To study on the BA (Hons) Film Music and Soundtrack Production programme will be a giant step to fulfilling your dreams of following your favourite composers into the industry. The programme explores the subject’s rich history whilst developing current trends, and with a combination of working with musicians and various technologies, will give you the necessary skills to achieve your goals.
The programme is designed to train the students in the musical, technical and analytical skills needed to succeed in a variety of media industry positions including self-employed musician, composer, conductor, arranger, sound designer, mixing engineer. Whilst studying a variety of traditional and modern techniques, students have the opportunity to extend their existing music and music technology skills at the same time as expanding their knowledge of other practices such as orchestration, vocal mixing and musical direction.
The growing demand for cable television channels, cinema quality video games on many platforms and film productions provides huge opportunities for the creators of music and sound effects within the media industry.
Members of staff are working practitioners in the industry, working in live music, composing for film, television, video games, the internet, radio, theatre and with sound companies. Central to the programme is an emphasis on employment, self-employment and work placement. Whilst studying a variety of traditional and modern techniques, students have the opportunity to extend their existing music or music technology skills whilst expanding their knowledge of other practices. The course aims to prepare students for employment becoming versatile composers experienced in live and computer based music and soundtrack production with a view to developing realistic and sustainable careers in the media industry.
Although designed as three year full-time degree programme, there are named exit routes at the end of year one (Certificate of Higher Education in Film Music and Soundtrack Production) and year two (Diploma of Higher Education in Film Music and Soundtrack Production).
Our facilities include a suite of 28 Macs running Logic, Reason, Sibelius and Soundtrack Pro and two main recording studios. We have a concert hall and many bookable practice rooms for bands and orchestral ensembles.
The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30 or 15 academic credits, with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.
Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.
Compulsory modules enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst and optional allow you to develop your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.
Normal entry will require a minimum of 64 UCAS points* achieved through A Levels or an Extended Diploma in Music, Popular Music or Music Technology with some degree of keyboard facility.
*2017-18 UCAS Tariff
Entry is normally by interview. Applicants should bring a portfolio of previous work. This may include GCSE/BTEC/Rock School, or A Level coursework examples of their own arrangements, compositions, composition for film, sound effects, music tech recordings on CD, DVD, or on YouTube. They should be prepared to talk through their experience in the following areas:
There will be some short practical musicianship tests – e.g. singing back a melody, rhythm clapping, knowledge of chords and harmony. They will not be required to perform on an instrument but should be prepared to discuss any ability – especially regarding using a piano keyboard with a computer.
If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
Graduates will be trained to start self-employed work in the media industry or apply for employment with multimedia companies, locally or nationally. There are a number of Masters courses in film music onto which these students could progress.
Graduates will develop self employment opportunities or may gain employment in relation to a wide range of professional activities including performance, song writing/composition, recording/music technology, music business and teaching.
This programme provides the opportunity to progress to postgraduate study at MA level and higher. A new pathway within the MA in Music at Colchester Institute is being developed.
Since 2010, Film Music graduate Scott Ampleford has been working alongside New York animators behind the animated fan series of Doctor Who known as “Doctor Puppet”. Scott composes and narrates each episode and has used students and staff from University Centre Colchester and professional musicians to record the live instruments and singing. The project is supported by the BBC and Scott has spoken at a number of American conventions with the animation team.
Watch the episodes, Christmas specials and behind the scenes documentaries on www.youtube.com/hellodoctorpuppet
Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.
Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical’s. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will use and have access to industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course.
When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations
Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.
There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.
Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.
All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year and correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes. Fees for courses starting in the 2019-20 academic year will be added to the website from December 2018.
The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.
The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.