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This course is your launchpad into the world of music production and sound engineering. As a foundation year, it’s designed to introduce you to the fundamentals, nurturing your creative and technical skills to prepare you for further study.
In our purpose built studios you’ll learn the core elements of music production; composition, arrangement, sound design, recording, mixing and mastering. We’ll provide you with academic support and guidance, teaching you how to use our industry-standard equipment through hands-on learning.
On successful completion of the foundation year students will automatically progress onto the BA Music Production course. If you have the determination to succeed, this course will help build your technical ability and confidence, fully preparing you for three more years of study.
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You’ll gain both analogue and digital expertise, allowing you to comfortably adapt to any studio you encounter. This ensures you leave us with a clear and professional presence as a music producer, with a well-established creative voice.
Whether you make acoustic or electronic music, house, folk or metal, this course offers opportunities to learn creative and technical skills to take your craft to the next level.
You’ll have enviable access to a range of recording studios and equipment, allowing you to experiment and push your musical style to its full potential. Distinct from other disciplines this programme focuses upon the studio as a creative environment. Not only are you provided with technical insights into sound production and engineering, you’ll explore the creative artistry of music.
With modules dedicated to sound design and composition for moving image, you’re given the opportunity to develop skills applicable across the music industry and beyond. Career focused skills are integrated into all levels of the programme to give you the building blocks to launch a successful career.
The course module details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course to study.
This is a practical module designed to develop your knowledge of composition, arrangement and music technology through the performance and recording of an original piece of work. You’ll develop your independent creative practice, gaining fundamental performance skills, rehearsal techniques and knowledge of studio protocols.
Assessment: Practical project with a reflective report.
In this module you’ll research contemporary and historical contexts of creative practice, particularly surrounding performance and media. You’ll be introduced to a range of genres, styles, and disciplines and encouraged to think critically about how they can influence your own work. The aim of the module is to provide a foundation in study skills, equipping you to continue into undergraduate study.
Assessment: Reflective report and presentation.
This module will introduce you to the basic primary principles and practical applications of sound recording and sound design. This covers multi-tracking, mixing, audio recording and sampling, including the use of music and sound effects for audio visual media. You’ll be given a basic grounding in the ways in which sound works in relation to both music and media.
Assessment: Practical portfolio.
This practical module is designed to develop your technical skillset, covering all the key aspects of the modern DAW. It covers the technicalities of creating and editing electronic music in a purely software-based environment. You’ll learn fundamental sound processing techniques using a range of software applications, both native to the DAW and third-party plugins, encouraging your creative experimentation and evaluation.
Assessment: Practical portfolio and report.
Through the study of a diverse range of practitioners and their work, you’ll explore creative techniques used in both composition and arrangement across different styles and genres of music. This module will allow you to gain inspiration from established producers, encourage you to explore alternative methods of creating sound, and help you to build up a portfolio of original and professional compositions.
Assessment: Portfolios of original compositions for a range of songwriting and composition styles.
Developing your skills in recording, editing and mixing, this module will give you a key understanding of different microphone types and techniques. You’ll also be introduced to factors affecting the recording process in either a live or location based setting. Through practical experimentation in the studios, you’ll then learn to assess the needs of individual sessions and effectively use your setting to your advantage.
Assessment: Ensemble recording and report, Location recording and report.
Through the analysis of relevant online profiles, this module will introduce you to the importance of effective self-representation and creating both original and targeted content to build a significant following. You’ll also gain skills in blogging, social media marketing and web-design, allowing you to develop a clear presence for yourself as a producer.
Assessment: Essay, a marketing presentation and website portfolio.
Through further experimentation in the studios, you’ll build on your recording skills while also learning to effectively use both analogue and digital effects at different stages during the production process to enhance your final mix. You’ll also be introduced to basic mastering and editing techniques, whilst continuously reflecting on your work to develop a deeper understanding of your work as an engineer.
Assessment: Recording project and report as well as both an analogue and digital mix.
Introducing you to the world of sound design, you’ll develop your creative skills in composition and learn to create music for a range of media before presenting your work as an installation of both audio and video assets. Through the research of standard industry practices in this field, practical experimentation with Foley and sound effects creation, you’ll build up a significant library of assets suitable for use in both film and games applications.
Assessment: Sound design and installation presentation.
By developing original compositions and working with existing materials to create an effective remix, this module encourages you to blur the lines between composer and producer while taking both a creative and objective view of your work.
Assessment: Original compositions that highlight different core skills such as production and remixing.
Working to an external client brief, you’ll develop a clear strategy to achieve the goals and requirements of the commissioning client. Assignments in this module will encourage you to think critically about your work, and use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained across other modules to create a product that meets specific criteria.
Assessment: Client based production and follow-up presentation.
Guided by your individual tastes and interests, this module will inspire you to think about your approach to composition differently. Focusing on synthesis and innovative techniques, you’ll apply creative strategies to generate original tracks, evaluate their success, and present them as a finished piece, thinking critically about your techniques throughout.
Assessment: Creative composition and follow-up presentation.
Now confident in the running of recording and mixing sessions in the studios, you’ll have the freedom to fit the content of this module to your specific working needs. Focusing on the further development of your skills and the refinement of your workflows, you’ll produce recordings to a professional standard, applying advanced mixing and mastering techniques.
Assessment: Recording and report.
Exposing you to a variety of career opportunities, you’ll gain a range of key skills relevant to entrepreneurship and self-employment. Concentrating on preparing you for work as soon as you graduate, this module will help you understand how different businesses function in the music and audio industries, and how you can find your place within it.
Assessment: Proposal and portfolio.
This is when you test out everything you’ve learned over the course of your degree as you take your work to the public. Throughout this module, you’ll create an original project to a high professional standard, whilst planning and managing its launch into the public domain. Focusing purely on your own creative goals, you can take your work in this module to a whole new level, making your first steps into the industry as a professional producer/engineer.
Assessment: Major project and archive.
Teaching takes place in a variety of formats including lectures, workshops, demonstrations, peer reviews and one-to-one tutorial support. Our aim throughout is to encourage your creative exploration and hone your technical skills, all so you’ll leave us as a confident, independent professional.
Al is a producer and sound engineer who teaches a wide variety of modules here at Spirit, allowing him to share his expertise with his students.
Mark is producer and sound engineer who has worked on UK number one and Mercury nominated singles. He joined Spirit as a student and has returned as a tutor after a successful commercial career.
Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer whose work explores temporality within music. His main focus is the sonic arts, and often uses architecture, film and design for inspiration.
Liam is a soundtrack composer who has worked on creating music for film, television, games and animation.
Dan is an electronic musician and producer whose work has seen him release music on Manchester's Modern Love imprint, receiving support from the likes of Mixmag, RA, Björk and Bicep.
Jon is a producer, label manager, DJ and promoter who has over a decade of experience within the industry and has released five albums under the alias Diesler.
A minimum of 40 UCAS points at A2 or equivalent. You should also have achieved Grade 4 or above in GCSE Maths and English, or an equivalent (UK equivalents include key skills level 3 or functional skills level 2). If you are an international applicant you must have UK settled status in order to study on our degree courses. Non-native English speakers require IELTS: 6.0 with no component lower than 5.5.
Tuition fees for all our undergraduate courses are eligible for government funding through Student Finance England, subject to a successful application.
UK-based university applications are made through UCAS. You’ll need to register via ucas.com to create an application. You can then add this course as a choice to your application using the following information.
If you have any questions about this course, your application or if you'd like to arrange a tour of Spirit Studios, please get in touch on: