MA Sonic Arts


One year (full-time) or two years (part-time)


The teaching component of the programme is based on Autumn and Spring semesters. Over the summer you will complete your creative portfolio in consultation with an academic supervisor.


This programme is offered as a MA (180 credits).

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment takes a variety of forms such as problem-based assignments and the completion of a creative portfolio.Assessment takes a variety of forms such as problem based assignments and the completion of a creative portfolio. For further information, visit the online prospectus.


Students will take

  • MUS6000: Research Techniques (15 credits)
    Research Techniques is a general introduction to research methods in music, with particular reference to: (1) bibliographical methods, library resources, on-line and hard-copy abstracts and indices; (2) manuscript sources, discographies, specialist sound/music libraries and other resources; (3) developing a research area; exploring references, following leads and evaluating sources; (4) music processing; (5) presentation skills; (6) current methods in survey/questionnaire/interview techniques; (7) careers skills; (8) professional development; (9) giving and receiving feedback; (10) reflective skills.
  • MUS6017: Creative Foundation (30 credits)
    Creative Foundation invites you to collate a small portfolio of diverse work that will prepare you for the larger scale projects demanded in Creative Media Portfolio. Projects may include sonic art work, audio-visual works, installations, web based events etc. Students will also contextualise their work within broader concepts; examine media politics, gender issues, the media industry and other aspects of artistic consumption where technology has become both necessary and transparent
  • MUS6015: Intermediate Digital Studio (30 credits)
    Intermediate Digital Studio covers the basics of various software packages used in the studio. You will be expected to complete regular assignments demonstrating familiarity in various packages. Intermediate Digital Studio will bring all students to a benchmark level of skill and demonstrate the employment of tools in the sonic art and media production environment.
  • MUS624: Composition Dissertation (30 credits)
    This module requires you to produce a short dissertation. Students propose a topic for their dissertation; this should normally relate to one or more of the various topics covered during previous modules and must be approved by the module teaching team. Following this, an appropriate supervisor will be allocated and you will be offered a series of regular tutorials that are supported by research seminars. During the course of the module, you will assess, evaluate, analyse, criticise and/or synthesise existing knowledge and produce a coherent and sustained argument that offers advanced insights into your chosen topic.
  • MUS6018: Creative Portfolio (60 credits)
    Creative Portfolio invites the candidate to collate a diverse body of work, including a number of projects of varying sizes. The nature of the projects themselves will determine their length. Projects may include musical compositions, works of sonic art, audio-visual pieces, sound installations, web based media/events, live-electronic performances, interactive media.

In addition, students will take either

  • MUS666: Interdisciplinary Music Studies (15 credits)
    Taking advantage of the department’s distinctive interdisciplinary research environment, this module introduces key concepts and debates within composition, ethnomusicology, musicology and performance through discursive critical engagement with key texts in a reading group context. Discussing core topics in the cultural, social and aesthetic study of music in a friendly but rigorous setting, you will learn about the history and morphology of music studies, and gain skills in the critical analysis of academic literature.


  • MUS639: Communicating about music and music research (15 credits)
    This exciting new module is delivered in collaboration with the English Language Teaching Centre, and is directed at all students who wish to work on English communication skills - written and oral, in order to reach a variety of audiences interested in music and music research. Assessments for this module provide opportunities to improve academic writing skills, which can benefit performance in other modules. They also offer the opportunity to engage with a broad spectrum of written and oral communication, useful for academic and professional contexts.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.