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BSc Sound Design is for those with a fascination for sound and the creative use of audio technology. This degree programme provides a practical, theoretical and creative grounding in sound design across multiple industry areas.
During your time on this course you’ll learn all the skills you need, from sound design for moving image to recording and mixing techniques. Upon graduation you’ll be ready to kick start you career in the industry.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
Do you have a fascination for sound and the creative use of audio technology?
With a degree in sound design you could be working in post-production, outside broadcast, tv and film production, live music events, or for an audio supplier or broadcaster such as Sky or the BBC.
A career in sound design would see you using your studio and music production skills as part of team to create appropriate audio to demonstrate atmosphere, tempo or overall effect.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
BNU pioneered music business and management degrees over 20 years ago. Having studied at BNU you’ll be associated with our highly regarded teaching programmes and benefit from a leading team of lecturers.
Creating sound doesn’t happen in isolation. At Buckinghamshire New University you’ll get to work in a production-house style environment, collaborating frequently with students from our other courses and with external partners on live projects.
You might design sounds to accompany an animated creature created in the university’s motion-capture studio, or work with Film & TV Production students to produce sound and music for a sci-fi scene. You could also implement sound using game engine tools with our games development students.
Honing your skills on real projects, you’ll build an extensive portfolio of work examples and experiences you can use to establish and market yourself at a professional level.
UK Music is the collective voice of the UK’s world-leading music industry. We represent all sectors of our industry – bringing them together to collaborate, campaign, and champion music. The members of UK Music are: AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music. UK Music also has an informal association with LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment).
MAP is a ground-breaking collaboration between educational institutions and UK Music, and is designed to maximise the relationship between the industry and educational institutions in order to inform the next generation of industry professionals.
MAP does this by nurturing collaborative projects, such as research and careers events, panel events, various education and skills work, policy work, and career opportunities. Fundamentally MAP provides extra opportunities to individuals who want to build careers out of their passion for music. This helps to future-proof the music industry by ensuring new entrants have the right mix of experience and skills.
What facilities can I use?
You’ll record and produce audio in our Sennheiser Sound Lab, fully equipped by our partners, Sennheiser.
Our studios are 5.1 surround sound equipped, with dedicated recording booths and live rooms, and with sound-to-picture capability throughout.
Further facilities include:
- Multiple further professional grade studios, recording areas, and edit suites
- Rooms tailored for post-sync recording such as Foley and ADR (dialogue replacement)
- Foley props store
- A huge array of studio mics, plus stereo and surround sound mic kits
- Extensive collection of audio plugins and processors, instruments, and Sound FX libraries
- Live sound venue and PA facilities, with Midas desks
- Outside Broadcast truck and facilities
- A fully equipped rehearsal space
- Extensive TV studios and performance spaces
- Location sound recording kits including the Sound Devices 664
- IT facilities equipped with multiple DAWs (Pro Tools, Ableton ,Logic), midi controllers, programming tools and other essential sound design software including Max MSP, Izotope RX and game engine and interactive sound tools such as Unity and Wwise.
What will I study?
The course covers all the relevant building blocks of sound design. In addition to core recording and mixing skills, you’ll also get to grips with areas such as audio programming and synthesis, game engines and audio middleware, field sound recording, experimental composition and digital instrument design, and spatial audio.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Teaching on the course is highly practical and hands-on with a focus on real production work working within our industry standard studios and sound facilities. The staff on this course have a wealth of professional and academic experience, with many still working in industry.
You’ll learn about technology and sound production, and audio principles, theories and practices, and be introduced to the sound and computing technologies used in audio studios and elsewhere. You’ll build on, and apply, these skills to more specific production areas as the course progresses, focussing on areas including live sound, audio drama, sounds for games and VR, and film sound design, before completing a specialist major research project in your final year.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. Please refer to the Programme Specification at the bottom of the Course Details tab for the full breakdown of core and optional modules, as well as the credits needed to complete your degree. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Audio Production Technologies
Live Sound 1
Live Sound 2
Computer Programming: Max Data
Computer Programming: Max Digital Signal Processing
Audio Production Practice
Introduction to Recording
Introduction to Pro Tools
Year 2 Modules
Media Production Project (optional)
Sound Design for Games, VR, and Non-linear media 1
Recording and Mixing Techniques
Industry Experience (Placement Plus)
Sound Design for Moving Image
Creative Audio Production
Sound for Moving Image: Production Project
Live Sound: Consoles and Sound Systems (optional)
Year 3 Modules
Sound Design for Games, VR, and Non-linear media 2
Professional Production Project
Spatial Audio Design
Sound Design - Collaboration Projects
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£14,250 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
As a graduate of this course, you will be in a great position to pursue a career within sound.
Our graduates have a strong track record in securing work in this highly competitive field, working for studios such as:
- Halo Post-production
- Warner Bros De Lane Lea
- Voiceover Soho.
Our graduates have also gone on to work for:
- Film crew providers such as Transmission TX
- Computer games producers like TT Games
- Outside Broadcast facilities including CTV
- Live event sound crews such as Britannia Row
- TV production companies like Boundless Productions and Vice Media
- Audio suppliers Sennheiser and Focusrite
- Broadcasters including Sky Television and the BBC.
The audio and wider skills you develop will also be applicable to further industry areas, allowing you to pursue employment across the creative sector and beyond.
Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.