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BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W390

Course summary

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.

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.

Open Days

Student voices: Josh Madden

Josh talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Student voices: Valère Martin-Roland

Valère talks us through his work in the London College of Communication Degree Shows 2016.

Facilities

The mixing board in the Composition Studio.
Image © Lewis Bush

Sound Arts and Design

Find out about the range of facilities on offer to students studying Sound Arts and Design.

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

Lens-based and Audio-visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-based and Audio-visual practice.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Course stories

Course details

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.

What can you 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.

Showcasing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCC and will last for up to 12 months after graduation.

This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Course units

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 and 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 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.

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.

Learning and teaching methods

The above programme outcomes are taught using the following learning and teaching methods:

  • Lectures.
  • Seminars.
  • Group project work.
  • Individual projects.
  • Listening.
  • Study visits.
  • Self-directed study.
  • Visiting speakers.
  • Access to equipment.
  • Tutorials.

Assessment methods

The above programme outcomes are assessed using the following assessment methods:

  • Projects.
  • Presentations.
  • Critiques.
  • Essays.
  • Critical reviews.
  • Research exercise.
  • Dissertation.

Changes to courses

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services, in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, in order to bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, in response to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options.

Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which lead to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.

If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.

Webpage updates

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 this register your interest form.

Staff

Chris  Petter

Chris Petter

Programme Director, Sound and Music

J Milo Taylor

J Milo Taylor

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

David  Mollin

David Mollin

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

David  Toop

David Toop

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

John  Wynne

John Wynne

Tutor, BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Lecturer, MA Sound Arts

Tim  Harrison

Tim Harrison

Associate Lecturer

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

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

Home/EU/International

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are as follows:

64 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.

Or

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 64 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 Diploma
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications

Additionally you will have achieved passes at grade C/grade 4 or above in at least three GCSE subjects.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference;
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

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.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of an appreciation of the specialist nature of sound arts and design.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach (through research and practice) to this area of study.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas through practice to achieve specific outcomes.
  • Quality of ideas and thought processes in the production of your work.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a full portfolio. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in sound arts and design, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

Please provide us with no more than 10 examples of your current work. Within this work sample, please include no more than five minutes of durational work (film, moving image or sound) along with a contextual statement that explains your contribution to the finished product.

It is important that the course admissions tutors are clear about your role within the production of the durational work.

Important Note: You are strongly advised not to delay the upload by trying to create new work; your main aim should be to demonstrate the creativity within your current portfolio.

Making your application

You must apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W390

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W390

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

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.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to LCC, from January onwards, to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Deferring your place

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£9,250 (2019/20).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2019/20 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.

International Fee

£19,930 (2019/20).

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The field of sound arts and design is diverse and growing discipline. 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, play and perform at venues in London or on the radio, while others have set up their own companies or gone on to study at postgraduate level.

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