Foundation Year Zero
Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:
- Academic Writing and Study Skills
- Personal and Career Development
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
- Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities
In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:
- Dangerous Ideas
- Foundation English Language and Communication
- Foundation English Literature
- Foundation Media and Communications
- Analysing British Cinema
- Historical Foundations
- America and the World (subject to validation)
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
- The Languages and Theory of Music
Sound Production 1A [Studio Recording] (20 credits)
This module provides you with a grounding in studio recording techniques. Complementing the softwarebased sequencing and mix emphasis of Audio Sequencing and Recording, Sound Production 1A focuses specifically on studio recording practice, including studio set up, microphone technique, use of a mixing desk, and signal processing, as well as relevant theoretical principles related to acoustics and electronics.
Sound Production 1B [Studio Production] (20 credits)
Sound Production 1B expands on techniques discussed in Sound Production 1A and the softwarebased sequencing and mix emphasis of Audio Sequencing and Recording. The main focus is on microphone technique, use of a mixing desk, audio routing and signal processing, as well as software based effecting and mixing.
Audio Sequencing and Recording (20 credits)
This module is designed to provide you with a grounding in the applications and techniques of MIDI and audio sequencing. The module will focus on commercial music recording and production methods and will relate, for example, to the practical production of demoformat recordings required for Songwriting.
Sampling and Creative Composition (20 credits)
This module is designed to introduce you to essential sampling and sound manipulation practices and the ways in which these techniques can be applied to creative work. You will create a portfolio of sound studies that focus upon specific sampling and audio manipulation techniques and will be encouraged to develop these processes in a larger sound work or composition.
Sound Production 2A [Advanced recording and production techniques] (20 credits)
This module aims to provide comprehensive coverage of the theory and practice of multitrack studio recording and production. You will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the scientific principles that underpin sound production and develop the skills to use a recording studio environment, offering an analysis of equipment, technique and procedure.
Sound Production 2B [Advanced recording and production techniques] (20 credits)
Building on Sound Production 2A this module aims to continue to provide comprehensive and analytical coverage of the theory and practice of multitrack studio recording and production. You will have the opportunity to expand further on your understanding of the scientific principles that underpin sound production and develop the skills to use a recording studio environment, offering an analysis of equipment, technique and procedure. Pre and postproduction processes are included in the practice of multitrack recording.
Creative Sound Design (20 credits)
This module aims to provide a substantial practical overview of studio based approaches to sound design and electronic composition. A broad and diverse approach will be taken, emphasizing, for example, the influences of dance music and film sound, academia, the avant garde and the commercial music industry on the shaping of the contemporary studio composer.
Sound Production 3A [Production portfolio] (20 credits)
The aim of the module is provide you with the opportunity to focus on creative studio technique and develop an integrated approach to the session endproduct: a definitive master demonstrating a distinctive approach to recording and production.
Sound Production 3B [Production portfolio] (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to provide you with continued opportunities to focus on creative studio technique and develop an integrated approach to the session endproduct: a definitive master demonstrating a distinctive approach to recording and production. You will continue to explore the role of the producer (artist, engineer, composer, arrangerproducer) in the generation of multitrack recordings to a commercial standard, informed by an awareness of established, current and emerging global production styles.
Likely optional modules
Music Technology and Culture (20 credits)
The module aims to provide you with an understanding of the historical and cultural context of various styles and genres within contemporary electronic music and sonic art. These will be considered by tracing the development of constituent sonic techniques and their relationship to current practices. In addition, recorded examples from each stage of development will be considered analytically in order to identify their salient characteristics and their relationship to other media and disciplines.
Sound Structure (20 credits)
This module gives you grounding in the theories and practices used to analyse a range of audio examples and to enable you to become fluent in your ability to recognise the sonic characteristics of recordings and performances. You will be introduced to techniques used to analyse and document the development of sound in time, including spectral analysis, graphic representation and aspects of musical notation.
Music Industry Fundamentals (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to enable you to gain a broad understanding of the background, structure and organisation of the music industry and to give you a foundation for determining your own potential role within it. This includes the concepts of intellectual property and copyright, the development and production of recorded music and the marketing and distribution of finished product together with the requirements regarding performance and promotion. Also included is an examination of both the operation of major and independent record companies and DIY releases together with the marketing of music from both composers and performing artists.
Songwriting 1 (20 credits)
This module aims to introduce you to songwriting as a process, encouraging the development of an individual style over the duration of your studies. In addition to informing you about wellestablished ‘traditional’ songwriting models and common structures, contemporary songwriting practices and considerations of arrangement, performance and production will also form part of the module.
Music Enterprise (20 credits)
The aim of this module is for you to develop an understanding and appreciation of how music and the music industries, in various guises, can generate income. It considers the various elements that contribute to ensuring that composing, performing and recording rights are managed effectively and fairly and includes focuses on music publishing, entertainment law and copyright, performance and recording, venue and tour management and record label management.
Music in the Media 1 (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to give you an introduction to the skills, approaches and insights needed to produce music for the media. You will develop the ability to compose music that enhances moving images and will learn to engage those stylistic conventions and techniques most commonly encountered in bespoke media music. You will develop those sequencing and arranging skills needed in the production of smallerbudget media music and will also be presented with opportunities to develop skills in sound design that may be used alongside or as an alternative to more traditional compositional skills.
Live Sound (20 credits)
This module provides coverage of the methods and processes undertaken when mixing audio for live performance band settings. Through addressing the principles of audio signal paths, processing and mixing for both audience and performers, you will explore the application of appropriate hardware in the live sound environment, supported by an overview of audio, technological and engineering discipline and theory.
Songwriting 2 (20 credits)
Songwriting 2 builds on the work completed within Songwriting 1 through the study of more advanced and extended songwriting models, whilst encouraging you to develop their own distinctive ‘voice’ within your creative work. The application of technology within the compositional process will be explored as a means to extend beyond traditional songwriting models and you will also develop an awareness of music from other contemporary genres as a means to further expand the diversity of influence applied within their songs and arrangements.
Online Promotion and Website Design for Musicians (20 credits)
This module is designed to introduce you to methods by which music based media can be promoted using online digital multimedia. Traditional, current and emergent media are reviewed as you explore graphic and visual representation of musical subject and style in the context of online promotion.
Independent Production Project 1 (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to enable you to undertake a production project agreed with the tutor at the start of module. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, a commercial studio album, live recordings, band collaboration, film/media scoring or creative audio experimentation.
Studio Composition (20 credits)
This module aims to develop your ability to conceive and realize original compositions through creative use of the music production studio. You pursue individual areas of interest in technologybased music composition, devising creative ideas and the work of contemporary composers and producers in various genres is considered, with a particular emphasis on how methods of production (including studio process, collaboration, and relevant technologies) influence the creative output.
Film Music A (20 credits)
The module aims to give you an understanding of the process of writing music for film and you will be introduced to the development of the language of film music, film scoring techniques and to broader cultural and critical issues.
Film Music B (20 credits)
Continuing from Film Music A, this module aims to develop your understanding of the language of film music, filmscoring techniques and the broader cultural and critical issues. You will develop composition, production, and software techniques and apply these skills to the creation of music for film.
Songwriting 3A (20 credits)
Songwriting 3A aims to provide you with the opportunity to extend and enhance a personal songwriting style whilst fostering an awareness of songwriting in a commercial context. In order to develop your practical, creative and technical skills in songwriting, the module engages you with projects such as the completion of an e.p. (extended play).
Songwriting 3B (20 credits)
Songwriting 3B aims to provide you with the opportunity to extend and enhance a personal songwriting style whilst fostering an awareness of songwriting in a commercial context. In order to develop your practical, creative and technical skills in songwriting, the module builds upon the work done in Songwriting 3A by engaging you with more substantial projects, such as the completion of an album. This module also requires you to present your songs in a live setting.
Music in the Media 2 (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop skills related to the creation of music and sound for various forms of media. You will develop composition, production, and software techniques and apply these skills to the creation of music for various forms of media. Through the use of industry briefs, you will develop the ability to work under time constraints, to specific creative guidelines.
Sound Art A (20 credits)
This module includes a strong emphasis on emergent forms of sound design, and alternative approaches to composition will be explored. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers or web designers, in the creation of a mixedmedia work.
Sound Art B (20 credits)
This module is designed to build upon knowledge developed in Sound Art A. You will be introduced to technical and artistic skills necessary to produce a largescale nonlinear installation work. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers, web designers or filmmakers, in the creation of a mixedmedia work.
Audio for Games and Interactive Media (20 credits)
This module is designed to introduce you to methods by which audio material can be creatively used with game or app design. You will review coding and app design and will be encouraged to explore innovative approaches to game soundtrack or app design from a sonic/musical perspective. Especially relevant to this module is the focus upon interactive, nonlinear sound design and the ways in which it differs from Film or TV composition.
Music Business Futures (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop a clear and deep knowledge of the current music industry informed primarily by investigation and practice. The module focuses in detail on the many new and emerging technologies available for promotion, discovery, distribution and consumption of music via the Internet and mobile networks that are currently being explored within the industry.
Independent Production Project 2A (20 credits)
This module will enable you to undertake the research necessary to develop an extensive creative project in Independent Production Project 2B. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, a commercial studio album, live recordings, band collaborations, film/media scoring or creative audio experimentation.
Independent Production Project 2B (20 credits)
This module will enable you to develop an innovative and ambitious creative project based on research developed in Independent Production Project 2A. The final outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, a commercial studio album, live recordings, band collaborations, film/media scoring or creative audio experimentation.