Two Audio Production students using the facilities at Rose Bruford College

What you'll study

This comprehensive course covers music production, live sound and sound design for theatre (including musicals), film and TV, radio, games and digital media (AR and VR). You will develop your technical skills and creative side through taught classes, practical work and a wide range of creative projects. 

Shared sessions with students from other courses expand your understanding and appreciation of the creative, media and performance industries and promote collaboration. 

In your second and third year, you can choose to specialise in one or more areas depending on where your interest or passion lies. 

 

Rose Bruford College Audio Production first year students on a sound board

Why choose this course?

Expert training

You will be taught in small groups by experienced staff and a wide range of practising professionals from the industry. You will also have excellent access to all the tools you need to be familiar with for a career in this area

Practical experience

Gain hands-on production experience across a wide range of performance or event types and venues (both on and off-campus). Building both your portfolio and a better understanding of the full production mix, preparing you for industry

Collaborative and career-focused

As part of an active community of musicians, actors and other technical creatives, you will have great opportunities to pursue and deliver your own personal or collaborative projects inside and outside of College

Learn with our professional network

As well as building your knowledge through industry placements, you will also benefit from our extensive network of industry experts who will work with you on projects as you learn specialist skills

Flexibility to choose

After covering all the fundamentals in year 1, you can choose the areas you want to specialise in and take further. In your final year, you can decide to pursue either a technical (BSc) or more creative (BA) qualification

Career-focused

The broad range of skills and knowledge you gain from this course will make you more employable after graduation. You will also be supported in your final year with practical professional preparation skills modules

Audio Production student using an amp and sound board

Course breakdown

Course content is regularly reviewed to keep it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.

Year 1

All modules in Year 1 are compulsory.

AP401 Audio Production Principles

This module will introduce you to the fundamental theories, concepts and skills necessary for anyone aiming to enter the professional audio sector, for example in audio production for recorded and live media, music production, and audio
engineering.

You will learn the theoretical foundation through a series of lectures, labs and seminar group discussions followed by hands-on practical workshops and participation in relevant collaborative projects within the School.

Typical studio and live production paths and workflows will be covered (such as audio recording, mixing and mastering, or designing and running a live audio event), as well as alternative and experimental approaches that have become increasingly common with the assistance of the rapid technological advances (for example, music production, digital audio, 3D audio, VR/AR production workflows).

Indicative list of content:

Topics covered typically include, but are not limited to:
1. Basic sound theory
2. Signal flow
3. Live and studio audio production workflows
4. Audio systems and formats
5. Digital and analogue audio
6. Audio processing and mixing

Assessment for the module will include a written and practical examination, followed by the assessment of a portfolio of work completed during Terms 1 and 2.

Throughout the year, you will be asked to prepare work between sessions and to participate in hands-on collaborative or individual projects, so that each student in the group will take on technical, music production and/or sound design roles or projects within different media, such as soundtrack creation for radio dramas or short films, theatrical show roles and audio installations.

Your practical work and your technical competence and understanding of the subject will be assessed through submission of a portfolio of completed work and appropriate technical documentation. You will be required to include work of different media/genres in the assessed portfolio.

AP402 Audio Aesthetics in Different Media

This module introduces you to the workflows, challenges and unique characteristics of creative work across different media. You will explore the creative considerations of audio practice in various different media and environments, through a series of lectures, labs, site visits, critical analysis of existing work, and practical work.

You will learn about the creative work of audio practitioners in different media and delivery formats (e.g. studio and live music production, radio, cinema/TV, theatre, artistic installations) and the unique aesthetic characteristics and challenges each medium
presents us with.

Indicative list of content
• History of audiovisual media
• Storytelling
• Genres and Styles
• Creative role of audio in different media
• Multimodal perception
• Critical analysis of existing work

Throughout the year, you will be asked to prepare work between sessions and to participate in hands-on collaborative or individual projects, so that each student in the group takes on audio and music production and/or sound design roles or projects within different media. These may include soundtrack creation for radio dramas, short films or theatrical shows, and audio installations.

Your assessment tasks for the module include a reflective analysis of existing creative audio work, and an evaluation of a submitted portfolio of works in different genres.

DMT411 The Practitioner in Context

The module lays the foundation for your studies throughout your programme. You will be introduced to learning, researching, analysing and investigation techniques. You will develop key skills that will enable you to become an increasingly independent learner and practice researcher. You will learn a range of strategies for analysing different kinds of source material (such as live and recorded media and performance, scripts, visual material, on-line sources, and books) and techniques for documenting and communicating your ideas in written, visual and seminar presentation forms.

You will also undertake your research through practical, supervised projects such as installations, presentations and small-scale laboratory performances, as well as written study, giving you the opportunity to develop your abilities, and diagnose strengths and weaknesses in your skills.

The module focuses particularly on the relationship between the ‘audience’ and the creative work, understanding how a work is ‘read’ and differing aesthetics. You will look particularly at the materials used (including digital content, light and sound) and the production processes involved, and how they shape the audience’s or participant’s experience. You will develop your understanding of how different creative works emerge out of their social and cultural context, and how they can be analysed and understood through a range of conceptual frameworks.

You will be asked to be increasingly independent in your work, taking greater responsibility for identifying sources of information and selecting the most appropriate means to communicate your findings and argument.

You will also be introduced to the basic principles of health and safety regulations and practice, including the obligations you have to yourself and to others, and how to undertake risk assessments and draw up method statements.

Year 2

You will choose 2 of the 3 following modules:

AP501 Creative Audio Concepts – Technology (optional)

You will be introduced to research and development within various areas of audio technology, such as audio hardware and software development processes, and the underlying integration of technologies and middleware behind end user technology. You will gain a detailed understanding of how different technologies work by looking at the concepts and principles underlying particular audio software and hardware tools.

You will select an area of interest which you will examine in detail, firstly to establish the current ‘state of the art’ of your chosen technology or application. You will go on to design and develop a practical prototype relating to your subject area which is experimental in character, for example:
• a Pure Data patch
• an Arduino hardware-software prototype
• a 3D audio speaker array driven by custom-made spatialisers
• an audio processing plug-in for DAW
• a hardware audio processing unit
• a detailed design or diagram for a complex technical audio set-up

AP502 Creative Audio Concepts – Music (optional)

You will be introduced to different musical styles and genres, for example the origins of Western classical music, contemporary musical forms and their cultural background, or experimental musical forms outside the mainstream.

By studying a diverse and contrasting range of musical forms and their contexts, you will develop a deeper understanding of music and the relationship between musical genres and audio production. This will enable you to incorporate elements from various different genres into your work, in order to produce a more innovative and informed musical output.

You will select an area of interest which you will examine in detail, firstly to review and evaluate current critical opinion and scholarship on your chosen topic. You will go on to produce a musical output which is informed by your research and analysis.

Examples of possible projects include, but are not limited to:
• the recording, mixing and mastering of a live band
• the production of pieces of original electronic music
• the re-mixing of existing musical pieces focusing on particular musical or technological aspects of the production
• the detailed analysis of the work of an artist or group or of musical movement of your choice.

AP503 Creative Audio Concepts – Sound Design (optional)

Building on modules AP401 and AP402, this module will allow you to further explore sound design in different media, for example theatre, film, TV or video games, and identify creative or technological aspects of interest.

By studying a diverse and contrasting range of creative works and their contexts, you will develop a deeper understanding of sound design and its relationship with different types of creative work. This will enable you to incorporate various approaches to sound design into your work, in order to produce a more innovative and informed creative or technical output.

You will select an area of interest which you will examine in detail, firstly to review and evaluate current critical opinion and scholarship on your chosen topic. You will go on to produce a sound design for a medium of your choice which is informed by your research and analysis. Examples of possible projects include, but are not limited to:
• the production of an interactive piece of audio work for a live installation
• the design and production of the sound assets for a theatrical performance
• the creation of a soundtrack for a short film or animation, or the incorporation of sound assets into an existing video game.

AP504 Production Practice (compulsory)

In lecturers and masterclasses you will expand your understanding of the industry by examining examples of productions and practitioners. You will also learn about the different professional environments and processes that apply in different industry sectors.

You will go on to take a role in one or more realised projects, typically working as part of a team with students from other programmes. Depending on available opportunities, you may work on a College performance project or on a project in conjunction with an outside organisation.

As part of a production team, you will develop your individual practice in the field of audio production, whilst also contributing to the overall production processes and organisation.

You will have to work within constraints, including deadlines and a budget, while responding to a design brief and collaborating with other personnel to meet the overall project aims.

The module is an opportunity to develop your own practice and approach as an audio production specialist, whether in a creative, technical, management or producing role. You will need to take responsibility for your own learning and process, using research to inform your contribution to the team and project. Depending on your role, you may need to develop and demonstrate a management style, leading and organising the work of others.

You will discuss role options with your programme tutors. You will be expected to take the lead in determining what role will be the most appropriate for your learning and career objectives, but the final decision rests with the College.

DMT511 The Sustainable Practitioner (compulsory)

Following on from DMT411 The Practitioner in Context, this module moves the focus of study away from the perspective of the audience to examine performance-making from the perspective of the practitioner. The module emphasises research as a key component in developing new work and new ways of working.

The module will outline current practices and establish a place for you to develop yourself within these practices or innovate new methods of practicing. The notion of establishing yourself as an entrepreneur opens the prospect of initiating your own projects, as well as being recruited into existing projects or organisations. This module will equip you with the thinking and skills to enter the creative industries with confidence as a sustainable and flexible practitioner.

You will explore the issues of sustainability and the environment in relation to the performance industries, and learn to draw up a basic environmental impact report. This will be supported by industry methods and processes, such as those from the Sustainability in Performance Alliance initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Entertaining Sustainability. The report generated will help you apply new innovations in the methods of working for both your career and the College’s environmental policy.

The module also develops your ability to apply conceptual frameworks and methodologies to different cultural practices with an emphasis on how theoretical and critical approaches can inform your own practice: ‘how you think informs what you do’.

In the later part of the module, you will undertake a significant amount of self-directed research in forming a proposal around a chosen topic for your level 6 Independent Research Project (DMT621/DMT622). Both the intellectual skills you develop and the material you study in DMT511 will be useful to you as you begin to build and research the proposed topic of your Independent Research Project.

The nature of your research topic will determine which type of Independent Research Project you undertake, either DMT621 (practice research) or DMT622 (dissertation) according to
your interest in self-inquiry or external inquiry. DMT621 enables you to interrogate and contextualise your own practice, DMT622 enables you to interrogate the practice of others against an appropriate contextual framing. This should be the fundamental driver behind your DMT511 proposal.

Year 3

AP601 Professional Preparation and Practice (compulsory)

This module focuses on the professional environments you are likely to encounter as a practitioner, and on your professional development. You will select a specific sector of the industry to examine in more detail, interrogating the work methods, processes and employment ecology of the sector. Depending on your own chosen career path, you may look at businesses, institutions or individuals (generally self-employed professionals), or a mixture of both as a comparative analysis. You will then choose to focus your research on either an employment or self-employment pathway.

You will undertake a series of workplace investigations, to enable you to contrast your own experiences with a range of professional environments and practices. You will reflect on the working environment, and critically examine and advance your own professional

You will investigate the business model that operates in your selected industry sector, and research how companies and professionals work with the clients/customers, their financial model, and their organizational structures.

The module will also prepare you to transition from study to professional practice, whether you are an employee or self-employed. You will develop the necessary knowledge and materials to market yourself effectively to potential employers/clients in a way that is appropriate to the role and industry sector.

You will discuss placement options with your programme tutors. You will be expected to take the lead in determining what role will be the most appropriate for your learning and career objectives, but the final decision rests with the College.

You will choose AP602 or AP603.

AP602 Specialist Practice (BA Creative Pathway)

In this module you will develop and demonstrate your specialist practice as a creative audio specialist. You will apply your creative skills and understanding to collaborate with producers, designers, directors, clients and others. You will do this within the practical constraints of time, resources, budget, personnel, and so on, to achieve the best possible outcome for the audience. In this context, you may show your creativity through your contribution to the making of a creative work, as an audio specialist.

With the guidance and agreement of the module leader, you will select an area of creative practice that you want to develop in greater depth. You will then identify and undertake one or more projects that will give you the opportunity to extend your practice and support your career goals.

This could be an independent project, a professional work placement (provided you demonstrate that you are developing a specialism) or a student or professional production.

Examples of projects may include the following:
• An individual creative project
• A practical creative role within a production or larger project
• The creation of a portfolio of creative work through several smaller projects
• Creative work carried out as part of a placement within the industry, such as sound design for a short film or theatrical production, or audio mixing for a studio production or live event

You will discuss project options with the module leader. You will be expected to take the lead in determining which will be the most appropriate for your learning and career aims, but the final decision rests with the College.

AP603 Specialist Practice (BSc Technological and Scientific Pathway)

in this module you will develop and demonstrate your specialist practice as a creative technologist. You will apply your technical skills and understanding to solve the creative challenges set by producers, designers, directors, clients and others. You will do this within the practical constraints of time, resources, budget, personnel, and so on, to achieve the best possible outcome for the audience. In this context, you may show your creativity through inventive and resourceful problem-solving, in addition to your technical skills and knowledge of audio technologies.

With the guidance and agreement of the module leader, you will select an area of technical practice that you want to develop in greater depth. You will then identify and undertake one or more projects that will give you the opportunity to extend your practice and support your career goals.

This could be an independent project, a professional work placement (provided you demonstrate that you are developing a specialism) or a student or professional production.
Examples of projects may include the following:
• An individual technical non-realised project, such as a system design for a large scale event
• A practical technical role within a production or larger project
• The creation of a portfolio of technical work through several smaller projects
• Technical work carried out as part of a placement within the industry

You will discuss project options with the module leader. You will be expected to take the lead in determining which will be the most appropriate for your learning and career aims, but the final decision rests with the College.

You will choose DMT621 or DMT622.

DMT621 Independent Research Project (Practice Research)

DMT622 Independent Research Project (Dissertation)

Teaching and assessment methods

In your first year, you will complete around 270 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 930 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Exam; Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

In your second year, you will complete around 260 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 940 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

In your third year, you will complete around 60 hours of indicative scheduled learning and teaching activities and 1140 hours of independent learning on projects, productions, placements or self-directed study. Assessment will be through: Coursework, presentations, assessed tutorials and portfolios.

Get a flavour

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Your future career

Two Rose Bruford College Audio Production students in a sound booth

We aim to put you in front of and amongst the profession. This includes the opportunity to network and undertake a placement as well as introducing your work to the industry at our graduate exhibition in London.

Careers options

This course will equip you with the skills to progress into work in music, theatre, live events, film, TV, radio, games and Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of skills that can be put to use in many careers. We see graduates going on to work as some of the following:

  • Live and studio mixing engineer
  • Sound designer for theatre, film and TV
  • Audio and music producer
  • Audio technologist for theatre, film, TV, games and VR/AR
  • Sound artist
  • Studio and production manager
  • Game audio specialist
  • Conference and exhibition specialists and organisers
  • Planning, process and production technicians
  • Freelance and Creative start-ups

Meet the staff

Christophe Bourgouin Rose Bruford College Lecturer in Live and Recorded Sound
Christophe Bourgouin

Lecturer, Live and Recorded Sound

Read their profile

How to join

UK/Republic of Ireland and International applicants

For 2023 entry, please apply via UCAS by the UCAS deadline on 25th January 2023 to guarantee an interview.

Institution code: R51

Course code: WJ50

64 UCAS points*

This is equivalent to two Cs at ‘A’ level or one Merit and two Passes at BTEC (QCF) National Diploma or equivalent.

*We offer places based upon your future potential. We may offer you a place based on lower UCAS points than shown here, or an offer that is not linked to UCAS points if we have evidence of your potential from your application or portfolio review.

Portfolio

Our Portfolio page gives an overview of what we will ask you to provide once we receive your application.

Portfolio

Course Summary

Duration

3 years

Mode of study

Full time

Start date

September 2023

Course Type

Undergraduate Course

Qualification

BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons)

Course Fees (2022 Entry)

Fees for 2023 entry have not been published yet.

UK/Republic of Ireland students (Fee per year)

£9250

International students (Fee per year)

£18900

Funding and Support Additional Costs

So, ready?