BA (Hons) in Music Production

Overview

The BA (Hons) in Music Production degree at BIMM Manchester is a specialist vocational course designed for those wishing to pursue a career in a range of music industry roles, such as producer, sound engineer, film and television composer and computer music designer.

The aim of the course is to nurture your creative flair while you develop your skills as a producer across a wide range of contexts, including traditional studio and live recording, plus music for film, television and multimedia. You’ll study the context of contemporary music and the industry that supports it, as well as learning personal, project-management and business skills.

You’ll undertake hands-on learning in our high-tech facilities, where you’ll have direct access to cutting-edge equipment and software, and will be directed in its use by first-rate industry tutors who really know the ins and outs of the kit.

So to make your way in music production, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Click here to find this course on UCAS.

Validated by:

UK & EU Students £5,950 per year

Non EU Students £10,950 per year

Student Loan Finance Available

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Year 1

All students take the following modules in their first year of study. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Sound Environments

    This module focuses on sound environments in film, TV and radio. The module will help you recognise and understand the complex and multidimensional nature of sound in various environments. Students will look at ambient sounds in different environments, different reflective/non-reflective surfaces, weather conditions, speech and how using mixing and re-mixing or sampling and re-editing can create something new and change meaning or even subvert it.

  • Studio Engineering

    This module will enable students to carry out recording projects in large format recording studios while balancing practical and theoretical concerns with creative ones in order to fully contribute towards the recording process. It will include an in-depth look at the architecture of a recording studio, and an understanding of the journey in which sound travels through a studio will enable students to understand the impact that a range of analogue and digital equipment has on the success of a recording.

  • Computer Music

    The use of the computer has become central within the context of contemporary music production. This module will provide an in-depth understanding of the opportunities offered by Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and will encourage you to develop technical and creative production values within specific and wider professional practices. Students will examine a range of hardware and software options with a view to integrating them within the production process and the individual creative sphere.

  • Audio Theory and Acoustics

    This module will provide students with an awareness and understanding of the physical nature of sound and the science of acoustics. It’s crucial for music producers to understand both the mechanics of acoustics and human hearing and the psychology of audio perception in order to make the most of their ability to manipulate audio creatively and effectively. In this way they can take control and design sound that will translate to other listening environments, and design and build acoustic spaces in which they are able to faithfully judge the quality of their aural creations.

  • Video and Multimedia Production

    In this module students will learn audio-visual production and the vocational relevance in today’s web and media-driven society. Utilising skills acquired in Sound Environments and Computer Music, they’ll learn about and use digital video technology, video editing, sound to visual post-production work, story boarding and other visual production processes used in film, gaming, adverts and web-based media formats. This module provides an opportunity to work in a creative team on a chosen project, working to a brief and a set deadline.

  • Academic Study and Research Skills

    This module helps producers understand how to conduct research using a variety of different methods. The ability to carry out academic research is an invaluable resource to producers who wish to develop informed ideas and viable music projects. These research skills can be used to plan and prepare your work throughout your academic studies.

Year 2

All students take the following modules in their second year of study. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Music Industry Studies

    This module will develop students’ understanding of the music industry and specifically how it applies to music production. The module will look at the history and context of the music production industry and also where the business is now, including aspects such as production models, income streams, being entrepreneurial, selling yourself, managing others, business planning and marketing. Students will become ‘active’ in the industry, deploy strategies such as networking and critical evaluation in order to build your skills base. Students will be assessed on a viable and realistic business plan pertinent to their niche and circumstances.

  • Sound Studio Production

    This module includes a detailed study of a wide range of production techniques and the practical application of production methods. Students will learn to analyse and plan for the needs of a project with clarity and objectivity using technical methods, as well as developing an understanding of how to manage creative musical input. They’ll be required to deliver a musical project that fulfills accepted commercial standards technically as well as creatively, whilst supplying a detailed, critical and contextualised description of their chosen approach.

  • Computer Music Performance

    Many producers are highly skilled within the studio environment but may face barriers when presenting their work in a live context. This module encourages producers who wish to translate their productions into a live domain and will engage students in working the protocols that extend the capabilities of basic MIDI programming to enable them to produce and even compose productions through performance, with full control. Students will then be encouraged to critically analyse their own performance with clarity and objectivity.

  • Music Production in Context

    This module is an exploration of the history of audio technology and production. Students will take a researched-based approach to discover where it all began: from Edison to the digital age, Meek to Massenburg, and Martin to Puig, this module discovers the ground-breaking technologies, engineers and producers that have shaped and created some of the most original music of the last century. Alongside this historical journey, this module will look at new forms of technology and postulate where the future of music production in heading.

  • Sound for Film, Television and Broadcast

    This module will explore, analyse and critically evaluate the history and the work of others in the field of sound for film, television and broadcast. Students will be able to work towards developing their own work to the standards required by the industry. In addition, the module will look at the world of music synchronisation, and specifically writing and producing for broadcast, various formats and approaches, and radio production.

  • Computer Music Design

    Many music producers often express a desire to work outside of the boundaries and constraints of either traditional studio practices or opportunities offered by digital audio workstations, such as working with new programming languages to create and answer technologic aspirations. This module is about learning technologies that allow music producers to diversify on their working practices.

Year 3

All students take the following modules in their third year of study. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Production Project

    In this module, students will take full responsibility for delivering an independent creative music project which will require the consolidation of skills and experience gained throughout their studies. They’ll be required to continually evaluate and form strategies using objective critical thinking and subjective intuition. Students will be encouraged to take risks, and success in this module requires the use of reflective practice skills, as developed in earlier modules.

  • Post-Production

    This module will focus on post-production in sound for film, television and broadcast. The module will focus on the tools and techniques utilised by professionals in the industry, including location sound, ADR and Foley, sound effects, editing and mixing, formats and finishing.

  • Ambient Recording

    This module will enable students to carry out recording projects using advanced multi-channel techniques both in the studio environment and on location. Emphasis will be on surround sound (Spatial Audio) and advanced stereo microphone techniques incorporating sound design and commercial mixing applications. Portable recording equipment will be used to conduct multi-channel recordings on location, incorporating suitable set-ups for orchestral recording.

  • Personal and Business Development

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore and develop the personal, interpersonal and team skills that count towards success. They’ll be introduced to what are often called the 'soft' skills, or the 'emotionally intelligent' skills, that are increasingly vital for personal and business success and particularly important for freelancers. Teaching sessions are hands-on and participative, and students will get a chance to practice their developing skills by using them in their own business development and/or Year 3 project.

  • Immersive Environments

    While music producers mostly work within the stereo recording and production field, recording and replay techniques using multichannel mixing technology within live, environmental or studio contexts can provide an ability to implement an altogether more immersive sound field. This module gives students the opportunity to explore and develop personal, creative and technical approaches to using multichannel audio systems through the examination of the theoretical and practical aspects of these immersive systems.

Want to apply?

Minimum requirements

Minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs at grade C or above (including English Language),
plus two A-levels at grade C, or an equivalent Level 3 vocational qualification (160 UCAS points). Applications by experienced musicians without formal qualifications may also be considered through APEL. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:

Progression

Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry in roles such as producer, DJ, sound engineer, film and television composer and computer music designer, or they can continue their study with a BIMM Postgraduate Certificate in Further and Higher Education or a Masters Degree.

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How to apply

All degree applications must be made via UCAS. To request an audition and/or assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students must submit a digital portfolio. You may also be required to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants will be sent details of a portfolio of evidence which will need to be submitted and a phone interview will be booked.

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Coming from abroad?

International students

We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of course:
This course is taught as a three-year course at levels four, five and six.
Awarding institution:
University of Sussex
Teaching institution :
BIMM Manchester
UCAS code:
W373
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
Certificate of Higher Education (exit award only at level 4), Diploma of Higher Education (exit award only at level 5), Bachelors Degree with Honours.
Admissions criteria:
Minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs at grade C or above (including English Language), plus two A-levels at grade C, or an equivalent Level 3 vocational qualification (160 UCAS points). Applications by experienced musicians without formal qualifications may also be considered through APEL. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From being signed to Fatboy Slim’s Southern Fried record label and touring the world with Abba tribute band Bjorn Again, to winning the Burghausen European Young Jazz Award and interviewing Jay-Z for BBC Radio 1, our BIMM Manchester tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Making it in music:

Success Stories

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with nearly 80% of our graduates making a living out of music alone. Take a look at our shining stars.

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