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Music festival performance

FdA Music and Sound Production

This Foundation Degree-level course will focus on providing students with the skills that they need to meet the needs of clients in live music production, studio recording and media-based contexts. You'll develop your potential, further your knowledge and refine your skills in this demanding industry.

Course overview

In the UK, we listen to an estimated 60 billion hours of music a year – that’s the equivalent of 7 million years.

As a student on FdA Music, you'll study units embracing studio production, live music applications, audio electronics and sound synthesis. The course is expected to explore analogue (tape) recording as well as digital. You'll produce work using several of the major music software platforms in current use and will develop academic knowledge of music technology from historical, cultural, social and economic perspectives.

It's intended that the course will provide you with a vehicle for creative experimentation as well as training to be able to provide industry applications.

This FdA course is part of a franchise collaboration between Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth and Poole College. This course will be taught at Bournemouth and Poole College.

This course aims to expose students to the diverse nature of the challenges faced by those who take on the role of music producer. The working producer may encounter different studio environments, different technologies, different client demands and many different forms of music. Therefore, students seeking a career in this role should prepare to develop skills that are entrepreneurial, freelance and independent – flexible to the needs of clients, creative and contributory with an awareness of culture, and firmly based in theory, practice, and later, experience. To this end, students will be studying a specialist programme focused on music production that offers a broad but interconnected selection of units. This course offers students opportunities to explore old and new technologies, different music forms, recording as documentary, sound as a function within other media artefacts, and music and sound as art and performance (commercial and otherwise).

We believe that the ‘craft skills’ of music production and the identity of the music producer should be founded on knowledge and learning through practical application. As part of this course, and in replication of the ’real world’ students will find themselves collaborating with their peers from other disciplines (Dance, Film and Events) to complete project work that places the music producer in a role that is less central than that experienced in the recording industry.

There'll be opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning to assure preparation for the wider artistic climate and the development of a clear perception of the role of the sound producer/practitioner within different contexts. The self-confidence required to contribute to collaborative, time-bound creative projects is developed through a secure understanding of the equipment, its function and application, and repeated practice in the working environment. Students will therefore be supported in the development of their strengths, the improvement of their weaknesses and the creation of new opportunities through exposure to a wide range of teaching methods, studio experiences, staff expertise and visiting professionals.

By the end of the course you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the intellectual, imaginative and practical skills needed for the creation of music and in response to briefs where music is required to meet a client’s need.
  • Demonstrate and articulate your understanding of the relationships between different genres, trends and histories and a clear sense of where your own professional strengths lie and how you intend to launch your career in the industry.
  • Communicate your ideas both in both a verbal and practical way.
  • Articulate your understanding of the complex nature of music production, the forms that this may take and the target audience that you wish to reach.
  • Collaborate with others effectively in the realisation of a performative and/or participative event within or across disciplines.
  • Extend academic learning as an independent, self-reflective and creative practitioner, fully prepared for professional environments or postgraduate study.

Modules within the course will cover the following topics:

  • Record Production
  • Synthesis
  • Production Project
  • Music for Media
  • Analogue Recording
  • Audio Electronics
  • Experimental Sound and Music
  • Live Sound and Music
  • Music Technology in Performance
  • Personal Research Project

Please note that these course units are indicative and may change following the validation process.

All students are registered for the award of the Foundation Degree (FdA); however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed a stage. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you will automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.

For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.

For the award of the Foundation Degree (FdA), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.

Course duration

2-years (full-time)

Qualification level

Level 5

Fees (Home and International)

£7,250

UCAS course code

W371

UCAS institution code

A66

Location

Bournemouth and Poole College

Entry requirements

All applicants should have level 3 qualifications including at least one ‘creative’ subject. We're looking for between 48 UCAS points.

Applicants who fall outside of this tariff may be considered.

English Language requirements

The course is taught in English.

Academic IELTS overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in each band (reading, writing, speaking, listening).