Music Technology BA (Hons)

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

Music technology is a diverse field that requires practitioners to be multi-skilled, adaptable and adept at collaboration across different disciplines and media. Developments in music technology signal trends and evolutions in music practices, creation and consumption. Our core philosophy is to develop musical, academic and technical skills through the exploration, application and support of creative practice.

This course is aimed at aspiring sound engineers, record producers, sound designers, live sound mixers, contemporary composer/producers and performers who wish to develop their skills using a hands-on approach to learning and research across digital and analogue sound creation, recording and production techniques, sequencing, synthesis and programming, spatial studies, context, history and criticism.

Develop specialist skills in areas such as audio post-production for media, broadcasting, performing with technology, live sound reinforcement, applications of music technology in education, and analogue record production including tape ops and vintage equipment maintenance.

Kingston's extensive facilities include recording studios, rehearsal rooms, Pro Tools, Ableton and Logic-based MIDI/editing suites, synth labs, and our analogue/hybrid Visconti Studio.

Follow us on Instagram @kingstonunimusic to see some of the great work we and our graduates are doing.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time W370 2024
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • 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.
  • You'll benefit from central London's vibrant and multicultural music scene.
  • 100% of students thought staff were good at explaining things (NSS 2023).

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

Music Technology at Kingston

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

Year 1 and 2 are made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level. At Year 3 students will take a capstone 60 Professional Project module along with two optional modules.

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.

Navigating Music Technology

30 credits

Through this module you will learn about the history of music technologies, how they have evolved to the present day, transforming how 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. This module also requires you to begin to develop your professional identity and active citizenship, through exploring concepts including understanding ethical issues and values, design thinking, and commercial awareness.

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 will specialise in performing with technology and audio post-production. You will also learn more about careers in the music industry and undertake a work placement. All students will have the opportunity to 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.

Exploring Music Technology

30 credits

In this module you will study a range of topics including copyright law; contracts and legals; performing, publishing and synchronisation rights; publicity and social media; income streams for musicians and music technologists; publishing and the internet income; management, agents, promoters; live music events and merchandising; self-assessment and tax; and the role of unions.

You will also critically evaluate your own personal development through reflection on your progress and goals, as a means of developing your creative practice to explore problems beyond your discipline. This will be supported through personal development planning (supported by your Personal Tutor), enabling you to evidence your understanding of the skills you are developing, through all the work you are creating as part of your course, in preparation for Level 6.

Performing with Technology

30 credits

From performing with laptops, interfaces, rigs, triggers, live effects manipulation, electronics and video, this module will encourage diversity through a range of performance and collaborative practice. You will also examine case studies, consisting of a range of historical and contemporary performance practices across a variety of cultures and styles.

Audio Post-Production

30 credits

Study on this module will see you creating, editing and manipulating music and sound in a range of media postproduction scenarios, including trailers, TV, advertising, film and games. You will develop practical skills in Foley and ADR (automatic dialogue replacement) 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 also be able to choose from a selection of up to two optional modules covering commercial music production, analogue recording, live sound management, music technology in education and broadcasting.

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.

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.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2024

UCAS tariff points: 112-128

Level 3 qualifications (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.).

Additional Requirements

Please submit either a digital audition or music portfolio and show us the four values of questioning, curiosity, technical ability, and enthusiasm.

Your digital audition should be a performance clip of 3 minutes of music. This could include:

  • A link to a piece of music you have produced or been involved in creating
  • A link to an example of you performing a piece of music

If you choose to submit a music portfolio instead of a digital audition, please include a couple of recorded tracks/demos you have worked on or a link to a SoundCloud/Bandcamp/YouTube page, demonstrating your skills and abilities in either song writing, beat making and/or sound engineering.

The aim of the portfolio is to showcase your potential as a music technologist. With this in mind, your portfolio could include:

  • Musical sketches
  • Beats
  • Programming ideas you have created

Please provide a short (500 words) written statement to make it clear what your contribution is to the music you have submitted as part of your portfolio.

The audition or portfolio does not need to demonstrate a perfected skill or finalised music idea.

You will be sent guidance on how to upload your digital audition or portfolio when you have applied to your course.

What are we looking for?

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no element below 5.5.

Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from recognised majority English-speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country-specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

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 (self-managed time)

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 final assignments. 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 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 learning and teaching activities

19% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching 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: 18%
  • Year 2: 18%
  • Year 3: 13%

Contact hours may vary depending on your optional module choices.

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 211 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 989 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 232 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 968 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 394 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1706 hours

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

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: 81%
  • Practical: 14%
  • Exams: 5%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 75%
  • Practical exam: 25%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 90%
  • Practical: 10%

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

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 learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. 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 to 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

Associate Professor Tony Visconti

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 works 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

2024/25 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2024/25 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2024/25): £17,800
Year 2 (2025/26): £18,500
Year 3 (2026/27): £19,200

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full-time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full-time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK 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.

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2023/24): £15,800
Year 2 (2024/25): £16,200
Year 3 (2025/26): £16,600

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full-time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full-time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK 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.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that 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, access to shared 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.

Textbooks

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 buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

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. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Field trips

There may be optional study visits and field trips. These range from £25 for local trips to various costs for international trips.

External shows and exhibitions

There may be costs for participating at external shows and exhibitions. You could incur travel costs which will vary according to the location.

After you graduate

Graduates work in roles such as music producer, sound engineer, live sound manager, sound designer, event manager, music programmer, post-production sound editor, foley artist and sound recordist, music teacher, composer and music manager.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.

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).