Radio and Audio Production - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2016, September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£6,500 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Get into radio with our highly practical MA in Radio and Audio Production.

Birmingham School of Media's Masters Degree in Radio and Audio Production allows you to develop the skills, experience and knowledge needed for today's radio industries.

Based in Birmingham City University's new, £62m media centre - which boasts seven broadcast quality radio studios - you will become proficient in industry-standard equipment whilst gaining a deeper understanding of the current techniques and strategies used to get the most out of pre-recorded, live speech and music-based radio broadcasting.

Last chance to apply

The 2016/17 academic year will see the final intake of new students for this course, so get in quick if you want to apply.

Want to study in 2017/18?

You may want to check out this similar course which will be available to start in 2017/18:

  • MA Media Production

Real World

Taught by award-winning radio producer Sam Coley (pictured right), the course embraces relatively new technology.

This includes podcasting, streaming and audio-slideshows, whilst still covering the fundamentals of helping you to become a rounded radio producer.

You'll gain tangible experience through working for real clients on real-world projects, in addition to guest talks from key industry figures.

The course also has a secondary emphasis on how radio is used in the developing world, by social enterprises and community radio stations, and offers a bursary for those working in the latter.

MA Radio Bursaries

This year, you can get a huge 20% off the cost of your course fee if you're currently active in community radio!

Our MA Radio Bursaries provide a 20% discount off the course fee for MA Radio and Audio Production applicants.

This means your course will cost just £4,800 for full time EU students and £2,400 for part time EU students. See 'Fees and Finance' for more details.

What's covered in the course?

  • Gain the skills, knowledge and experience needed for a successful career as a radio producer or programmer.
  • Cover traditional AM/FM broadcasting alongside digital distribution, such as DAB, podcasting, streaming and downloads.
  • Develop your entrepreneurial skills and engage with social media platforms.
  • Bursaries available if you're currently active in community radio.
  • Explore how radio is being used as a tool for social and economic development.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November. Registration will open shortly.

In the meantime, register your details and we'll contact you when more information is available.

Sign up for Open Day info

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Global Radio

And in jobs such as:

  • Radio Production Assistant

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Ideally, candidates should have a 2:1 Bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant subject area and should be able to demonstrate evidence of work in, or a familiarity with, the international media.

However, applicants without an undergraduate degree, but with sufficient industry experience will be considered for this MA

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £6,500
PT 2 years £3,250 per year
Sep 2017 FT 1 year TBC
PT 2 years TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £12,000
PT 2 years £6,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000
PT 2 years £6,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Modules

Each taught module consists of 10 class sessions, in which students will be introduced to topics through lectures, seminar discussions and workshop activities. Each week, students are set independent study tasks, often based upon production activities, and there are two further weeks of directed study.

There will often be guest lectures from leading practitioners in the field and we place a strong emphasis on lecturer and peer review of student presentations and work-in-progress. These sessions are supported by structured material available on the university's Moodle online system.

Many modules make significant use of new social media, and students will be asked frequently to contribute to forums, write blogs, or produce podcasts to chart personal and professional development and to engage with the work of others.

As the taught module progresses, each student will participate in three tutorials to support professional development and plan learning. Two weeks of each semester are set aside for key extension work, which can include a work-based placement.

Radio Production
30 credits
Social Enterprise Radio
30 credits
Production Lab or Research Methods
30 credits
MA by Practice or MA by Dissertation
60 credits

Course Structure

Topics covered in this Master’s degree are:

  • Professional skills base as it relates to both freelance and corporate environments
  • Pitching and commissioning process of original radio concepts
  • Production skills and multi-track digital editing
  • Microphone techniques
  • Portable recording skills
  • Web-based skills
  • In-depth audience research
  • Feature/programme planning and construction
  • Talent casting and direction
  • Project management
  • Team working skills
  • Compliance and legal considerations

At the end of the course, you will be able to map the core knowledge of the key theoretical approaches to understanding the professional practices in radio production, existing intellectual challenges faced by the industry, and scholarly and professional techniques.

You will be able to work independently and in teams to produce radio programmes for global media organisations, having developed innovative research strategies to deal with complex issues in original cases.

Further Study

For anyone interested in taking their research interests forward into an MPhil or PhD speak to the course director about your particular area of expertise.

Placements

Placements within local community radio as well as commercial stations are provided, subject to availability of positions.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Parkside - City Centre Campus
Parkside - Milo Studio
Parkside - Photography Studio

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Edit Suites

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

Dubbing Suites

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

Sam Coley

Radio Degree Leader and Senior Lecturer

Sam Coley is Senior Lecturer in Radio at Birmingham City University, where he teaches radio production, online radio, documentary production, commercial production and digital audio editing. He has a background in both the UK and New Zealand radio industries and worked as Creative Director for the Northern Region of New Zealand's TRN Network.

He has worked as a radio trainer for the BBC World Service Trust and as a media consultant for CARE International and the Prison Radio Association. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 Sam travelled to Africa to work on various audio projects and research, including radio programmes and advertising campaigns designed to promote sexual health and reproduction awareness for young Ethiopians.

Sam is a radio documentary producer with an interest in the use of audio slideshows. In 2009 he produced features for BBC WM, Spin 1038 Dublin and Absolute Radio. In 2010 he was nominated as a finalist in the "Best On-line Producer" category of the UK Radio Academy's Production Awards and also worked as a freelance documentary producer for Radio New Zealand.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295