Sound Engineering and Production - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
J930
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Our BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production course will provide you with the skills and versatility you need to succeed in a constantly evolving, challenging industry.

Our students come from around the world and our Sound Engineering and Production course reflects this diversity.

What's covered in the course?

The course has been designed to meet the requirements found within the audio industry, providing a dynamic study programme that focuses on live and studio sound engineering, audio electronics, audio software engineering, acoustics and business principles. This combination of subjects ensures you’ll be employable in a range of career paths.

You’ll be able to use technology to assist in the capture and manipulation of sound. Our course combines practical, hands-on training with theoretical and academic understanding, giving you a holistic conception of sound technology.

Audio engineering is a highly dynamic sector, driven by rapid technological advancement. We will ensure that you have the skills to develop and maintain the next generation of models for production, performance and measurement.

You will develop key transferrable skills, such as teamwork, reflection and self-awareness. You’ll also gain analytical skills through coursework tasks, as well as enhancing your problem solving using a range of systems and technologies. 

One of the best things about the course was how wide ranging it was. It enabled me to take a holistic look at the audio industry in general.


I really appreciated the technical elements of the course because whilst I really enjoyed all the studio recording and live sound modules, the fact that the course really opened my eyes to the world of programming and that sort of engineering really enabled me to get a strong technical background which is what got me the job at Spotify. Support and Surveillance Specialist at Spotify, New York City.


I was very happy with the course. The biggest thing for me was the breadth. I know people from my year of the course who have gone on into research, live sound, low level engineering, film, composition, all sorts of different areas of the music industry. The great thing about the course is that it doesn’t consign you into one area, it gives you the tools that you need to develop your understanding of which ever area you choose to rather than directing you into one area in particular. Ashley Eastwood, Engineer, Product Engineering at Music Group

Why Choose Us?

  • Graduates of the BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production programme have successfully entered the audio industry across a wide range of destinations including live sound, software development, production, sound design and audio post, through to product development, acoustic consultancy and education.
  • We will prepare you for a range of technology-orientated career paths in the highly dynamic audio technology environment.
  • You have the option of a sandwich year, enabling you to undertake valuable work experience.
  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 91 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • The average starting salary of a Sound Engineering and Production graduate is £23,000 (DLHE 2014/15).

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Days - Autumn 2017

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 25 November. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now - 25 November

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

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:

  • BBC
  • Eurotec International

And in jobs such as:

  • Technical Assistant
  • Projects Engineer

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

This course is accredited by:

Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have achieved or be working towards GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.

BBB or 120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subjects. 

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBB with at least one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subjects.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points. Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DDM - grades. Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points (2017 entry)
International Baccalaureate Diploma

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Irish Leaving Certificate

B2, B2, B3, B3, B3

At least one must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher BC (2 Advanced) + CC (2 Highers) /BBC
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Pass grade combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a miinimum total of 120 UCAS points (2017 entry)
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2018/19
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year (excluding sandwich year) Apply via UCAS

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
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £12,000 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 in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

Acoustic Fundamentals
20 credits

An understanding of acoustics is fundamental to a wider appreciation of sound technology. In this module you will gain an understanding of the physics of sound and how this specifically has an impact on musical instrument design. The module will develop your understanding of acoustic fundamentals and you will also develop methodologies for testing a range of musical instruments, employing applicable techniques to extract and analyse data.

The scientific nature of this module will allow you to have a deeper understanding of sound, human hearing mechanisms and musical instruments, underpinning later modules in recording and acoustics.

The tutorials in this module provide will develop your practical understanding of musical instrument acoustics underpinned by theoretical knowledge of acoustic fundamentals. After the first three weeks of theory-based classes, the module moves to a flipped curriculum where you will support practical activities in class with reading of theoretical texts. This allows you to see and hear acoustics in practice, supporting your experience with deeper scientific knowledge.

Sound Recording
20 credits

This module provides a base for you to develop key skills in recording and mixing, imperative for all fields of music technology and sound engineering. You will become familiar with the hybrid analogue mixing/digital recording studio environment and explore recording techniques and processes applicable to a wide range of acoustic and electric instruments. You will study analogue-based audio systems and processes and microphone technology. You will apply this knowledge through a series of studio based recordings.

The coursework assignment will develop your basic skills in studio recording. You will apply knowledge of microphone technology whilst managing simple recording projects. You will also be required to produce reports that support, evaluate, contextualise and critique submitted artefacts. The studio environment also provides a valuable opportunity for students to build and develop a wide range of additional skills and behaviours, highly relevant to employers within the industry.

Digital Audio Fundamentals
20 credits

To pursue a career in the field of either music technology or sound engineering, you will need to be proficient in the principles of digital audio.

Digital audio is embedded within the recording and production industry and the fundamental concepts of digital signals underpin many common applications essential to this fields.

In this module, you will learn about the nature of digital signals, the international standards for digital audio data and the common processes involved in the capture and processing of digital signals. Through the module you will develop strong skills in the standards for compression and distribution of digital audio signals and via a cross discipline approach. You will also discover common methods for computing and how valid these are for digital signal distribution.

You will also learn about the methods and international standards for analysis of digital signals via objective measures conducted within a laboratory environment, applying and exploring the international standards for perceptual audio measurement.

Skills from this module can be further applied within later studies in Digital Signal Processing (DSP), studio electronics, software development and research, thus providing you with transferable skills for employment in the wide field of music and sound technology.

Live Sound Reinforcement 1
20 credits

This module will give you a broad understanding of sound reinforcement for a range of scenarios of up to 250 audience capacity. As well as the practical skills of connecting and troubleshooting a range of equipment from analogue to digital, the module will also focus on the need for good theoretical skills, including room modelling and system prediction as well as understanding electrical safety and safe operating practice.

In line with the technical nature of the course, this module underpins the practical nature of live sound engineering with scientific techniques.

The tutorials in this module replicate the practical nature of live sound engineering by providing an environment and activities that are based on smaller concert venues. Using a flipped curriculum, you will research the equipment being used, allowing tutorials to simulate the workplace, preparing you for life after graduation.

Practical skills learned on the course can be further reinforced by undertaking work experience. This can be achieved through shadowing experienced engineers and engaging in activities with relevant student societies.

Audio Software Development
20 credits

Audio Software Development will provide fundamental knowledge for writing and developing audio-related software tools. The field of audio production heavily relies on digital systems, which in turn require technical programming and logic skills for implementation. Given the ubiquitous nature of digital technologies, this is a valuable skill to have as a sound engineer.

In this module, you will explore everything from compilers, instruction sets and hardware architectures to programming concepts such as iterators and functions. The module finishes by introducing simple digital signal processing technologies and object oriented design. This module provides you with the knowledge base to excel in the technical modules in years two and three.

Audio Electronics
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of electronic fundamentals as applied to audio systems. Subject matter relates primarily to the analogue domain and will encourage you to develop your passion for the equipment found in the studios, learn how they sound and what makes them important during the recording, mixing and mastering process. Specific attention is applied to audio transducers, loudspeakers, microphones and headphones. This module provides a foundation for you to develop audio hardware design-related final year projects, employment and work placements. The module explores an essential part of being a good studio or live sound engineer and also relates to high-end audio reproduction systems found in A/V theatre and hi-fi listening rooms.

Year two

Broadcast Sound
20 credits

This module introduces you to recording sound for television and radio, sound effects, dialogue replacement (ADR), and mastering audio levels for broadcast using a project based approach.

You will increase your employability through exposure to the skills used in the broadcast industry and working with actors and television crews in interdisciplinary activities involving students across different faculties.

This module has an interdisciplinary approach; you will work with actors from the Birmingham School of Acting and camera technicians, radio and television crews from the School of Media.

Audio Systems
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of audio systems, embedded systems and electronics. It will encourage you to develop your passion for the equipment found in the studios, how it sounds and why, and what makes the equipment important during the recording, mixing and mastering process.

Audio Systems builds upon knowledge gained in the Audio Electronics module and will increase your understanding of sound engineering concepts in a practical and theoretical context. This module has an emphasis upon practical design and provides an introduction to audio software development in the C++ programming language. Whilst technical, the module aims to provide useful, relevant information that should encourage you to a path of further study and possible final year design projects.

Music and Audio Industries
20 credits

This module will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding of the global music and audio industries and how organisations have sought to adapt to technological change. You will develop your appreciation of the global business environment through activities based on professional practice, supported by guest lectures and the opportunity for ongoing interaction with industry professionals via online forums.

Your skills in academic research and analysis will be enhanced through the sourcing, critical appraisal and integration of a range of credible secondary research material. These skills will underpin final year project based work.

Acoustic Applications
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of psychoacoustics through critique and analysis of academic work. You will learn how to provide critical assessment of existing research work.

You will also gain a practical insight into acoustic consultancy by assessing through theory and practice. You will consider building, interior and environmental acoustics, utilising methods that are typical of industrial practice, developing skills that will be useful in your future career.

Through this module you will understand the factors involved in the development of a building project specifically from an acoustic standpoint, using calculation and testing to influence the final design.

Recording, Production and Delivery
20 credits

This module enables you to develop an individual recording portfolio based on your personal areas of interest whilst acquiring core techniques and skills in key applications.

You will develop an appreciation of professional workflows alongside contextualisation and critical reflection, developing the skills you will need for a career in music production.
The module provides the opportunity to explore editing, mixing and a range of recording techniques to lay the foundations for more advanced recording and production work at level 6.

Digital Signal Processing
20 credits

Digital technology is widely used throughout all stages of digital media processing, production, transmission, distribution and broadcasting activities. This module will provide you with application-based fundamental digital signal processing (DSP) knowledge and skills.

Year three

Music Information Retrieval
20 credits

In this module, you will explore the wide range of research areas within music information retrieval (MIR). The field of MIR emerged at the intersection of other areas in music research including audio signal processing, machine learning, music history, musicology, and music psychology. Current research in MIR consists of topics related to these fields, including music recommendation, automatic music transcription, optical music recognition, source separation and semantic audio applications. The aim of the module is to familiarise you with the topics of MIR, as well as introduce methodological and presentation skills required for performing research in the field.

Live Sound Reinforcement 2
20 credits

Based on prior study, this module assumes a good working knowledge of a range of digital mixing desks with a basic understanding of ground stacked PA systems. The module will enhance your skills to enable the planning of larger, more complex shows and provide practical simulations to develop this knowledge.

The module allows a deeper understanding of measuring and tuning PA systems, the operations and mathematics involved in rigging, and other show control systems such as DMX for lighting.

The tutorials in this module replicate the practical nature of live sound engineering by providing an environment and activities that are based on medium to large concert venues.

Technical systems skills are very important at this level and the module content includes mathematics for rigging of equipment and both practical and theoretical tuning of complex PA systems.

Practical skills learned on the course can be further reinforced by undertaking work experience. This can be achieved through shadowing experienced engineers and engaging in activities with relevant student societies.

Game Audio
20 credits

The game industry has overtaken the film industry in terms of revenue and audio is an integral part of developing high impact titles. In this module, you will explore the fundamentals of sound design for interactive environments, including sound effects, Foley sound, soundscapes and dialogue.

The module will cover the integration of audio into game engines like Unity and middleware such as FMOD, and mixing techniques particular to the gaming industry.

Digital Audio Effects
20 credits

Digital Audio Effects (DAFx) continues from the Digital Signal Processing module in the previous year and will provide you with an applied understanding of the subject.
You will be given the chance to develop a range of audio processing techniques and will learn the basics of efficient real-time algorithm design. DAFx is a well-established area in audio engineering and provides you with the technical knowledge required to work in a wide range of disciplines. The module will cover linear and nonlinear systems, time and frequency domain processing algorithms, and will explore future generations of methods in the field such as adaptive, cross-adaptive and intelligent music production systems.

CEBE Undergraduate Project
40 credits

The purpose of this module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In conjunction with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be relevant to the programme you are studying and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help in the development of your project.

How you learn

You will be assessed both formatively and summatively by a number of methods. Formative assessment occurs throughout the programme and involves feedback from peers, tutors and individual reflection.

A range of summative assessment methods are employed involving both individual and group assignments, written coursework assignments and practical project work, laboratory experimentation, tests and examinations (seen and unseen, open-and closed-book). Assessment methods for each module are identified in a module guide and, for coursework, assessment details and criteria are specified in each assignment brief.

In accordance with the University Regulations you will be permitted two attempts at assessments. After your first sit, if you are unsuccessful in any of your assessments, there will be a final resit opportunity for which your mark, provided that you pass the assessment, will be capped at 40 per cent.

Attendance requirements

There are 30 attendance weeks in each academic year.

A typical week on this course will include 13 hours of contact time over four days, plus self study time.

International opportunities

The Centre has a partnership arrangement with the highly esteemed University of Rochester in New York State, USA. This exchange programme offers the opportunity for students to apply to study abroad for a semester in the second year. More generally, this arrangement feeds into the internationalisation of the course with students from the USA joining the cohort at BCU, opportunities for joint research projects and short academic exchanges.

Student stories

Birmingham City University students Daisy Pearson and Andrew Jennings talk about their degree course BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production.

Trips and Visits

Birmingham City University is located at the heart of the West Midlands, with a rich, vibrant music scene. With live venues from intimate jazz bars to rock venues, from festivals such as Moseley Folk Festival to world renowned Symphony Hall there are plenty of chances for you to gain hands-on experience! As a student within the school you will be able to enjoy professional-quality resources and access to highly accomplished musicians from genres including classical, folk, jazz, rock and electro.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be presented with several chances to gain hands-on industry experience, through musical festivals, events and much more. As a Sound Engineering and Production student you will receive the opportunity to undertake trips through the Live Sound Society.

Find out more

This course is accredited by the following organisations:

Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - full IEng

The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, ensuring it remains fresh and relevant, as well as boasting the best industry contacts.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

Upon completion of the BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production degree you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to undertake further study. Throughout the programme, you will undertake modules which encourage the development of your research skills, providing you with the foundational skill and knowledge to undertake a postgraduate course.

The University has a range of either taught (MSc) or research (PhD) postgraduate programmes.

Msc and PhD programmes

Enhancing Employability Skills

Your experience at Birmingham City University will ensure you’ll graduate as a creative problem solver, with significant experience of professional industry-standard hardware, software and systems. You will leave with a global outlook, primed to engage with the technical and aesthetic issues that will challenge the music and audio industries in the globalised and technologically mediated world ahead.

The Module Industrial Mentors scheme supports the enhancement of graduate employability through on-going engagement with industry specialists throughout the course. This initiative is based on facilitating interactions between students and individuals working across the music technology and audio sector via module-based forums. This innovative approach allows you to explore specific subject areas with experienced professionals working in the field.

You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and final year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

The first year Music and Audio Industries and second-year Employability, Projects and Management modules have been designed to give you a deeper understanding of aspects of this dynamic sector and offer insight that will help with your career development.

In this video, students and graduates as well as the course director Roy Priest describe how this course will help you to get a job with a reputable company after you graduate.

Placements

The Sound Engineering and Production course offers you the chance to take a ‘sandwich’ year, in which you can undertake an industrial placement. This takes place after the second year of study and extends the course duration to four years.

There are a wide range of potential placements that you may pursue such as working in recording studios, record companies, in professional audio and theatres. Previously students have undertaken placements with companies such as SSE, Midas/Klark Teknik (The Music Group) and Dolby.

In the past our students have undertaken year long placements gaining crucial contemporary industry experience. One example is Christopher Savva who undertook a placement at the International Federation of Phonographic Industry. Christopher’s role included anti-piracy work, where he worked hand-in-hand with the major record labels on content protection and the pre-release protection of singles and albums. His work led to him being offered the chance to undertake some work at EMI as well as a week-long assisting role within Sony RCA Records’ marketing department.

Placement Profiles

Christopher Savva

Course : BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production
Placement : International Federation of Phonographic Industry, London
Duration : 1 Year

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate Jobs

Graduates of the BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production course have gone on to work at a variety of institutions and organisations within the creative industries. Typical roles undertaken by our graduates include: assistant studio engineer, DSP engineer, music technician, studios electrician, junior sound engineer, broadcast systems engineer, junior audio designer (video games) and much more.

We are extremely proud of our graduates, who are now employed in companies such as The Music Group, Cloud One, Spotify, Spindlewood, Focusrite, Jaguar Land Rover and NAIM Audio. We also have graduates who have taken on roles as sound designers and media composers, working with TV programmes, video games and major record labels.

Scholarships and Awards

All students on this course have the opportunity to be nominated by staff for our annual Prize Winners Ceremony. Students are put forward by their course teams based on merit, performance, achievements, dedication and commitment. Recent winners can be seen below:

Simon Howes

Course : BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production
Award : Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award
The Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award is made annually to the University's technology student who has made the greatest contribution to faculty life during their undergraduate education. Made by Sir Henry Royce's Memorial Foundation - established in 1977 for the advancement of engineering - the award recognises young engineers whose student life is testimony to Sir Henry's own philosophy; pursuit of excellence.

Our students come from around the world and our Sound Engineering and Production course reflects this diversity.

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:

Here at Birmingham City University we welcome students from all across the globe. Our BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production undergraduate degree is open to international applicants who wish to study the field of music production and technology.

As an international student you will benefit from studying alongside a diverse range of students, all with different backgrounds and experience. In addition to this the course is led by tutors with international experience. You will have the chance to draw upon the diverse cultures and wealth of experience from your fellow students, learning new skills and sharing your own knowledge.

As an international student you will benefit from studying in close proximity to the UK’s diverse and continuously changing creative industries, you are encouraged to engage and regularly network with these industries. Through practice-based teaching you will develop an in-depth understanding of music production practices within the UK and further afield. You will have the chance to complement these skills through undertaking a work placement.

As a Sound Engineering and Production student you have the chance to earn while you learn, taking on various roles through the University’s in-house employment scheme: OpportUNIty. You will also be able to access personal and academic support services, as well as help and advice tailored specifically for you. Through an international orientation and welcome week you will be able to adjust to life within the UK, preparing you for your studies!

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our sound engineering course is most popular with international students from:  

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Here at Birmingham City University, the School of Computing and Digital Technology is equipped with a multitude of professional, dedicated equipment. With world-class facilities including: two film and television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production facilities, and several hundred multimedia stations.

We have cutting edge facilities available to support the course and research that goes on in the School, including the purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building, DMT Lab and Cisco Academy at Millennium Point and recording studios. We also have several PC and Apple Mac computing suites with the latest industry standard applications and tools for audio, video and multimedia application development and content creation.

You will also be able to take advantage of a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art technology and equipment to prepare you for working within industry. Our four fully digital, interconnected TV studios can be used within a variety of contexts, including audio recording. Alongside this with have several broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.

Film and television

You will have access to four fully digital, interconnected TV studios, along with broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.

Multimedia

An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Sound and music

Discover the full range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment.

Roy Priest

Programme Leader, Sound Technology & Director of Recruitment, School of Digital Media Technology

Roy is Director of Recruitment for the School of Digital Media Technology, Programme Leader for Sound Technology and currently runs two courses; BSc Music Technology and BSc Sound Engineering & Production.

Prior to working in higher education, Roy was involved in various aspects of the music industry, as a professional musician and also working in artist management and legal and business affairs.

Read Roy's full profile

Islah Ali-MacLachlan

Senior Lecturer

With a background working as a product designer in the hi-fi industry and as a working musician over many years, Izzy specialises in the areas of live sound and acoustics. He is an in-demand live engineer and production manager, working with a number of festivals and events each year. He was instrumental in setting up the student-led Live Sound Society and firmly believes in students becoming more employable by gaining practical skills alongside their degree. Izzy’s research work is in the area of musical acoustics and he is developing tools to analyse differences in musicians’ playing styles. He is also Education Director for Shrewsbury Folk Festival, one of the top 5 events of its type in the UK, and regularly teaches folk instruments at other festivals.  

Read Islah's full profile

Professor Cham Athwal

Associate Head of School (Research)

Cham Athwal is Head of Research in the School of Computing and Digital Media Technology. He teaches on the BSc (Hons) courses for Digital Media Technology, and Sound Engineering and Production.

An experienced lecturer and researcher, Cham has led numerous technology transfer projects, as well as working as an experienced external examiner and course validator. He has skills and knowledge in several areas of IT, including software development, web technologies and multimedia, as well as image and video processing, 3D modelling, animation and virtual reality.

Dr Ian Williams

Associate Professor

Ian is an Associate Professor in the Centre of Digital Media Technology (DMT) and the subject lead for image and video technology in the DMT Lab. He is an expert in image analysis, Mixed and Augmented Reality (MR/AR), image texture analysis, 3D image processing and user interaction.

Ian delivers internationally recognised research by leading the Image and Mixed Reality group within the DMT Lab, and as subject lead, directs the module content for the level 4 module on Digital Audio Technology, the level 6 module on Digital Image Processing, the level 7 module on Research methods and the MSc Digital Broadcast Technology Projects. Supplementary to this academic delivery, Ian supervises PhD research in many fields of digital media technology and at present he is Director of Studies for four PhD students, all researching in areas of mixed reality, multidimensional image processing and interactive systems.

Ian joined the University in 2008, following a career as a communications engineer for the UK railway network and after successfully completing his PhD in Medical Image Processing.

Ian currently acts on the scientific and technical committee for the IEEE international symposium on Mixed and Augmented reality and is a reviewer for several international conferences and journals including, IEEE Signal Processing Letters, International Journal of Optics, IET Journal of Image Processing and Elsevier Journal of Computer Vision and Image Understanding.

Read Ian's full profile

Robert Mclaughlin

Lecturer

Robert is a lecturer whose emphasis is on student engagement with industry and external partnership development. He is a Prince2 Practitioner whose area of teaching is industry contextualisation, business, marketing and the work environment. 

He writes for media focused, genre and technology websites and a semi-regular basis as a freelance copywriter specifically about new media and technology and has been used to providing commentary on media industry by journalists and local and national radio (Free Radio and Radio 1). 

His work has led to student opportunities for mentoring and industry guidance from external clients such as Sky Academy, Spotify, YouTube and ITV. 

He has worked on multiple industry focused projects which have included documentaries for Canadian Broadcasters, student competition judged by Hollywood directors and student driven multi-media projects curated from the creators of 2000AD. 

He is also the project coordinator for Creative Networks a monthly event that is designed to increase student engagement within their subject matter and to learn from external partners and practitioners. He also runs the BCU-Comic Lab and co-hosts the weekly DMT Podcast show. 

Read Robert's full profile

Ryan Stables DMT staff

Dr Ryan Stables

Senior Lecturer, Digital Audio Processing and Subject Leader, Sound Technology

Ryan Stables is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Audio Processing and the subject leader for Sound Technology, based in our Digital Media Technology (DMT) Lab. He currently teaches in the areas of digital audio effects, digital signal processing and audio software development.

Ryan currently leads The SAFE Project, which will provide a suite of audio plug-ins able to recognise transferrable semantic terms. He has had both national and international news coverage, for his work on both intelligent music production and cancer diagnostics via data sonification. 

Jason Hockman

Dr Jason Hockman

Lecturer in Audio Engineering

After starting his music career with releases on seminal Drum & Bass labels Offshore, MJAZZ and Subtle Audio, Jason co­founded the Detuned Transmissions imprint in 2012. As one half of DAAT (with Joseph Thibodeau) he focuses on the sonic exploration of imagined environments.

Jason holds a PhD in music research from McGill University (CA) and a Master's in music technology from New York University (US). He now works in the Digital Media Technology Lab (DMT Lab) at Birmingham City University (UK) where he is a lecturer in audio engineering and conducts research in the fields of music information retrieval and computational musicology of electronic music.

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