Sonic Arts MMus/PgDip

The Masters in Sonic Arts provides advanced training in creative practice with sound and audiovisual technologies. The programme offers topics relevant to practicing musicians, artists, and the creative industries, such as sound shaping and design, audiovisual composition, field recording, creative and experimental approaches to technology, live performance, interdisciplinary perspectives on sound, and sonic aesthetics. You then develop an individual portfolio of sonic and audiovisual artwork based on your particular skills and interests.

Key facts

  • MMus: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PgDip 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • Contact: Dr Nick Fells: music-enquiries@glasgow.ac.uk

Why Glasgow

  • We are Scotland’s leading research centre in Music, with a mutually supportive community of scholars and practitioners.
  • You will benefit from studying in the city of Glasgow, the UK’s first UNESCO city of music, with its vibrant and exciting music scene. Festivals abound, such as Sonica, Behaviour, Counterflows, and Tectonics, as does grass-roots sonic activity such as the Lights Out Listening Group. The presence of ensembles such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RSNO, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ensemble, and experimental music ensembles such as the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra provides a rich context for your studies.
  • Glasgow offers a huge range of venues, including the Old Hairdressers, the Arches, Tramway, Mono, SWG3, and City Halls, all of which have hosted our students’ work.
  • Sonic Arts at Glasgow integrates sound design with visual media through a unit in Audiovisual Composition.
  • Sonic Arts at Glasgow offers interdisciplinary perspectives and the chance to work with students from Glasgow School of Art through a unit called Sound Art in Dialogue.
  • We work with the city’s cultural programme (Glasgow Life) to bring leading sonic artists to Glasgow, with associated workshops and collaborative opportunities for our students.
  • Your work can be showcased in our annual postgraduate event Sound Thought, which has taken place at the Arches and the Centre for Contemporary Arts.
  • Your work can also be showcased at the GLEAM (Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) Festival taking place in October this year.
  • You can experiment with building devices for making and controlling sound, enhanced by the presence of prototyping facilities in Glasgow such as Maklab, through our Creating with Technology unit.
  • Our Sonic Arts students and graduates engage in a wide range of professional creative work including sound design for film and theatre, live performance and award-winning composition.

You will benefit from access to our facilities including an audio lab, three studios, the University’s Concert Hall with Genelec and d&b sound diffusion system, seminar and practice rooms, and a dedicated postgraduate research space.

Programme structure

The programme aims to:

  • provide artistic and technical experience in working with sound as a culturally significant medium
  • enable students to build their knowledge of tools and methods for manipulating sonic and audiovisual media
  • enable students to design, repurpose and reconfigure technologies for creative compositional ends
  • enhance students’ creative practice through taking an exploratory and critical approach to sonic design and composition

The MMus comprises 180 credits as follows:

Semester 1 compulsory courses (60 credits):

  • Sound Shaping and Design
  • Creating with Technology

Semester 2 compulsory courses (40 credits):

  • Field Recording, Sound and Place
  • Audiovisual Composition

Semester 2 option (one 20 credit course chosen from):

  • Sonic Art Performance
  • Sound Art in Dialogue
  • Sonic Art Aesthetics and Cricitism
  • Music, Sound & Screen

Additionally you will produce an individual creative portfolio over the summer (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Diploma comprises 120 credits. Students produce two 15-minute creative portfolios each with a critical commentary of 2000 words, under the guidance of a member of academic staff; they also attend research seminars and workshops.

The Postgraduate Certificate comprises 60 credits. Students produce a 15-minute creative portfolio with a critical commentary of 2000 words, under the guidance of a member of academic staff; they also attend research seminars and workshops.

The Masters, Diploma and Certificate are available to both full time and part time students.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2014

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (eg GPA of 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject. Applicants should also have some experience of composition and music technology and will be expected to supply examples of any prior work.

Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
     

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL: 100; no sub-test less than 24
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): A minimum
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): B minimum
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 68; minimum 60 in writing

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2014-15 (subject to change and for guidance only)

MMus

Home and EU
Full time fee£5350
International
Full time fee£13750

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£3567
Part time 20 credits£594
International
Full time fee£9167

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

The attributes you gain will be attractive to employers from the creative industries, and are particularly relevant for contemporary music, sound design and sound production, games, theatre, film and television. Many of our graduates undertake successful portfolio careers as artists and sound practitioners in their own right. The programme also offers an excellent foundation upon which to progress to PhD studies and an academic career.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What essential documentation should I have available before I start my application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU) 25 July 2014
  • UK and EU applications 29 August 2014

Classes start September 2014 for most courses and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before. 

Apply now