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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.