• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2019 and February 2020

Course Overview

The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

Foundation year Sound Design is for those with a fascination for sound and the creative use of audio technology. Building on a base of studio and music production skills, the course reaches beyond this and into alternative areas of sound.

In the studio, and beyond

This specialist course provides a firm foundation in the sound design technologies and techniques used in industry. You’ll spend much of your time in our professional-standard audio studios and live sound facilities, working with experts to develop your recording and mixing techniques. Plus you’ll gain experience with sound design software, synthesis and programming in pursuing the latest avenues of digital audio production.

Sound is all around 

Sound Design is about more than music. Film, animation, radio, theatre, and computer games for example, all rely on compelling sound design in creating the sonic world for a production. In addition to this, creators are producing work in a range of emerging media, such as the design of 3D audio for new immersive formats like Virtual Reality (VR).

You’ll have the opportunity to work hands-on with projects across all of these areas, learning about newly emerging practices and studio technologies, and preparing you for professional work as a creative sound practitioner.

A production house environment

Creating sound doesn’t happen in isolation. You’ll work in a production-house style environment, collaborating frequently with students from our other courses and with external partners on live projects.

You might design sounds to accompany an animated creature created in theUniversity’s motion-capture studio. Or work with Film & TV Production students to produce sound and music for a sci-fi scene. Or implement sound using game engine tools with our games development students.

Honing your skills on real projects, you’ll build an extensive portfolio of work examples and experiences you can use to establish and market yourself at a professional level.

Who is it for?

This degree programme provides a practical, theoretical and creative grounding in sound design and will appeal to those with a passion for sound. You don’t need to be musically trained. You’ll learn the skills you’ll need for a career in the industry.

Where the Foundation Year is taught at our Aylesbury Campus all subsequent years will be taught at our High Wycombe Campus.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details

UCAS CODE: WW34

The course covers all the relevant building blocks of sound design. In addition to core recording and mixing skills you’ll also get to grips with areas such as audio programming and synthesis, game engines and audio middleware, field sound recording, experimental composition and digital instrument design, and spatial audio.

You’ll learn about technology and sound production, and audio principles, theories and practices, and be introduced to the sound and computing technologies used in audio studios and elsewhere. You’ll build on, and apply, these skills to more specific production areas as the course progresses, focussing on areas including live sound, audio drama, sounds for games and VR, and film sound design, before completing a specialist major research project in your final year.

Work with experts

The staff on this course have a wealth of professional and academic experience, with many still working in industry.

You’ll hear from guest lecturers including professionals practising at the highest level, such as Oscar-winning sound mixer Ray Beckett (The Hurt Locker), games sound designer Daan Hendriks, and sound supervisor Tudor Davis about his work mixing sound for the BBC at Glastonbury Festival.

We arrange product demos so you can test out different pieces of kit, as well as visits to industry facilities such Dolby Europe, the audio post house Warner Bros De Lane Lea, and Pinewood film studios.

Industry-standard studios

You’ll record and produce audio in our Sennheiser Sound Lab. Fully equipped by our partners, Sennheiser, the world leading production supplier. Our studios are 5.1 surround sound equipped, with dedicated recording booths and live rooms, and with sound-to-picture capability throughout.

Further facilities include:

  • multiple further professional grade studios, recording areas, and edit suites
  • rooms tailored for post-sync recording such as Foley and ADR (dialogue replacement)
  • a huge array of studio mics, plus stereo and surround sound mic kits
  • extensive collection of audio plugins and processors, instruments, and Sound FX libraries
  • a live sound venue and PA facilities, with Midas desks
  • Outside Broadcast truck and facilities
  • wide selection of location sound recording kits including the Sound Devices 664
  • IT facilities equipped with multiple DAWs (Pro Tools, Ableton ,Logic), midi controllers, programming tools and other essential sound design software including Max MSP, Izotope RX and game engine and interactive sound tools such as Unity and Wwise.

What are the course entry requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.

Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Foundation Year Modules

  • Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
  • Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
  • Inquiry and Research Skills
  • Introduction to Music Management, Production and Performance

Year One Modules

  • Audio Production Technologies
  • Introduction to Live Audio - Analogue
  • Introduction to Live Audio - Digital
  • Computer Programming: Max Data
  • Computer Programming: Max Digital Signal Processing
  • Audio Production Practice
  • Introduction to Recording
  • Introduction to Pro Tools

Year Two Modules

  • Audio Production Techniques: Live
  • Sound for Vision
  • Media Production Project
  • Sound Design for Games, VR, and Non-linear media 1
  • Audio Production Techniques: Studio

Year Three Modules

  • Sound Design for Games, VR, and Non-linear media 2
  • Professional Practice Research Project
  • Production Company Project
  • Sound Design
  • Research Methods

Fees

How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, September 2019: £9,250

Full Time International, September 2019: £12,000

Full Time Home and EU, February 2020: £9,250

Full Time International, February 2020: £12,000

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023
advice@bucks.ac.uk

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

Employability

What are my career prospects

What are my career prospects?

As a graduate of this course, you will be in a great position to pursue a career within sound. Our graduates have a strong track record in securing work in this highly competitive field, working for studios such as Halo Post-production, Technicolor, Warner Bros De Lane Lea, Goldcrest, and Voiceover Soho, or for film crew providers Transmission TX, Computer games producers like TT Games, Outside Broadcast facilities including CTV, live event sound crews such as Britannia Row, TV production companies like Boundless Productions and Vice Media, audio suppliers Sennheiser and Focusrite, and broadcasters including Sky Television and the BBC.

The audio and wider skills you develop will also be applicable to further industry areas, allowing you to pursue employment across the creative sector and beyond.

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.


The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.


Got a question?