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Music Technology BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

This degree allows you to take a hands-on approach to learning and researching music technology. You'll produce and record music in our unique facilities which include recording studios, rehearsal rooms, Pro Tools and Logic-based MIDI/editing suites, a synthesis/sampling lab - and our analogue/digital hybrid Visconti Studio.

In partnership with world-famous record producer Tony Visconti, the British Library and Science Museum, the Visconti Studio comprises of a 300m² octagonal live room stocked with rare and vintage recording equipment. Students can access this studio to develop skills in analogue sound engineering and tape-based record production.

You can also collaborate with students across the university on interdisciplinary projects in areas like music journalism, broadcasting, composition, post production and sound design for film, TV and games.

You can benefit from central London's vibrant multicultural music scene - just 30 minutes from Kingston University. In addition to attending live music events and performances, you can participate in local musical initiatives like our community choir, the Kingston Singers.

Legendary music producer and associate professor, Tony Visconti, explains how he gets the best out of people, from our own students to world famous performers, Marc Bolan and David Bowie.

 

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time W370 Clearing 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University Clearing 2019
2020
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • This course received more than 92 per cent for satisfaction for learning resources (National Student Survey 2018).
  • You'll use our Visconti Studio, created in partnership with record producer Tony Visconti. It has a 300m² live room plus rare and vintage recording equipment.
  • You can participate in local musical initiatives, such as the Kingston Singers, our Stylophone Orchestra or Acid Grass Records, our in-house record label and artist collective.

 

What our students say

Find out why a current student and two recent alumni from Rumpsteppers, a hugely successful DJ and performance duo, chose to study music at Kingston University, and what they enjoy most about the course.

What you will study

Music technology is a diverse field and this course enables you to study it from a broad range of perspectives. You'll work with digital, analogue and hybrid music technology tools to create high quality sound and music productions. From record production to software programming, sonic art and performance, you will develop technical and artistic skills across a range of musical styles and contexts.

Modules

Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

In Year 1 you will develop your technical and creative skills through practical instruction in synthesis, sampling and sequencing. You will explore the history and evolution of music technology and study modern recording and sound engineering techniques. You will also undertake training in critical and diagnostic listening. In the Sonic Environments module, you will be introduced to the science and aesthetics of real and imagined spaces.

Core modules

Synthesis, Sampling and Sequencing

30 credits

Hands-on instruction and practice in synthesiser programming, sampling, sequencing, electronic composition and orchestration. You will learn how to create unique instrument patches and sounds and use them effectively in music productions. Curriculum will cover beat making, groove writing, and style arrangement using Logic Pro and Ableton Live.

The musical concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony, and form will be explored as applied to the principles and techniques of writing and arranging using computers.

Tech Revolutions

30 credits

You will learn about the history of music technologies, how they have evolved to the present day, transforming the way music is conceived of, played, heard, consumed and understood. You will critically engage with key developments led by inventors, producers, artists, composers, technicians in recorded music, live music, art and film, and consider the many ways in which music technologies are linked to culture.

Recording and Engineering

30 credits

This module offers hands-on study in modern recording and sound engineering. Students will learn about analog and digital consoles, microphones, audio signal flow, DAW session management, the principles of signal processing, audio editing and contemporary mixing techniques. You will also receive training in critical and diagnostic listening.

Sonic Environments

30 credits

This module provides an introduction to the science and aesthetics of real and imagined environments, their acoustics and spatial phenomena. You will engage in creative practice research that will consider a wide range of inter-connected practices: from installations, location recording and measuring impulse responses in real environments, to examining how sound behaves in virtual spaces: interactive game environments, VR, soundtracks and soundscapes. You will learn the fundamentals of acoustics, sound diffusion and absorption, and get to grips with the basic operation of physical modelling software applications.

In Year 2, while continuing to develop and diversify your skills, you can specialise in programming or performing with technology, audio post-production or sound design and perception. You will also learn more about careers in the music industry and undertake a work placement. All students will be trained in sound engineering in the Visconti Studio.

Core modules

The Visconti Studio

30 credits

Building on recording and engineering skills developed in Year 1, this module will focus on the aesthetics of production from a range of genres, using the Visconti Studio live room and instrument collection. You will research and critically engage with 20th-century recording and production legacies by attempting to recreate configurations and set ups associated with 'signature' sounds of the past: Phil Spector, George Martin, Brian Wilson and Tony Visconti. You will record and produce music in a variety of styles using a mixture of analogue and digital techniques, and will learn how to master to 1/4 inch tape.

The 21st Century Musician

30 credits

This is a core module for students on both Popular Music and Music Technology programmes and explores careers in music for the music graduate, allowing students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the business of music. The module includes a work placement of a minimum of 22 hours.

You will study subjects including copyright law; contracts and legals; performing, publishing and synchronisation rights; publicity and social media; incomes streams for musicians including government, arts and crowd funding; publishing and the internet income; management, agents, promoters; live sound events and merchandising; self-assessment and tax; and the role of unions. The module will be delivered by both academic staff and a range of guest music industry professionals.

Optional modules - Choose two from the following:

Programming Music

30 credits

This module will help you unlock the full creative potential of computers through the use of programming. The module will focus on open source programming languages. Using these versatile tools students will be able to craft their own sounds and original instruments, develop and implement their own musical-logic, and use controllers to synthesise and manipulate sounds.

Performing with Technology

30 credits

This module is for students who are interested in how technology applications and interfaces can enable innovative music performance. From performing with laptops, interfaces, rigs, triggers and turntables to live effects manipulation, electronics and video, this module will encourage diversity through a range of performance and collaborative practice.

Students will examine case studies and a range of historical and contemporary performance practices. Music Technology students will work alongside and collaborate with Popular Music students on the sister module 'Performing Music 2', and will have the additional opportunity to develop foundational skills in 'front of house' and monitor mixing.

Sound Design and Perception

30 credits

Building upon the skills and concepts taught in the first year module Sonic Environments students will explore the practical and creative uses of sound design and spatialisation for a variety of media. Concepts and practices relating to the use of sound design and surround sound mixing for films, games and art installations will be investigated.

You will also gain an understanding of the underpinning acoustics, psychoacoustics and philosophy of musical perception in relation to sound design and sound diffusion. perception in relation to sound design and sound diffusion.

Audio Post-Production (Pop)

30 credits

Study on this module will see you creating, editing and manipulating music and sound in a range of media post production scenarios, including trailers, TV, advertising, film and games. Students will develop practical skills in Foley and ADR recording, editing, design and creation of sound effects, as well as creating audio assets for game soundtracks and interactive media.

In Year 3, you will work with a supervisor to develop a personal project in your chosen area. You will continue to develop in the optional strands introduced in Year 2. Plus, there will be additional opportunities to undertake work on commercial music production, live sound management, music journalism, music technology in education, instrumental building/bending and breaking, broadcasting, and experimental music. You can also choose to do further work in the Visconti Studio.

Core modules

Professional Project

30 credits

Students will produce a substantial creative piece of work which develops their skills in a specific area marking the culmination of their degree work. It is designed to enable students to work independently in an area that excites and interests them. Students may choose to create their work within performance, songwriting, composing for media, a research dissertation, a production project or a combination of any of these. Students will be supported by themed group seminar meetings as a whole cohort, supplemented by individual tutorials. Students will work towards the major project of their choice and produce a reflective summation which will be presented as part of the Level 6 creative festival. Students' ideas will further be challenged through a series of employability and research seminars on cutting-edge music topics on which they will produce a critical written reflection.

Optional modules - Choose two from the following:

Commercial Music

30 credits

This is a level 6 optional module and will see students collaborating on the creation of music as part of a production team. The writing, performing, recording, mixing and mastering of music to a professional standard will be studied, as well as its distribution, marketing and retail. Part of the module will feature how to pitch music to replicate the real-world scenario of securing funding / seeking collaborative partners in the creative industries.

Live Sound and Event Management

30 credits

This module provides hands on experience in live sound reinforcement and event management, covering monitoring, lighting and projection, stage design, professional conventions, working with performers and promoters, and logistics. Students will train on analogue and digital consoles and gain experience engineering live sound at events held in a variety of external venues. Students will put on shows and organise a small tour, working with local venues and promoters. There will be opportunities to work with local partners Banquet Records, The Rose Theatre and The Fighting Cocks.

Music and Technology in Education

30 credits

You will examine music pedagogy and the use of specialist and inclusive technologies at different phases of education (early years, primary, secondary, FE), in diverse settings and across genres. Content draws from aspects of the psychology of music and didactics and will include specific approaches to the teaching of composition, performance and music production using studios and DAWs. You will either gain experience in a work placement or take the opportunity to research and develop new ways in which music and technology can be used for education, play, therapy and/or enhanced accessibility in a specified setting.

The Analogue Studio

30 credits

This module is an optional module for students on the Popular Music and Music Technology programmes. The focus of this module is the development of a comprehensive theoretical and practical grounding in tape-based analogue studio craft. The module will be taught in the Department of Performing Arts' unique facility, the Visconti Studio, with a mixture of lecture demonstrations and practical workshops during which you will learn tape machine operations, how to care for, connect and operate relevant machinery/outboard equipment, and develop a comprehensive understanding behind the science, technology and traditions that underpin these practices.

Experimental Music: Derbyshire, The Radiophonic Workshop and Beyond

30 credits

From musique concrète and the Radiophonic Workshop to Noise Music and Live Coding artists used technology in innovative ways while advancing technological innovation. You will be introduced to key artists whose musical experiments shaped today's musical and technological landscape.

You will then focus on developing your own practice through a process of research and experimentation leading to the production of a unique and personal artifact (composition, performance, installation, or hybrid forms).

Special Study: Broadcasting

30 credits

You will apply your technical knowledge and skills to produce a portfolio of broadcast ready radio content: interviews, links, news clips, advertisements and jingles, performances in-session, editing and producing streaming podcasts. Students will take over operations of the Kingston University Radio Station and gain hands-on experience in studio operations, production preparation, and broadcast engineering.

Special Study: Instrument Building, Bending and Breaking

30 credits

In this module you will create bespoke instruments for musical expression using music programming languages and circuitry. From basic oscillators to complex synthesisers, you are taught the essential skills to devise your own sound-making equipment and software. The concepts and ethos of circuit bending and hacking to create new and innovative instruments will also be explored. As part of your assessment, you will devise performances using these unique instruments.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

112 tariff points

If you want to join us in 2019 through Clearing, please call us on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the tariff information below is for 2020 entry only.

Typical offer

112 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications, including Music, Music Technology, Performing and Production Arts or related subject (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Additional requirements

Entry onto this course will require a digital portfolio/performance clip of music or link to a SoundCloud page. Details are available on the course page on the University's website. Further details about the portfolio will also be sent via email after submission of application.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

You'll be taught through lectures, workshops and seminars by highly experienced academic staff who are active performers, composers and producers. Classes run throughout the day and evening, with regular concerts, gigs and recitals taking place during the academic year. Music industry guest speakers and performers, brought to the University via a series of masterclasses, will be a significant feature of this course and help enhance the process of learning.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time spent in timetabled teaching and learning activities

22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activities (lectures, workshops & seminars).

A significant proportion of your individual study time across all three levels will be devoted to work in the University's recording studios, synth and computer laboratories, learning and developing specialist techniques and software skills.

  • Year 1: 20%
  • Year 2: 18%
  • Year 3: 13%

Contact hours may vary depending on your optional module choices.

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Practical: 44 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

 

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises practical demonstration and creative work (e.g. presentations, productions, performance), and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework
Year 2
  • Practical exam
  • Coursework
Year 3
  • Coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts between 15 and 30 students and lecture sizes are normally 15 - 22. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

You'll be taught through lectures, workshops and seminars by highly experienced academic staff who are active performers, composers and producers. Classes run throughout the day and evening, with regular concerts, gigs and recitals taking place during the academic year. Music industry guest speakers and performers, brought to the University via a series of masterclasses, will be a significant feature of this course and help enhance the process of learning.

Associate Professor Tony Visconti

Tony Visconti's name is synonymous with ground-breaking music. He is one of record production's great innovators who has worked with some of the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from Marc Bolan/T-Rex and Thin Lizzy, to David Bowie, The Damned and U2. In the Visconti Studio he is working with students and Kingston University staff, as well as invited artists, to produce records.

Facilities

This course will be taught at the Coombehurst complex at Kingston Hill where Music currently has use of four designated buildings. These house a range of specialist facilities to help support study including the prestigious Visconti Studio, the centre of Kingston University's research and teaching project The Heritage and Future of Analogue Recording and Production.

There are also two additional recording studios, two postproduction suites, two Mac-based computer labs, an equipment loans room, and a range of teaching spaces and rehearsal rooms.

The Coombehurst complex is a lively, stimulating environment, well-suited for music making.

Get inspired by Tony Visconti

Watch this video to hear legendary music producer Tony Visconti explain why sharing his skills and experience with students at Kingston University's Visconti Studio is so important to him. The world-renowned record producer and David Bowie collaborator taught students at the Visconti Studio as part of his role as visiting professor at the University.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation year: £14,200
Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WIFI is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £14,600
Year 1 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,000
Year 3 (2022/23): £15,450

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

After you graduate

Our graduates are employed in a broad range of music-related careers, including: musician; performer; teacher; songwriter/composer; producer; events manager; within the broadcast industries (TV, radio, internet); in music management, administration and marketing; and audio post production for film, TV and games.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Undergraduate study
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