Sound Design BA(Hons)

Student stood behind mixing desk while band play on stage
Sound Design - 2023

Explore the boundaries of sound and its potential to transport an audience in different contexts, from film and fashion shows to gaming, installations and staged performances.

Key details
Location Penryn Campus
Course Duration 3 years / 4 years
Attendance Full-time / Sandwich
UCAS code W611/PY08
Subject to validation during this academic year Yes

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Course overview

This course is new for entry year 2023

This highly collaborative degree will equip you with the creative and technical abilities for your dream role as a sound designer or a sound experience professional, ready to make waves in industries such as music, animation and visual media.

As someone with a passion for sound, you’ll immerse yourself in its creation and production. Guided by an expert team and working in partnership with students in associated fields, you’ll emerge with diverse skills and a distinctive portfolio.

You will:

  • Build core sound design and related audio skills, encompassing concepts, practices, tools and workflows
  • Work with industry-standard software, hardware and technical facilities, including mixing consoles, portable recording equipment, Foley/ ADR suites and dedicated post-production audio suites
  • Develop a contextual knowledge of contemporary sound design
  • Collaborate in project teams across a range of creative disciplines to develop and apply knowledge, experience and transferable skills
  • Experiment with future applications of sound, including sonic wearables and branding, soundscape ecology and sound design in wellbeing
  • Gain business, marketing and entrepreneurial insight, boosting your employability

What our students do

Studying Sound Design means you'll be part of the vibrant Academy of Music & Theatre Arts community. Check out the stories below to discover more about our amazing students, graduates and staff.

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What our graduates do

As a Sound Design graduate you could become:

  • A sound designer for visual media or in a variety of live contexts
  • An audio editor
  • A sound recordist, on location or in the field
  • A Foley artist, creating sound effects for film and other media
  • A specialist in sonic branding

Course details

On this Sound Design degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Sound Design BA(Hons) with Sandwich Year options.

You'll learn core creative and technical digital audio skills alongside developing a contextual understanding of contemporary sound design and enhancing your critical thinking and writing skills. With a focus on preparing for industry, you'll also learn core business, marketing and entrepreneurial skills. 

Upskill & Integrate

Your first year is all about upskilling and getting immersed in disciplines from across the University's creative departments, from the perspective of sound design. You'll develop your core sound design and related audio skills as well as your understanding of sound design workflows in various contexts. You'll also begin to develop fundamental theoretical and contextual knowledge of contemporary sound design practice.

Modules

Audio & Sound Theory

You'll experiment with analogue and digital audio signals and explore the fundamentals of audio theory. You'll cover interfacing, the mathematical foundations of music, DSP, metering and more.

Sound Design: Workflows, Tools & Techniques 1-2

You'll develop an understanding of industry workflows, tools and techniques used in various contexts and disciplines including TV, film, games, media production, sound design for stage and web audio.

Linear Sound Design

You'll gain a working knowledge of sound/music layers used in film, TV and theatre, utilising audio editing and processing, and adding Foley effects and ADR.

Non-linear Sound Design

In this module you'll focus on developing skills and understanding of sound design for non-linear contexts, such as games, apps and the web.

Sound Studies: Sound in Context

You'll explore the history of sound design, hone your contextual understanding and consider future trends and technical developments of the discipline.

Experience & Expand

The second year is focused on live projects, study options, gaining practical sound design experiences and developing business and brand thinking. You'll identify, acquire and apply new skills as you take on collaborative projects with students from across the University. You'll also explore immersive audio technologies and contemplate future directions of the sound design discipline.

Modules

Sound Design Futures

You'll explore cutting edge trends and future directions and opportunities in sound design.

Immersive Audio & Sound Design

You'll undertake a practical and theoretical exploration of immersive audio sound systems, technologies and experiences.

Falmouth Team Projects

In this module, you'll push the limits of your practice by taking on projects as part of a multi-skilled team. You'll work with students from a variety of courses including Game Design, Film, Animation, Fashion and Theatre & Performance.

Collaboration

Working as part of a team, you'll work on 'Challenge Briefs' that reflect the sort of assignments you could expect to be working on in industry. Developing your 'soft skills', like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking and leadership, you'll sharpen your ability to work well as part of a group to produce outstanding work.

Why study a Sandwich Year route? 

You can choose to take an optional Sandwich Year, which means you'll spend a year between your second and third year on placement in industry, developing your business or freelance portfolio* or studying abroad. Choosing this route will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you'll study in your Sandwich Year

Supported by an employer if you're working in industry, or the University if you've opted for the self-employment route*, you'll develop your industry skills and understanding of the workplace.

If you study abroad, you'll gain new perspectives on your subject, gain in confidence and independence.

Throughout this year, you'll develop a portfolio of work that includes a critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You'll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you've learned and your professional growth.

*Self-employment options are only available for UK students, due to Visa requirements

Focus & Connect

Your final year is geared towards solidifying your professional identity, knowledge, skills and networks in line with your chosen sound design specialism. You'll develop a professional portfolio, enhance your entrepreneurial practice skills and carry out business planning as you prepare to take your first steps into industry.

Modules

Critical Contextual Project

You'll investigate the contemporary contexts of your chosen sound design specialism.

Future Skills

You'll cultivate your professional journey, developing an understanding of your skills in the context of industry and employment. You'll be equipped with the confidence to articulate your knowledge and abilities, and evidence how you can apply them to real world challenges.

Working on a collaborative or solo project, you'll deliver real results, whether that's a profit on some seed funding, a professional portfolio of work, or a solution to a real-world challenge from industry.

Developing Professional Sound Design Practice (Optional)

In preparation for life after graduation, you'll deliver either a business or a professional development project relating to your sound design career aspirations.

Final Project Contextualisation

Drawing on your understanding of the theories, contexts and practices of sound design, you'll produce a written piece of work that contextualises your final portfolio.

Professional Sound Design Portfolio

Your final sound design portfolio is the culmination of your degree. A showcase of your specialist skills and professional identity, it will be your industry calling card.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

How you'll learn

You'll learn through a combination of studio sessions, workshops, seminars, solo and collaborative project work, crit sessions and networking. You'll also learn from guest lecturers and industry panels.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll spend your time

Year

Timetabled teaching and learning activity

Guided independent 
study

Placement

1

TBC

TBC

TBC

2

TBC

TBC

TBC

Sandwich Year (optional)

TBC

TBC

TBC

3

TBC

TBC

TBC

How you'll be assessed

Year

Written exams

Practical exams

Coursework

1

TBC

TBC

TBC

2

TBC

TBC

TBC

Sandwich Year (optional)

TBC

TBC

TBC

3

TBC

TBC

TBC

 

*These percentages are indicative and may vary

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through coursework and practical submissions. This can take many forms, including:

  • Practical projects
  • Presentations
  • Portfolios
  • Short essays

Mirroring the industry, we also encourage regular self-evaluation and crit-sessions.

Staff

You'll learn from staff and guest speakers with a broad range of specialist knowledge and experiences within the sound design discipline and associated industries.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member shown here.

Dr Simon Waite

Course Co-ordinator & Senior Lecturer

Si Waite is a songwriter, producer and educator. He has written, recorded and performed as a solo ar...

Dr Simon Waite

Dr Antti Saario

Head of Music

Dr Antti Sakari Saario is an award-winning post-acousmatic composer, educator and an audio prof...

Dr Antti Saario

Facilities

Throughout your Sound Design degree, you'll have access to a huge range of professional facilities, equipment and resources from across the University's Academy of Music & Theatre Arts, School of Film & Television, Games Academy and Cornwall Business School.

These facilities include:

  • Post-production audio suites – all equipped with Pro Tools Ultimate
  • Foley/ADR suite with access to a wide range of mics, foley traps and props
  • Recording studio complex
  • Professional-standard studio hardware and software and an extensive microphone collection
  • A superb collection of analogue and virtual analogue synths and drum machines.
  • Portable recording equipment

Take the tour

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Performance - AMATA

Performance Facilities

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Performance Facilities
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Games Academy Facilities

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Games Academy Facilities
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SoWJ Newsroom through window lecturer talking

Media Equipment and Facilities

Our industry-level facilities offer everything you need to practice and produce animation, film, TV,...

Media Equipment and Facilities
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Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
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Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can start your application for September 2023 through UCAS Apply and Track. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33). 

Apply for 2023

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our International applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Sound Design BA(Hons) three year degree W611
Sound Design BA(Hons) with Sandwich Year PY08

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you've specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.

Course route Entry requirements
BA(Hons) three year degree

104 - 120 UCAS Tariff points

BA(Hons) four year degree with Sandwich Year

104 - 120 UCAS Tariff points

UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Annual tuition fee Student
£TBC per year Full-time UK
£TBC per year Full-time EU/international
£TBC per Sandwich Year Full-Time UK and EU/international
£TBC per Sandwich Year, study abroad option Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.

Typical course costs

One-off costs for the duration of the course:

  • Laptop/computer
  • £150-250 – Audio interface
  • £60-120 – Hard drive
  • £85+ – Headphones 
  • $60+ –Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) (open source with full licenses starting at $60)

Recurring annual costs:

  • £200 – Study trips to relevant trade shows and sound design studios and production suites based locally and in other UK cities
  • £50 – Compulsory trips and final portfolios or shows
  • £50 – Optional study visits and placements

Funding

For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page.

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