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Creative Music Production

BA (Hons) - single

School of Arts

This programme connects creative endeavour with the technology inspired aspects of music production, allowing you to immerse yourself in the studio environment to compose, record, produce and design sound for music recordings, live events and for moving image media. You receive a rigorous grounding in professional production techniques in live and studio environments, whilst examining the place and definition of popular music in current and recent society. You also develop an understanding of the legal, professional and ethical issues surrounding the creative industries. A central core of music studio production modules runs through the course, which supports you in developing innovative creative musical work for performance, theatre, film, television, computer games and mobile apps, supported by modules in music composition and in the technical aspects of music such as acoustics and digital audio.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Headington Hill

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years

UCAS code

W374

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Modules in this programme have been designed with a specific focus on the areas of studio production, creative composition and live sound and music production, to allow you to develop and perfect your skills in these areas.
  • Music production is heavily dependent on modern digital tools that expand creative possibilities within music. Our staff's music and technology experience allows you to learn how cutting edge technology is applied in professional music environments, in both live and studio settings.
  • Creative industries, including music production, continue to be a growth area in the UK: the digital and creative sector is expected to need 1.2 million new workers by 2022 (according to training body Creative Skillset).
  • You will have frequent opportunities to work on live projects within and beyond the University. These include running audio for a televised music performance programme, or providing technical support for charity and cultural events. This work-related learning is embedded across the programme (for example in modules such as Professional Practice), helping you build their skills and experience progressively.
  • This focus places the course at the forefront of music production and provides you with the expertise needed to build a career in the diverse professional music industry. 
In the first year of the programme, you undertake a range of modules including music composition, musicology, technology, sound and acoustics. 

Studio recording and production modules feature throughout year 1 and year 2 of the programme, embedding an understanding of the nature of sound and production methodologies. 

In year 2 and year 3 you can develop specialisms in musicology, live and interactive technologies, acoustics, creative composition and studio production in a variety of optional modules and projects.

Study modules

Please note that the module list is indicative. As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1

The year 1 compulsory modules include:
Sound and Recording
Introduction to Popular Music
Digital Audio
Sound Synthesis 
Audio Production 
Introduction to Contemporary Composition

Optional modules include:
Sound for Picture
Notation and Harmony
The Film Industry
Musicianship

Years 2 and 3

The compulsory modules include:
Professional Practice (double)
Music Production and Mixing (double)
Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues

One module out of:
Composition Portfolio 
Media Technology Project

And also 4 modules out of:
Popular Music in Society (double)
Electroacoustic Composition and Sonic Art (double)
Live Sound Systems
Composition for Visual Media
Interactive Music Performance Technology

Optional Modules include:
Creative Approaches to Electronic Music
Film Music
Integrated Project – Live Event
Ensemble Performance (double)
Creative Approaches to Composition (double)
Acoustics and Recording Studio Design
Audio Signal Processing
Sound System Design and Optimisation

Optional modules serve each students’ areas of interest, for example if you want to concentrate on composition you would choose modules in Composition for Visual Media, Film Music, Electroacoustic Composition and Sonic Art, Creative Approaches to Composition, and Composition Portfolio. If you are more interested in live sound and music systems, you would choose modules in Live Sound Systems, Interactive Music Performance Technology, Acoustics and Recording Studio Design, Audio Signal Processing, and Sound System Design and Optimisation.

Work placements

Work placements form an integral part of Creative Music Production at Oxford Brookes. Our Professional Practice module enables you to consider your studies in relation to work in the general area of music, media and events production. You are encouraged to work on a variety of live projects with community collaborators providing technical support for charity and cultural events, which have previously included the Oxford Jazz Festival, Oxford Folk Weekend, The International Gypsy Guitar Festival, Oxfam Oxjam Takeover, charity fundraiser concerts, and many others. 

Through the work placement you gather experience in a field of your choice, such as 
  • Studio recording and production
  • Voiceover recording and editing
  • Audio Restoration
  • Live sound system engineering
  • Sound for film and TV
  • Cinema sound 
  • Musical theatre engineering
  • Live sound mixing
Work placements can sometimes lead to students being offered a job with that employer upon graduation.

Study abroad

You can take the optional opportunity to study abroad for 1 semester. There are a select number of partner Universities that have similar courses of study in the second year of the programme which you could take on an optional semester long exchange. (Please note that this may incur additional costs for the overseas placement, including travel and accommodation).

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Attendance pattern

All teaching generally takes place from week 1 to week 12 each semester, with usually no more than one module taking place each day.  
We also encourage you to engage with music during the vacation, by doing work experience, or when you are preparing a major composition project or dissertation.

Music Performance and Sound Production Opportunities at Oxford Brookes

We have a varied portfolio of performance opportunities at Oxford Brookes and in any given year the amount of music-making is truly impressive; just one semester can include everything from a motet by Thomas Tallis to the musical Hair to Poulenc's Gloria, or from a barbershop quartet to a rock band. In 2013/2014 alone there were 57 concerts and gigs.

Our department puts on a choral and orchestral concert every semester, giving new students the chance to meet and perform with each other, as well as performing with second- and third-year students. We also put on a 'Big Night Out' at which student bands can display their talent. They also frequently perform on campus or across Oxford.
 
Many students interested in live sound production work within the Sound and Lighting Society to gain experience in technical production on these events, working with the other student music societies including a Jazz Band and the musical theatre societies Fortune Players and Fortune Singers. There is an auditioning chamber choir with an ambitious repertoire, as well as a classical orchestra which give opportunities for performance and also recording opportunities.

Lunchtime concerts are held weekly, providing a forum for soloists, small groups and bands, and opportunities to practice location recording. We've taken our music to a number of venues, including in recent years our Harcourt Hill Campus with its pretty New England-style chapel.
Music has been put on in the drama studio; bands (including staff members!) have played at the Bullingdon and the O2 Academy music venues. Concerts of chamber music, classical solo recitals, and electronic music are held at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building and the Holywell Music Room, the oldest purpose-built concert venue in England, both of which have been used for live concert recordings.

All of these activities are open to all music students and we have converted much of this activity into various forms of academic credit: small-scale groups (eg chamber ensembles, vocal groups, rock bands) can take the advanced module Ensemble Performance after the first year, or present a solo performance under the Professional Practice module. Lunchtime concert and other location recording is a part of the music production modules and Live Event project module.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

The programme employs a wide range of teaching formats. Interactive lectures introduce you to the core concepts of thinking about musical creativity, current discourses about a wide range of contemporary musics (film music, popular music, contemporary classical avant-garde etc.), and allow you to reflect on the role of the individual within the music industry. Seminars and small-group instruction deliver music-specific technological skills and knowledge. They mainly take the form of workshops in the music studios, led by academic staff, the technical instructor and student mentors. You are also encouraged to apply your skills in live environments, such as performances or work placements. Individual tuition is available for creative and technical projects, especially for the final year projects. 

Creative Music Production includes a number of live projects (eg concert support for local charities and music organisations, voice-over work for national awards shows, work with local TV stations, location and studio music recordings), an annual Music and Media Industry Careers day, and offers work-based learning in the final year. These work-based learning opportunities make sure you are ‘work ready’ and have the relevant experience, contacts and skills to compete in such a highly competitive industry. You will develop key employability skills, such as self-management, team working, enterprise, communication, and application of IT skills.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 23%77%0%

Approach to assessment

All assessment is by coursework. We accommodate different learning styles through a variety of assessment methods, eg group work, class tests, work placements  and live projects . You gain experience in giving feedback and assessing others through reviewing creative work and the performances of your peers. Feedback is taken to an advanced level in the final year through advanced composition workshops, when professional performers are invited to workshop student compositions and comment on them during the rehearsal process. 

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104

A-Level: BCC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 29 points

BTEC: DMM

 

Applicants with HND in Music Technology or Music Production may be considered for Year 2 entry. Consideration will be given to the modules taken at HND level and their relevance to the programme.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Five GCSEs at grade C or above

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

We do not normally interview but we may consider application by a recorded portfolio or show-reel of relevant work tailored to the individual applicant. Candidates with non-traditional qualifications and experiences, eg those returning to university after a career in a different field, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must demonstrate engagement with and study of music equivalent to GCSE Music (which could include for example, ABRSM Grade 5 practical, or other suitable musical experience which is assessed by submission of a recorded portfolio).

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford has a dynamic music scene with music from across the spectrum. It is home to historic concert venues such as the Sheldonian Theatre and the Holywell Music Room (England's first purpose built concert hall), but also a thriving pop, rock, electronic and jazz scene. The professional audio industry is well represented in Oxford with companies such as Solid State Logic, Peavey Digital Research, Sonnox Plugins, Focusrite and Novation all very close by (some of whom have employed our graduates). Oxford also has a history of innovation in music production and recording, with some famous recording studios based in and close to Oxfordshire, and the pioneering surround sound format called Ambisonics having been invented here.

Specialist facilities

All of the music facilities are situated in the Richard Hamilton Building, which includes acoustically isolated studios, computer suites, two lecture rooms, seven practice rooms including a band rehearsal room. Several practice and seminar rooms are equipped with grand pianos, and other instruments and backline is available for use including drum kits, percussion instruments, guitar and bass amplifiers, synthesizers, digital pianos, and so on.

Recording Studio Facility:
Studios 1 and 2 can be used as independent recording suites each with their own isolation rooms, and can be combined in a multi-studio format when required for large scale recordings. A selection of microphones from AKG, Beyerdynamic, Rode, Sennheiser and Shure are available for booking along with the studios. 

Studio 1:
  • Avid Pro-Tools HD and Apple Logic recording/editing systems on Apple Mac hardware
  • 5.1 Genelec monitoring system with option for surround mixing with joystick panner
  • Synthesizers include Kurzweill K2000, Roland Fantom and EMU Proteus systems
Studio 2: 
  • Avid Pro-Tools and Apple Logic recording/editing systems on Apple Mac hardware
  • Genelec 1038 stereo monitoring system
  • Vintage keyboards include a Hammond Organ and an EMS VCS-3 analogue synthesizer.
  • Various backline including drum kit, guitar and bass amplifiers, etc.
Software in the studios and computer suites includes Avid Pro-ToolsHD, Adobe Audition, Logic, CDP, Kontakt, Pure Data, CSound, Sibelius, Cycling '74 MAX, Audacity, and specialised acoustic analysis and loudspeaker design software.  

The University library, located across the road at Gipsy Lane, is well stocked with music books, scores, CDs, DVDs and videos. It also offers access to a wide range of e-books, electronic journals and databases which are indispensable for advanced study in music. You are trained to use the library's music resources from your first semester on progressively until the final-year dissertation. Our dedicated subject librarian is always happy to help with your questions. All Oxford Brookes students undertaking research may also apply to join the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Graduates will be able to move into a range of creative industry positions. There are opportunities for the graduate to develop a career as a creative individual, for example, a freelance composer or sound designer; or a technical collaborator, such as film sound editor, game audio producer or music mixing engineer. As well as working in music studios and live event production, there will be routes into broadcasting and composition for media. 

The programme would enable graduates to enter other creative industries such as Event Management and Arts Management. A teaching career in Music or Music Technology is equally viable.
Creative Music Production offers an obvious route into the creative industries with music production forming an important feature for graduates. Previous alumni have ended up working in Radio and TV sound with the BBC and others, as freelance composers for film and TV, as cinema audio mastering engineers, live sound engineers, and studio producers, in addition to having viable careers as commercial electronic music artists. 

Further study

After graduation, possibilities exist for continuing to postgraduate taught and research degrees at Masters or PhD level in music composition, or in acoustics or music technology and production.

Related courses

  • Music
  • Digital Media Production
  • Course downloads

  • Oxford Brookes Music brochure