BA (Hons) Music for Media

Welcome to Music for Media

Students studying on this course benefit from a focus on both composition and sound design. These two areas complement each other and reflect the requirements of the industry. Both areas are supported by modules in analysis, arranging, musical direction, technology and composing for TV, animation, games and movies.

Music technology will have a fundamental role in ensuring that students can creatively manipulate sounds within the digital domain reflecting current trends and future developments. These skills will become transferable in developing an online presence as a composer and/or sound designer. Music business is core to the programme so that students develop skills needed to work in the music industry to purse their career interests on either a freelance or employed basis although the direction will be on self-employability.

A major project in the final stage of the programme provides an opportunity for in-depth study of particular personal interest. Flexibility is built in to allow for a variety of approaches that range from traditional academic research in written form, presentations or websites, to creative work resulting from practice-based research.

Creativity and innovation are cornerstones of the flourishing creative and cultural economy. Employment led curriculum provides our students with the capacity to be adaptive and reflective practitioners. Our students demonstrate the breadth of creative talent and versatility possible within the creative arts, as seen in the outstanding performances at local venues such as the Mercury Theatre, Headgate Theatre, in the London West End, and the Brighton Fringe Festival. We work closely with Essex Music Services, Creative Colchester, Film Suffolk, and the Dance Network Association to enable students to engage with a broader arts network.

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Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

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.

Our facilities include a suite of Macs running Logic and Sibelius, with extensive East West sound libraries and two main recording studios. We have a concert hall and many bookable practice rooms for bands and orchestral ensembles.

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.

Undergraduate courses operate on a modular basis that provide flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30/40 or 15/20 academic credits (depending on the programme), 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.

Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5) Year Three (Level 6) Module Schedule Structure Pre 2019 Course Information: Ba (Hons) Film Music and Soundtrack Production

Normal entry will require a minimum of 96 UCAS points* achieved through A Levels or an Extended Diploma in Music, Popular Music or Music Technology with some degree of keyboard facility.

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:

  • Their musical background
  • What composition experience they have
  • Any music software they have used and the benefits thereof e.g. Logic, Cubase, Reason, Sibelius, etc.
  • Any experience of using mixing desks, microphones and studio equipment
  • Any experience of making or using sound effects
  • Film genres, films or composers that particularly influence them and why
  • What they would like to do as a career – for example in composing music for film, radio or TV and using music technology to create sound effects

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, an appropriate level of practical instrumental or vocal performance skill. It is not a prerequisite for entry to have passed a graded examination in theory but a standard equivalent to grade five will be expected).

*UCAS Tariff points where shown, are for entry on to higher education programmes starting from September 2020.

International applicants

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.

Additional requirements for International Students:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

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.

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.

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BA (Hons) Music for Media - Full-time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration3 Years
UCAS CodeW301
Academic Year2020-2021
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2020
Fee(s)2019-20: £8,250 per yearLower Tuition Fees
Additional Cost Information

Students are recommended to purchase at least one external hard drive (approximately £40 for 1TB) to save and back up their coursework recordings and scores. Students are expected to provide their main instrument and basic peripherals (sticks, cymbals, cables etc.) and any sheet music – however, there is an extensive collection in the library student usage. For certain performances there may be travel costs incurred e.g. to a London theatre and (if desired) overnight accommodation.

Awarding/Validation BodyUniversity of East Anglia
BA (Hons) Music for Media - Part-time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration4 Years
Course CodeZH3BAFMP01
Academic Year2020-2021
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2020
Fee(s)2020-21: TBCLower Tuition Fees
Additional Cost Information

Students are recommended to purchase at least one external hard drive (approximately £40 for 1TB) to save and back up their coursework recordings and scores. Students are expected to provide their main instrument and basic peripherals (sticks, cymbals, cables etc.) and any sheet music – however, there is an extensive collection in the library student usage. For certain performances there may be travel costs incurred e.g. to a London theatre and (if desired) overnight accommodation.

Awarding/Validation BodyUniversity of East Anglia
Year One (Level 4)

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY (20 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module will develop production skills in a studio and mixing environment. A central part of the students experience is to explore traditional and modern recording/production techniques, and to develop an understanding of the requirements to complete a finished recording through appropriate terminology and practical application of theoretical principles.

What do I learn?

You will develop skills in recording, production, mixing and mastering through lectures, workshops and in-class tasks.

What’s the assignment?

You will submit a portfolio of 2 original or creative covers, each between 6-8 minutes long. One will be created using mostly sequenced material with some acoustic sources the other will be predominantly made by recording acoustic sources.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

CREATING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES (20 CREDITS) 

What’s it about?

The purpose of the module is to enable students to maximise their chances in finding employment in the music industry, or related occupations.

What do I learn?

You will identify and define different types of work and employment and think more holistically about the diverse, and ever changing, job market.

What’s the assignment?

You will prepare a 20-minute presentation about potential employment opportunities for your future career.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

DEVELOPING MUSICIANSHIP (20 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module is designed to develop a broad base of practical, aural and written skills to support related musical studies.

What do I learn?

You will develop your knowledge of musical vocabulary along with the techniques necessary to respond to, communicate and manipulate musical ideas in a variety of written and practical contexts.

In addition, you will take part in and contribute to performance workshops as part of the programme’s enrichment provision.

What’s the assignment?

You will create a number of short compositions for a variety of contexts and compositional structures and complete a practical assessment of aural transcription tasks based on harmonic progressions and single line melodies.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

STUDIO SESSIONS (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module will develop skills in performance and/or production in a studio environment.

What do I learn?

You will work collaboratively, developing skills in musicianship, stylistic awareness, responding to creative ideas and studio protocol and explore the numerous challenges a session musician and/or producer incurs in the production process, developing an understanding of the requirements to complete a finished recording through appropriate terminology and practical application of theoretical principles.

What’s the assignment?

You will contribute as a performer or a producer for a portfolio of recording sessions totalling 10-12 minutes of music with a supporting evaluation of your role.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

PRINCIPAL STUDY 1 (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This content of this module will develop a broad range of musical skills in support of performance and composition.

As well as classroom delivery, performers and composers will benefit from personalised support through 1-1 lessons. In addition, performers are expected to take part in and contribute to performance workshops as part of the programme’s enrichment provision.

What do I learn?

You will engage with and evaluate a variety of approaches to advancing your understanding of core musical materials and techniques. A detailed examination of the interrelationships of aural ability, technique and creativity will lead to an enhanced personal process of practical development.

What’s the assignment?

You will prepare a portfolio of compositions.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

MUSICAL PERSPECTIVES (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module offers students the opportunity to study and analyse a variety of pieces through musical history.  It will consider stylistic developments, aural analysis and understanding genres.  This module is designed to include a range of musical styles, initially by investigating historical contexts.

 What do I learn?

You will also develop and apply analytical techniques, leading to the creation of compositional models. These models then form the basis of their own compositions whilst an on-going process of self-evaluation will allow students to develop a clearer understanding of your own musical development.

What’s the assignment?

You will accumulate a listening diary of historical repertoire with analysis and a portfolio of compositions.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two (Level 5)

WORLD SOUNDS AND ORCHESTRATION (20 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module will develop understanding of how instruments work both in terms of technical specifications and timbre. Film orchestration focuses on representing the human process (mood/feel), title sequences and scenes as this module will explore combining both diegetic and non-diegetic music.

What do I learn?

You will work with different combinations of instruments exploring frequencies, blend and colour.  You are encouraged to produce creative solutions to small and mid-scale scoring requirements as well as a blend of ethnic and world instruments and rhythms.

What’s the assignment?

One orchestration to a given brief using notation and another orchestration to a given brief using a DAW (3-5 mins).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

PRINCIPAL STUDY 2 (COMPOSITION) (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This module will build on experiences and skills developed from Principal Study 1 with emphasis on development of musical ideas within the larger scale compositional format.

What do I learn?

You will develop vocabulary and notational skills in readiness for the preparation of a professional score. The module will include composition and analysis of a variety of visual media including music for film, television, video games and other new media such as websites, mobile phone technology and other devices.

What’s the assignment?

You will write an 8-10 minute composition with a supporting critical evaluation.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

INTERPRETING THE SOUNDTRACK (20 CREDITS) 

What’s it about?

This module is designed to evaluate the relationship between music, sound and image through analysis and developing contextual research.

What do I learn?

You will develop an awareness of cultural and artistic perspectives through investigating a range of analytical techniques of historical and contemporary repertoire.

What’s the assignment?

After writing an essay about a period of music for media, you will undertake a viva voce interview to discuss a variety of the soundtracks studied during the module.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

FOLEY AND SOUND DESIGN (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This is where you arrange film songs for SATB voices by exploring historical conventions and modern approachesThis module will introduce sound design, sound effect creation and editing whilst building upon the studio recording techniques.

What do I learn?

You will develop the art of Foley performance, synthesis and the process of recording, sourcing, referencing and designing sound effects to create a soundtrack for a short film excerpt.

What’s the assignment?

A portfolio of two mixed Foley tracks for a visual stimulus comprising original FX and sound design.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module is designed to assist musicians working within the self-employed sector of the media industry through the development of an understanding of personal promotion, legal constraints and personal development.

What do I learn?

You will produce individual creative solutions to self-promotion problems and, following research, synthesise general information into an individual plan for upholding contemporary legal standards and personal management.

What’s the assignment?

Following a presentation of self-promotional materials, you will design, organise and run a promotional event.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

SESSION CONDUCTING AND ARRANGING (20 Credits) 

What’s it about?

This module will enable students to acquire the skills to arrange, conduct and rehearse music for small ensembles. By working closely with designated groups, You will gain the technical understanding needed to write effectively for a variety of instruments and voices.

What do I learn?

You will also develop a secure base of conducting and rehearsal techniques.  The module emphasises the importance of clear musical communication both in the arrangements and in rehearsal. Attendance at optional student ensembles, choirs and orchestras is strongly encouraged.

What’s the assignment?

An arrangement for an assigned ensemble, demonstrating idiomatic techniques for a variety of instruments and a practical conducting exam of a short piece with a variety of conducting techniques, demonstrating the ability to rehearse a group of players.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three (Level 6)

COMPOSING FOR GAMES (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This module will develop understanding of how to composer for games music and how to collaborate with games designers.

What do I learn? 

You will learn how to work in the games industry and the style of music required for games producers.  You will focus on creating demos in a DAW and how to deliver music, as required by the professional industry through cross-curriculum collaboration.

What’s the assignment?

Create a portfolio of loops and game footage, with critical evaluation of the process.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FOR FILM COMPOSITION (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module will provide a base for exploring industry requirements of surround sound, sound design and dubbing mixing from an historical and contemporary viewpoint.

What do I learn?

You will study the factors, which affect the perception of sound by humans; an historical and technical overview of the audio recording and reproduction techniques used to provide spatial audio; and an insight into relevant commercial developments in this field including film, television, radio, live music and video games.

What’s the assignment?

You will produce a portfolio of sound design and surround sound mixes.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

INTERACTING WITH CREATIVE INDUSTRIES (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module requires students to create a portfolio of library music by combining their skills in composition, arranging and music technology.

What do I learn?

You will compose tracks of varied lengths and moods, using different technical means to achieve their musical aims. You will develop a consistent and high level of artistic control and technical ability whilst illustrating adaptability in working with industry professionals and non-musical personnel.

What’s the assignment?

The final product will be a digital portfolio of audio files that addresses a variety of potential uses.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

COMPOSITION PROJECT (20 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module will develop understanding of how to compose for film music and how to work for directors and producers.

What do I learn?

You will learn how to work in the film industry and the style of music required for various styles and genres.  You will focus on creating demos in a DAW and how to deliver music, as required by the professional industry through cross-curriculum collaboration.

What’s the assignment?

A portfolio comprising of a composition for a short film through cross-curriculum collaboration and a report.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

PROJECT REALISATION (40 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module supports the conceptualisation and realisation of a self-directed music related project, demonstrating independent study and research appropriate to level 6.

What do I learn?

Following an agreed proposal, you may choose a traditional approach to qualitative research or may prefer to adopt a practice-based methodology.

What’s the assignment?

To facilitate flexibility in assessment and personal learning preferences, you may also choose to present your report in written, electronic or audio/visual formats, or in a combination of these. Practice-based outputs can include creative musical work.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Library Music (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

An introduction to a career in library and production music, this involves composing, recording, production and mastering.

What do I learn?

How to compose to a given brief and create a composition which meets the needs both musically and technically for music production houses.

What’s the assignment?

2 original compositions with edits and 2 “soundtrack” compositions with edits.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module Schedule Structure

Structure of 3 years full time, 2 years intensive and 4 years part time:

Semester 1 (Trimester 1)Semester 1 (Extension)Semester 2 (Trimester 2)Trimester 3
3 years full-time

 

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2 years intensive

 

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4 years part-time

 

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Pre 2019 Course Information: Ba (Hons) Film Music and Soundtrack Production

This programme was previously validated by the University of Essex as BA (Hons) Film Music and Soundtrack Production. Students who commenced study on the course prior to September 2019 will complete modules approved by the University of Essex and upon successful completion will be awarded a University of Essex validated degree.

Please find below a list of modules for each year of the BA (Hons) Film Music and Soundtrack Production programme.

Year 1:

COMPOSING FOR VISUAL MEDIA (30 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This is where you can put into practice your musicianship skills. This module covers spotting, sketches, responding to brief and general principles of music for media.

What do I learn?

You will learn about spotting, underscore, structure, colour, phrasing and characterisation including single and multiple characters. In addition you will develop your understanding of balance and blend through mixing and mastering and provide edits that reflect industry requirements.

What’s the assignment?

There are three elements: To provide a short portfolio of library music for T.V. drawn from horror, atmospheric and contemporary popular music genres and one to provide the music for a full animation short (7 mins duration) with a reflective report.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

INTRODUCTION TO ARRANGING (15 CREDITS) 

What’s it about?

This module provides the skills and expertise to arrange for various groups including brass, woodwind and strings.

What do I learn?

You will learn about how instruments work, how they blend, their frequencies and ranges in order to support characters, scenes and themes. You will learn score preparation and programming skills including initial mixing and mastering techniques.

What’s the assignment?

There are three elements to submit: One is a string/woodwind arrangement (score) of a well-known excerpt and one brass arrangement (sequenced) with a given multitrack supported by a reflective report.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

MUSICIANSHIP SKILLS 1 (15 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module covers principles of music theory with an emphasis on modes, harmonies and melodic development both written and through aural transcription.

What do I learn?

You will learn about how music theory is used in film scores from compositional approaches to modes and develop your musical ear to transcribe, interpret and be critically aware of developments in music for film using up to date industry standard software.

What’s the assignment?

There are two exams, one at the end of each semester: One to assess your compositional and aural skills of melody and one for analysis of film scores.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

FILM MUSIC IN CONTEXT 1 (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be discovering the changes in film and television scoring since 1900.

What do I learn?

You will be learning about developments in film and television music through listening, analysis and research.  This will also cover techniques of musicological analysis and provide an opportunity  to develop your study, academic and presentational skills.

What’s the assignment?

There are two assignments. One is a 12-15 minute presentation on a film score chosen by the learner.  The other is a proposal outlining the film and the aims of the presentation (1,200 words).

To see the module description, please click here.

EARNING A LIVING IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be learning about the nature of the media industry and, specifically, careers in film music and sound design. This could be aimed at students interested in film and television scoring as well as sound design and music for the game industry

What do I learn?

You will be learning about different opportunities for working in the media industry and a realistic and structured approach to earning potential through the production of a personal business proposal.

What’s the assignment?

There are two assignments to submit. One is a written report on the media industry (800 words), the other is a 3,200 word Business Portfolio outlining in detail a personal business or earning opportunity of the learner’s choosing.

To see the module description, please click here.

INTRODUCTION TO AUDIO TECHNOLOGY (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

It is an introduction to Studio Recording, mixing and mastering. This is aimed at musicians with the focus on practical skills which can be used for basic mobile/home recording and in professional recording studios.

 What do I learn?

How to compose a given brief to a visual stimulus. The will involve some compositional development but mainly production techniques to help your compositions become close to industry standards

What’s the assignment?

1 original composition to a visual stimulus with an historical report on a brief history of audio technology in relation to film.

To see the module description, please click here.

INTRODUCTION TO MUSICAL DIRECTION (15 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module introduced the concepts of a musical director and conducting from live orchestras with samples to choirs.

What do I learn?

You will learn the basic and more advanced conducting shapes of regular and irregular time signatures, how to annotate your scores, working with live players, and giving directions for them to perform as required as well as conducting to click and without click.

What’s the assignment?

There are two practical exams. The first exam is a piece, c.2 minutes in duration, conducting to click with a variety of time signature changes.  The second exam is a piece c.4 minutes in duration, which is rehearsed with live players, with a play through at the end of the exam.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year 2:

COMPOSITION FOR TV: ANIMATION AND DRAMA (30 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module will build on experiences and skills developed from Composition for Visual Media, with an emphasis on development of musical ideas within the larger scale compositional format.  The module will focus on how to score for TV series, from children’s animation to period drams.

What do I learn?

You will learn advanced software skills, orchestrating for full orchestra and how to work in the industry for scoring for TV shows.

What’s the assignment?

You will be given two extracts from TV series to score for full orchestra, one from a children’s animation and the other from a drama.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

ORCHESTRATION (15 credits)

What’s it about?

This is where you delve into characterisation and how to support a solo lines and explore moods and scenes through use of orchestral, popular and world instruments.

What do I learn?

You will learn about colour, register and tonal planes (timbre combinations) to orchestrate a number of scenes including the jump-scare and meet-cute elements of movies and how instruments can affect the mood of both character and scene through audio manipulation and creative notated scores.

What’s the assignment?

One portfolio of two orchestrations: One of which is for a given score (piano reduction, notated) and one for instruments available from within the year group and other music students within UCC all supported by a reflective report.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

MUSICIANSHIP SKILLS 2 (15 CREDITS) 

What’s it about?

This module expands on the fundamentals of composition and your musical ear by exploring techniques as a whole (structure, conventional and unconventional harmonies and continuity versus contrast) whilst developing creative mixing and mastering techniques.

What do I learn?

You will learn advanced software skills, the art of repetition and advance harmony and a deeper level of analysis of landmark scores.

What’s the assignment?

There are two exams, one at the end of each semester: One to assess your compositional and analytical skills and one developing your musical ear transcribing harmonies and rhythms.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

VOCAL ARRANGING (15 credits)

What’s it about?

This is where you arrange film songs for SATB voices by exploring historical conventions and modern approaches.

What do I learn?

The idea of what works in software doesn’t always work live will be explored through recordings in performance and you will develop a greater understanding of voice ranges and types. In addition you will have a greater understanding of how effective simple arrangements can be that are used in film but also the pitfalls of using complex scores.  

What’s the assignment?

You will provide a score and a recording of the performance along with a listening diary analysing landmark vocal arrangements in film.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

FILM MUSIC IN CONTEXT 2 (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be discovering the influence of popular music in film and television scoring.

What do I learn?

You will be learning about the continuing importance of popular music in modern film and television music through listening, analysis and clips from noteworthy examples.

What’s the assignment?

There are two assignments. One is a 12-15 minute viva voce exam covering topics and developments from throughout the term.  The other is an essay about the use of popular music in a modern film or television series (2,000 words).

To see the module description, please click here.

THE SELF EMPLOYED MUSICIAN (15 Credits) 

What’s it about?

Today’s media composers and producers need to be in charge of their own careers. You will be learning about the nature of the media industry and, specifically, careers in film music and sound design. This could be aimed at students interested in film and television scoring as well as sound design and music for the game industry 

What do I learn?

You will be learning about the various laws that affect the modern media musician, from contract and tax law to health and safety, as well as developing a personal approach to self-marketing and promotion.

What’s the assignment?

There are two things to submit. One is a written report on contemporary music business laws and personal finance organisation (1,200 words). The other is a Portfolio and student-designed Promotion Pack.

To see the module description, please click here.

INVESTIGATING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be receiving firsthand experience of someone working in the contemporary media industry.

What do I learn?

You will be learning about the practical organisation of the work of a practitioner in the modern media industry and reflecting on the relationship between theory and practice from research and personal observation.

What’s the assignment?

There are two assignments. One is an opportunity to plan, negotiate and undertake a 20-hour work placement within the media industry. The other is a critical evaluation of your learning experience.

To see the module description, please click here.

Foley and Sound Design (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

It is an introduction to creating Foley and Sound Design for a given stimulus. The work of Foley Artists and Sound Designers is often overlooked but the importance of these 2 areas is paramount in film and television.

 What do I learn?

How to create a Foley soundtrack to a given stimulus and an introduction to Sound Design using synthesis and audio manipulation techniques.

What’s the assignment?

1 original composition to a visual stimulus which incorporates bespoke sound design and Foley elements.

To see the module description, please click here.

Year 3:

COMPOSING FOR FILM & GAMES (30 credits)

What’s it about?

This is where it all comes together by incorporating the skills developed through the use of FX, sound design, scores, recordings and orchestrations to provide a portfolio of music for film.

What do I learn? 

You will collaborate with fellow students on the BA (Hons) Digital Film programme or BA (Hons) in Games Programming and therefore develop your skills in negotiation and responding to brief whilst working to deadlines and developing advanced mixing and mastering skills in addition to audio manipulation with reference to sound design. 

What’s the assignment?

A portfolio of two complete scores for shorts: One in collaboration with fellow students and one provided for you from a professional film production company. This will be supported by a reflective journal covering drafts, proposals, an evaluation of the process and the level at which you are at within the industry.

To see the module description, please click here.

FILM MUSIC IN CONTEXT 3 (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be developing an awareness of the changes in film and television scoring since 2000.

What do I learn?

You will be learning about cultural and artistic issues in contemporary music for visual art forms, from 2000 to date, through critical listening, in-depth research and analysis of audio/visual theory and the film composition process, including music written for or used in film, television and video games.

What’s the assignment?

There are two assignments. One is a 30-minute presentation on a contemporary media score chosen by the learner.  The other is a proposal and literature review outlining the film and the aims of the presentation (2,000 words).

To see the module description, please click here.

ENTERING EMPLOYMENT IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be receiving firsthand experience of working in the media industry in more depth through the undertaking of an active work placement, and developing business and practical skills in the media industry.

What do I learn?

You will be learning about the real-world challenges of working in the media industry by personally negotiating a project with an employer in either film music or sound design, and then spending a minimum of 36 hours working on it.

What’s the assignment?

At the successful completion of the work project, the student will produce a critical evaluation of their learning experience through a reflective report (3,000 words), reflecting upon the contrasts between theory and practice and determining their personal readiness to enter the media industry after completion.

To see the module description, please click here.

Surround Sound (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

It is an introduction to composing and mixing in 5.1 (Surround Sound.) This will require you to think about composing, sound effects, mixing and mastering in a completely new and exciting way.

 What do I learn?

How to compose, mix and master in Surround Sound. This will include sound placement, mid/side techniques, surround automation and balancing sound for Surround.

What’s the assignment?

1 original composition in 5.1 to a given stimulus. There will also be an historical report into the evolution of multiple sound source playback in cinema.

To see the module description, please click here.

RESEARCH PROJECT (15 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module deals with the preparation and submission of a self-directed music-related project that demonstrates independent study and research.

What do I learn?

You will learn the concepts of project negotiation and how to analyse research data through exploring different methodologies to raise questions, identify limitations, and provide suggestions for further study.

What’s the assignment?

There is only one element: A research report of 4,000 words or a presentation/multimedia submission, or a combination of either.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Library Music (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

An introduction to a career in library and production music, this involves composing, recording, production and mastering.

What do I learn?

How to compose to a given brief and create a composition which meets the needs both musically and technically for music production houses.

What’s the assignment?

2 original compositions with edits and 2 “soundtrack” compositions with edits.

To see the module description, please click here.

Year 1:

Year 2:

Year 3:



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All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 or 2019-20 academic year and are 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.

The course information describes programmes offered by University Centre Colchester at 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. University Centre Colchester at 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.