ICCMR new BSc image

A unique new degree programme is building on world-leading research and expertise to equip graduates for careers in music, audio, computing and creative technology.

BSc (Hons) Computing, Audio and Music Technology at the University of Plymouth is now accepting applications for its first intake in September 2020. The programme is backed by 15 years of cutting-edge research and innovation carried out in the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).

Students will become experts in recording, mixing, mastering, acoustics, digital audio workstations, audio processing, sound synthesis, and many other areas. However, as well as providing learners with solid skills in traditional music and audio technology, the research-led degree will allow students to design and programme their own software. This unique aspect of the course means students will not be bound by the limitations of what is available commercially.

The ICCMR, led by Professor in Computer Music Eduardo Miranda, is at the forefront of research around the interface of music and technology. Students on the new programme will be exposed to this work, and taught by the people who are carrying it out.

Credit University of Plymouth, Dr Ed Braund

The Centre has particular expertise in assistive music technology, and is currently leading a multimillion pound project to design a bespoke radio service for people with dementia. Radio Me will use artificial intelligence to respond in real time to users’ behaviour and needs, broadcasting personalised messages mixed with live radio.

The ICCMR has also developed and pioneered use of the Brain Computer Music Interface (BCMI) to help severely disabled former musicians and members of the public make music once again.

Other pioneering research involves exploring the musical possibilities in quantum computing, and developing ‘biocomputers’ using live organisms as processors.

Dr Ed Braund, Lecturer in Computing, Audio, and Music Technology is Programme Lead for the new BSc.

He said:

“At the moment in the UK, the majority of music technology degrees are arts based, with little science or technical content. This can be limiting in terms of student employability. Graduates from this course will gain a level of technical skill that will mean they can go into the creative industries if they want to, but they could also work in the technology or computing sector.

“We are not just looking for people who have a musical background, and we are not asking for music A level. This is for people who are interested in music and technology, and would even suit people who want to do computing but want a creative element as well.”

Professor Miranda added:

“The ICCMR has been amassing all this knowledge and expertise for the last 15 years, and now it’s time to share it.

“Many music technology students are just learning how to use existing software that is already there. We will give students the skills to actually design the software, so they can be ahead of the game, they can be more creative and be different.

“Although this degree has music and audio in the title, all that they learn will be transferable to several other domains. They’ll be learning how to programme software in the context of music and audio, but the programming skills they will acquire can be applied to any other area.

“This is the age of technology and online resources, and our students will develop these new technologies. We want to put them behind the curtain, to find out what’s behind the screen and ask them: you work with this software, but can you make it, and understand how it works in depth by knowing how it is programmed? Our graduates will have a real edge."

Computer music research - 

Eduardo Miranda

“This is the degree I would have done – in my time there was nothing like it.”

  • Taught out of the world-leading Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).
  • Study under industry experts and learn from world-leading academics.
  • Become an expert in recording, mixing, mastering, digital audio workstations, computer programming, audio signal programming, sound synthesis and sampling, acoustics and many other areas.
  • Discover how music technologies can change and enrich lives.
  • Graduate with a diverse portfolio of music that will provide a unique edge in a competitive job market.

What's it like to be a student in the ICCMR?

ICCMR postgraduate researcher Satvik Venkatesh

"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." Satvik Venkatesh

"I joined the ICCMR as a PhD student, having studied music and physics in my undergraduate and masters, respectively. It is the perfect place to combine my passion for the creative and technical aspects of music making in all its forms. I have been able to build my own systems to listen to data and find genuinely innovative ways of composing music. The ICCMR is unique because the whole team is involved in cutting-edge research, so every student can learn from others’ work and gain research and industry experience ‘in-house’. The opportunities given to me have resulted in performances of original music, promotion in print, visual and social media, and many new contacts. The interdisciplinary nature of the department has also expanded my musical interests towards assistive music technology, and how music can have positive effects on peoples’ lives. The connections I have made with dementia and military charities have opened up exciting new prospects for my career." Dr Nuria Bonet Filella

Nuria bonet1
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