Music Composition & Technology

BA/BSc (Hons)

2018 entry

Our Music Composition & Technology course is pioneering in its field – formed to meet a growing demand in the music and sound industries, it has been designed to reflect the need for graduates to be flexible and adaptable to different media.

The course content is driven by the ever-changing nature of the music and sound industry, as well as the evolving needs of our students.

On both the BA and BSc courses you’ll be encouraged to question the status quo of the creative industries and develop the confidence to shape the future development of technology and media. You might be working as a composer, a sound designer, or both; but it is the application of skills and knowledge to the different technological demands of the environment that determines whether you ultimately choose to work for a BSc or BA award.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

In the sound and music business the boundaries between what has traditionally been seen as two distinctive disciplines is rapidly breaking down. A state of fluidity is now the norm with practitioners often working in a multidisciplinary way across a range of arenas as composers, sound designers, musicians, fine artists etc.

Our Music Composition and Technology course has been designed to reflect this need for flexibility driven by the changing nature of the industry, and the course design accommodates the changing needs of the students. For example, as students’ progress through the course they may discover that they are interested in applying their technical or ‘craft’ skills to an interactive environment, which by its nature requires a more technical approach. Or perhaps they might be more inclined towards a more linear environment, where technology is employed in sound design or composition to enhance environments. The common thread that the course addresses is how the ability to manipulate sound and music is applicable to a range of current and emerging media.

This increasingly fluid nature of the professional media environment affords tremendous opportunities for students to develop their craft, enabling them to fashion beautiful musical creations and soundscapes whilst also taking risks. The course explores innovative and emerging approaches to product, process and technology and provides students with opportunities to challenges existing conventions, while they learn the transferable skills that will enable them to excel both as individuals and as part of a creative team.

Integral to both the (BSc) and the (BA) is the need for students to have an understanding of the relationship between personal ambitions and the demands of business and how to mediate the two to build a lasting career.

In Sound Advice in Year 2 and The Sound Business in Year 3 students are introduced to the music and sound business and begin to understand how the business works and how to make it work for them. This underpinning of the curriculum with strategies for employability and professional practice is embedded from Year 1 and will support students to make and sustain professional careers in the industry.

A key feature of the course is the cross-disciplinary collaborations available across the range of media subjects at UCA Farnham.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Adventures in Sound and Music

    Introduces you to location sound recording, writing music, sound design and building a soundscape.

  • Exploring Narrative

    Composing music or building a sound track for a three minute animation.

  • Sonic Art

    Sound and music as mediated through personal and public environments.

  • Studio Toolkit 1

    Introduction to basic audio engineering and digital programmes such as: Logic Pro, Ableton, Sound Forge, Protools etc.

  • Beats and Bleeps 1

    History and theory of electronic music and sound design.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Studio Toolkit 2

    Advanced studio recording and mixing techniques, and interactive programming applications such as Max MSP etc.

  • Linear Brief (BA)

    Composing a music score or soundtrack for a narrative film.

  • Designing Interactivity (BSc)

    Composing a music score or sound track and sound design for a computer games design or interactive production.

  • Sound Advice

    Introduction to the music and sound business and building a CV/online presence

  • Beats and Bleeps 2

    Further explorations of the history and theory of electronic music, sound design and developing a dissertation proposal or research project for Year 3.

  • Self-Generated Project or Work Experience

    Working with Acting and Performance students to compose music or a sound track for a performance festival.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Dissertation or Practice as Research

    You’ll undertake an extended piece of writing that explores in-depth an area of interest or alternatively develop a practice based project that is supported by extensive research.

  • The Sound Business

    Preparing for a career in the music and sound industry. Updating and populating your online profile.

  • Showreel

    Up to 25 minutes of music composition or sound design for a range of mediums working primarily linearly (BA) or interactive (BSc).

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course staff

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

How to apply - 2018 entry

Looking to study in 2017?

It’s still not too late to apply for September 2017 entry. Find out how to apply by following this link…

Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2)

And Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM, LCMM, Trinity College, Rockschool or others recognised by Ofqual).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance, and who were expected to achieve higher results.

Your portfolio

While a portfolio is not required for this course, if you choose to bring one it should it be on DVD or USB stick and consist of up to five minutes of original composed music or sound work. Be prepared to talk about your interests in music or sound and why you wish to pursue this course with us.

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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