School of Art, Design and Architecture

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.

Audio and Music Technology

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.
  • Mix and collaborate with musicians on the BA (Hons) Music.
  • 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 (AMT4006)

      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 digital and analogue recording consoles, signal flow, microphone concepts and positioning, and advanced use of professional software platforms. Students will also collaborate with performance students in recording sessions.

  • 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.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    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.

    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.

    • Stage 2 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (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).

    • Play and Games for Performance (PER5008MX)

      This module will introduce students to practical methods for designing games and play structures for participatory performances that invite audiences to become actively involved in the work. In addition to learning new tools for designing and facilitating play, students will be prompted to consider playfulness from a theoretical perspective, recognising the connection between the play of mimesis and theatrical performance.

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003MX)

      This module explores the global challenges of harmful behaviours and activities in contemporary society by considering specific areas of concern for criminologists. By drawing on real-world examples in everyday life, the module examines how social problems and issues have arisen due to processes of globalisation that have changed the social, political and economic landscape of the 21st century.

    • Crime, Harm and Culture (CRM5009MX)

      The module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of harm and crime by exploring relevant issues from film, television, music, fiction literature and art. By applying a criminological lens to different forms of popular culture, students will be able to examine a variety of media forms in terms of its content and its contemporary political, social and economic context using different theories and concepts.

    • Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins and Vampires (ENG5002MX)

      This module looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels to trace the variety and scope of literary contributions to the Gothic. It begins by discussing the origins of the Gothic novel, then moves to the heyday of the genre in the revolutionary 1790s, on to authors writing in the early and mid-nineteenth century, through to the decadence of the 1890s.

    • ‘Hurt Minds’: Madness and Mental Illness in Literature (ENG5013MX)

      This module considers changing attitudes towards, and a variety of theories of, the mind, examining how different cultures have understood ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ mental states. It will look at how the experience and treatment of mental illness has been represented in fiction. The mind is at its most fascinating when it behaves outside of expected social norms. By considering a variety of literary texts over several centuries, this module explores shifts in the definition, understanding, evaluation, and management of exceptional mental states.

    • Writing Genre Fiction (ENG5017MX)

      This module takes students into in-depth engagement with prose fiction writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. 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.

    • Law in Context: Commerce and Intellectual Property (LAW5019MX)

      This module focuses on the work of commercial lawyers in practice in helping businesses to trade. It analyses a range of contractual agreements dealing with the manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of goods, assets and services in general and intellectual property in particular.

    • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR5014MX)

      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.

  • 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.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    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 an optional flexible placement year. The placement must be a minimum of 24-weeks (which can be split between a maximum of two different placement providers) and up to a maximum of 48-weeks over the course of the academic year. The placement is flexible and can be undertaken virtually, part or full time and either paid or voluntary. 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.

    • American Crime Writing (ENG6005MX)

      This module considers the development of twentieth-century American crime fiction from hard-boiled detectives, to myths of the mafia, and postmodern reinventions of the genre. This module will explore the cultural contexts of American crime writing, prevailing conventions of the genre, as well as challenges to those conventions.

    • Features Journalism Workshop (ENG6008MX)

      This module offers students an in-depth experience of professional writing. We will explore technique in features and literary journalism; music reviews, opinion columns and longer immersion features as well as other contemporary works of non-fiction feature writing, both short- and long-form, from sub-genres including profiles and interviews, autobiography and columns, travel writing, and reportage. We will learn to research and produce our own works of professional nonfiction and critically evaluate them.

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 (Hons) Audio and Music Technology programme specification_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.

Personalise your degree

Many of our degrees have a wide range of optional modules that allow you to follow your interests and play to your strengths.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Audio and Music Technology with Acting

Modules

  • 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.

  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations 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 as a site for theatre.

  • 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 Computing

Modules

  • 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 Drama

Modules

  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations 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 as a site for theatre.

  • 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, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Audio and Music Technology with Music

Modules

  • 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.

Computing with Musical Theatre

Modules

  • Choreography Repertory (MTH6004MX)

    Students learn, rehearse and perform dance repertory to a high standard. To support students’ ability to execute the choreography effectively a continued engagement with dance technique and its relationship to creative and performance skills is incorporated. Students will gain an understanding of their role as a contributing interpreter of this repertory and how to make this work their own.

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Acting through Song (MTH5001MX)

    Acting through song involves ‘telling the story’ and ‘selling the story’, as well as performance skills in characterisation and specific vocal expertise. Working from a range of scores and lyrics, students experiment with different approach to acting through song in a supportive salon environment, with tutor and peer feedback throughout.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

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

Audio and Music Technology with Dance

Modules

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

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

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

A levels
A typical offer will be 104 points from a minimum of 2 A levels. General Studies accepted.
International Baccalaureate
26-28 points overall. A typical offer will be 26 points overall. If overseas and not studying English within IB – you must have IELTS: 6.5 overall with 5.5 in all elements.
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM in any subject
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.
T level
Merit in any subject.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

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.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

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 admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Insight: Physical Computing module

In this hands-on learning programme, students physically build their own equipment from scratch. 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. We don’t just learn how to use other people's equipment, we build our own! 
BSc (Hons) Computing, Audio and Music TechnologyEduardo Miranda. computer music

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.

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


Meet our experts