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Undergraduate Commercial Sound Production Student | Why UWS | University of the West of Scotland

Prepare for a career in the music and media industry

The BSc Music Technology provides students with the knowledge and practical experience to work in a range of areas within the creative music, audio and media sectors.

Guest speakers from industry also form part of the programme to further deepen your understanding of the subject.

The Paisley Campus facilities include 3 professional industry-standard recording studios, 2 specialist iMac audio labs and students also have access to a live music venue

We offer areas of study that focus on developing high-calibre graduates ready for a successful career in the music and media industry.

This course is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) and is an Avid Learning Partner (offering the opportunity to gain Pro Tools certification).

Placement Opportunities

This course features a placement in year 3 which may be with a UK music industry company or abroad in a partner institution, such as the Harris Institute in Canada.

Work placement opportunities available through the School of Engineering & Computing allow students to put theory into practice in real-world business environments.

Study Abroad

Broaden your horizons, learn a new language and prepare for the best international opportunities available with study abroad at UWS.

Computing at UWS

Computing courses at UWS are designed in collaboration with leading companies to produce work-ready graduates with the skills that industry needs.

We work with major industry leaders to give our students work-based learning opportunities to put their knowledge into practice.

Our students graduate ready for career success in this fast-changing, dynamic industry. 

Learn more about the School of Engineering & Computing at UWS.

 

94%

of all UWS students in work and/or further study 6 months after graduating

Entry Requirements

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.

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Undergraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Year 1

  • Scottish Highers: BBBC, or equivalent, or 102 UCAS Tariff points including Music or Music Technology
  • A levels: CCD or 88 UCAS Tariff points including Music or Music Technology
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H4 including Music or Music Technology
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (4, 4 at HL)
  • SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC: Music Technology 
  • Scottish Widening Access Programme: Access to STEM BBB
  • African WASSCE (WAEC): a pass in 5 subjects (minimum of 3 at Grade B) including Maths at Grade B

Year 2

  • Scottish Advanced Highers: CCD including Maths and Music (112 UCAS Tariff points)
  • A levels: BCC including Maths and Music (104 UCAS Tariff points)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points
  • SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC: Sound Production or Music Technology or Music and Audio Technology (all with an A in the Graded Unit)  

Year 3

SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Sound Production or Music and Audio Technology or Music Technology or other relevant discipline (all with a B in the Graded Unit)

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 (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, 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 score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

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

TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* 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.

 

Pre-sessional courses

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).

Course details

The BSc Music Technology will teach you to produce and process music and audio ready for distribution for applications including web and multimedia, film, animation, and computer games. 

You will have access to current industry standard equipment and software for live sound reinforcement and acoustics analysis. You will also be involved in studio recording and production, location recording and audio post-production, electronic music composition and sound design. 

Recent industry guest speakers include Derek Richards FSRA; Andrew Britton of BBC Scotland; Alan McEwan, Studio Manager Brick Lane Studios; and Ross Cooney of Street Jazz Music Group.

Year 1

You will be introduced to modern audio/music recording and production techniques through creating podcasts, studio recording projects with Apple Logic and Avid Pro Tools systems and creating computer based music. Within live sound and acoustics you will work with analogue consoles and small PA systems. You will also investigate basic audio circuits and develop your appreciation of the scope of the music and media industry. 

  • Audio For Broadcast 
  • Digital Recording and Production 1 
  • Creative Computing Profession 
  • Sound Reinforcement 1 
  • Audio Technology 1 
  • Computer Music

Year 2

Studio recording and production techniques are further developed with a deeper focus on industry technical standards. You will study electronic music and understand MIDI control through composition and sound design in Ableton. Audio post production work enhances your skills in synchronisation, editing and processing techniques for deliverable media.  Practical impulse response capture and room acoustics theory provides you with contextualised learning in reverberation, room design and acoustic analysis.  Continuing studies in sound reinforcement theory and systems will culminate with group work and the technical production of a live music event. 

  • Audio Post-Production 
  • Electro acoustics 
  • Sound Reinforcement 2 
  • Digital Recording and Production 2 
  • Audio Technology 2 
  • Electronic Music

Year 3

You will work in small production teams with musicians and artists producing professional multi-song recordings (EP's), video and web content for promotional purposes for the artist. This will be used to showcase your employable skills within a portfolio context. Music and media industry business and legal aspects are studied in terms of employment and entrepreneurship. Audio processing is introduced through the creation of a suite of effects developed in Max For Live for Ableton Live. You will have an opportunity to participate in a music industry placement in the UK or abroad in a partner institution, such as the Harris Institute in Canada. 

  • The Music Business 
  • Audio Visual Integration 
  • Professional Studio Practice 
  • Audio Signal Processing 
  • Music Technology Project 
  • Interactive Music / Creative Technology Placement 

 

Year 4 (Honours)

The honours year features an extensive individual project culminating in the production of a dissertation and portfolio assets. You can customise your topic to enable you to develop specialised knowledge and skills towards your area of interest for future employment. 

You will be required to raise the quality of your work to implement professional and European standards for the delivery of audio in stereo and surround formats. 
Using current industry relevant mastering plug-in software and applying your professional listening skills, you will finalise selected tracks and format them for distribution. You will produce and synchronise all the audio assets required to complete a sound track for an animated short film. 

You will apply the principles of signal processing in the development of software synthesisers and generative MIDI sequencing devices using Max For Live in Ableton Live.

You may choose to develop Acoustics towards a professional level or to apply your sound design and compositional skills to the specific requirements of Computer Games.

  • Music Technology Major Project 
  • Audio Mastering 
  • Audio For Film & Animation 
  • Advanced Audio Signal Processing 
  • Acoustics / Computer Games Audio

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Course Structure (17/18)

Career Prospects

Typical career paths for graduates include:

  • Acoustics audio
  • Post production
  • Music composition
  • Music production
  • Live sound or broadcast
  • Sound systems design and installation
  • Sound design
  • Theatre sound
  • Video post-production

Many graduates also work as freelancers while some set up their own business.

Further Study

Some graduates choose further study, leading to an MSc, PhD or teaching qualification. See list of courses available.

Undergraduate Tuition Fees

Scottish campuses lab-based 2018/19

Scottish & EU

£1,820 cost per year of study (paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS*)

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£9,250 per year of study

Channel Island & Isle of Man

£9,250 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,100 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Part-time / online study lab-based 2018/19

Scottish & EU

£305 per module (20 credits)

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£1,550 per module (20 credits)

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£1,550 per module (20 credits)

International (Non-EU)

£2,350 per module (20 credits)

More on current & future tuition fees

Scottish campuses 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

International (Non-EU)

£14,000 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Undergraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

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.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

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.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as an undergraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at undergraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

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.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

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.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

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.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

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.

Find out more.

How to apply

Full-time (domestic & EU/EEA)

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 deadline for the 2018/19 entry was 15 January 2018, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it is  still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications with UCAS course choices is 30 June 2018, 18:00 (UK time). If you have missed the last deadline, you might be able to apply via ‘Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places for this session.

Please refer to our Undergraduate Application Guide for domestic & EU/EEA to find more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS.

Apply on UCAS

Full-time (non-EU/non-EEA), Part-time & Online (all students), Erasmus & International Exchange

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.

 

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

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.

UWS Undergraduate students studying at Ayr Campus

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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.