3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2024 (semester dates)
£9,250 per year
£23,700 per year
From classic cassette tapes, to the vinyl revival and global streaming services, recorded sound has become the primary way we experience music.
At York, Music and Sound Recording (BA) acknowledges that music and production are no longer separate art forms. Our course offers you the freedom to develop a tailored set of intellectual, technical and musical skills.
You’ll gain practical experience in audio engineering and recording techniques essential to a career in music technology. Your core modules will show you how to record, mix and master a wide variety of music genres, from pop to rock to classical and beyond. Our flexible, modular approach lets you shape your learning to your passions and career aspirations. You’ll have the chance to take options available to all undergraduate students in Music, in addition to modules specifically designed for this course.
Our five recording studios give you access to 60 years of audio technology: vintage tape machines; analogue synthesizers; high-end outboard and mixing consoles; and a range of digital audio workstations.
We have a dedicated careers service and a growing internship and placements programme, so you can gain industry experience before you graduate. Our graduates have gone on to work in recording studios, radio, mix for Dolby Atmos, hardware and software development, and become successful arts practitioners.
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.
Join one of our staff-conducted or student-led ensembles; find like-minded musicians through Band Soc; or learn to play drums Brazilian style in Samba York. There are weekly jazz, folk and open mic events across campus, and a thriving independent music scene in York city centre.
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:
There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.
You'll also choose one option module 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. Recent examples include:
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 will also study two option modules. Recent examples include:
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.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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 electronic, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the School's many ensembles, and all Music students are required to join at least one of these.
We are part of the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. The School continues our commitment to the integration of music scholarship and creative practice.
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
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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 can complete all aspects of the course without a personal computer, but many students find it more convenient to have a laptop of their own. For our course we recommend the industry standard of Apple computers, particularly the MacBook Pro with as much processing power and memory as possible. We expect students to use Reaper in their first semester, but the choice of DAW beyond this point is up to you.
You will need an external hard drive. Given you will be generating a lot of audio and music materials (and possibly video and software), we recommend a portable solid-state drive (SSD), 2TB or larger, with USB3.0 connectivity. You will also need a pair of wired high-quality headphones. As a general guide we would recommend the Sennheiser HD series (particularly HD559, HD569, HD58X, or HD599 models), AKG, or Beyer Dynamic models. You should avoid headphones that have noise-reduction technology. Teaching staff are happy to provide recommendations. You will have the opportunity to work on analogue tape on the course. If you wish to explore this further, you may wish to purchase your own additional 2-inch multitrack tape.
The School has a network license for Sibelius which students can use at no extra cost. The School 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 or equipment.
You will be expected to pay for the maintenance of your instruments, equipment and sheet music. Instrumental and/or vocal tuition for Music and Sound Recording students can be arranged with individual tutors for an additional fee. Students on our MA Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching course give lessons as part of their learning. These lessons are open to all across the university community – contact email@example.com for details.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.
Our Future Voices Scholarship programme provides a package of financial and industry support to welcome talented UK undergraduates from Black, Asian, Gypsy, Traveller and ethnically diverse backgrounds to our creative community.
We offer some scholarships 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.
Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).
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 School 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 musical ensemble and attend the associated rehearsals and performances, but many students choose to join many more. 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:
|Lectures||5-6 hours per week|
|Seminars||1-2 hours per week|
|Practicals||2-6 hours per week|
These figures are representative of a typical 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.
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 semesters. 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.
Our facilities are some of the finest in the UK, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and Rymer Auditorium. Our five recording studios give you access to 60 years of audio recording - from vintage analogue to contemporary digital software integrations.
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 School of Arts and Creative Technologies. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the School.
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 - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.
We don't assess through written exams or set essay titles: you’ll work with your tutors to craft research projects that fit your interests, with opportunities to be assessed through creative work, recordings, composition or other practical work that mirror real-world tasks, alongside written submissions that showcase your analytical and critical thinking.
Our dedicated careers service and experience-based modules have seen our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. They work in world-leading recording studios, national and international radio, lead the sector in mixing for Dolby Atmos, develop creative hardware and software for music production, write for industry publications, and become successful arts practitioners.
York's alumni 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|
|T levels||We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in Music has been taken.|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||Advanced Highers - B in Music plus Scottish Highers - BBBB We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.|
|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 grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. 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 (Academic)||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|Cambridge CEFR||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|Oxford ELLT||7, with a minimum of 6 in each component|
|Duolingo||120, minimum 105 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C / Grade 4|
|LanguageCert SELT||B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|LanguageCert Academic||B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|KITE||459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component|
|Skills for English||B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit 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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