BSc (Hons) Sound Design
- Study Mode: Full Time
- Location: High Wycombe
- Duration: Three or Four Years
- Start Date: September 2023
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, from movie soundtracks to music production, games audio, and beyond.
Using industry-standard studio and live sound facilities, you’ll learn skills including professional recording and mixing techniques, how to evaluate newly emerging practices and studio technologies and build a portfolio of your personal sound work and projects.
My favourite part about studying at BNU is the studios. They are far more advanced than other universities and have much more freedom for recording, they are constantly kept up to date and maintained so we are keeping up with the industry. I have also learnt more in 1 year than I did 2 years at a different university. You have plenty of chances to independently study as well as collaborate in your free time with other students to gain some experience.Abigail Morland
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 technologies in different visual contexts.
With a degree in sound design, you could be working in post-production for the Film, TV, and Gaming industries, outside broadcast, live music events, or for audio suppliers or broadcasters such as Sky or the BBC.
With a career in sound design, you could use your studio and production skills as part of a team to create appropriate audio in a variety of contexts to demonstrate atmosphere, texture, or overall effect.
This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.
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.
All our music degrees at Buckinghamshire New University come with membership of UK Music’s Music Academic Partnership (MAP).
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?
Our state-of-the-art recording studios and Dolby Atmos certified sound lab, give you access to the space and technology you need. From individual edit rooms up to large Pro Tools Ultimate studios with attached live rooms and vocal booths, we have it all to help you gain hands-on experience.
- Studio 1 boasts a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 speaker system and an Avid S6 console. We are one of the first Universities in the UK to adopt Dolby Atmos into a music environment. Find out more about Studio 1 in this tour.
- Studio 2 boasts an Avid D-Command control surface and 24 channels of Focusrite ISA828 microphone preamps.
- Studio three and the Electronic Music Studio are based around Avid S3/S4 control surfaces and UAD Apollo x8 audio interfaces.
- The edit booths are equipped with microphone preamps from Avid.
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 location field recording, audio programming and synthesis, game engines and audio middleware, experimental composition and sonic arts, and spatial audio.
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 location field recording, sound design for Film, TV and Games, live sound, audio drama and podcasting and Dolby Atmos mixing, before completing a specialist major research project in your final year.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.
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 also learn through group discussion and one-to-one interaction with tutors, as well as through lectures, workshops and master classes.
A variety of assessment methods will be used as appropriate to the modules you take, including essays, reports, portfolios of creative audio content, written evaluations, presentations, and some continuous assessment on practical tasks. Assessments will be appropriate to the task, achievable, motivating and vocationally focussed, forming a constructive part of your learning process.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
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. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
You must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 4 Opportunity modules from the Opportunity module catalogue.
In addition, you must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 5 Opportunity modules from the Opportunity module catalogue.
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£15,000 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.