MA in Sound (Arts, Production, Design)


Programme Description

Compose and produce contemporary music with an interdisciplinary and experimental focus.

Cutting edge interdisciplinary approach to music composition and production.

Flexible and adaptable to individual interests.

Runs alongside Sound (Arts) and Sound (Design), with options across programmes.

Develop your own signature sound and production style through this forward-thinking music composition and sound production course. You’ll be able to tailor the MA Sound (Production) course's content to your own style and skills.

The content will cover aesthetic considerations, technology, and techniques utilised in modern music making.

The award is deliberately unbounded by genre, and there are opportunities to take an interdisciplinary approach to sound production, including contemporary electronic music, studio and field recording, experimental music, and sound design for composition. Opportunities for working with visual media are also encouraged.


The course caters for those working in a wide variety of music genres, and at the same time also covers areas of practice such as soundscape recording and sound design, interactive audio (for applications such as live performance, gaming, VR, immersive environments, and installations), spatial audio, hardware/software (instrument) design, and interdisciplinary practice incorporating other media.

Most students won’t cover all of these areas but will use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills, experience, and top-level work across them. We believe this to be appropriate to the current employment landscape, where many combine traditional roles in music with broader practice in sound and other media. The course also provides the breadth necessary for FE and HE teaching in this field, and provides a basis, where required, for PhD research and beyond.

A large number of options available within the course makes this choice and specialism possible. The course is part of a suite of courses available across music and sound, operating alongside "sister" pathways in Sound Design and Sound Production, which allow further specialism in these areas.

Course structure

Trimester one

Gain the skills you’ll need to fulfil the rest of the course

The Skills Portfolio module is built on the idea that you’ll already have technical skills in this area, but that students entering the course have differing skill sets, depending on background. It, therefore, allows you to choose a handful of skills projects from a large number of options – these cover skills right across the Sound Arts, Sound Design and Sound Production pathways and include (optional) elements of multimedia.

The Research Methodology and Context module develops skills in postgraduate-level research and writing. It is designed to give you the tools for an onward journey in academia, but not to be, in the colloquial sense, "academic". It encourages your research to be around the practical and creative elements core to your practice, and therefore to feed your creative work.

Trimester two

At the centre of trimester two, and MA Sound (Arts), is the Sonic Architecture module. This is intended as an expansion of traditional music composition teaching (an area in which we have long-standing expertise), where the aesthetic, rather than technical, aspects of individual work will be examined and developed. Through intensive tutorial support, you’ll be encouraged to explore your work at a structural level. Our teaching on this module recognises that spatial, multimedia, and interactive elements bring aesthetic challenges. We therefore offer a creative model that can be applied across the full range of artistic activity represented by the course.

Alongside this core module, you’ll be offered a wide range of options. The Visual Music module explores the idea that musical thinking can be extended to the visual, and encourages students to develop multimedia projects that explore this idea. Intertextuality in Sound Production, from the Sound Production pathway, explores the overlap between Urban Music production and what are considered more experimental genres. Post Production, from the Sound Design pathway, explores an industry-level workflow for Audio Post for pictures. There are also choices in Composition, Performance, Musicology, and Professional Practice.

Trimester three

Trimester three represents the culmination of the course in an independent research project. While in most postgraduate courses, the equivalent module (often known as "the Master's module") will consist of a dissertation, in this case, it comprises a large-scale practical project. It will fulfil the same function in allowing you to develop your own individual and original research area, but here through your practice. You’ll be able to use it to develop a body of practical work which will serve as a substantial portfolio for the next stage in your career.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules.

  • Research Methodologies and Context
  • Skills Portfolio
  • Sound Production Creative Project
  • Intertextuality In Sound Production
  • Sonic Architecture
  • Visual Music
  • Sound Design Practice
  • Post Production
  • Major Project

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed entirely on coursework. The majority of this will be practical and creative work, including the dissertation-equivalent Major Project.

Some practical projects are accompanied by short informal written assignments, and for the Research Methodology and Context module, you’ll produce a more substantial paper.

How will I be taught?

Most modules are taught through small-group seminars and workshops, where you’ll benefit from close interaction with tutors and peers. The Major Project and parts of the other modules are taught through individual tutorials where the focus will be entirely on your own practice.

In the Skills Portfolio, we make use of a ‘flipped classroom’ model where you work through online materials at your own pace, supported by intensive troubleshooting sessions with tutors.



Our graduates have a range of successful careers in production, composition, music for film and TV, sound design for moving image and games, sound art, software development, engineering, further education, higher education, and research.

Cost & Fees

  • UK/EU students full time - 2019/20 entry £7,395
  • UK/EU students part time - 2019/20 entry £3,700
  • International students full time - 2019/20 entry £14,300
Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push bound ... Read More

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push boundaries and ourselves. If that sounds good to you, you’ll fit in well. Read Less