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BEng (Hons) Music Technology Systems (with a Foundation Year)

Join the next generation of audio engineers

Year of entry: 2020/21
Show year of entry: 2021

UCAS code

H662

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

See entry requirements below (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£22,080 per year (2020/21)

in the UK for Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Guardian University Guide (2020)

of York Electronic Engineering graduates were employed or in further study six months after graduation

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 (HESA) (full-time UK students)

If you're returning to education, or didn't study Maths at A level, our foundation year will give you the maths and physics knowledge you need to progress on to our BEng Music Technology Systems course.

You'll spend your first year learning maths and physics content to A level standard, and you'll begin to develop your practical skills in the electronics lab.

If you successfully complete the foundation year you'll automatically continue onto the first year of our degree in Music Technology Systems. You'll explore topics including synthesiser technology, MIDI, sampling and audio signal processing, and learn how this technology is applied in recording studios and field recording projects. You'll use your expertise to create innovative and optimised designs, addressing real-world problems.

With individual and group projects at every stage of the degree to develop practical, organisational, management and business skills, you'll graduate with the abilities and approaches you will need to operate with confidence – as a researcher, expert designer or technical manager - in this exciting field.

You can instead choose to transfer onto any of our other BEng courses within the department. In addition, if you achieve a high score in the Foundation Year exams you will have the opportunity to transfer onto one of our MEng courses.

Accreditation

This course is fully accredited by the IET and counts towards the training requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Our courses have been continually accredited for 25 years.

As I was returning to education, the Foundation Year was brilliant, providing a solid grounding in higher level Maths and Physics, and confirming Electronic Engineering was for me. It has been enjoyable and a fantastic challenge to study at the University of York and the city is a delightful place to call home.
Richard, BEng Electronic Engineering with a Foundation Year

What our students say about us.

Flexible courses

You may be able to change course, add a year in industry or change between MEng and BEng. Just ask us for more details.

Start from scratch

You don't need any formal qualifications in maths or physics to be accepted for our foundation year.

Committed to equality

We hold a bronze Athena SWAN award for our commitment to gender equality in science.

Course content

You'll study the principles and practicalities of electronic engineering, as well as honing essential skills in mathematics and computer programming.

As you progress, you'll cover topics such as electronic hardware design, Java programming, signal processing and analysis, microprocessor interfacing, engineering construction and design, feedback and computer control. In your final year, advanced option modules allow you to specialise according to your own developing interests, in areas from digital communications to nanoelectronics.

Throughout your course you'll have opportunities to apply your learning in our well-equipped labs. Individual and group projects will see you design, build and test products using state-of-the art hardware, software and fabrication facilities.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

Foundation year

The foundation year is based on the A level curricula for maths and physics.

The first part of the course starts at an early secondary school level and progresses through to A level standard over the year. There is also a practical electronics element, where you'll learn about electronic circuits in a well-equipped laboratory.

You'll study five core modules. 

Core modules

In addition to the foundation year teaching outlined above, you'll also complete a range of activities related to Music Technology. These include:

  • regular supervision from a music technology staff member 
  • specialised laboratories in creating and processing audio
  • introduction to the Music Technology Studios and a studio pass for the whole year

You'll also receive music technology mentoring in:

  • musical and audio computing (including practical introduction to programming languages for synthesis and music making)
  • music technology discussion groups
  • contextualising the maths, physics and electronics

Year 1

Year 1 provides you with a grounding in electronic principles, circuits, components, devices and recording studio techniques. There's a strong emphasis on mathematics and computing, including learning the C and Python programming languages. You'll also develop your practical skills, designing and building complete products as part of laboratories and group projects.

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In Year 2 you'll learn to analyse and design hardware and software systems. You'll study material including acoustics, data structures, algorithms, electromagnetism and Java programming. An advanced construction project gives you the opportunity to apply your skills of design, engineering, problem-solving and project-management.

Core modules

Year 3

In Year 3 you'll study a range of advanced core and option modules. You can focus on your interests, or investigate a new aspect of electronic engineering. Throughout the year you'll work on a major individual project, using the knowledge and skills you've developed to research and design a solution to an engineering challenge.

Core modules

The BEng Individual Project gives you a chance to put the skills and understanding you've developed into practice. You'll undertake an independent project: from specification, through initial feasibility studies, to production and testing. Projects from previous years have included:

  • Radio controlled ultra small airplane
  • Programmable environmental chamber
  • Measuring and predicting solar output
  • Magnetic biosensors for future medicine
  • Visual tuning feedback for choirs
  • An electronic Alethiometer

Many of the projects on offer are closely aligned to our current research, giving you the chance to work alongside world-class academics at the forefront of the field.

Option modules

You'll choose one option module:

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

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • conduct research in applied electronic engineering and audio & music technology to advance the state of knowledge in algorithms, devices and systems. 
  • extract and critically evaluate data from complex systems through analytical and computational methods and modelling.  
  • create innovative and optimised designs to address real-world problems involving audio, computer programming, music technology, and analogue & digital electronics by synthesising ideas into engineering specifications. 
  • apply professional skills of audio analysis, programming, CAD, construction and measurement, combined with an understanding of engineering systems and components, to solve technically challenging problems.  
  • debate, defend and contextualise information in a succinct and technically accurate manner for audiences of engineers, musicians and members of the public, and to write and interpret technical documentation.  
  • proficiently manage themselves, teams and complex projects in preparation for technical careers as leaders in audio and electronic engineering. 

Strong links with industry

We will help you to become an employment-ready, motivated graduate, with skills in the latest developments in engineering such as robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and immersive technology.

Group work to prepare you for your career

Our programme involves group work to allow you to experience the management, coordination and decision-making processes required by engineers. We structure this throughout the programme so that you develop key transferable and managerial skills.

Free membership

We offer all students free membership of ShockSoc (our student electronics society), EDIT (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Technology) and we pay for student membership of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) while you are at York.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £22,080

Additional costs

There is no compulsory purchase of equipment or books necessary for this course. Lecture notes will be provided by staff, and you will be given a generous printing allowance.

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.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

Foundation year bursary

You may be eligible for a partial tuition fee waiver for your foundation year. The fee waiver you receive will depend on your household income. Find out more about the foundation year bursary.

Foundation year scholarships

The Department of Electronic Engineering offers a number of £500 scholarships for the best performing foundation year students, after the first term of the course. These are open to both UK/EU and international students.

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 Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

We're making changes to comply with rules on social distancing. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students

Teaching format

Our courses are highly intensive. Your timetabled activities each week will include:

  • Lectures
  • Practical work (including projects every year)
  • Workshops and tutorials
  • Computer laboratories
  • Supervisions

You'll also be expected to spend time studying independently. As you progress through the course you'll take on more independent study, guiding your own learning and developing your project management skills.

An academic member of staff will help guide you through your final-year individual project, ensuring that you are able to combine the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout the course to successfully undertake an engineering project tailored to your interests and career goals.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures15 hours per week
Workshops2 hours per week
Practicals25 hours per term
Optional activities0-2 hours per week

These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practise completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

You can find detailed descriptions of our facilities on our website, including laboratory space, recording studios, clean room and computing classrooms.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Electronic Engineering, on Campus West.

Most of your contact hours will be in the Department of Electronic Engineering, with some additional teaching 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

Your assignments will be designed not just to test you but for you to creatively apply what you've learned, and to stretch you to supply novel solutions. We use a variety of assessment styles, including exams, coursework and practical engineering tasks. You'll encounter all of them during your course, but the exact balance will depend on the modules you choose:

  • Closed-book exams
  • Short technical reports
  • Electronic portfolios, including programming exercises, video reports or blogs
  • Presentations and demonstrations
  • Major technical reports

You'll receive written feedback on work you hand in to help you understand your grade and develop your skills. For your final-year individual project you'll produce a written report, have a viva (a presentation and question/answer session) and also show your project on our demo day, which our external advisory board attend.

There are two progression points during the foundation year: one at the end of Term 1 and another at the end of the academic year. Foundation Year students complete coursework assessments and take exams in Maths and Physics in December (last week of Term 1) which must be successfully passed in order to progress to the Spring term (Term 2). At the end of Summer Term (Term 3) progression on to one of our BEng courses depends on successful completion of the foundation year, including coursework assessments and exams. Those who complete the foundation year and achieve a score of at least 60 per cent in all the Foundation Year Mathematics examinations are also eligible to transfer directly onto one of our MEng programmes. If you would like further information about this, please get in touch.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams68%56%28%17%
Coursework32%20%72%75%
Practical exams0%24%0%8%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Electronics practical
If the Department of Electronic Engineering is on your radar, the staff are friendly and helpful, and if you put yourself out there you'll feel like part of the family. I honestly can't praise the Department enough regarding the support they provide me, and my university experience is one I will never forget
Pippa, BEng Electronic Engineering with Music Technology Systems

Read Pippa's blog post

Careers and skills

The growth of the electronics industry means demand for new engineers is always high. We have the highest proportion of graduates finding employment within one year of finishing their studies (UK engineering and technology graduates LEO data set, June 2017). Our students enter a wide range of jobs, not just in electronic engineering, but in a variety of related fields such as software programming and hardware development

For those wishing to take different career paths, the transferable skills you'll develop are highly valuable. Mathematics, programming, team working and technical management are sought after in a huge range of sectors, from media to financial services. Recent employers have included Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Qinetiq, ARM, BBC, BT and Network Rail. Find out more about our graduate destinations and graduate profiles.

Career opportunities

  • Avionic systems engineering
  • Design engineering
  • Digital consultancy
  • Software and systems engineering
  • Cyber security
  • Telecommunications design
  • Broadcast engineering
  • Automotive safety
  • Visual effects

Transferable skills

  • Analyse system and component performance through computational methods and modelling
  • Create designs to address real-world problems by synthesising ideas in engineering specifications
  • Solve technical problems through applying skills in programming, CAD, construction and measurement
  • Communicate and explain electronic engineering issues to a variety of audiences verbally, in writing, and using multimedia
  • Assess designs by applying detailed knowledge algorithms, devices and systems, and consulting relevant research
  • Coordinate and execute complex projects
  • Effective time management, teamworking and ethical decision making

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

BBB excluding Maths

If you already have, or are currently studying A level Maths you should apply for one of our degree programmes without a foundation year.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM in any subject
Other qualifications If you're a mature student (age 21 or over) with qualifications that do not meet our typical offer we would expect GCSE Maths C/4 or equivalent aptitude shown at interview.

We will also look for evidence that you are capable of dealing with the foundation year workload in your application and during your interview.

Please get in touch with us for an informal discussion you are interested in our foundation year programmes but you’re unsure whether you meet our criteria
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

We expect all applicants to have GCSE Maths, minimum grade C/4.

We are eager to encourage applications from a wide range of people, and we consider every application individually. We consider applications from people offering combinations of A levels and BTEC subsidiary diplomas.

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ We recognise the value of this qualification although it will not be included as a condition of entry. It may be taken into consideration when you receive your results.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

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, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
PTE Academic 55, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, with a minimum of 162 in each component
TOEFL 79 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components
Duolingo Minimum overall score of 100

For more information see our undergraduate 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

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

For students applying from the UK, all suitable applicants will be invited to one of our interview days.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Admissions Enquiries - Helen Lay
Admissions Tutor - Dr Jude Brereton

Learn more

Department of Electronic Engineering

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