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.
London College of Communication at Elephant and Castle
Study Level Undergraduate Study Mode Full time Course Length 3 years full time Home/EU Fee
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £9,000.
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £15,180.
Start Date September 2014 Autumn Term Dates Monday 29 September 2014 – Friday 12 December 2014 (Starting with Freshers Week) Spring Term Dates Monday 12 January 2015 – Friday 27 March 2015 Summer Term Dates Tuesday 27 April 2015 – Friday 26 June 2015 UCAS Code W390 University Code U65
Content and Structure
London College of Communication's BA 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 personally-reflective portfolio. You’ll 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’ll be encouraged to engage in professional sound arts work and have opportunities to take part in extra-curricula activities such as The Laptop Orchestra. This BA 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.
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. Further information about individual Alumni can be found by following the link.
What students say...
"My favourite project was called 'A Sense of Place'. I had to describe through sound a place and the meaning of the place. I recorded the Underground in London as it was, giving a cinematic sense to sound and then putting it together with my music. You can use the knowledge and skills attained in this course in various areas, such as music production and sound design for TV, theatres and cinema, or in your own music. I'm an electro-acoustic composer, I've produced a few singles and I collaborate with many artists... this course helped me to find new inspirations and ideas in my life." Former student, Luca Roba.
This course is taught within the School of Media.
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.
Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.
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.
- Introduction to Higher Education
- Sound Creation & Manipulation
- Sound Capture
- Sound Culture: Perception and Communication 1
- Sound Practitioners 1
- Applied Sound Design
- Compositional Strategies
- Collaborative unit
- Sound Culture: Perception and Communication 2
- Sound Practitioners 2
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
- Aquiring the study/research skills necessary for this stage of the course
- Major Project Research & Realisation
- Major Project Portfolio
The emphasis at Year Three 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 Leader: Chris Petter
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.
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.
Enterprise and employability 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. Staff in our Centre for Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Artists and designers tell us they value UAL's informed engagement with their career and professional practice development and our ability to offer them practical advice, guidance and opportunities across the wide spectrum of possible professional pathways - as entrepreneurs and employees. Staff value the resources and skills UAL makes available to help them deliver effective professional and career development through the curriculum.
Find out more
ArtsTemps (SEE) is the UAL in-house recruitment agency placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
Creative Opportunities (SEE) is the UAL job vacancy and work placement website for students and graduates and advertises hundreds of creative job and placement opportunities each month.
Get more information and advice on employment and creative careers for all UAL students and graduates.
Recruitment and admissions
The BA Sound Arts Course team recognise applicants come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds from across the world. The course in the main 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 Sound Arts 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)
- International and EU students: In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then 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
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.
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.
The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities policy of the University of the Arts London.
Applications are normally made through UCAS. Applications for this course are assessed on the basis of qualifications and the personal statement.
If more information is required, a member of the course team may contact the applicant and in some cases, may request the candidate to attend an interview.
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 scrutinise 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 advertising 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 their personal statement, applicants 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 the LCC.
Your portfolio should be a 2 minute creative piece which incorporates either Visual Art and or a creative piece of music.
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.
Minimum UAL entry requirements
Find out more about the University's Regulations on Admissions.
How to Apply
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.
You can find London College of Communication (LCC) courses listed under University of the Arts London.
The University code is U65. The UCAS course code is W390. There is no 'campus code' for LCC.
If you have an admissions enquiry please contact us:
T: +44(0)20 7514 6599
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form and select LCC along with your question.
There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:
The LCC International Admissions Team look after all non-EU international applicants who want to study a full-time course at LCC. They can provide admissions advice, help with processing applications and enrol international students once they arrive at the University.
If you have any questions please contact the LCC International Admissions Team:
T: +44 (0)20 7514 8138
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form
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 page for details of how to apply.
Deferred entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
What happens next?
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under "What we look for".
Depending on the quality of your application, you may then be invited to the next stage of selection.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information