School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology

UCAS tariff 104 - 112
UCAS course code JW93
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Learn how technology is transforming the music industry with academics from our world-leading Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research. Become an expert audio engineer using the latest technologies. Free yourself from the limitations of current devices by gaining hands-on software development skills, enabling you to create your own tools. Prepare for an exciting range of roles in the music and technology industries and hear first-hand from industry professionals in masterclasses.

Taking you into – and beyond – the recording studio and concert hall, our degree will build your knowledge and hands-on experience. At Plymouth your degree really is what you make it. From the second year you can choose to take modules from different degrees within the School of Society and Culture. Build your understanding of how music affects the brain with a module in music psychology or understand the role of audio technology in a theatre with a module in drama or musical theatre.

Audio and Music Technology
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Key features

  • Accredited by JAMES representing APRS, MPG and associate industry bodies.
  • Work with world-leading experts in the field.
  • Learn recording, mixing, mastering, acoustics, digital audio workstations, audio processing, sound synthesis, and sampling whilst using the very latest technologies in the industry.
  • Learn hands-on computer programming and signal processing techniques.
  • Apply your advanced knowledge to help people and to address social problems.
  • Graduate with a diverse portfolio of practical work giving you an edge in a competitive job market.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Encounter modern music technology and develop the fundamental technical skills required to work effectively and creatively with music and audio in the digital and acoustic domains.

    Core modules

    • Interactive Sound (AMT4001)

      This module introduces learners to visual programming which they will use to build an interactive system. Through hands-on workshops, students will learn to develop systems using visual programming environments. Students will learn how to use the computer both as a tool for working with sound and music but also as an intelligent creative collaborator. The module is delivered through a series of hands-on workshops that aim to stimulate curiosity around contemporary practices in Computer Music.

    • Acoustics and Psychoacoustics (AMT4002)

      This module provides students with the knowledge required to understand and work with sound and music in the digital and acoustic domains. Sessions will introduce learners to the science of sound, and sound perception from the perspective of computing, audio, and music technology. The module will begin training students to relate subjective and objective measures of audio to inform their methods.

    • Sound Synthesis and Sampling (AMT4003)

      Students will learn the art of sound synthesis and sampling. Sessions will develop learners' understanding of digital representations of sound, sound compression, and methods to program computers to synthesise sounds for both creative and industrial applications. Students will learn sampling and effects processing techniques for audible design. The syllabus will be explored through hands-on workshops.

    • Introduction to Audio Programming (AMT4004)

      This module provides a hands-on introduction to computer programming for the music and audio technologist. Students will learn fundamental computing concepts, understand the basics of digital signal processing and apply these to develop some basic audio software.

    • Music and Audio Fundamentals (AMT4005)

      This module provides students with the core knowledge in the science and theory underlying the basics of sound transmission in air and in audio systems. The role and operation of key elements of audio systems are covered, with practical applications. Sessions will introduce learners to music theory, digital audio encoding and sampling approaches from the perspective of audio and music technology.

    • Audio Engineering (MUS4006)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental skills and techniques they need to become an effective audio engineer. Students will learn how to relate subjective and objective measures of sound to inform their practice. Taught sessions will explore topics such as psychoacoustics, small room acoustics, digital and analogue recording consoles, signal flow, microphone concepts and positioning, and advanced use of professional software platforms.

    • Stage 1 Placement Year Preparation (SSC400)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

  • Year 2

  • Transition from using existing audio and music technologies to learning how to develop and deploy your own. Engage with industry briefs and work as technical experts with musicians in the recording studio. Build your own digital instruments and software applications, and learn how to make hardware and software interfaces.

    Core modules

    • Audio Technology Design and Build (AMT5001)

      In this practical module, students will spend the first few weeks understanding core audio technology and how existing audio products work and will then spend the rest of the semester building their own prototype, applying their knowledge of audio equipment to build a real working system. Students will then evaluate and critically analyse their prototype in comparison to a professionally constructed product. Examples of what students can build: speaker cone; speaker cabinet; ribbon microphone; binaural head; hardware reverb (plate or spring).

    • Live Sound (AMT5002)

      In this module, students will collaborate with learn about the specific challenges of live sound production. They will work with performers use live sound systems in a multitude of different environments, from theatre to live music setting. Students will learn about sound system design, production engineering, live sound mixing, and theatrical sound design.

    • Audio Signal Processing (AMT5003)

      This module will provide students with a systematic understanding of audio signal processing. Practical sessions will equip learners with the ability to process, manipulate/effect, and analyse audio data. The module will also cover creative uses of audio signal processing. These skills will augment each student's existing programming abilities to ensure they are competent at developing audio software.

    • Music Technology Research Project (AMT5004)

      This module introduces students to research methods and techniques for surveying the state of the art to gain an awareness of the trends and challenges of the field. Students will be encouraged to negotiate a programme of study and assessment mode related to an audio and music technology topic of interest. There is scope in this module for students to put an emphasis on practical and/or theoretical engagement with the chosen topic.

    • Stage 2 Placement Year Preparation (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    Optional modules

    • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

      This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

    • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

      Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Optional placement year

  • Gain valuable on-the-job experience through our optional placement year. We will support you in your second year in deciding whether to take this opportunity, and assist you in finding a placement and being prepared for it. The placement could be in any appropriate external setting.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking a 48-week optional placement year. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • Follow your passion: plan and develop a project that explores an area of computing, audio, and music technology that you choose. Practice advanced skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning, audio signal processing, assistive music technology and create devices that can change and enrich lives.

    Core modules

    • Advanced Audio Production (AMT6002)

      This module will introduce advanced concepts, theory, and practical use of a broad range of equipment used for recording, editing, and mixing sound. Practical experience of sound recording will be gained in analogue/digital recording, both in studios and on location. It aims to develop your ability to edit multitrack audio using advanced post-production techniques and develop the skills required to capture accurate stereo, multichannel, and 3D audio recordings.

    • Music Information Retrieval (AMT6003)

      This module develops an opportunity for students to understand and critique approaches to computational music analysis and the field of Music Information Retrieval. Within this field, musical meaning and understanding is developed from raw audio signal analysis, and these approaches and concepts can tie together fundamental acoustic, psychoacoustic, and music theory into the core music technology that is on the forefront of academic research.

    • Negotiated Dissertation Project (MUS6001)

      This module provides a structured learning environment in which to build on personal subject specific specialisms, culminating in either a practice-based portfolio with a substantial critical underpinning or a written dissertation.

    Optional modules

    • Audio Software Development (AMT6001)

      This module provides an overview of advanced programming techniques. It builds on prior programming knowledge and focuses on the principles of object-oriented programming using C++. This is covered within the context of creating audio plugins.

    • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

      This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

    • Electroacoustic and Electronic Music (MUS6004)

      This module will introduce students to the history and repertoire of electroacoustic and electronic music. They will acquire the compositional skills to create music in these genres through practical workshops. The module will encourage students to combine their critical and creative skills to produce pieces in their chosen genre.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Audio and Music Technology Prog Spec Sep22 FINAL 7208

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Personalise your degree
All our degrees have a wide range of optional modules and there is even the opportunity to study modules from any of the School of Society and Culture's subject areas.

Learn more about your options

You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:



Audio and Music Technology with Acting

Modules required

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

Audio and Music Technology with Anthropology

Modules required

  • Decolonising the Social Sciences (ANT5006MX)

    This module responds to contemporary calls to decolonise the social sciences. It reads the history of social science through the lens of post-colonial and indigenous studies. How have non-western voices been treated by academia? What does academia look from the perspective of the subaltern? Can the social sciences shed their colonial robes, or are they doomed to remain racialised and exclusionary disciplines?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    Using ethnography, we analyse how coastal communities use the sea – not only as a source of livelihood, but as a key ingredient in the construction of their identity and place in world. Drawing on a range of cases from across the world – from Polynesian sorcerers, to Japanese whale mourners, to Cornish surfers – we study how coastal communities are responding to climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and extinction.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

Audio and Music Technology with Art History

Modules required

  • Imagery in Online and Offline Worlds: Film, Television and Video Games (ARH5002MX)

    This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of current approaches towards mass media and visual culture. Particular emphasis will be put on medium-specificity, content analysis and audience studies.

  • Painting Sex and Power (ARH5008MX)

    The module examines the link between the perception of sexuality and power in a variety of media, and from diverse historical and geographic contexts. Critical approaches from gender studies will be combined with visual analysis in order to contextualize the biased and stereotypical nature of the imagery.

  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

Audio and Music Technology with Computing

Modules required

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

Audio and Music Technology with Creative Writing

Modules required

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

Audio and Music Technology with Drama

Modules required

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Audio and Music Technology with English

Modules required

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

Audio and Music Technology with Music

Modules required

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Audio and Music Technology with History

Modules required

  • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

    This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

  • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

    This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

  • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

    This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

  • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

    The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

Audio and Music Technology with Criminology

Modules required

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology (CRM5007MX)

    This module focuses upon a contemporary criminological or criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a criminological analysis appropriate to the topic.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Green Criminology (CRM6010MX)

    This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

Audio and Music Technology with International Relations

Modules required

  • Refugee Studies (PIR5009MX)

    This module focuses on the political, economic and social context of forced migration and considers the complex and varied nature of global refugee populations. It analyses responses at international, national and regional level and engages with a range of challenging questions around international co-operation, the framework of international protection, humanitarianism and the causes of displacement.

  • Global Development (PIR5011MX)

    This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at international and multilateral scale. The approach incorporates historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module considers issues faced by international development agencies, as well as the impact on populations in the developing world to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns.

  • Global Environmental Politics (PIR6007MX)

    This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the primary causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A range of ideas, critiques, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

Audio and Music Technology with Politics

Modules required

  • Civil Society and the Public Sphere (PIR5010MX)

    This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

  • Democracy and Globalization: Citizens and the Modern State (PIR5012MX)

    Students taking this course will discover how social and economic change in the modern era impacts upon traditional political structures. The course demonstrates how structures face increasing challenges from alternative forms of political action, ranging in scope from the local to global, as well as a resurgence of the forces of populism and nationalism. Much of the analysis will be comparative in scope.

  • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR6008MX)

    This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

Audio and Music Technology with Sociology

Modules required

  • Globalisation and Social Justice (SOC5005MX)

    This module investigates the key debates of globalisation and critically evaluates, in terms of its economic, political, socio-cultural and legal dimensions, the causes and consequences of a globalising world. It furthermore explores a range of international social justice issues to examine the relationships (causative and ameliorative) between policies and (in)justice

  • Gender, Sex and Sexuality (SOC5006MX)

    This module introduces students to the sociology of gender, sex and sexuality. It interrogates these concepts with particular reference to identity, activism, social justice and social change. It develops an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender, sex, sexuality and other social signifiers of difference/diversity including ‘race’, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and age.

  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

Audio and Music Technology with Law

Modules required

  • Environmental Law (LAW5009MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Law in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • Law, Literature and the Screen (LAW5012MX)

    To introduce students to fictional and factional representations of the legal order in prose, film and TV, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and the screen.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

Audio and Music Technology with Policing and Security Management

Modules required

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

All modules (53)

School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) Acting (Full-time)

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

BA (Hons) Anthropology (Full-time)

  • Decolonising the Social Sciences (ANT5006MX)

    This module responds to contemporary calls to decolonise the social sciences. It reads the history of social science through the lens of post-colonial and indigenous studies. How have non-western voices been treated by academia? What does academia look from the perspective of the subaltern? Can the social sciences shed their colonial robes, or are they doomed to remain racialised and exclusionary disciplines?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    Using ethnography, we analyse how coastal communities use the sea – not only as a source of livelihood, but as a key ingredient in the construction of their identity and place in world. Drawing on a range of cases from across the world – from Polynesian sorcerers, to Japanese whale mourners, to Cornish surfers – we study how coastal communities are responding to climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and extinction.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

BA (Hons) Art History (Full-time)

  • Imagery in Online and Offline Worlds: Film, Television and Video Games (ARH5002MX)

    This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of current approaches towards mass media and visual culture. Particular emphasis will be put on medium-specificity, content analysis and audience studies.

  • Painting Sex and Power (ARH5008MX)

    The module examines the link between the perception of sexuality and power in a variety of media, and from diverse historical and geographic contexts. Critical approaches from gender studies will be combined with visual analysis in order to contextualize the biased and stereotypical nature of the imagery.

  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Full-time)

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

BA (Hons) Drama (Full-time)

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

BA (Hons) English (Full-time)

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

BA (Hons) Music (Full-time)

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

BA (Hons) History (Full-time)

  • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

    This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

  • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

    This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

  • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

    This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

  • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

    The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (Full-time)

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology (CRM5007MX)

    This module focuses upon a contemporary criminological or criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a criminological analysis appropriate to the topic.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Green Criminology (CRM6010MX)

    This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

BSc (Hons) International Relations (Full-time)

  • Refugee Studies (PIR5009MX)

    This module focuses on the political, economic and social context of forced migration and considers the complex and varied nature of global refugee populations. It analyses responses at international, national and regional level and engages with a range of challenging questions around international co-operation, the framework of international protection, humanitarianism and the causes of displacement.

  • Global Development (PIR5011MX)

    This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at international and multilateral scale. The approach incorporates historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module considers issues faced by international development agencies, as well as the impact on populations in the developing world to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns.

  • Global Environmental Politics (PIR6007MX)

    This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the primary causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A range of ideas, critiques, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

BSc (Hons) Politics (Full-time)

  • Civil Society and the Public Sphere (PIR5010MX)

    This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

  • Democracy and Globalization: Citizens and the Modern State (PIR5012MX)

    Students taking this course will discover how social and economic change in the modern era impacts upon traditional political structures. The course demonstrates how structures face increasing challenges from alternative forms of political action, ranging in scope from the local to global, as well as a resurgence of the forces of populism and nationalism. Much of the analysis will be comparative in scope.

  • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR6008MX)

    This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

BSc (Hons) Sociology (Full-time)

  • Globalisation and Social Justice (SOC5005MX)

    This module investigates the key debates of globalisation and critically evaluates, in terms of its economic, political, socio-cultural and legal dimensions, the causes and consequences of a globalising world. It furthermore explores a range of international social justice issues to examine the relationships (causative and ameliorative) between policies and (in)justice

  • Gender, Sex and Sexuality (SOC5006MX)

    This module introduces students to the sociology of gender, sex and sexuality. It interrogates these concepts with particular reference to identity, activism, social justice and social change. It develops an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender, sex, sexuality and other social signifiers of difference/diversity including ‘race’, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and age.

  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

LLB (Hons) Law (Full-time)

  • Environmental Law (LAW5009MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Law in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • Law, Literature and the Screen (LAW5012MX)

    To introduce students to fictional and factional representations of the legal order in prose, film and TV, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and the screen.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology (Full-time)

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (Full-time)

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

Gain valuable on-the-job experience through our optional placement year. We will support you in your second year in deciding whether to take this opportunity, and assist you in finding a placement and being prepared for it. The placement could be in any appropriate external setting. Alternatively, you can gain this experience by selecting our Work-Based Learning module in your final year.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed £14,600
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Work with world-leading experts

The course is taught out of the University of Plymouth's Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).

Working on projects with industry partners such as the BBC R&D, Grey London, Rigetti Computing, Bauer Media, and CereProc, ICCMR was recognised as world-leading by the UK Government's last assessment of research quality. Each year, students are invited to exhibit their work at the ICCMR's Contemporary Music Festival.

Prepare for a career in music technology

I visited the ICCMR from India through a semester abroad programme, to pursue my passion at the crossroads of science and music. I worked on ICCMR’s world-leading project, Biocomputing and Artificial Intelligence for Music, and under Eduardo Miranda and Edward Braund strengthened skills like computer programming, digital signal processing and research methodology.

The project gave me the courage to innovate, and I started using these technologies in my creative practice as a musician. The creative, free-thinking and friendly atmosphere of ICCMR led me to pursue a masters degree at the centre, investigating brain-computer interfaces for musical applications. I got the opportunity to present my research at conferences and in journals and book chapters, and develop assistive music technology for individuals suffering from motor disabilities. ICCMR and its staff have served as an excellent foundation for my career, and I am going to start a PhD this year.

PhD student Satvik Venkatesh


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