This degree is based at USW’s purpose-built campus, in the creative centre of Cardiff.
At the nexus of creativity, technology and business, the MSc Music Engineering and Production is designed for graduates who want to further develop their music engineering and production skills, to establish a career as a professional producer in the music industry or related fields.
An important element of the music engineering masters is the practical application of your knowledge to generate highly creative work.
Allied areas are also examined, which allows graduates to apply their skills in many other media-related fields, including film and animation. Such a strategic approach to your higher-level study engenders responsibility, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the highly creative generation of musical and visual tangibles.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
The focus of the module is split between theory and application, including developing professional techniques with advanced technology for sound post-production. Context for both commercial and academic activity will be studied (including theoretical frameworks) related to foley, sound design, mixing, editing, spotting, voice-over, sound effects generation, and general sound presentation format systems. The module content has applications to disciplines including television, film, and video games.
This module will explore key historical developments with current manifestations. Through analysis, it engenders critical appraisal and develop individual technique. This will be underpinned by extensive repertoire studies, within theoretical frameworks.
Contextualisation of sound recording engineering, technological development, contemporary technologies within a modern recording studio demonstrating application of recording technologies and systems, recording chain, microphones, preamps, analogue and digital consoles, tracking, mixing, editing, processing, multi-channel recording, operational/management and safety issues, technologies, multi-track techniques, mixing and editing.
Professional Music Production
This module aims to further develop production skills, in a way tailored to individual students interests and aspirations; to find a self-motivated and self/peer-reflective approach to development and improvement of skills and knowledge; to encourage the conception, planning and execution of projects that make the best use of available resources to achieve a desired outcome; to enable students to build a body of work that best represents their skills, understanding and interests.
This module aims to introduce students to the spatial hearing capabilities of the auditory system and to investigate spatial audio systems including stereo, binaural, 5.1 and ambisonics in terms of theory and practical use. There will be opportunities to audition and experiment with a number of different surround systems and software during practical sessions in the recording studios, Atmos suite and computer lab.
Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module has been developed for students working in (or with) the creative industries sector who wish to develop and bring to fruition a business idea, a social enterprise or a significant cultural innovation. It places individual creativity within a wider societal, economic and political framework and, informed by those contexts, enables students to apply proven models for cultural and creative business development to their own entrepreneurial practice.
Final Major Project
As appropriate to each individual student project. During this module students will build upon knowledge and experience gained during earlier stages of postgraduate study to complete a major project which will be ambitious in its scope. Students will be expected to become increasingly independent in their ability to negotiate their project and to seek out help, information, expertise within and outside a supportive environment (as appropriate to their coursework). Students will be expected to demonstrate the sustained application of advanced skills, knowledge and critical awareness in pursuit and completion of their major project.
The music engineering masters is taught in a professional and friendly creative environment. All staff are industry trained and active in research and/or consultancy.
You will have studio and workshop tutorials that are supported by lectures, seminars, integrated case study analysis, discussion groups and multimedia presentations.
There is also a programme of industry-related guest lectures delivered by experienced visiting lecturers.
This music engineering masters is accredited by JAMES, Joint Audio Media Education Support. The Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries is also an Accredited Apple Training Centre for Education for Apple Logic Pro.
Our well-equipped recording studios include state-of-the-art facilities with industry-standard software packages.
Typically we require a 2:1 Honours Degree in an appropriate area. However, if you have solid professional industry experience rather than academic achievement, this may be acceptable for entry to study at this level through a process called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
All applications are considered on an individual basis.
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications and English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.. Please visit our international website for details.
Please provide evidence of a website or any other form of digital portfolio as part of your application. This should be the first section of your personal statement or uploaded in section 12 of the application form.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
Engineering and production professionals work as music producers, sound engineers, writers and arrangers, sound designers and mixers/remixers in surround. Career opportunities will vary according to an individual’s capabilities and passion, but it is expected that graduates of USW’s MSc Music Engineering and Production should play a full role in shaping the future of music and sound in the UK and further afield.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.