Sound Design BA(Hons)
Explore the possibilities of contemporary sound design practice
This highly collaborative Sound Design course will equip you with the creative and technical abilities to pursue a career as a sound designer or a sound experience professional.
You’ll explore the boundaries of audio and its potential to transport an audience in different contexts; from film and fashion shows to gaming, installations and stage performances. As someone with a passion for sound, you’ll immerse yourself in its creation and production and graduate with diverse skills and a distinctive portfolio.
- 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
- Experiment with and consider future applications of sound, including sonic wearables and branding, soundscape ecology and sound design in wellbeing
- 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
- Gain business, marketing and entrepreneurial insight, boosting your employability
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 professional placement.
You’ll develop a contextual understanding of contemporary sound design and gain practical skills in areas like recording and mixing, immersive technologies, game audio and media composition. With a focus on preparing for industry, you’ll analyse current and future trends in sound design that relate to your career ambitions, while also learning core business, marketing and entrepreneurial skills.
Upskill & Integrate
The first year of this Sound Design course 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.
Understanding Sound & Audio
You’ll learn the fundamentals of sound and audio theory, concepts and aesthetics, and associated terminology as relevant to contemporary sound design practices.
You’ll be immersed in the creative possibilities of sound design for different visual media, including film, TV, animation and games. Over the course of the module, you will be introduced to new concepts, techniques and workflows and encouraged to explore the ways in which audio can be sculpted to create new sonic forms.
Sound Design: Workflows, Tools & Techniques
This module prepares you for a future career in professional audio. You’ll be introduced to the workflows, tools and techniques involved in professional practice, helping you to gain an industry-standard skill set.
You'll learn to record, edit, mix and master audio in a recording studio environment using microphones, audio interfaces, mixing desks and digital audio workstations (DAWs).
Music & Sound: Contexts and Cultures
You’ll examine key concepts and debates in music and sounds studies whilst thinking critically about the relationship between music, sound, and culture.
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.
Experience & Expand
The second year of the degree is focused on live projects, study options, gaining practical sound design experience 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.
The Art of Post
You'll explore the creative and technical possibilities of audio post-production. Over the course of the study block, you will be introduced to professional concepts, techniques and workflows and encouraged to explore a variety of professional roles and associated creative strategies in areas such as audio editing and mixing in post-production contexts.
Music and Sound: Resonant Futures
In this module you will question and explore the relationship between music, sound, technology, context and culture in ways that seek to imagine and speculate on the future of music and sound.
The Business of Music and Sound
You’ll be introduced to intellectual property regulations and the subsequent risks of exploitation across the creative industries. You’ll learn the necessary business skills to work sustainably within the music and sound sectors with confidence.
Sound Design Project 1: Game Audio
You'll work as a sound designer in a team with students from our Games Academy to create and implement audio assets for an original game, while also learning about the contemporary games industry.
Sound Design Project 2: Team Project
You’ll push the limits of your practice by taking on projects as part of a multi-skilled team. You’ll develop your collaboration skills and learn to operate as an effective member of a dynamic team, contributing towards a shared set of aims, objectives and deadlines.
Immersive & Interactive Audio (optional)
You’ll be introduced to a range of technologies, techniques and applications of immersive and interactive audio. The module is highly interdisciplinary and relevant to film sound, game audio, digital arts and experience design.
Composing Music for Media (optional)
You’ll develop a critical understanding of music/image relationships and conduct practical work across a range of media. You’ll also enhance your composition and production skills through being shown industry-standard workflows and techniques.
You can choose to take an optional professional placement after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year.
You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team.
Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying.
How you’ll study during your professional placement
You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks.
You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation.
Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes 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.
Focus & Connect
Your final year focuses on building your professional identity, knowledge, skills and networks in line with your chosen sound design specialism. You’ll develop a professional portfolio, enhance your entrepreneurial skills and carry out business planning as you prepare to take your first steps into industry.
Music and Sound: Dissertation
In this module you will expand on your music and sound subject-based intellectual skills developed in your first and second years through an independently-driven written research project.
This module enables you to continue developing your specialist skills, contextual knowledge, experience and entrepreneurial mindset in preparation for the Showcase Portfolio module, careers and/or artistic practice beyond your degree.
This module enables you to understand, develop, practice and analyse skills pertinent to your chosen career path in sustainable ways; both now and in the future. You will further develop legal, financial, marketing and digital skills that relate to specialist areas of the music sector and be able to critically analyse trends and future opportunities that relate to your career.
You’ll produce a professional portfolio of creative work that showcases your specialist skills and artistic practice developed over the last three years, ready to take to industry.
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 & be assessed
On top of lectures, seminars and tutorials, you'll learn through a combination of masterclasses, workshops, solo and collaborative project work, crit sessions and fieldwork. 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.
Modules vary in their requirements, but all design projects and assessment tasks can be tailored to suit your own interests, aims and objectives.
You'll be assessed through coursework and practical submissions.
Assessments can take many forms, including:
- Case Studies
- Practical projects
Each module of study has either one or two summative assessment points. You will receive feedback in a range of formats, including written feedback sheets, feedback tutorials and feedback in live sessions.
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
- Excellent studio hardware, software, and microphone collection with access to dedicated technical stores for equipment and technical staff support (incl. lighting, PA systems)
- A superb collection of analogue and virtual analogue synths and drum machines.
- Portable recording equipment
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, including music, games, film and television.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.
Stories from our community
Explore student projects, graduate successes, staff news and industry insights
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
How to apply
|Course route||UCAS code|
|Sound Design BA(Hons) three year degree||W611|
|Sound Design BA(Hons) with professional placement||PY08|
Application advice & interview informationGo to Toolkit
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/BSc(Hons) three year degree||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. 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.
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 may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
For starting your studies in 2023
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
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|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,460 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|£1,850 per professional placement year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,950 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|£1,850 per professional placement year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
|£1,385 per study abroad year||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.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
Typical course costs
You’ll require the following equipment to study this course:
- A laptop will be an essential piece of equipment along with a reliable broadband connection to run professional Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software
- £80-£100 - Monitoring headphones.
- £60+ - DAW software (we currently provide access to Ableton Live Suite 11 for free in your first year)
- £20 - Various equipment: notebooks, pens, high quality earplugs
- Your own instrument and associated equipment if there is not an equivalent available in the practice studios
- £60+ - Physical file storage
- Public Programme season tickets (student rate) costs found: AMATA Live Pass
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