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BA (Hons) Digital Music

Go professional – take your digital music production to the next level

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

BA (Hons) Digital Music is an innovative and unique course that focuses on the production of contemporary dance music such as house, drum’n’bass, trance, techno, bassline, grime, hip-hop, electronica, and DJing. As a student, you’ll learn to take your production skills to a high professional level so that you can release your music through labels, or perform live for audiences at clubs and festivals. You’ll also learn how to apply these production skills to the film and games industries, thereby widening your employment opportunities.

Under the guidance of practising producers, composers, musicians and DJs you’ll study digital music composition; production; sound design; audio engineering; sound editing; music and sound design for film and games; digital DJing and the live performance of digital music.

  • Students master their craft using a range of industry-standard facilities. These facilities include a dedicated digital music production studio, iMac computers, Logic Pro x 10.2, Apple 9, Native Instruments Komplete 10 and Traktor. Students also have access to nine recording studios, four large rehearsal rooms, digital and analogue workstations, vocal booths and a 200-seat performance space.
  • Southampton Solent University is an Avid Pro Tools Learning Partner, offering Pro Tools 101 training. 
  • Learners are given the chance to specialise their knowledge through a range of optional units.
  • Students are encouraged to develop their own personal style, taking part in independent projects or working in collaboration with other creative disciplines.
  • Digital music students learn from experienced musicians, DJs and producers with a wealth of first-hand knowledge to share.
  • Southampton is a vibrant city with a large and diverse range of night-time entertainment venues. Students also benefit from the city’s convenient transport links with central London. 
  • Members of the digital music course team have close links with the leading music producers, label owners, and professional DJs within both the city and the wider industry.

The industry

The UK is the world’s biggest consumer of music (relative to population size), and is the world’s third-biggest music market after the US and Japan (BPI, 2013). This course aims to help students discover where they fit into this growing market and how to best monetise their talents.

Suitable roles include live and outdoor sound engineering; studio sound engineering; production; DJing; product buying and publishing. Students can also expect to learn a range of transferable skills in IT, presentation, teamwork, creative thinking, communication and project management. These skills can lead to careers in various supporting roles in the arts and entertainment industry.

The programme

Southampton Solent University’s BA (Hons) Digital Music course offers students the chance to develop their digital music production skills and apply them in a range of relevant contexts. Whether they are hoping to build a career creating sound effects for games and animations, producing songs and mixes for live performance or working with directors to score films and TV programmes, this course offers students the broad range of skills required to succeed.

Learners build these skills through regular use of industry-standard hardware. Available hardware includes:

  • five recording studios and four mix workstations, all equipped with Pro|Tools HD and NI Komplete,
  • three ICON DCommand worksurfaces,
  • an analog studio with Audient ASP8024,
  • outboards by Neve, Lexicon and Universal Audio,
  • microphones by Neumann, AKG, Coles, Rode,
  • plug-ins by Waves, McDSP, Sonnox,
  • Yamaha M7 and LS9 digital live mixers,
  • and a Music Technology Lab with 25 Apple Macs, Pro Tools, Logic and Sibelius.

Students are able to tailor this course to their own interests through optional projects and units in the second and third years. These units can help to inform future careers and ensure that technical skills are underpinned by a solid understanding of the wider music industry.

Digital music students are also given the chance to get involved with SmileFest, the University’s annual music industry conference. Past speakers include Zoe Ball; The Blackout; Gallows; Steve Strange; Download booking executive and Livenation promoter, Andy Copping; Kerrang editor, James McMahon; and Bloc Party/Franz Ferdinand PR guru, Janine Warren.

Next steps

Think you’d like to pursue a career in digital music production? With close industry links, an eclectic mix of experienced teaching staff and ample opportunities to build a body of work in our studios, Southampton Solent University’s digital music programme is ideal way to get your career off to a great start.

Have you got a question about applying?

Email: ask@solent.ac.uk

Don't just take our word for it...

 
Chris Baker
"The teaching staff at Solent are amazing – it's like learning from friends."
  More from Chris

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 3 Years Standard entry WJ39
  • 4 Years Popular music production foundation year W301

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
240 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
96 UCAS Tariff points

 

 

Year one:

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Core units

  • Music Theory for Computer Musicians
  • Composition for Computer Musicians
  • Digital Music Production (Audio)
  • Digital Music Production (Synthesis)
  • Electronic Music in Context (Historical)
  • Digital Music Technology.

Year two:

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Core units

  • Concept Album
  • Digital Music Applications
  • Electronic Music in Context (Contemporary)
  • Digital Music Live
  • Music for Film.

Options

  • Songwriting Techniques
  • Music for Digital Media
  • Digital Djing
  • Experimental Music Production
  • Music and Audio Post-Production
  • Genre Studies
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Model Your Business.

Year three:

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Core units

  • Digital Music Final Major Project
  • Employability and Entrepreneurship
  • Collaborative Project
  • Music Industry Project.

Options

  • Music Industry Portfolio Project
  • Songwriting Portfolio
  • Festival Cultures
  • Film Music
  • Consuming Music
  • Technology and Production
  • Experimental Music
  • Advanced Music Production
  • Music and Audio Post Production
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice. 

Teaching, learning and assessment

You’ll study primarily through studio-based sessions as well as lectures and seminars.

Work experience
The digital music team runs a programme of activities designed to encourage and help students to get internships and work placements within industry.

Assessment
You’ll be assessed on a mix of practical and theoretical projects, written assignments, presentations and your final-year project.

Our facilities

You will work in a Mac-based studio and have access to a wide range of digital music production and DJing software including Logic Pro Studio, Ableton Live, Native Instruments Komplete 10 and Traktor.

You’ll use industry-standard hardware including Korg MIDI keyboards, Korg Electribes and Traktor S4, S2 and X1 controllers. You'll also have access to a dedicated mixing booth attached to the main teaching studio.

Study abroad

You may have the opportunity to spend between three months and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our EU partner universities as part of the Erasmus programme. For more information visit www.solent.ac.uk/exchange.

If you're a non-UK student studying at an EU university, the Erasmus programme may give you the chance to come to the UK and study digital music units at Solent for anywhere between three months and a full academic year.

University students from non-EU countries may also spend a semester or academic year studying at Solent University through our Study Abroad programme.

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 3 Years Standard entry WJ39
  • 4 Years Popular music production foundation year W301

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

As a graduate you will have acquired a wide-ranging skillset suited for a variety of roles in the digital music industry including producing dance music, studio-based third-party production, and creating music for online media, DJing and live performance.

Past graduates have gone on to become producers and DJs in their own right, as well as mastering engineers, sound editors, label management, music promotion, composers for film and media, and sound designers for games.

You will also be well placed for music-related roles in the film, TV and games industries, including production sound, post-production sound, sound editing, music editing, Foley artistry, sound design, ADR recording and editing, sound effects editing and film composition.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Composer
  • Working for record labels
  • Performer
  • Music producer in the creation of your own work or for third-party clients
  • Music retail in management or purchasing
  • Publishing.

Links with industry

Members of the course team are actively involved in the contemporary digital and electronic music scene and have close links with the music industry.

You’ll have a chance to pitch for work with our Solent Creatives freelance agency, working on live briefs from real-world clients.

Transferable skills

Communication, teamwork, project management and IT skills, as well as experience with presentation and live performance.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Course graduates have gone on to a variety of roles, including trainee assistant sound editor, composer/electronic music producer, mastering engineer and post-production sound editor.

 

Key facts

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Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Entry requirements

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UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

240 points (for 2016 entry) or 96 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DD or equivalent.
  • UK applicants will be asked to attend an interview.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be interviewed by video call or telephone.
  • Direct entry into the second or third year may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Popular Music Production Foundation Year.

Interview requirements

Before attending your interview, please read the following: Interview information

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved

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Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs

Optional UK study trip in year one: £275 (plus lunch and dinner expenses)
Optional European study trip in year two: £715
Optional USA study trip in year three: £1,100

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply

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Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services

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Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

 

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 3 Years Standard entry WJ39
  • 4 Years Popular music production foundation year W301



 

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