BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design centres around the creative use of sound, both as an independent and supportive medium. Led by internationally recognised sound artists, composers and writers, you'll gain technical, creative and theoretical knowledge in the sound arts and develop specialist skills as you build a portfolio of sound-related projects.

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

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

LCC Degree Shows 2016: BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design at Copeland Gallery

LCC Summer Shows 2015: BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design at Hotel Elephant

Watch // Final year students preview their work at the Summer Shows 2014 Private View

LCC sound arts facilities, sound recording, editing and mixing.
Image by Vladimir Molico

LCC has post-production facilities for multi-track sound recording, editing and mixing

Funding opportunities

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

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.


Course Leader

Chris Petter

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineOpen for UK, EU and international applicants for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW390
University CodeU65

Content and Structure


BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design covers the diverse ways in which sound has become an essential part of today’s media, arts and design industry.
Students are taught how to apply a range of technical and creative skills across new and emerging technologies to produce original pieces of sound for a variety of media and contexts. The course considers an extremely broad area of output, including sound for film, internet and animation, electroacoustic music composition, sound art and multi-channel installation as well as web-based pieces, musical concert works and soundscapes.

You can expect...

You can expect this course to take you on an exploration of sound art and design as an emerging culture to be found across many arts and media forms, in which your own analysis and evaluation will be central. You will mature and expand your potential as a creative practitioner gaining confidence in studio mixing and mastering, field recording and phonography, digital audio and MIDI sequencing, radiophonic work, synthesis, digital improvisation, interactive programming and experimental music.

The course is delivered within specialist industry standard audio facilities including a sound-treated performance laboratory, a composition suite, a video postproduction suite and numerous high level audio workstations. Your increasing technical, creative and theoretical knowledge will support you in the creative development of a reflective portfolio. You will produce this work within a context of the history, practices and concerns of the sonic arts and of the major theoretical, philosophical and aesthetic issues in the media arts.

In addition, you will be encouraged to engage in professional sound arts work and have opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities such as The Laptop Orchestra. This degree further benefits from its affiliation with Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) and has established working relationships with companies such as London Sinfonietta and Resonance FM.

Alumni include...

Graduates have gone on to work in diverse areas including film sound, theatre sound design and solo performance work. Some are pursuing careers as independent sound artists, while others have set up their own companies or gone on to study at postgraduate level. Students' work is regularly played and performed at venues in London and on the radio. 

Learning and teaching

Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.

Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.


Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.


In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Sound Arts and Design (20 credits)
  • Sound Creation & Manipulation (40 credits)
  • Sound Capture (20 credits)
  • Sound Culture: Perception and Communication 1 (20 credits)
  • Sound Practitioners 1 (20 credits)

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Applied Sound Design (20 credits)
  • Compositional Strategies (40 credits)
  • Collaborative Project (20 credits)
  • Sound Culture: Perception and Communication 2 (20 credits)
  • Sound Practitioners 2 (20 credits)

Year 2 provides you with a structure in which you can generate ideas, develop your creative practice and develop the skills and opportunities necessary for producing original creative work with sound in conjunction with other media and in collaboration with practitioners from other areas. Level Two will provide a framework in which you will extend your awareness of a broad range of sound practice and begin to critically evaluate the technical, theoretical and collaborative aspects of your work within the aesthetic, historical and contemporary context of sound in the arts and media.

The emphasis in Year 2 will be to enable you to learn more about the following:

  • Applying the technical background knowledge, practical skills and develop the confidence necessary for working in conjunction with other media and in collaboration with practitioners from other areas 
  • Evaluating the technical, theoretical and collaborative aspects of your work within the aesthetic, historical and contemporary context of sound in the arts and media and to engage with intellectual debates related to themes in the media 
  • Making a verbal presentation to a group start to research your future career and begin to develop your professional portfolio 
  • Composing a written paper based on research and argument 
  • Developing and extending your original creative practice and adding to your portfolio of original sound work 
  • Acquiring the study and research skills necessary for this stage of the course

Year 3

Units summary:

  • Research and Development (20 credits)
  • Major Project Portfolio (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

The emphasis in Year 3 will be on the following:

  • Demonstrating a critical awareness of the aesthetic, historical and contemporary context of sound in the arts and media and an extended critical awareness of how your own work is related to that and to the wider area of the communications media
  • Applying a wide range of creative and technical skills and methodologies, transferable across new and emerging technological developments, to produce original sound work for a variety of contexts and media
  • Working independently and/or co-operatively in the production of major pieces of work, both practical and theoretical, and present coherent written & verbal arguments, theories, ideas, concepts and visions
  • Demonstrating and putting into practice the presentation, research and key skills needed to seek professional employment in the areas of sound in the arts and media that you choose
  • Demonstrating and applying the necessary academic skills (research, planning and presentation skills) to be able to pursue postgraduate study
  • Producing a portfolio with a variety of work which reflects, as far as possible, both your own interests and specialisms, and an awareness of the broader issues in the field of sound art and design

Course Structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.


Tutors on this course are respected practising sound artists, composers and musicians.

You will also benefit from a programme of visiting performers and speakers from all areas of contemporary sound practice, from wildlife recording to plunderphonics.

Chris Petter – Course Leader

Dr John Wynne – Year 1 Tutor

Dr David Mollin – Associate Lecturer

Dr Rob Mullender – Associate Lecturer

Professor David Toop – Associate Lecturer


Sound Arts and Design is relatively new as a discipline in its own right. The field is diverse and growing and the career prospects for graduating students are good. Some recent graduates have gone on to postgraduate study; others have found work in music studios or as sound designers and composers for television.

Some become freelance sound designers; others work as sound specialists on professional film and video projects. Some have pursued careers in sound art and installation; others are pursuing performance-based opportunities.

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

We recognise applicants come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds from all around the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A Level or other equivalent qualifications but it also welcomes students from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and other art courses, as well as mature students who may have worked in industry.

Entry requirements (Home/International/EU)

For admission to the BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design course applicants normally need:

  • A minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points (gained at GCE Advanced level) will be considered, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. 
  • Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved 2 subjects at GCE Advanced level and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. In addition, the University of the Arts London Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will be considered. 
  • We also accept people with the equivalent qualifications obtained through a National Diploma, Access, NVQ and a variety of other pre-University level qualifications including International and European Baccalaureate. Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered.
  • We also accept those with relevant professional and vocational qualifications.
  • The subjects the Course Team will be looking for in your application are wide ranging: your A levels (or equivalents) would ideally be achieved at grade C or above and may include English, History, Media, Business, Art and Design or other Social Science subjects.

Other entry routes

We also welcome applicants such as mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience. In such cases students applying on the basis of their previous experience or who wish to enter the course with through Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes should apply via UCAS and will be guided by the admissions staff on the AP(E)L processes.

Students applying to this course will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in this area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with Sound Arts theory and practice.

Language requirements (International/EU)

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required.
  • If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our Language Centre page.
  • International applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding Admissions.


Study Abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join this BA course for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the Study Abroad website for details on how to apply or contact the Study Abroad office:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249

Student Selection Criteria - what do we look for?

All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria.

The team will consider three key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your academic or personal reference.
  • Then they will consider your personal statement and 2 minute portfolio of work demonstrating a visual and or a creative musical piece.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in Sound Arts and that you have thought very carefully about why you want to study on this course.You should take great care when writing your personal statement to ensure that it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your biggest chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. It is also an opportunity for you to state what you feel you would bring to the course. Through your personal statement, you should show a strong interest in Sound Arts. This can be demonstrated through work experience, studying and personal experience and their ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should be a 2 minute creative piece which incorporates either visual art and or a creative piece of music.

Interview advice

Occasionally an applicant will be invited for interview who has either requested to discuss their application with the course director or who the course director feels would benefit from discussing their application prior to final consideration.

If you are invited for interview you can prepare yourself in advance by thinking of questions that you may have for the course director and also re-familiarising yourself with your UCAS personal statement- from which the course director’s questions will probably arise. The interview will be relatively informal and will take place, normally, at the LCC.

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

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W390
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC.

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

Study Abroad Applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.

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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