Capturing music to a professional standard requires a combination of technical and musical expertise. A successful career in music production demands practical, engineering and scientific knowledge of the recording process, as well as a deep understanding of music creativity, practice, and entrepreneurship.
This course acknowledges that music and production are no longer separate activities. At its heart is a contemporary view of music production and associated audio professions that recognises the dramatic and ongoing changes in the recording and media industries in recent years. You'll have an opportunity to create an individual set of intellectual, technical and creative skills from a core programme of artistic and technical development.
You'll cover a range of production technologies and techniques aligned to a wide variety of music including popular, rock, electronic, classical, contemporary, and non-western music. You will study audio engineering and music technology subjects, gain practical recording experience, and engage with music theory and practice.
The Trevor Jones Studio is centred around a brand new SSL Duality console, which offers high quality analogue signal paths and processing as well as integrated control of digital editing and recording systems. The studio patch bay is integrated with a wide range of bespoke analogue and digital hardware including Bricasti reverberation, TC Electronic reverberation and mastering, 1176 and LA-2A compression, API bus mastering and vintage Neve EQ.
The Department of Music hosts outstanding facilities including a 350-seat concert hall, one of the finest purpose-designed listening spaces for reproduced sound in the country and four recording studios.
This course allows you to specialise across a wide range of music activities (including performance and composition) and studio-based arts. We provide a skill set which highlights enterprise, enabling you to take creative, design and managerial roles in projects that will prepare you for a career in the music and audio industries. To this end, the course addresses a wide array of contemporary contexts for music production: from pop studio practice, to classical recording of ensembles and instrumentalists.
You'll also engage with extensive practical and theoretical coverage of new systems and philosophies for sound and music creation and performance. This is combined with an evidence-based approach to audio principles and studio technique, drawing on relevant engineering practice and scientific knowledge. This will enable next-generation tools to be designed, developed and used.
You will benefit from modules in creative entrepreneurship, developing individual work and research under close supervision by staff with significant industrial and creative experience. These modules will allow you to reflect critically and help you respond to the demands of the professional environment.
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
You'll take a range of core modules, which may include:
You'll choose option modules from the selection available to BA Music students. Rather than being split by year, students from all years of the degree are taught together, giving you invaluable opportunities to meet and learn from other students on the course. We update these modules every year.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module 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:
You'll take core modules, which may include:
You'll choose a selection of option modules from the list available to BA Music students. You'll be able to choose from a similar range of options as in your first year, although modules do vary year on year.
You'll take core taught modules, which may include:
You'll also complete an independent project, in which you will develop a substantial piece of creative, technical or scholarly work which will be presented to professional standards.
You'll choose modules from the selection available to BA Music students. You will choose from similar options to those available to you in your second year.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
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.
From choral to orchestral, jazz and folk to improvised electronica, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the Department’s many ensembles, and all Music students are required to join at least one of these.
Studying Music at York gives you real creative freedom. I had the opportunity to record some of my original work where I focused on combining acoustic and electronic elements to really blur the lines between what was vocals, guitar or synthesiser. I’ve also been able to work with some fantastic musicians, both fellow students and professionals.Tom, BA Music and Sound Recording
The fees and funding figures below are for 2022/23 entry. If you take a placement year - for example a year abroad or a year in industry - you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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
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.
You will be expected to pay for the maintenance of your instruments, equipment and sheet music. You will also need appropriate concert attire throughout your studies, the cost of which will vary depending on what you choose.
If you don't already have them, you will need a laptop capable of running notation and recording software, as well as a set of good quality headphones. The department has a network license for Sibelius which students can use at no extra cost. The department will also provide hearing protection for musicians playing in high-volume settings, but you may choose to purchase your own.
You may also wish to take out specialist insurance if undertaking professional work or travelling with instruments.
If you choose to take a module involving a placement, you will be responsible for the cost of travel, which will vary depending on placement location. If the placement requires a DBS check, this cost will be covered by the department.
|Travel to non-UoY locations||Optional additional expense||£10-£60|
|Specialist clothing, uniforms, lab coats, laundry...||Compulsory additional expense||£30-£300|
|Printing, photocopying and dissertation binding||Included in course fees||£0|
|Equipment/facility hire and insurance||Compulsory additional expense||£0-£1,000+|
|Professional association fees, DBS checks, professional indemnity insurance, etc||Optional additional expense||£100|
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.
We offer some funding for undergraduate students. See our bursaries for instrumental and vocal studies.
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.
“York is everything an outstanding university should be”
Find out how we made the shortlist for University of the Year in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
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.
Our modules are taught in small groups (typically 15-25 students). Much of the course content is developed alongside ongoing staff research so what you learn keeps pace with the constant changes in music culture and technology. Most modules are taught across all three years, giving you the chance to learn from your peers as well as your tutors.
Each module is made up of intensive tutor-led sessions which typically include a combination of lecture-style teaching, group discussion, studio and technology workshops and other practical activities. With the support of the module tutor, you will then produce a portfolio of work in response to these taught sessions.
Your contact time with the department can take the form of studio-based practical sessions, lectures, rehearsals, listening seminars, tutorials, supervision meetings and concerts. Around your timetabled hours you'll work independently – altogether we recommend that you spend about 40 hours per week on learning.
Beyond your scheduled teaching, you’ll have the chance to attend weekly seminars on research and composition and performance masterclasses (some of these may be compulsory, depending on the modules you choose). These sessions are often delivered by visiting experts in the field, including professional composers, internationally established concert artists and ensembles and specialist researchers. You’ll join at least one departmental ensemble and attend the associated rehearsals and performances, but many students choose to join many more. You’ll also be expected to attend a certain number of events in our professional concert series. Many students also take the opportunity to put on their own performances as part of our biweekly, student-run series of lunchtime concerts.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Practicals||1-2 hours per week|
|Ensembles||2 hours per week (per ensemble)|
|Concerts||Expected to attend at least 5 per term|
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, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
We have a range of outstanding facilities, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and Rymer Auditorium; dozens of teaching rooms and practice facilities; four digital recording studios; and a large collection of historical and world instruments. All spaces are designed to be flexible and are used for projects, seminars, ensemble rehearsals and recordings. Discover our facilities.
John Paynter Music Library
The John Paynter Music Library is an elegant facility, located within the University's JB Morrell Library, and houses the main music collections. It is also equipped with digital pianos and media replay equipment. The physical collection as well as an extensive range of electronic resources are searchable through the YorSearch.
The University Library houses and extensive collection of CDs and DVDs, which are available for listening and research. There are also archival recordings available for student use in the University of York Sound Archives.
You will be based in the Department of Music on Campus West. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the department.
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.
We want to discover what you can create in response to our teaching; the majority of your assessment will be through portfolios, the exact contents of which you will choose yourself with guidance from the module tutor. A folio might consist of a music production, or a recording with an essay, or an essay by itself; it may include composition, or arrangement, or a sound installation; it may be a performance; or it might be a new software application.
The flexibility this offers is a unique aspect of the York Music and Sound Recording degree and is an approach which challenges you to take what you have been taught and extend it into new, exciting areas.
The creativity, professionalism, and critical thinking that you develop in our Music degree sets you up for a wide variety of careers, both within the field and beyond. The majority of our students go on to graduate-level jobs in music and related professions. Others undertake further study for an MA, PhD, conservatoire programme or a PGCE.
Recent graduate careers include:
Others have gone on to work in:
AAB including A in Music Technology or Music
If you are not taking A level Music or Music Technology we will accept AAB in three A Levels plus ABRSM or Trinity Grade 5 Theory and Grade 7 Performance. Other equivalent qualifications and exam boards may be considered on a case by case basis.
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||36 credits from units awarded Distinction and 9 awarded Merit or higher. An additional A Level or equivalent qualification in Music or Music Technology will be required.|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDD in Music or Music Technology. If you are taking a BTEC in a different subject, an additional A Level or equivalent qualification in Music or Music Technology will be required.|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, D3, M2 including D3 in Music|
|European Baccalaureate||80% overall, including 85% in Music|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points including 6 in Music at Higher Level|
|International foundation programme||Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three 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 two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
|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.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|Duolingo||110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|LanguageCert International ESOL SELT||B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
For more information see our undergraduate 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 English language test 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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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