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Sound Design BA(Hons)

Explore the possibilities of contemporary sound design practice

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Attendance
Full-time / Professional Placement
UCAS code
W611/PY08

Course overview

Gain the creative, technical and business skills to become a sound designer for film, games, broadcast media and more.

Learning from lecturers with a broad range of specialist knowledge and experience, you’ll study Foley and effects, location and studio recording, audio post-production, games engine implementation, mixing and mastering. As professional sound designers rarely work solo, you’ll collaborate with film, games and music students as part of your studies – developing a distinctive portfolio of work ready to take to industry.

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  
  • 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

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 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. 

Modules

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. 

Designing Sound 

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.

Studiocraft

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.

Modules

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.

Modules

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.

Professional Development 

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.

Your Future

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. 

Showcase Portfolio

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.

As part of our process of continuous improvement, we routinely review course content to ensure that all our students benefit from a high-quality and rewarding academic experience. As such, there may be some changes made to your course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on our website. Any students affected will be informed of any changes made directly.

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Creative Music Technology_Main

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. 

Assessment methods

Assessments can take many forms, including:

  • Artefacts 
  • Case Studies 
  • Essays 
  • Journals 
  • Portfolios 
  • Practical projects 
  • Presentations 
  • Reports 
  • Dissertation

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.

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 
  • 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
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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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Media Equipment and Facilities

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Media Equipment and Facilities
Library facilities
Library facilities

Library Facilities

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Library Facilities
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Sports Centre

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Sports Centre

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, 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.

Dr Antti Saario

Dr Antti Saario

Head of Music

Dr Antti Sakari Saario is an award-winning post-acousmatic composer, sound and audio practitioner, r...

Dr Antti Saario
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Dr Kingsley Marshall

Head of Film & Television

Dr Kingsley Marshall is Head of Film and Television at the CILECT and ScreenSkills accredited School...

Dr Kingsley Marshall

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

Brian McDonald

Senior Lecturer Digital Games

Brian McDonald is a senior lecturer on the BA(Hons) Game Development and BSc(Hons) Computing fo...

Brian McDonald

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

Will Parker

Lecturer in Popular Music

Will Parker is a lecturer, researcher and composer specialising in technology and aesthetics - ...

Will Parker

Robin Tyndale-Biscoe

Associate Lecturer - Creative Music Technology

Producer, mix & mastering engineer, professional percussionist and composer. Specialist in Afro-...

Robin Tyndale-Biscoe

Pete Shepherd

Associate Lecturer (Audio)

Having been involved in the music industry for the last 30 years, initially as a player/performer bu...

Pete Shepherd
Simon Waite

Got a question about this course?


If you want to know more about the course structure, our application requirements or what our graduates have gone on to achieve, our friendly course team is here to help.

Chat to Simon

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Careers

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

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2024 through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply via UCAS

Course route UCAS code
Sound Design BA(Hons) three year degree W611
Sound Design BA(Hons) with professional placement 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/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. 

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 may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2024

UK applications: 31 January 2024 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 31 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

Tuition fees for September 2024 entry

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

Tuition fees for September 2025 will be confirmed in summer 2024.

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

Ask a student

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From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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