MEng Music Technology Systems (with a year in industry)

UCAS code Typical offer Length
H665 AAA (See full entry requirements) 5 years full-time
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Course Summary

"Focuses on the internal design and function of contemporary music technology systems within an electronic engineering programme."

Course overview


This programme has been designed for those students who wish to combine a professional education in electronics with an understanding of the internal design and function of contemporary music technology systems.  It provides training for the next generation of audio engineers, and designers of electronic musical instruments, studio equipment and audio systems.  This is an area with a vast opportunity for creativity and innovation.

The programme provides a solid basis in engineering as applied to music and audio systems, and although not “musical” in the sense that there is no formal development of performance skills, the programme includes detailed material on synthesiser technology, MIDI, sampling and audio signal processing, and provides hands-on opportunities to learn how this technology is applied in recording studios and in field recording projects.

To succeed in such an environment, graduates need to be knowledgeable, highly-skilled, professional and adept at communication and project management.  Drawing on the expertise of the Audio Research Group at York, and including individual and group projects at every stage of the degree to develop practical, organisational, management and business skills, this programme will provide you with precisely the abilities and approaches you will need to operate with confidence – as a researcher, expert designer or technical manager - in this exciting field.

The final year of this Masters-level programme extends the Bachelors (BEng) programme by providing an opportunity for further engagement with research staff, technology and literature.  Students will manage a large-scale individual project, and extend their knowledge and experience in a variety of core and optional topic areas; together these opportunities allow you to develop the knowledge and skills required to take a leadership role in pushing forward this specialist subject area.

As with all our undergraduate degrees, the MEng Music Technology Systems is fully accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and satisfies the educational requirements for becoming a Chartered Engineer.

More information about the programme learning outcomes for this degree can be found here: MEng Music Technology Systems (PDF  , 2,948kb)

Course content

What you'll study

Year 1:

All modules are core:

Year 2:

All modules are core:

  • Engineering Mathematics, Signals and Systems - 20 credit units
  • Noise, Waves and Fields - 20 credit units
  • Acoustics and Psychoacoustics - 20 credit units
  • Alogrithms and Numerical Methods - 20 credit units
  • Digital Design with HDL - 10 credit units
  • Java Programming - 20 credit units
  • Design, Construction and Test - 10 credit units

Year 3:

Year in Industry 


The following modules are core:

  • Software Engineering Project - 40 credit units
  • Control - 10 credit units
  • Communication Systems - 10 credit units
  • iOS Audio Programming - 20 credit units
  • Principles of DSP - 10 credit units
  • Multimedia Sound Design - 20 credit units
Students then select one of the following options:
  • State Space and Digital Control - 10 credit units
  • Digital Communication Systems - 10 credit units
  • LAN and Internet Protocols - 10 credit units
  • Mobile Communication Systems - 10 credit units
  • Cloud and Distributed Computer Systems - 10 credit units
  • Digital Engineering - 10 credit units
  • Accounting and Finance - 10 credit units
  • Nanoelectronics - 10 credit units

Year 4:

Year in Industry or modules as above

Year 5:

The following modules are core in the Autumn term:

  • Music Performance Analysis Systems - 10 credit units
  • Phyiscal Modelling Synthesis - 10 credit units
  • Voice: Acoustics and Applications - 10 credit units
Students then select one of the following option in the Autumn term:
  • Advanced Control - 10 credit units
  • Electronics for Medicine - 10 credit units
  • Robotics - 10 credit units
  • Sensors and Instrumentation - 10 credit units
  • Information Theory and Error Control Coding - 10 credit units
  • Wired, Wireless and Opitcal Transmission - 10 credit units
  • Bio-inspired Computation - 10 credit units
  • Systems Programming for ARM - 10 credit units
  • Enterprise - 10 credit units
  • Strategic Management - 10 credit units
  • Skills for Business Leadership - 10 credit units
  • Information Storage and Spintronics - 10 credit units

Students complete the following module in the Spring and Summer terms:

  • MEng Individual Project - 80 credit units

This information is subject to change, as we regularly update and refine our courses to keep our teaching as up-to-date as possible.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.


How you'll be taught


Our courses are highly intensive. Typical teaching weeks in the early years contain approx. 20-22 hours of scheduled activities comprising lectures, practical work, workshops, tutorials, supervisions. The balance varies depending on the term/week and on the options chosen by specific students. You will develop your project and time management skills throughout the degree, beginning with a year long group engineering design and build project. 

Personal Study

Outside of scheduled teaching, students spend time that includes: background reading for lectures; continuing practical work & writing practical reports; completing programming exercises; tutorial & problem sheets.


In later years, particularly during the final year individual project, there is less scheduled time. Students will put into practice the project management skills from earlier to manage their project work as they transition towards graduation and becoming professional engineers.


Have a more detailed look at our teaching methods and all our facilities!


How you'll be assessed

A variety of assessment types are used throughout, with the exact balance depending on the options students choose. All students will encounter the following modes of assessment to some extent:

  • Closed book exams - often for the more mathematically based courses
  • Short technical reports - often for practical work
  • Electronic submission of portfolios of material - for example, for programming exercises or alternative media such as a video report or blog. 
  • Presentations / demonstrations - often for project-based or group work
  • Major technical report - for final year projects and sandwich placements

In all cases, formative assessment is provided along with the actual grades to help students understand mistakes and improve.


Careers and employability

Employment prospects for our graduates are excellent and they are very well regarded in industry.


Many of our students find jobs in related industries and in all sizes of companies from multi-nationals to small businesses.

However, they graduate with strong mathematical, computing/programming, team working and technical management skills that are an integral part of our programmes. This means that they also have access to a very wide range of potential career paths outside of the more obvious ones, for example financial service industries which require creative people with strong mathematical and programming skills. 


Since our students find the Department, University and City of York attractive, many choose to continue at York with a higher degree, e.g. PhD, before a research career in a university or in industry.

Have a more detailed look at our graduates' careers including some of their profiles.


How to apply

All applications are made on-line through UCAS. Before you apply, check our entry requirements or contact us for advice on your qualifications or situation. You may also want to arrange to visit the department in advance of an application, so that you can chat to a member of staff and have a tour of our teaching facilities.

For students applying from the UK, all suitable applicants will be invited to one of our interview days. These are an opportunity for us to get to know you and importantly for you to find out more about us - we provide the chance to meet current students and give you tours of the campus, student accommodation and the department as well as the interview itself. We also provide a 'Parents Programme' for accompanying relatives/friends. If you are based outside the UK, we will make a decision based on your UCAS application and any other correspondence we have received from you.

Precise offers are customised to each applicant and where they are still undertaking qualifications this will normally be conditional on the achievement of specified examination grades.


Once results are available, if a student meets the terms of our offer they are automatically accepted. Where a student has ‘missed’ then entry is at our discretion. Before rejecting any applicant at this stage, we will consider all the student’s circumstances, including the reference, personal statement and performance at interview. In particular, we will always take into consideration cases where students have been ill or suffered personal problems, or have had problems at school. We prefer, however, to be informed of such difficulties prior to the release of results.

Applicants who miss the terms of an MEng offer but make the terms of a BEng offer and have York as their Firm Acceptance will automatically be offered the BEng version of their chosen course. A suitable pass mark in Year 1 then allows students to transfer to the MEng.

Deferring Entry

If students decide that they wish to defer entry, for example to undertake a year in industry, there will be no difficulty in facilitating this – again, provided we are advised before the release of the A level results in August.

Entry requirements

A levels

  • MEng: AAA

To include

  • Mathematics
  • One out of: Physics, Electronics or Chemistry
  • Any third subject - we equally welcome arts and humanities subjects

International Baccalaureate

32-36 points overall with grade 5-6 in Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level. Students taking either of these subjects at Standard Level are asked to contact us for advice.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • MEng: AA

To include Mathematics and one out of Physics, Electronics or Chemistry plus AAAAA in a suitable range of Highers.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Irish Highers

  • MEng: AAAAAB

To include Mathematics and Physics.


Good performance in first-year Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma (level 4) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering or a related subject.

Extended Diploma in Engineering with an overall grade of:

  • MEng: DDD

All applicants need D in Further Maths for Technicians and D in Further Electrical/Electronic Principles.

We do consider applications from people offering combinations of A levels and BTECs subsidiary diplomas, contact us for more advice.

Other qualifications

Music Requirement

Programmes in Music Technology Systems also carry an additional music requirement to demonstrate that you have musical interests.

Foundation Entry

If your qualifications are not suitable for direct entry to one of our degree courses but you think you have the potential to succeed, see more information on our Foundation Entry Requirements.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 55 (minimum 51 in each component)
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade c
  • GCSE: English grade C

Any questions?

Admissions Enquiries
Mrs Helen Lay

Admissions Tutor
Dr John Szymanski
(+44) 01904 322365


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