Music Production - full-time BA (Hons) Degree

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UCAS code: J931 Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2021 Duration: 3 Years

Why this course?

Music studio at West Durrington campus

This course is developed and taught by current music industry professionals in unrivalled facilities with the aim of developing your unique career path in music. You will work in our specially designed 24 room studio complex with the technical spec and acoustic performance to match the best commercial studios.

Key features

  • Extensive state-of-the-art facilities to rival top commercial studios 
  • Professional software and plugins
  • Taught by industry experts
  • Creative freedom on assessed projects

Video tour of our facilities

Our students' work

Listen to a selection of our students' end of year work on Soundcloud.

Validated by University of the Arts London (UAL)

This programme is validated by University of the Arts London (UAL). UAL is a leading education provider in the creative arts, ranked second in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020). They oversee the standards and quality of our curriculum, which enriches your overall learning experience.

See the full list of our creative arts degrees

  • alumni Views Sam Justice
    I studied music at Northbrook MET coming up for 10 years ago! Since then I've gone on to work in the games industry and set up one of the most successful game audio companies in the UK (www.sweetjustice.audio).
  • Views Chris Cohen, who has been working at MOtse studio, China
    I know 100% that I wouldn't have been able to get this far without my course at the Northbrook MET

Course entry requirements

Each application will be assessed individually, including a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.

Typical entry requirements are below but offers may vary:

  • a relevant A-Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma

In exceptional circumstances, if you do not meet our entry requirements, your application may still be considered if you demonstrate additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • related academic or work experience
  • the quality of the personal statement
Portfolio and interview

You will also be required to provide a portfolio and interview for this course.

Your interview will take place in the production booths within our new music studio block. You are required to bring a memory stick containing two or three examples of your recorded work. You will also need to bring evidence of your academic written skills; this can be a piece of existing academic work or a 500 word review of a pre-recorded track of your choice, paying particular attention to the production quality.

Your interview process will include the following:

  • Demonstration of recorded work
  • Evidence of written skills (see above requirements)
  • Evidence of aural skills
  • Interview with question and answer session

Entry guide

Entry guide for more information about the range of qualifications we accept (including English language requirements for international students).

Course content

You will work in our specially designed 24 room studio complex with the technical spec and acoustic performance to match the best commercial studios - as well as our five Apple Mac music workstation rooms, our fully equipped Learning Resource Centre, our Theatre, and numerous well-equipped classrooms.

You will build your production, recording and programming skills, and apply them in our artist development programme, in which you can grow as an artist, producer, composer, programmer, engineer or any combination of the above. The course includes track creation, recording, mixing, mastering, live sound, synthesis, sampling, some acoustic and music theory, weekly visits from key music industry practitioners, essential practical music business knowledge and work experience opportunities.

Collaboration opportunities abound with students of performance, production, photography, media, graphic design, props, costume, musical theatre, fashion, games design, acting and other creative areas - and with our extensive contacts in the music industry.

The course involves the making of significant amounts of self-directed music in the form of a project each year, meaning you will be building a significant body of current work.


Years 1 - Skills acquisition

The first year is all about the recording and programming skills you will need for the whole degree up to the third year. Using our world class studios and Logic, Pro Tools and Ableton you will be introduced to key concepts including:

    Mixing
    Programming
    Recording
    Arranging
    Routing
    Gain staging
    Mastering

These topics are explored fully in a range of assignments. Alongside this you will be tested in your ability to manage the rigours of desk operation for large recording sessions as well as having a grounding in key cultural and organisational aspects of the music Industry.

Year 2 - Initial explorations

The second year is about applying skills to various real world situations and then evaluating the results along with your tutor and peers. You will also be introduced to more advanced processing and synthesis concepts along with explorations of the mechanisms of sound including:

    Working with clients
    Sound for film and computer games
    Keyboard skills (basic music theory)
    Professional presence (via a blog or website)
    Digital audio
    Analogue audio
    Acoustics and psychoacoustics

Assignments over the year are a 20 minute music portfolio, industry briefs (range of projects for clients) and library music all designed to give you the best range of feedback to enhance your skills.

Year 3

The third year offers students a chance to perfect their mixing, recording, creative, musical and technical skills. Students specialise in their own area and produce ambitious projects to help carve out a career in their chosen field. With extended access to studio facilities and specialist tutors, our final year degree students are producing and releasing professional work that stretches them to realise their highest potential.


See some of our recent music department alumni success stories (PDF) >

Facilities

Our custom-designed studio complex features: Four high-spec control rooms, five acoustically-balanced live rooms, three digital/post suites, one DJ room and ten pre-production booths, five computer clusters, three classrooms and a large lecture/performance space.

Using industry standard Logic, Protools, Ableton with a wide range of plugins such as Ozone, Native Instruments -

Hardware includes SSL, TL Audio and Audient desks, for processing Empirical Labs (Distressors), Dbx, Drawmer, TL Audio and many other platforms in studios and production rooms. Access to East West, Sonox plugs, Focusrite, Neve and SSL pre-amps, huge range of microphones and synthesisers, DI boxes, soundcards and headphones.

 

Contact time and study hours

A full-time student can expect to have around 2 days of timetabled teaching contact per week. You will have approximately 40 hours of timetabled teaching contact for each 20 credit module. This is supported by independent self-guided study.

Teaching and assessment methods

We use a variety of teaching methods, including:

  • practical workshops
  • discussions
  • groupwork
  • lectures/seminars
  • tutorials
  • self-directed study

Assessment methods vary between units but could include:

  • recordings
  • project work
  • portfolios
  • dissertation
  • presentations
  • written assignments

Music degrees at the MET

Hear from Programme Lead Mike Pailthorpe and current students about why our music degrees are so unique.

Year One

  • Creative Studio and DAW Production 1 (20 credits)

    An introduction to fundamental music production tools, practices and skills. You will create and capture sounds using recording studios and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).

    The unit encompasses a wide range of skills, ideas, tools and equipment and is intended to build your technical and creative practice.

  • Artist Development (20 credits)

    This unit will develop your knowledge, confidence and skills in the area of Artist Development, whether you aim to be a performer, a producer, creator, or to promote some or all of the above.

    This unit will include:

    • Songwriting, track creation, composition, arrangement.
    • The music business context: labels, publishers, management, DIY
    • Establishing our creative community 
    • Working independently in the creation of new repertoire.
    • Collaboration in the creation of new repertoire.
    • Team building for artists, producers, performers and managers.
    • Well being and Mental Health for music practitioners
    • Development of a personal voice, musical language,.
    • Establishing an artist brand.
    • Identifying gaps in skills and knowledge and planning effectively to fill those gaps.
    • Instrumental technique lessons, Musical direction
    • Performance skills - stage presence, dynamics, timbre, tone, control of sound, interaction with/sensitivity to other performers, professionalism.
  • Ideas in Context: Why Music Matters (20 credits)

    This unit consists of lectures, workshops and seminars engaging you with a wide range ideas and theories relevant and applicable to your chosen discipline. The unit will build on your pre-existing knowledge by : 

    1. Introducing you to scholarly work, creative ideas and critical thinking skills that both lead and enrich your music practice. 
    2. Encouraging you to identify, examine and define the constituent elements of your discipline. You will explore how those elements are constructed.
    3. Promoting formal consideration of the effects of your discipline and practice on the ‘everyday'.
    4. Facilitating and promoting a space for critical debate of foundational texts and fundamental principles of critical thinking in relation to your discipline and practice.

    Ultimately, this unit encourages you to critically reflect on the desired effect of your practice.

  • Creative Studio and DAW Production 2 (20 credits)

    This unit builds on skills developed in Creative Studio/DAW production 1 and offers you the opportunity to extend and develop your recording, composition or performance capture, sound design, arranging, recording and editing skills.

    It aims to provide experience in several areas and encourage a broad knowledge base, offering the flexibility of a choice of assessment paths.

  • Creative Studio and DAW Production 3 (20 credits)

    You will experiment with performance and real-time aspects of audio tools, and create a performance, which you will also record and submit. You will develop your critical ear, and take appropriate action to optimise your productions.

  • Music Project (20 credits)
    This unit will provide you with the necessary skills to operate effectively  in existing professional and public contexts and to proactively seek opportunities to identify and define future applications or locations for your emerging practice. The Project provides the opportunity for you to work with peers, engage in a community of practice and consider your own and others’ disciplines.

    You will connect with others to expand your opportunities to present and create challenging and ambitious music, events, products, commercial ventures and propositions; with the view to establishing an agile, sustainable and informed practice that may contribute to cultural or commercial culture.

Year Two

  • Advanced Audio Processing (20 credits)

    This unit expands your knowledge of a broad range of sonic processing in the context of mixing and mastering work. By becoming aware of the multiple options available to the producer and being able to choose the most appropriate solution, you will  refine your practice. The unit will explore popular processors and demonstrate methodologies for their common usage.

    You will develop your ability to listen to changes critically, and to express your perceptions and audio experiences.

  • Industry Briefs (20 credits)

    This unit builds on the work of the Artist Development module at Level 4 by providing an opportunity to collaborate with peers and external partners in the creation of new creative teams, repertoire and performances. These collaborations may be short term, one-off groupings and creative alliances, or they may prove to be the foundation of longer term, structured and regular meetings of creatives and the teams that support their work.

  • Ideas in context: Musicking (20 credits)

    This unit encourages you to situate yourself within your practice. The unit asks questions about what we, as practitioners - as well as ‘beings’ in the world - bring to our respective disciplines and to the texts we perform, prosume and market to an audience. You are encouraged to attune your listening, thinking, reading and writing skills so that a range of subjects can be thoughtfully debated.

  • Individual Project (40 credits)

    The Individual Project is your opportunity to engage in a sustained project that aims to allow your personal voice, ambitions and intentions in Music to emerge. You may demonstrate advanced musical technique with a high level of critical analysis.

Year Three

  • Collective Practice (40 credits)

    Collective Practice provides the creative and practical space for you to develop and present refined, professional musical and commercial outcomes. Collaborative working provides an initial setting for you to engage in professional practice with peers or external networks, producing outcomes such as events, music releases, films, games, programmes, performance, festivals.

  • Music Dissertation (20 credits)

    The dissertation is an investigation and critical discourse on your negotiated choice of a topic relevant to your course of study. Your dissertation on your chosen topic is assessed on submission of a written document or an oral presentation.

  • Professional Practice (20 credits)

    Professional Practice is an opportunity to plan and prepare for progression from the course onto next steps, whether those be on to further study, to employment, self-employment, founding a business, or combination of all or any of the above as appropriate to your development and ambitions

    This unit will provide a range of different experiences, depending on the nature of your professional aims. Many students engage very successfully with local and national and virtual global events that support the production of new music and professional networks.

  • Major Project (40 credits)

    This unit is the culmination of your journey and provides the opportunity for you to apply your creative expertise to proscriptive media briefs (2 tracks), and an open final major project brief (usually 6 tracks). High production values are expected and you are required to adapt to the disparate demands of defined musical requirements and complete creative freedom.

Potential careers

  • Music producer
  • Studio engineer
  • Recording artist
  • Live sound engineer
  • Mastering engineer
  • DJ/producer
  • Audio for games
  • Film sound
  • Post production sound

Additional costs

Additional costs which may arise as a result of materials and/or compulsory field trips connected with your course. We estimate that these costs could be between £100 and £500, but this amount may vary depending upon the range of materials and techniques which you may wish to adopt. You may also choose to go on other field trips or research visits and the costs of these could be between £50 and £150.

Open events

Visit us at an open event!

Learn more about our degree-level programmes, speak to our expert staff and take a tour of our state-of-the-art facilities.

Book your place

Fees and financial support

There are different options to cover the cost of your course, including government loans and bursaries (eligibility criteria applies).

See more details

How is this course delivered?

We have made some changes to the way our courses are taught to keep everyone safe. We will ensure that our students remain connected and involved with their course and college life.

During this academic year, students have a blend of college-based and digitally-enabled remote learning that provides lots of opportunities to interact and engage with lecturers, support teams and other students.

We will continue to respond to Government advice as we plan our curriculum delivery and will regularly update our current students and applicants in respect of course changes and opportunities.

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