A Foundation Degree is a combined academic and vocational qualification, equivalent to two-thirds of an honours degree. It is anticipated that those who complete the Foundation Degree in Music & Sound will progress to the BA (Hons) top-up Music & Sound. The course is developed to mirror the modern music industry allowing students to gain the skills to be independent multi-skilled music practitioners, fluent with various forms of multi-media.
The programme is validated by the University of West London and is equivalent to the first 2 years of a BA(Hons).
The FD in Music & Sound can help to prepare you for a career as a music producer, studio assistant and/or recording engineer.
Learn skills to work in different industries, including music, advertising and gaming
Gain practical skills while building a portfolio of music, contacts and experience
Develop the ability to work freelance with several income streams
Time, space and the opportunity to develop your own sound and work on your material
How long is it for?
This is a full-time pathway (4×12 week semesters studied over 2 years).
Who is it for?
The Foundation Degree in Music & Sound is ideal if you wish to progress your studies from a BTEC Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Music or Music Technology and/or ‘A’ level studies in performing arts or related subjects.
Prior experience in music technology is an advantage while access to basic home recording software/hardware is essential (as a student you are eligible for discounts with a number of retailers).
It is essential that you either have some musical instrument skills OR access to a musician/musicians who you will be able to record.
Minimum of 48 UCAS points plus a successful audition and interview. Experienced musicians without formal qualifications may be considered. FAST TRACK entry into the second year of the FD or the AMS online BA(Hons) programme is possible. Please contact our team for further information.
For applicants with relevant prior experience, FAST TRACK entry into the second year of the FD or the AMS online BA(Hons) program is possible. Please contact our team for further information.
What subjects will I study?
Core Modules and Optional Modules
The Foundation Degree in Music & Sound has been devised to be as diverse as possible. As such there are core modules each semester, and also modules that are chosen from a list of options. The Foundation Degree is a two-year programme, levels 4 & 5, representing the first two years of a BA (Hons) degree. Here follows details on the core and optional modules.
Sound Practice requires engagement with hardware-based studio recording systems for the recording of live instruments (from guitar to full drum kit).
Popular Music Styles 1 & 2
This module provides an in-depth and essential study of all the main popular music genres from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day.
Music Video Production
In these YouTube-dominated times, it is essential that a modern musician is able to create engaging content for platforms like this.
In this module, you will be required to produce two videos demonstrating that you can combine creativity and applied technology while working successfully as a member of a production team.
Music Radio Production
This involves producing an exciting live music show, encompassing DJ voice, music, links, idents, adverts and interviews.
Radio Documentary Production
Each student will research and analyse various production models, production management methods and programme designs, before producing a radio documentary of broadcast quality.
Business Innovations and Enterprise
As preparation for running your own business enterprise, you will study various business strategies (including crowdfunding) before submitting your own provisional plans for a viable business idea of your own.
Interactive Music and Sound for Video Games
This is a huge growth area with lots of opportunities for those who can provide music for this sector. Learn how to create and compile appropriate content for a format built for active participants (voice-overs, character-specific musical motifs, sound effects, etc).
Performance Studies 1a, 1b, 2a and 2b
Each semester, throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to engage in a considerable amount of core study on your first instrument. The cornerstone of the foundation degree is technical excellence; so, if you want to develop your playing abilities to a professional level, this is the course for you. Guitar, bass, drum and vocal lessons are all underpinned by high-quality instructional videos written and recorded by the best teachers and players in the UK.
You will study topics that will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the musical knowledge and skill required to make a well-rounded popular music producer: pop song form; guitar effects and textures; vocal textures; songwriting methods; sonic components; critical listening; acoustics; managing studio personnel; changing trends in music production; the impact of emerging technologies; seminal music producers; increasing commercial potential in music etc.
Production Techniques builds on the music-related themes developed in Music Producer. The bulk of this module is devoted to developing skills relating to understanding harmony and developing songwriting skills.
Studio producers will learn how to record live audio and produce in the styles of rock, funk/disco, acoustic and a genre of their choice; whereas electronic music producers will study the production styles of House, Trance, Drum & Bass and an EDM genre of their choice.
Mixing & Mastering for Media
This module involves studying all aspects of mastering audio for a range of different media (e.g., radio, TV, film, podcast, streaming etc) and learning how to utilise various industry-standard plug-ins and covering vital topics such as levels, crest factor, RMS, compression, EQ, limiting, stereo widening, dither, ISRC coding and ID3 tagging.
TV Advert Production
Work on a commercial brief to create an effective TV advert, learning how to manage all technical and artistic aspects to present a TV production in an industry-standard format.
Advanced Studio Recording
Studio producers will learn how to record live audio and produce in the styles of Soul, Electronic Pop and Metal; whereas electronic music producers will study the production styles of Break Beat, DubStep, Electronica and an EDM artist of their choice.
What happens next?
Following successful completion, you may progress on to a BA (Hons) Top-Up Degree course.
Fees and Funding
Fees per academic year are £6165 per annum.
Subject to eligibility you can apply for a student loan to cover fees.