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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2019/20>Audio and Music Technology (MSc)

MSc Audio and Music Technology

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

Year of entry: 2019


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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This course combines a unique mixture of science, technology and creativity to develop innovative audio applications for music making, recording, analysis and reproduction. It's perfect if you want to gain high level technical skills which will make you attractive to potential employers.

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. The MSc in Audio and Music Technology is taught by leading experts in audio research.

You will have access to excellent facilities, 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 gain a thorough grounding in scientific theory and creative engineering techniques in audio technology, audio analysis and audio programming. This will prepare you for further research or employment in the audio technology and digital creative industries, working freelance, or setting up your own business.

We have excellent collaborations with industrial partners so you can make the most of their expertise. Students have, in the past, undertaken projects with Google, Abbey Road, AECOM, and Music Tribe, amongst others. You'll be forging industrial connections and experiences right from the start of the course. 

Research excellence

In the latest REF assessment (2014), 87% of our work was assessed as world leading or internationally excellent

Course content

You'll study a total of 120 credits spread over the year, as well as undertaking a research project worth an additional 60 credits. The majority of the modules are compulsory. 

As a taught MSc student in the Department of Electronic Engineering, you will also gain access to our carefully designed Professional Development Framework which has been developed in consultation with our Departmental External Advisory Board and key contributors from industry, research and academia. The aim of the framework is to equip you to graduate as a more effective, better prepared and well rounded potential employee, ensuring that you will stand out from the crowd. 


You will be able to select from either undertaking both:


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

Research project

Alongside practical work, you will undertake a dissertation as part of your Research Project. This will be 6-7,000 words in length and is worth 60 credits. For this project you will produce a novel study on some aspect of the course ranging from a research project, to a study of a technical component or solution. Throughout the project, you will receive the support and guidance of an academic supervisor.

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 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,580£21,640

Students on a 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 any printing you do beyond this you will have to pay for. 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/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

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

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

Home/EU students

International students

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.

Teaching format

You will be taught via a mixture of lectures and practicals. The lecture is usually first and will introduce a topic. The practical labs session then follows on from the lecture.

In the labs sessions you could be undertaking a variety of tasks including critical listening, audio programming, creating virtual auditory environments and sound synthesis. You will also have the opportunity to undertake studio sessions to get you up to speed on recording, producing, and mixing. You will get to listen to work you have created in the lab in our fully immersive and interactive audio laboratory.


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.

We also have dedicated listening spaces for immersive audio environments. 

Teaching location

The Department of Electronic Engineering is based on Campus West. The majority of teaching takes place in James College and the Physics and Electronic Engineering Building, with some teaching taking place on other buildings 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 by your 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, eg working for a company such as Arup or AECOM. These are large engineering companies that equip everything from large buildings to auditoria. 

You will 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

  • The ability to analyse complex problems
  • The ability to design innovative solutions
  • Practical technical ability
  • The skills to communicate your questions, analysis, findings and solutions to a variety of audiences using a variety of formats and media
  • Become an effective team-player
  • Be adaptable to working alone or in different sized interdisciplinary teams using a variety of working methods
The MSc Audio and Music Technology course takes a holistic approach to music technology. The course covers some of the fundamental physics of sound and psychoacoustics, through to audio signal processing and spatial audio. As well as learning new skills and making the most of the facilities, I was lucky enough to conduct some research in collaboration with the iconic Abbey Road Studios.
Hashim, MSc Audio and Music Technology (2017)

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
  • Equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree or above from a university recognised by the University of York. 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.
  • This degree should be either in music technology, or technology, mathematics, science, engineering or computing where candidates can demonstrate music performance or music production skills. We will also consider graduates of other subjects who can demonstrate an understanding of music theory/digital audio, skills in music production or performance and technical experience in audio processing or programming.
  • 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 qualifications

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:

  • IELTS: 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component 
  • PTE: 55, with no less than 51 in each component 
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 169, with no less than 162 in each component 
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing 
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with pass in all 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.


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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