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MSc Audio and Music Technology

Blend science, technology and creativity to develop innovative solutions to audio problems

Year of entry: 2021/22

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Combine a unique mixture of science, technology and creativity to develop innovative audio applications for music making, recording, analysis and reproduction. 

Recent advances in digital audio technology have seen an explosion of interest in surround sound for home entertainment and virtual reality, voice recognition and synthesis applications, as well as environmental and architectural acoustics. 

This course provides thorough grounding in scientific theory and creative engineering techniques in audio technology, audio analysis and audio programming. It will prepare you for further research or employment in the audio technology and digital creative industries.

You'll be forging connections in the industry right from the start of your course. Throughout their studies, previous students have collaborated with companies such as Google, Abbey Road, AECOM, Music Tribe and many more.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Research excellence

In the latest REF assessment (2014), 87 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

You'll study a number of modules designed to help you get to grips with essential topics in audio and music technology. You'll study a total of 120 credits as well as undertaking a research project worth an additional 60 credits.

We take care to ensure our courses are relevant to your future career. Our Professional Development Framework, designed in consultation with expert external advisors, will help to prepare you for industry, research or further study.

Modules

Core modules

Option modules

Choose 20 credits, either:

Or:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Research project

Research Project (60 credits)

Alongside practical work, you'll undertake a dissertation as part of your Research Project. For this project you'll produce a novel study on an aspect of the course ranging from the development of a technical audio component or solution through to perception of sound within specific audio technologies.

Throughout the project, you will receive the support and guidance of an academic supervisor. You will also have the opportunity to choose projects in collaboration with industry partners.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Conduct research into digital audio signal processing, audio software programming or acoustic analysis, advancing the state of knowledge by applying specialist engineering techniques and research methodology.
  • Extract and critically evaluate literature and other data about complex audio, acoustic and music technology systems through analytical and computational methods and modelling.
  • Design innovative industry relevant engineering solutions for research-based problems in audio software and/or hardware, music technology and acoustics.
  • Apply professional skills in engineering, audio analysis, programming, critical listening, acoustic modelling, construction and measurement, to independently solve technically challenging research-based problems.
  • Communicate, debate, and contextualise information in a succinct, professional and technically accurate manner to key stakeholders which might include event managers, engineers, musicians and members of the public. This will include the ability to interpret and write technical documentation to a professional standard.
  • Proficiently manage themselves, teams and complex projects in preparation for future careers in the field of audio and music technology as an individual practitioner or in industry.

 

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,730£23,300

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

All course text books and materials are available in the Library or via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Depending on how you work, you may wish to print off notes and other material. You'll receive a free £15 credit for printing and photocopying when you join the department, but you'll have to pay for any printing beyond this. You may find it beneficial to purchase a set of good quality, professional headphones. These usually cost in the region of £80-120.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

We offer some departmental scholarship opportunities for our taught MSc courses.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.

Teaching format

You'll be introduced to topics through lectures, and then take part in practical lab sessions to develop your skills.

In the lab sessions you could be undertaking a variety of tasks including critical listening, audio programming, creating virtual auditory environments and sound synthesis.

You'll also have the opportunity to undertake studio sessions to get you up to speed on recording, producing, and mixing. You'll get to listen to work you have created in the lab in our fully immersive and interactive audio laboratory.

Facilities

You will be able to use up-to-date technologies, including several fully-equipped recording studios, a bespoke 50-channel loudspeaker array, a fully anechoic chamber and a newly updated Mac and iOS computer suite. You will also have access to specialist microphones, interactive VR and AR technologies and state-of-the-art acoustic measurement equipment.

We also have dedicated listening spaces for immersive audio environments. 

Teaching location

The majority of teaching takes place at the AudioLab on the Science Park, with labs and classes also taking place at the main Department of Electronic Engineering, based on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed through course work rather than exams. You'll receive assignments to produce a piece of software, or audio material. These will then be assessed on competency and technical accuracy. Written reports will further support your work.

Careers and skills

This course will equip you for a career in various fields within the audio industry. The course has a strong component of acoustic analysis and design using industry-standard tools and practices and readily sets our students up for jobs as acoustic consultants.

You'll also be ready for a career in audio systems engineering. The course deals with the psychoacoustics behind audio technologies and the programming elements will empower you to design and debug audio systems for a wide variety of applications.

Game audio is another area that this course will equip you for. Virtual acoustics and surround sound over loudspeakers and headphones are core to the course and support careers in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and games systems development as well as other interactive audio technologies.

You will also be equipped for a career in audio research and development. During the course you will undertake a unique piece of audio research based around cutting edge audio technologies. This will give you the skills required to thrive in industry in a research and development capacity.

Our students have gone on to successful careers with many leading companies in the audio industry including Abbey Road, Jaguar Land Rover, AECOM, Bowers and Wilkins, Arup, AECOM, Sony, Meridian, DTS, and Dolby.

Many of our students also choose to undertake a PhD after they finish the course and find that this MSc is ideal preparation for further study.

Career opportunities

  • Sound systems designer
  • Audio app developer
  • Audio DSP engineer
  • Acoustic consultant
  • Acoustic test engineer
  • Audio programmers
  • Research and development
  • PhD study
  • Game audio programmer
  • Automotive audio systems designer

 

Transferable skills

  • Analysing complex problems
  • Designing innovative solutions
  • Practical technical ability
  • Communicating analysis, findings and solutions to a variety of audiences using a variety of formats and media
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
Studying the AMT course has helped to prepare me for working with some of the latest innovations in music technology and to extend my professional network.
Hashim, MSc Audio and Music Technology
Programme Manager, Abbey Road Studios

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Music or Music Technology, or a related technology, mathematics, science, engineering or computing degree where candidates can demonstrate music performance or music production skills. We are willing to consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly when the student has high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate industrial experience. As a general rule, we prefer subjects that have a technical element or significant industrial experience. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components
Duolingo 100, minimum 90 in all other components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Get in touch if you have any questions

Susie Beckham and Helen Smith (Enquiries)

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Department of Electronic Engineering

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