• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Sound Arts

Intensive and specialised, MA Sound Arts is designed to further the development of your conceptual and contextual understanding of sound arts practice and its discourse.

About this course

You will be encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to your work and build a distinctive portfolio that taps into the College's Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP).

You'll actively engage in practical and theoretical research that develops your creative and critical competence to an advanced level.

MA Sound Arts Intensive and specialised, this programme is designed to further the development of your conceptual and contextual understanding of sound arts practice and its discourse. You will be encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to your work in building your portfolio, and will be engaged in practical and theoretical research that develops your creative and critical competence to an advanced level.

Student films and profiles

Watch // Student Voices: Khaled Kaddal – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Student Voices: Ilia Rogatchevski – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Student Voices: Francesco Mazza – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Postgraduate Shows 2016: MA Sound Arts

Watch // LCC Postgraduate Shows 2015 // Show 2 – MA Sound Arts 

Watch // Student Voices: Anna Celeste – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Highlights from the MA Sound Arts Final Show 2014 at Angus-Hughes Gallery

Watch // Private view of final show 'Breaking the Mirror of Silence' at Angus-Hughes Gallery

Content

Intensive and specialised, this programme is designed to further the development of students’ conceptual and contextual understanding of Sound Arts practice and its discourse. Students are encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to their work and research.

The course includes a strong taught component combined with ample opportunities for practical work. You will be able to extend your portfolio within an academic context, engage in theoretical and practical research, develop your creative and critical skills, explore personal areas of interest in sound arts and engage in practice-based research. The aim of the course is to facilitate individual practice and guide you towards a professional career as a sound artist or into research.

The course culminates in a curated show and a public symposium where you will get the opportunity to present your work and research to an audience. One advantage of studying at LCC is that there are opportunities for collaboration with students from other disciplines, such as film students, both inside and outside the college.

All staff delivering the course are active practitioners and researchers who bring their specialist insights to their teaching. Specialist areas of interest within the department include the following:

  • Composition
  • Sound recording and mixing
  • Phonography
  • Field recording and acoustic ecology
  • Interactive work
  • Sound installations
  • Live performance
  • Radiophonic practices
  • Sound for film
  • A variety of cross platform work

There is also an extensive programme of visiting speakers and performers and both undergraduate and postgraduate students are extremely active in promoting their work both inside and outside the college. The sound arts department is constantly developing new links with other institutions and other disciplines and is committed to extending the boundaries of this developing discipline.

The course is designed for students who have a substantial background in producing sound-based work within the context of contemporary arts and media practice. You may have studied some aspect of sound arts - such as sound design, music technology and sonic art - at undergraduate level. You may come from other disciplines, such as fine art, digital arts, or time-based or performance art. Or you may have no formal qualifications but have significant experience of producing creative work with sound and wish to develop this work in an academic context. The main characteristic of a successful applicant is that they will already have achieved a distinctive and enquiring approach to and understanding of the aspects of sound arts that they wish to develop further in a creative and experimental academic environment.

Find out more information about Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP)

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Practice-Based Research (40 credits)
  • Contemporary Themes in Sound Arts Practice (20 credits)

In Term One you will gain a practical understanding of contemporary themes in sound arts practice and explore how they relate to and situate your own practice. At the same time you will begin to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between research and practice in relation to your own work and carry out an applied research project in response to an external organisation or institution.

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • Practice-Based Research (continued)
  • Contemporary Themes in Sound Arts Practice (continued)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • Project Development (20 credits)
  • Curatorial Contexts for Sound Art (20 credits)
  • Major Project (60 credits)

In Term Three the taught programme will help you to explore issues around the curation, exhibition and perception of sound art in a contemporary context and you will begin work on your Major Project.

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Major Project (continued)

Term Four is devoted to the completion and presentation of the Major project in the context of a curated show and symposium.

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Staff

Course Leader

Thomas Gardner

Associate Lecturers

Dr. David MollinDaniela CascellaMark Peter Wright

Course Tutors

Dr. Salome VoegelinDr. John Wynne

Visiting Curator 

Irene Revell - Irene is Director at Electra, which is an 'organisation-in-residence' at Wysing Arts Centre (Summer 2015). Other projects include Someone Else Can Clean Up This Mess (Flat Time House, 2014); Slow Runner (Badischer Kunstverein, 2013); Her Noise: Feminisms and the Sonic (Tate Modern, 2012); Sound Escapes (SPACE, 2009); The Wire 25 (2007). She writes for various publications including The Wire magazine and is a member of the Cinenova feminist film and video distribution working group. Irene is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Kent (MA Sound and Image) and in Autumn 2014 was a Fondazione Adolfo Pini curatorial fellow at O', Milan.

How to apply

You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

  • Personal statement
  • CV
  • Portfolio

The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.

The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Entry requirements

Recruitment and admissions

Applicants will have a good honours degree in a relevant subject such as sound arts, fine art, film and video or other related field, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an honours degree.

If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) i.e. professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience. Applicants admitted through the APEL system will be able to demonstrate relevant experience and an aptitude for sound arts.

We also welcome applications from prospective students with a background in fine art or other related fields, and those who wish to move their practice or research in other areas towards sound art and sonic practices.

Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.

Key subjects in Sound Arts:

  • Composition
  • Sound recording and mixing
  • Phonography
  • Field recording and acoustic ecology
  • Interactive work
  • Sound installations
  • Live performance
  • Radiophonic practices
  • Sound for film
  • A variety of cross platform work

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill
  • If your first language is not English, you can check if you have achieved the correct IELTS level on the Language Requirements page

For further information about portfolio preparation, visas and application advice please view the Study at UAL International pages.

Selection criteria

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  1. Firstly they will look at your qualifications (or projected results)
  2. Then they will scrutinise your personal statement and any previous work experience

Academic or personal reference are not required for this course.

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • an informed enthusiasm about sound arts and related sonic practices
  • a critical approach to working with sound

Personal statement

In the application form you will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Sound Arts. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for sound arts, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Portfolio and interview advice (maximum 6 projects)

Your portfolio can comprise of any work; visual, sonic or textual, as well as sketchbooks that demonstrates your mode of working, and interest in working with sound and/or a sonic sensibility.

All applicants will be expected to submit a digital portfolio. This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material as described above. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Interview advice

All applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. The 30-45 minute interview, either in person at LCC, or via Skype/telephone if overseas, offers the course team the chance to meet applicants and evaluate their suitability for the course. At the same time it offers applicants the chance to meet a member of the teaching team and to ask further questions about the course.

Applicants should bring their portfolio to the interview and be prepared to discuss it along with their personal statement, from which the course leader’s questions may arise.

Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£8,500 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

During the course you will have the opportunity to develop both your research profile and creative practice. Upon graduation there are a number of options. You might wish to apply for a research degree, or you might decide to work in the theatre, films, television, animation, games production or websites. Some of our students work as freelance sound artists or musicians in a chosen area which which could include performance, composition, sound art installation or curation. Others set up their own businesses.

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.