- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length3 years
- UCAS codeW390
BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design
Clearing places available
This course has places available for 2017/18 entry. If you are interested in applying for this course, please call us on +44 (0)20 7514 7514. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, visit the UAL Clearing page.
BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design centres on the creative use of sound, both as a medium in its own right and in support of other media, including sound design for film, animation, field recording and soundscape studies, as well as interactive programming, multi-channel composition, digital improvisation and sound art installations.
About this course
The course is led by a team of tutors comprised of internationally recognised sound artists, composers and writers. You will gain technical, creative and theoretical knowledge in the sound arts and develop specialist skills as you build a portfolio of sound-related projects.
The course is delivered within specialist industry standard audio facilities, including a sound-treated performance laboratory, a composition suite, a video post-production suite and numerous high level audio workstations.
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 in 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 post-production suite and numerous high level audio workstations.
Your increasing technical, creative and theoretical knowledge will support you in the 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.
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.
- Introduction to Sound Arts and Design (20 credits)
- Sound Creation and Manipulation (40 credits)
- Sound Capture (20 credits)
- Sound Culture: Perception and Communication 1 (20 credits)
- Sound Practitioners 1 (20 credits)
- 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 developing 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
- 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
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.
In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, use our online course enquiry form.
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.
How to apply
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
Home / EU applicants
You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:
- University code: U65
- Course code: W390
- There is no 'campus code' for LCC
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.
For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader will determine whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and Course Leader before/after applying at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.
For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
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.
International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.
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)
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
32 new UCAS tariff points (80 old UCAS tariff points) gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A Level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A levels will be achieved at Grade C or above.
One subject at A Level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).
Alternatively you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 32 new UCAS tariff points (80 old UCAS tariff points) from one of the following qualifications:
- BTEC Extended Diploma
- UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
- Access to HE Diploma
- International Baccalaureate
- Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications
Additionally you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects including English.
If English is not your first language you will also need an up to date English qualification – see below.
Alternative 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)
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 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- 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.
Student selection criteria – what do we look for?
All applications will be considered by the course team. They will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly, they will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
- Secondly, they will review your personal statement and 2 minute ‘portfolio’ of work
- Then they will review your academic or personal references
Offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria, which should be demonstrated in your application:
- A strong interest in Sound Arts and Design
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures
Personal statement advice
The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the application, as it provides an opportunity for the applicant to explain why they want to study on the course and demonstrate to the course team that they have a genuine interest in sound arts.
Great care should be taken when writing the personal statement. Applicants are advised to write in a clear and structured fashion, free from any spelling mistakes. The statement should include some basic knowledge around the subject and should also demonstrate how the course will help the candidate to further this knowledge and develop additional relevant skills. It is also an opportunity for the candidate to say how they feel that they could personally contribute to the course.
The applicant must demonstrate in the personal statement a strong interest in the field of sound arts through discussion of past academic achievements, relevant work experience, personal experience and ambitions for personal development and involvement in the student culture of LCC.
All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a portfolio of work, via URL. The portfolio should be a two-minute creative piece which incorporates either visual art and or a creative piece of music. (We prefer not to receive USB/CD/DVD).
Following review of the application and portfolio, some applicants will be invited for interview. You can prepare yourself in advance by thinking of questions that you may have for the course leader, and also re-reading your UCAS personal statement, from which the course leader’s questions will probably arise.
The interview will be relatively informal and will normally take place at LCC, and will include a tour of the college.
Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme.
Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
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.
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.
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.