Music Technology - BSc (Hons)
Want to be an established music technician? Study our BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree at Birmingham City University. This course is aimed at the technical music producer, and will train you to use technology to create, record and distribute music. We will provide you with industry connections, live projects and a wide, in-depth knowledge of the field....
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Want to be an established music technician? Study our BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree at Birmingham City University. This course is aimed at the technical music producer, and will train you to use technology to create, record and distribute music. We will provide you with industry connections, live projects and a wide, in-depth knowledge of the field.
You’ll leave with a valuable blend of creative ability and practical skills in music production, alongside solid business awareness and a strong understanding of technology.
What's covered in this course?
Our BSc (Hons) Music Technology course was set up to meet the growing demand for people within the music and audio industries who are able to use technology to assist in the creation, performance and distribution of music.
We will train you to become the next generation of musically-informed engineers, with a strong understanding of underlying technical principles in order to make informed decisions about appropriate technologies.
You will analyse and critically evaluate live musical events and sound recordings, as well as music technology products, systems, processes and designs. You’ll also have the opportunity to study in our world-class facilities in our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Exploring a wealth of creative ideas and techniques, we will encourage you to think innovatively and respond to the needs of industry. Employability is a key factor incorporated within the course, and we are dedicated to providing you with the skills and knowledge to jump right into a creative role.
"It's a wonderful job - quite honestly something I never thought I would be doing at this stage - and I get to work with some fantastic people, see plenty of movies, binge on Pro Tools and meet celebrities!"Jason Rosehill, audio/visual producer for a film PR company
“The pool of lecturers is great at Birmingham City University and the knowledge from their previous industry experience is fantastic. The studios are great quality and with all new facilities it’s a great time to join.’’ Ben Parker, Promotions Executive at EMI Production Music
“The course gave me the opportunity to really hone my skills in recording live orchestras and more classical musicians than I would otherwise have had the opportunity to do.” Alastair Jamieson, owner / producer at Park Studios JQ, Birmingham.
Why Choose Us?
- Excellent preparation for industry - Learn skills for a range of technology-focused career paths in the highly dynamic music technology environment. Our students have gone on to work at Focusrite, Universal, BBC, Audient and The Music Group.
- Range of opportunities - Our graduates have successfully entered the music and audio industry in production, sound design and audio through to technical development, acoustic consultancy and education.
- Unique position in UK higher education - The BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree holds a unique position, drawing on the dual strengths of a cutting-edge technology institution and a premier Conservatoire.
- Undertake a sandwich year - You can choose to take a one-year work placement between your second and final year, providing you with valuable work experience.
- State-of-the-art campus and facilities - You’ll be taught across our three City Centre Campuses that include; Millennium Point, which has recently had a £6.5 million investment in facilities; the £57 million Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; and £62 million Parkside Campus. Find out more about our campuses.
- Be inspired - Read about how Kristian collaborated with music students in studios while studying.
- Build skills for employment - You will have the option to join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.
- High course satisfaction - We scored 95 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 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)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
- Study Year £9,250
- Placement Year £1,650
Professional Placement Fees
Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,200 per year
£150 free credit (home/EU students only)
For 2021 entry, all new home/EU undergraduate students will receive £150 worth of free credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials.
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS, Nvivo and MATLAB to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence
Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.
Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.
Placement expenses (optional)
If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
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.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module will develop students’ understanding of acoustic fundamentals and will also develop a methodology for testing a range of musical instruments, using a range of applicable techniques to extract and analyse data.
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.
This module will introduce the nature of digital signals, presenting the international standards for digital audio data and the common processes involved in the capture and processing of digital signals. Later the module will allow you to develop strong skills in the standards for compression and distribution of digital audio signals and via a cross discipline approach, the module will illustrate common methods form computing and how valid these are for digital signal distribution.
This module is the first in the Music and Critical Studies theme of the degree programme. It provides the foundation for Music and Critical Studies in year 2, as well as giving context to the Music Technology and Sound Recording theme to the degree. This module will allow you to develop your musical awareness to give a setting and context to recording work across a range of genres. The aural training work raises aural awareness, widening the sense of musical appreciation, as well as providing a foundation for analysis of popular genres of music in year 2.
This module provides a base for you to develop key skills in sequencing and synthesis, imperative for all fields of music technology and sound engineering. This foundation will be built upon in level 5 and level 6 modules. Working with Digital Audio Workstation-based music applications and processing, especially with respect to MIDI programming and sequencing, you will gain experience of control systems and processes.
This module will develop key 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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module will enable you to develop skills in key applications. It provides the opportunity to explore sampling and editing to lay a foundation for recording and production work in the module which follows and then for their advanced application at Level 6.
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. It provides the opportunity to explore editing, mixing and a range of recording techniques to lay a foundation for more advanced recording and production work at Level 6.
Digital technology is widely used throughout all the stages of the digital media processing, production, transmission, distribution and broadcasting activities. This module provides application based fundamental digital signal processing (DSP) knowledge and skills.
This module allows you to develop musicological, aural and performance analysis skills to support recording and production work in both year two and beyond. Technical aural training runs alongside musical aural training as required for the aspiring professional producer, engineer, or other form of music technologist.
This module will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding of global music and audio industries and how organisations have sought to adapt to technological change. This module enhances employability through the development of your understanding of employer requirements and approaches to recruitment.
This module will provide a practical insight into acoustic consultancy by assessing through theory and practice. It will cover building, interior and environmental acoustics in a way that aids employability by utilising methods that are typical of industrial practice.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned 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 to develop your project.
This module is inherently interdisciplinary by providing an opportunity to design professional-standard music, Foley, dialogue and fx recording work whilst developing high-level skills in surround sound and editing audio to picture. This incorporates a range of skills crucial to potential employment in audio, film, game and VR-related industries.
This module provides an opportunity to develop professional-standard recording work within personal areas of interest assimilating all the skills acquired through the Sound Recording theme of the degree. You will acquire high-level skills in key areas such as mastering to facilitate sophisticated recording and production work.
You will be given the chance to develop a range of audio processing techniques and will learn the basics of efficient realtime 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.
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.
The course combines practical, hands-on training with theoretical and academic understanding, giving you a holistic conception of music technology. The course caters for students who are looking to broaden their career prospects across a range of music technology-related industries.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
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, well-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.
Course : BSc (Hons) Music Technology
Senior Director, Global Digital Accounts at Warner Music Group
Richard found our course gave him a well-rounded understanding of the industry, providing him with further industry insight. Hear more about his experience and how he benefited from our facilities and staff’s knowledge.
The Music Technology course offers you the chance to take a ‘sandwich’ year, in which you can undertake an industrial placement. This industrial placement year will help you to build relationships with employers and further your industry knowledge. 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. There are also various opportunities to pick up valuable work experience in areas such as live sound.
As well as providing relevant workplace experience that is sought by many employers, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity for you to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. Our placements team will support you throughout the placements process; in the past students have undertaken placements at reputable companies such as Dolby UK, Focusrite and the Music Group.
Full details can be found on the School placements page.
Here is a short video showing the kind of work placement experience you could enjoy as part of your Music Technology degree:
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.
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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
Facilities and Staff
The School of Digital Technology will provide you with a range of innovative facilities and equipment to prepare you for working within industry. The facilities gallery below showcases our sound studios, maker’s lab with 3D printing technology and production computer suites.
Here at Birmingham City University, the School of Computing and Digital Technology is equipped with a multitude of professional, dedicated equipment. 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. 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.
As a student of the School of Computing and Digital Technology you will 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.
Dr Roy Priest
Roy is Academic Lead in the Centre for Digital Media Technology and Director of Learning, Teaching and Employability within the School of Computing and Digital Technology.
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.More about Roy
Head of Music Technology
Simon's musical interests are wide-ranging, which is reflected in his variety of work. He is an active composer, producer, recording engineer and bass trombone player as well as educator.
He has worked across a range of genres in a range of capacities, with artists as diverse as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Louis Andriessen and Heiner Goebbels to Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow and Jamelia; and organisations ranging from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the BBC Big Band, to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre.More about Simon
Dr Islah Ali-MacLachlan
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.More about Dr Islah
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.More about Robert
Currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Music Technology, Yonghao provides research and consultancy for Digital Music Processing, among others. Prior to this, he has worked with the University as a senior technologist and academic advisor, as well as working for Fujitsu Telecommunication Europe and Najing YiYuan Technology in China.
Yonghao currently teaches DSP and audio networking and is involved in research into high performance digital filters for audio ADC/DAC and Future Network for digital media.More about Yonghao
Dr Ian Williams
Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Digital Media Technology
Ian is an Associate Professor and head of the Centre of Digital Media Technology (DMT). He earned his PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008 in low level feature analysis in biomedical images. He leads research in Computer Vision and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a key emphasis on creating novel methods for improving the Quality of Experience for users of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Dr Williams’ has authored many publications in leading international journals and global events and he currently sits on the scientific and technical committee for the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), the IEEE Conference on Games (CoG) and acts as a reviewer for many conferences, journals and funding organisations including, IEEE Transactions on Visualisation and Computer Graphics (TVCG), IEEE Signal Processing Letters (SPL), the Elsevier Journal of Computer Vision and Image Understanding (CVIU) and the EPSRC.
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.More about Ryan
Dr David Gibson
In 1997 David joined BCU as a lecturer. He contributed to the Electronics programme and soon became Assistant Centre Manager and then Centre Manager for the Centre of Electronics and Software having been a Course Director for multiple courses. In 2009 he became Deputy Head of School for Computing, Telecommunications and Networks until 2015. His keen interest in teaching focused on his musical interests in audio electronics and his recent direction in his research on composite materials for brass wind instruments.More about David
Dr Jason Hockman
Jason Hockman is Associate Professor of Audio Engineering at Birmingham City University. He is a member of the Digital Media Technology Laboratory (DMT Lab), in which he leads the Sound and Music (SoMA) Group for computational analysis of sound and music and digital audio processing.More about Jason
Ben is widely known and much admired, not only for his playing, but for his writing and arranging. He gained an MA in Composition from Birmingham University before embarking on a freelance career. Ben is also active in education, regularly running composition and improvisation workshops. He lectures in music technology, though his fine bass playing has brought him most prominence.More about Ben
Music Technology Tutor
James' work has a strong focus on the interaction between sound and its environment. Often employing technology to create digital feedback loops, his installations and performance works often focus on creating a sense of place – a meta-environment – which the audience can explore and experience.
His works have been performed and exhibited internationally and include: 'Torture Garden', a sound work commissioned for Hugo Dalton's 2012 solo exhibition at Bermondsey Project Space, London; 'limina', a self-reflexive audio-visual installation exhibited during the Supersonic Festival 2012, UK and Athens Slingshot festival 2013, USA; and 'Feuerwerks', an audio-visual work exhibited during the 4th Vuotociclo Festival, Italy.More about James