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About the course

The rapid growth of the gaming industry, the increasing accessibility of VR and continued demand for spatial audio in mainstream media products has made effective sound design more essential than ever. Whether you want to pursue a career in film, television or gaming, this one-year top-up programme is the ideal way to refine your existing skills and prepare for a work as a professional sound designer.

As a sound design student in the School of Media Arts and Technology, you’ll study a highly practical curriculum and have access to a wide range of specialist facilities. These include one of the only private Dolby Atmos™ cinemas in Europe, fully equipped ProTools HD recording studios, professional audio laboratories and a hemi-anechoic chamber equipped with a range of National Instruments data acquisition/analysis systems.

The curriculum you’ll study is designed to help you specialise your knowledge towards specific career pathways. As well as choosing from a range of optional units, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a major independent research project. This research project will allow you to take an in-depth look at an area of the industry that interests you - acting as a springboard into either your first graduate role or further high-level study.

You’ll also spend time working collaboratively with students from game design and media production courses. This will introduce you to industry methods of working and help you to build a portfolio/showreel of fully-realised creative projects. Past projects have included mobile games, documentaries, dramas and on-location live broadcasts.

Built in work experience placement Specialist facilities Further studies Top-up degree

This course blends elements of both creative practice and technical knowledge from across the School of Media Arts and Technology.

What does this course lead to?

There are a wide range of careers open to graduates with a good blend of technical and creative sound design skills. These include audio roles in the film, TV and computer games industries, as well as cinema installation and design, audio systems design, music recording and production.

During the course, students will have the opportunity to specialise in specific areas of audio design and sound production – perfect for those with a specific career pathway in mind.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for students who have studied at HND level (or equivalent) and are seeking to upgrade their qualification into a full undergraduate degree. Students should be passionate about sound design and comfortable working with technology.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 1 Year Standard Entry HJ69
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2018/19 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2017/18 fees were:
UK and EU full-time fees: £9,250 per year

Whilst these inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval.

The 2018/19 international fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2017/18 fees were:
International full-time fees: £11,000 per year 

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2018/19 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, the 2017/18 other costs were:

Optional costs

There are options for students to take the institute of Acoustics certificates in Building Acoustics measurement and Environmental Noise measurement at the reduced costs of £500 each.

There are also opportunities to study the ProTools 101 (£80) and 110 (£180) courses, subject to minimum numbers.

Compulsory costs

Candidates must have a scientific calculator (approximately £10).

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

  • Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with merit overall (55 per cent average), or 240 CATS points from a relevant three-year degree.
  • Southampton Solent University are always keen to hear from prospective candidates from any background, especially mature students with industry experience.  

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.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 3039

How to apply

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:

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.

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units

  • Sound for Video and Computer Games    
  • Audio Systems   
  • Advanced Sound Design  
  • Independent Project


  • Media Formats  
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives   
  • Cinema Technology       
  • Music for Video and Computer Games     
  • Broadcast Distribution Technologies         
  • Curriculum Plus
  • Creative entrepreneurship

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Paul Rutter academic profile Paul Rutter Head of Subject View profile
Toni Diaz academic profile Toni Diaz Senior Lecturer View profile
Paul Bourne academic profile Paul Bourne Senior Lecturer View profile
Simon Fisk academic profile Simon Fisk Senior Lecturer View profile
Polly Long academic profile Polly Long Senior Lecturer View profile
Paul Statham academic profile Paul Statham Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Sound design students benefit from access to our full range of professional facilities. These include testing labs, production studios, portable devices and TV/radio broadcast equipment.

  • Industry standard Pro Tools HD recording studios
  • 3D cinema with Dolby Atmos, including Atmos mixing capabilities (one of the only universities in the world with this capability).
  • Hemi anechoic chamber with 32 channel National Instruments data acquisition system
  • Acoustics field measurement systems
  • Computing studios with industry standard music production and acoustics software packages, including ProTools HD, Adobe Audition; Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Reason, Reaktor, MaxMSP, CadnaA, MATLAB, Unreal Engine, Unity and Wwise
  • High definition outside broadcasting vehicle with ProTools HD
  • High definition television studios

Students may have the opportunity to work with real clients through in-house enterprises such as Solent Productions and Solent Creatives.

Your future

Recent graduates (within the last 3 years) of related courses have gone to work for a wide range of companies including Vanguardia Consulting, Dolby Laboratories, Arqiva, BBC, Sky, Hilson Moran, Solid State Logic, Naïm, KP Acoustics, Adrian James Acoustics and NEP Visions.

Industry links

The course team has excellent links with industry and is linked to the industry governing bodies. These include the Hollywood Producers Alliance (HPA); the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE); the Audio Engineering Society (AES); and UK:Music.

Students benefit from access to regular guest lectures and technical talks from visiting academics and industry professionals. Annual events include a post-production day, in which industry professionals come and give a day of talks to students on all aspects of TV and film post production.

Recent guest speakers on the creative side have included Walter Murch (Oscar winning sound designer for many films, including Apocalypse Now); Dean Humphries (supervising sound editor for The Pianist and the Taken series of films); Mike Wood (supervising sound editor for Da Vinci’s Demons, and The Survivor); and Chris Watson (nature sound recordist for The Life of Birds, Springwatch and Frozen Planet). Technical speakers have included Jim Griffiths  (managing director of Vanguardia Consulting); Andy Shiach (Managing director of Advanced Communications Solutions); and Richard Welsh (former head of Digital Cinema for Dolby Laboratories).   

You will also have the opportunity to attend relevant events and conferences, including the University’s own student music conference, SMPTE meetings, the Broadcast Video Exposition, AES Southern Group meetings and the Reproduced Sound conference.


Solent Productions, Solent TV and Solent Creatives all offer opportunities for students to be involved in creative projects for external and internal clients. The curriculum plus option unit offers opportunities for students to gain credit for work based learning.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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Our next open day is Saturday 30 September 2017

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