guide.
For part-time & online study, you should apply directly to the University through our online application system, not through UCAS. Please select the part-time mode of study when submitting your application. Before you begin your application, it is important to read the part-time application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
To come to UWS as a visiting student on a study abroad or exchange programme, you must apply entirely through our online system.
Please be aware that our application system will be unavailable from 25-29 Nov during the hours of 5am-9am GMT.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Get in touch
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.
Life at UWS
Going to university is about much more than getting a qualification, it’s also the chance to enjoy an exciting social life, gain some independence and make the most of the new opportunities available.
We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.