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MSc Film and Television Production with Sound

Prepare for a career as a professional sound designer

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

Study, explore and practise contemporary film and television postproduction with a focus on technical aspects of sound production and design. Enhance your understanding of digital sound design creation and audio for film, television and interactive media.

Our course emphasises a high level of craft skill and creativity, combined with critical thought and collaboration. You'll gain scientific and technical training with hands-on experience of sound design, programme creation and artistic decision-making. 

We'll teach you through a mix of workshops, lectures, screenings and masterclasses led by leading academics and industry professionals. You'll use industry-standard facilities in a vibrant and supportive environment. You'll realise your own creative and technical projects and develop essential professional skills to pursue a career in industry.

On this MSc you will have the opportunity to focus your individual research project on the technologies behind production and postproduction systems. Alternatively, you can focus your individual research project on creative production-oriented work with the MA Film and Television Production with Sound.

Our graduates have pursued careers in film to television companies, as well as furthered their academic studies.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, the skills council for the UK film, TV, and video games industries. The accreditation means that our students learn the correct professional skills required by the industry. It gives access to various schemes, such as work placement opportunities with the BBC or ITV.

Distinguished visiting speakers

We have a wide range of industry connections and regularly host visiting speakers and masterclasses.

Unique creative environment

Bringing together world-leading researchers, dynamic teachers and industry professionals in a vibrant community.

Employment prospects

Experience industry-standard training and creative practice, and use the latest professional kit to advance your skills for your future career.

Course content

On this course you'll learn a variety of sound design techniques, including field and production recordings, sound synthesis and processing, editing, mixing and using surround sound. Your understanding of professional production values and aesthetics will be enhanced through technical analysis and critical evaluation. We combine creative and technical work with the contextual analysis of theories and history as well as debates about technique, style and meaning.  

Our focus on group work means that you'll also work on creative and technical collaborative projects with others studying related courses. You'll be set industry-related tasks which will hone your problem-solving skills in an applied setting, and allow you to complete work to professional standards.

We'll ensure that you have a realistic picture of the film and television industries, as well as covering the business aspects of the industry such as the development, financing and distribution of projects. You'll benefit from our regular sessions from visiting industry personnel. Past guests have come from Warner Bros/De Lane Lea, Pinewood Studios Sound, Prime Focus, Molinare and other top companies.

This course will also prepare you for further research in postproduction systems.

Modules

You'll study a total of 180 credits. 90 of these will be through taught modules in the first two terms. You'll then go on to take a further 90 credits as part of an individual project in the third term.

You'll look at digital production and postproduction processes for the creation of commercial film and television programmes, and examine the latest technical and aesthetic workflows for picture and sound. You'll put theory into practice by applying the concepts and techniques covered in lectures with labs on picture and sound techniques. 

You'll study the fundamental theory and practical skills involved in the creation of sound design. You'll explore the technical design and implementation of sound synthesis and sound processing systems, and look at their creative application. You'll have hands-on experience with software packages such as ProTools, Pure Data, Reaktor and Matlab.

We'll introduce you to production and postproduction methods in the field of spatial audio, including multi-channel recording techniques and mixing using different surround sound speaker layouts.  You'll explore common methods and formats employed in the industry (entertainment, broadcast, games industry) as well as be encouraged to push the boundaries of present conventions.  You'll be able to work with our Euphonix System 5 Fusion console, which is found in top audio postproduction facilities worldwide.

Term 1

Term 2

In your second term you'll have the opportunity to apply the concepts and techniques presented in the first term. You'll also expand your understanding of the creative process.

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

Dissertation

Term 3 and summer

The final term is dedicated to the design and development of individual, technically-focused extended research project work.

Individual Project (90 credits)

Your project involves the creation of a technical project or experiment (for example an audio processing system, exploration of spatialised audio perception, etc). You'll apply the sound design and postproduction expertise you have gained through the year in a technical context drawing on existing research.  You'll support your work with a dissertation of 10,000 words where you will detail the project specifications and technical objectives, your design and technical approaches, the rationale for your design choices and methodologies, creative applications for your system or results of experiments and your critical reflections on both the process and the finished work. You will receive support through scheduled seminars, where you will work on the aims and objectives of your creative enquiry as well as through individual supervision meetings.

If you'd like to undertake a more creatively-focused project then you should consider applying for the MA Film and Television Production with Sound instead. 

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.

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

Department scholarship information

Further details of department specific funding.

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.

Creative collaboration

You'll have the chance to work collaboratively with other students from all our film and TV Masters courses. Group project work will develop your skills to prepare you for an industry where you will often work with others to achieve your creative vision.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The course involves a range of different teaching styles. Most modules will include lectures to give you a fundamental understanding of the subject and then lead on to practical work. The practical work will primarily involve lab sessions where you can become familiar with industry techniques and equipment. You will also take part in student-directed field recording exercises.

You'll also have the opportunity to attend events such as talks, productions and festivals. 

You'll be assigned a member of our teaching staff who will act as your personal supervisor for the duration of the course. They are there to give advice on academic matters as well as other areas of University life.

Facilities

You'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with our industry-standard facilities.

  • Postproduction lab with industry-standard packages including Pro Tools as well as cutting edge sound design and audio programming software such as Max/MSP, Pure Data, Matlab, Audioease Altiverb and Native Instruments Reaktor, with a vast range of plug-ins including ones from Dolby Labs and Waves, among others
  • Dedicated ADR/Foley recording suite with a 3.0 Genelec monitoring system, an Avid S3 and Avid Dock as well as an eleven section pit with a range of surfaces and props to create professional level Foley 
  • Two 5.1 surround mixing theatres: the larger features a Euphonix System 5 Fusion digital mixing console and Genelec monitoring system; the medium theatre features an Avid D-Command control surface and Genelec monitoring system
  • Two stand-alone control rooms with 7.1 Genelec monitoring systems with Avid C24 control surfaces and one large live room with variable acoustics
  • A large range of microphones (SoundField, Schoeps, Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser), field mixers and digital recorders (Sound Devices).

The University is also home to the York student section of the Audio Engineering Society, which organises regular talks, technical tours and seminars.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on Campus East.

Most of your contact hours will be in Theatre, Film and Television, with some additional teaching elsewhere on Campus East.

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'll be assessed throughout your course. Some modules have an early assessment that contributes a small amount to your final mark, offering an opportunity to check your progress.

Types of assessment vary depending on the module and include the following:

  • In-class tests
  • In-class pitch sessions
  • Presentations
  • Essays and reflective reports
  • Soundtrack design
  • Business plans or grant applications
  • Group project working with others across the Department
  • Individual project with 10,000 word report.

Careers and skills

The film and television industry is highly competitive and there is a constant demand for sound designers with a solid knowledge of current software and postproduction techniques. There's also demand for sound designers who possess a firm grasp of story and understand how technology can enhance the audio-visual experience.

There's also an increasing demand for researchers, in both industry and academia, who have a firm understanding of postproduction tools and how they can be applied to create the next generation of postproduction technologies.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are working with companies such as:

  • Warner Bros/De Lane Lea
  • Envy
  • Smoke & Mirrors
  • Sumners Post
  • Soundfirm
  • Lipsync Post
  • Molinare.

Feature film credits for our graduates include The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Pictures), Gravity (Warner Bros), Prometheus (20th Century Fox), Savages (Universal Pictures) and The Knife That Killed Me (Universal Pictures).

Some of our graduates have furthered their studies by pursuing a PhD in Sound Design.

Transferable skills

  • Collaborative working
  • Problem solving
  • Investigative research
  • Time management and organisation
  • Technical analysis
  • Critical evaluation
  • Reflective learning

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You should have some experience of audio media production either gained through an undergraduate degree (typically a minimum of 2:1 or equivalent) or through professional practice. If you have any questions please contact the Programme Director Dr Mariana Lopez (mariana.lopez@york.ac.uk).

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components.

Full details of all acceptable tests and relevant exemptions.

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.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Mariana Lopez, Chair of the Audio Engineering Society UK

Learn more

Department of Theatre, Film and Television

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