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BA (Hons) Sound Arts

College
LCC
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W382

On BA (Hons) Sound Arts you will explore a wide range of sound art and design areas including: fine art, installation and gallery practices, sound design for film, animation, game environments and virtual reality, creative coding, interactive media, and experimental musical work.

This course is subject to revalidation, which is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Cutting edge discipline: We are focused on the development of your creativity and provide dynamic opportunities for you to learn the critical thinking and creative techniques necessary to build a professional portfolio.
  • Leader in its field: The course team of tutors is comprised of internationally recognised artists, designers, composers and writers. You will benefit from the close relationship to our MA Sound Arts course and the Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) - a UAL research centre dedicated to the exploration of the rich complexities of sound as an artistic practice.
  • Technical excellence: We offer excellent facilities for your creative work including a multi-channel Sound Laboratory, Dolby Atmos Composition Studio and 5.1/stereo Postproduction Studio along with a high spec Mac Lab and analogue synth studio. All areas of the department are supported by a dedicated team of technical experts.
  • Professional networks: Employability, enterprise and career orientation are central to the course. Our weekly visiting practitioner series of lectures and creative workshops will connect you to a diverse range of contemporary practices. There are also course-related shows and events open to industry and the public enabling you to build your professional profile. Our graduated students have gone on to work with brands such as Tate Britain, Versace, Warp Records, Selfridges, Venice Biennale, Channel 5, BBC and Red Bull Music Academy.
  • Connected collaboration: As part of a global community of like-minded creative artists studying together within one of the leading Arts, Design and Communications universities in the world, you can collaborate across disciplines within the Screen School in areas such as film, television, animation, games design and virtual reality. Such opportunities are built into the structure of your course.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course will be on Wednesday 25 November

Student Work

Year 1 Playlist

See work from first year students on BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design.

Milo Thesiger-Meacham student work as part of LCC Degree Shows 2019
Student Work: Milo Thesiger-Meacham - Danger De Mort.

Year 2 Playlist

See work from 2nd year students on BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design.

Ed Waller student work as part of LCC Degree Shows 2019.
Student Work: Ed Waller - noise/alternative

Year 3 Playlist

See work from 3rd year students graduating from BA (Hons) Sound Arts.

Student Voices: Chiara Meadows

Chiara is a recent graduate of the course and talks through the themes of her dissertation and degree show installation, both focusing on the exploration of objects and bodies.

Student Voices: Carla Geronimi

Here Carla talks through her video projection, exploring gender stereotypes and wanting those who experience her work to understand the struggles that a woman can experience.

Course stories

Facilities

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

Sound Arts

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

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 overview

On the BA (Hons) Sound Arts course, students and staff explore the many possibilities of sound arts in a well-established and future-facing program of student-centred activity.

The course covers the diverse ways that sound is used creatively in the contemporary world and you are taught how to apply your creativity to produce original pieces of work in wide range of artistic areas.

The course is accordingly broad, including: fine art, sound studies, art installations and gallery practice, audio-visual communication, game environments and virtual reality, community projects, creative coding, soundscape pieces, interactive work and new media, experimental musical work of all genres and more.

As students on the course you will come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of interests in all things sonic. You will be curious and open-minded and want to develop and expand your potential as a creative artist/practitioner.

Your creative, contextual and technical knowledge will be built throughout the course, allowing you to face the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary creative sound practitioner.

What can you expect?

You can expect this course to take you on an exploration of sound art and design as a constantly emerging culture to be found in many forms and international contexts, in which your own analysis and evaluation will be central.

You will mature and expand your potential in a personal journey through a range of areas including:  

  • Creative practice and production
  • Sound studies – thinking, doing and being in sound
  • Fine art approaches to sound: e.g. sound installations, sound sculpture
  • Studio recording, mixing and mastering
  • Surround sound (games, Virtual Reality (VR), music, installation)
  • Workflows of pre-production, production and post-production
  • Field recording and phonography (including ambisonics)
  • Hardware fabrication and object / interface design
  • Radiophonic work
  • Synthesis (analogue and digital, hardware and software)
  • Digital improvisation
  • Interactive programming
  • Experimental music
  • Game audio, adaptive music and sound for Virtual Reality / Extended Reality (XR)

Your increasing technical, creative and theoretical knowledge will support you in the development of a professional 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.

Our classes are relatively intimate (20 to 30 students) – this enables us to provide flexible, personal content and orientate our delivery according to the emergent requests of our individual students.

Work experience and opportunities

You are also encouraged to engage in professional sound arts work alongside your studies and many students participate in activities with creative spaces and groups such as The Laptop Orchestra, IKLETIK, Corsica Studios, Resonance FM, Gallery 46, The Economist and London Sinfonietta.

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 qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Your first year provides a tutor-led general introduction to sound arts and enhances your existing creative skills with a shared expansion of ideas, skills and knowledge.

The second year provides you with more optionality and personal specialisation along with the chance to work collaboratively with your newly honed individual abilities.

In the third year, the emphasis shifts as you develop your ability to direct your own learning, moving towards becoming an independent creative professional.

Year 1

The first year of the course establishes a foundation of creative approaches, technical skills, contextual knowledge and communication skills associated with contemporary sound art.

This year is focused on enabling you to create innovative, relevant and personal sound art and design, guided by your tutors and allowing you to gain confidence in presenting your work to your peers.

Introduction to Sound Arts (20 Credits)

This unit orientates you within the Sound Arts course, the College and university.  Introducing the learning skills and requirements of effective studentship.         

Sonic Doing and Thinking (40 Credits)   

Introduces the critical, creative and technical fundamentals that underpin sound arts. 

Global Sound Cultures (20 credits)                     

You will be introduced to 21st century sound art and experimental music, the practitioners involved, the historic and geographic background and the issues that arise from their work.

Creative Project (40 Credits)        

Developing further skills for making contemporary sound art using a range of relevant materials, techniques and strategies. It builds upon the previous unit Sonic Doing and Thinking.

Year 2

Having completed Year 1, you choose and develop specific skills in greater depth during Year 2. The capacity for creative practice and critical thinking is developed during practical projects, informed by the Specialising Options Unit. You will also undertake individual sound studies research and opportunities for public-facing collaborative sound art production.

Sound Studies and Aural Cultures (20 Credits)

This unit develops critical awareness of the primary themes which emerge from sound art culture in the 21st century.

Specialising (20 Credits)   

This unit offers you the opportunity to specialise developing critical, creative and technical excellence in specific areas of sound art practice. These specialisms may include: Advanced Recording Techniques, Game Audio, Improvisation, Instrument Design and Fabrication, Modular Electronics, Multichannel and Spatial Sound, Sound and Interactive Media, and Sound for Screen.

Exhibiting Sound Art: Exhibitions and Organisations (20 credits)

Focuses on sound installation and more broadly the position of sound in a gallery, museum or other public art contexts.

Contemporary Issues in Sound Art (40 Credits)

This unit allows you to develop a major piece of practical work and prepares you for the final year research and creative portfolio. It builds upon previous learning and enables you to combine new strategies when creating contemporary sound art practice.

Collaborating (20 Credits) 

This unit offers the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from other courses and disciplines, and more widely with external collaborators. In addition, the unit focuses on enterprise, employability, professional ethics.

Year 3                       

Year 3 develops those skills learnt in previous years by immersing students in their chosen specialist areas. This accompanied by a written dissertation or alternatively by other modes of critical reflection (i.e. an extensive audio documentary / podcast).

An important part of Year 3 prepares you for professional life and helps you to define and explore potential career paths following graduation. These include working for production houses, creative agencies, record labels, festivals, arts organisations and games companies or working independently as a freelance sound artist / designer.  Students may also progress onto a master’s program, either here at LCC (e.g. MA Sound Arts) or elsewhere.          

Research Project (40 Credits)      

This unit allows you to study and develop extended knowledge of a specific topic of your choice within sound arts through either text or an equivalent audio paper with supporting text.       

Portfolio (60 credits)

The aim of this unit is to provide you with the opportunity to research, develop, produce and present a substantial portfolio of original creative work which integrates the techniques, practices, aesthetics and contextual background provided by the other units of the course

Professional Futures (20 Credits)     

Building a professional development pack comprising of online presence, CV, show reel (or equivalent), critical appraisal of learning journey, research into employment progression opportunities.

Learning and teaching methods

Creative Workshops

Practical workshops are key to your development as creative and technical practitioners. These include innovative sessions in which you will form creative partnerships with tutors, responding to briefs in collaboration.

Lectures

These classes will introduce you to accessible and usable ideas, making an immediate and meaningful difference to your practice. Taking an inclusive approach to class learning, sessions are designed to account for different learning styles and reference a wide variety of cultural sources.

Seminars and Tutorials

Group discussions and individual sessions will develop your understanding of Sound Arts, and aid you in the practical application of theory and skills. Academic tutorials will help you connect your practice-based research with theoretical research strategies.

Peer Critique

Opportunities for you to showcase work in progress and to take part in peer assessment develops your confidence and understanding of assessment criteria.

Independent and Collaborative Working Practices

Throughout your time on the course, you will explore individual areas of interest from within Sound Arts to establish an independent creative identity. You will also investigate and develop interdisciplinary collaborative workflows, in partnership with tutors, industry guests, and fellow students.

Site Visits and Events

A rich and dynamic programme of activity will inform your research and practice, giving you a deep perspective of contemporary issues within the field.

Assessment methods

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

Staff

J Milo Taylor

Dr J Milo Taylor

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Sound Arts

Chris  Petter

Chris Petter

Acting Associate Dean of Screen and Programme Director, Sound and Music

Professor Cathy Lane

Professor of Sound Arts/Research Centre Director:(CRiSAP)

David  Mollin

Dr David Mollin

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts

Denise  Hawrysio

Denise Hawrysio

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts

Tim  Harrison

Tim Harrison

Associate Lecturer

Professor John Wynne

Professor of Sound Art

Dr Robert Mullender

Lecturer in Live Events and Television

Mark Wright

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Listening Across Disciplines

Professor David Toop

Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation

Dr Salome Voegelin

Professor of Sound

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.

Associate Lecturers

Annie Goh
Dr Ed Baxter
Gareth Mitchell
Ingrid Plum
Jessica Marlowe
Joel Cahen
Jose Macabre 
Louise Marshall 
Dr Mark Peter Wright 
Matthias Kispert
Steve Beresford

Visiting Practitioners

The Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice and LCC's Sound Arts department co-run a Visiting Practitioners Series of weekly talks at the college, exploring the diverse field of sound arts practice. Each term a number of sound practitioners are invited in to share their work.

Visiting Practitioners include:

Dawn Scarfe
Don Nelson
Charlie Kerr

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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points, which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing, Music and Performing Arts)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production, Computing)
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

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 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.

Making your application

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 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.

Please note: This course does not require a portfolio as part of the 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: W382

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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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: W382

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, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Portfolio advice

There is no portfolio required as part of your application to this course.

(Please note: This is a change to previously advertised information. From 21 November 2019, this course no longer asks applicants to supply a portfolio as part of the application process.)

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 London College of Communication 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.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The field of sound arts 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.