MA Sound Arts

Intensive and specialised, MA Sound Arts at LCC gives you the chance to develop your conceptual and contextual understanding of sound arts in practice and in theory. Develop an individual approach, build a distinctive portfolio and tap into the College's Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP).

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

Sonic Trails

LCC Sound Arts students produce sonic trails for Tate Modern, read more on the LCC Blog.

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

Summer Show MA Sound Arts (1), 2012.
Image by Ana Escobar

Arm Wrestling 2012, Anna Raimondo

Private view of final show 'Breaking the Mirror of Silence' at Angus-Hughes Gallery, London 2013

MA Sound Arts Show, 2012

MA Sound Arts Show, 2012. Image by Ana Escobar

Proximity by Julia Groves, 2012.

Proximity by Julia Groves, 2012.  Image Ana Escobar.

Summer Show MA Sound Arts (2), 2012.
Image by Ana Escobar

Summer Show, 2012. Image by Ana Escobar

MA Sound Arts students, 2013, LCC
Image by Vladimir Molico

Facilities: Performance Lab, Composition studio and Live Room, plus specialist suites and software.

Course Equipment - Roland Drum.
Image by Vladir Molico

Sound Arts and Design facilities

Please Take This And Replace It With Something New by Kevin Ka Wei Chan, 2013
Ana Escobar

Please Take This And Replace It With Something New by Kevin Ka Wei Chan, 2013. 

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.

Facts

Course Leader

Thomas Gardner

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
Home/EU Fee

£8,250 (2016/17 fees)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount.
Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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

International Fee

£17,230 (2016/17 fees)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount.
Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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

Start DateSeptember 2016
Term DatesSeptember 2016 - December 2017
Application Route

Direct to the College. See the How to Apply tab for details.

Application DeadlineWe accept postgraduate course applications on a rolling basis, so there are no set deadlines to apply.

Content and Structure

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)

This course is taught within the School of Media

Structure

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 Lecturer:Dr. David Mollin

Course Tutor:Dr. Salome Voegelin

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.

Careers

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.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

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:

  • 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 you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • 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.

Portfolio and interview advice

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.

We aim to interview all applicants, either in person or in the case of overseas residents by phone or via Skype.

The interview takes between 30 and 45 minutes. It offers us 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.

We expect applicants to bring their portfolio to the interview.

If you are invited for interview you can prepare yourself in advance by thinking of questions that you may have for the Course Leader and also re-familiarising yourself with your 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.

Funding

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Any questions? Please email funding@arts.ac.uk or visit Postgraduate Funding page.

How to apply

You can apply 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 following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

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
  • Referee details (this course requires two references).

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 form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

Please say why you are applying for this course.

Portfolio

You will need to submit a digital portfolio and this 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. It should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material as described above. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Please note, you can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.

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.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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