BA(Hons) Creative Music Technology Course - ACM London

BA (Hons) Creative Music Production- ACM London / Birmingham

Study the Art of Production

The Creative Music Production programme provides its students with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to produce, mix and master music, whether you want to help realise another artist’s vision or create your very own.

ACM London / Birmingham Degrees are validated and awarded by Falmouth University, the UK’s ‘highest ranked arts university’ (Guardian University Guide 2017).

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Course Overview

BA(Hons) Creative Music Production is a full-time course; typically, students should expect to spend 35 – 40 hours per week on a combination of taught and self-directed study. Each module is delivered over a 15-week Study Block, typically comprising of 12 weeks of learning and teaching and 3 weeks of assessment and feedback.

Students will engage in a variety of learning activities, including lectures, seminars, private and group tutorials and specialist workshops.

Assessment tasks include portfolios, written coursework (eg: essays, case studies, reports and dissertations), projects and live performances.

Producer Modules

In the first year of the programme, students will study the following compulsory modules.
All compulsory modules must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Studiocraft
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits Studiocraft introduces students to the art and craft of sound recording and focusses on both the technical and personal skills necessary for achieving high-quality recordings.  These two themes are explored in parallel with students learning the psychology and diplomacy of getting the best performances from musicians, while also gaining a comprehensive introduction to the techniques of studio recording.   The module follows the journey of sound from source to recording media, and covers themes including acoustics, instrument optimisation, microphone technique and analogue and digital signal flow, as well as a variety of recording technologies.  Students will be introduced to industry-standard production techniques and workflows, which will be continuously measured against detailed critical listening.   
  • Audio Cultures
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits In an age that is seeing rapid technological changes and huge political, social and financial shifts across the globe, this module explores sound and music practices as they evolve within ever-changing audio cultures. We will be examining the context and culture, in which you as artists and musicians are working, so as to better understand and critically question the relationship between music, sound, noise and culture. We will be engaging with various theoretical concepts that will enable you to develop interpretations of audio culture and to formulate critical theories whilst becoming self reflective of practice. You will be encouraged to engage in current debates and to investigate the effects of cultural practices, specific historical movements, technologies and enterprise that have influenced modes of music and sound discourse.
  • The Electronic Toolkit
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits This module focusses on electronic music, covering the fundamentals of sound synthesis and audio signal processing in an applied musical context.  The primary objective for the module is to enable students to create their own sounds using synthesis and signal processing, to develop a systematic understanding of how they made them and to be able to apply them to their own work.  Through ‘learning by doing’, students will gain a thorough understanding of analogue and digital technology, giving them both a theoretical and practical understanding of the building blocks of audio technology and its relevance to artistic practice.   Practical tuition is taught alongside a survey of the history of electronic music, enabling students to contextualise their learning within the history of electronic music.  Students will work towards musical assessment briefs that deeply integrate learning with personal practice.
  • Designing Sound
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits This module focusses on two themes. The first is an exploration of the ways in which recorded sound can be edited, manipulated and mixed.  In thinking about sound as a material that can be sculpted, the module develops skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied to other musical projects.   The second theme involves introducing the professional workflows involved in putting sound to picture and exploring the ways in which sound can bring new depth and meaning to moving images.  
  • Mixcraft
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits Mixcraft introduces students to the art and craft of sound mixing and focusses on both the technical and aesthetic aspects of the mixing process.  Working across a wide variety of genres using examples from students’ own work, the work of their peers and professional multi-track recordings, Mixcraft covers multiple mixing paradigms, from the naturalistic to the transformative.  
  • Music Industry Studies
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits The UK Music Business module provides a comprehensive overview of the UK music industry and its relationship with other major European markets. It explores the interaction between record companies, publishers, managers, agents, writers, artists and merchandising, with particular focus on how they operate in the digital age. Key to this module is sponsorship and product placement, and how artists and managers incorporate these revenue streams into a coherent business strategy. Lectures will include cases studies on the commercial affairs of important artists in the UK and Europe. The outcome of the module will be a demonstrable understanding of the UK/European music industry, and the practical application of this theory within the context of your own work.

In the second year of the programme students will be required to complete the following compulsory modules, together with two elective modules. All compulsory modules and the chosen electives must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Creative Software Skills
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits This module aims to build on earlier software based modules by developing the learner’s knowledge and skill base in the use of Digital Audio Workstations, with a focus on the more creative uses of the software in the field of professional audio production. On completion of the module, students will have acquired an extensive repertoire of techniques allowing them to manipulate both recorded and programmed audio using industry standard music production software.
  • Art Of Production
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits This module enables students to initiate and execute a creative music production project, from pre-production to final mastered output.  The pre-production phase includes rehearsal, arrangement and project planning as well as technical preparation for recording.  The module then provides an environment in which to explore advanced recording and mixing techniques and students are required to select and provide a rationale for the approaches that they use.  The practical element of the module culminates in an introduction to audio mastering.   Alongside this practical focus is an ongoing enquiry into the changing role of the producer and as part of their final submission, students will provide a critical commentary on their work, which situates the decisions they have made within a broader historical context.
  • Production Analysis
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits This module aims to build on the skills and knowledge acquired at Level 4 by engaging in detailed analysis of some of the music and sound industry’s most successful producers and writers. Students will be encouraged to critically assess successful professional producers and writers relevant to the field of study, and apply their findings in the development of their own skills.
  • Performance and Technology
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits This module aims to explore the creative application of technology in musical performance, and to challenge learners to reconsider concepts of musical performance through exposure to novel ideas and processes.

Elective Modules

  • Education and Training
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits This module aims to introduce students to theories, principles and models of education and training leading to the development of teaching skills relating to the delivery of private music lessons. Students will develop understanding of the broad principles of teaching, learning and assessment within a chosen specialism.
  • Music Journalism
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Music Journalism will explore the development, role and future of music journalism in music subcultures, taste making, promotion and distribution. In addition, it considers the varied critical perspectives of music journalists, publishers and publicists all of whom contribute to the varied roles in music journalism. Additionally, it is essential that you apply a critical approach to various scenarios related to music journalism, relating these to commercial objectives and how different content can be applied to varying platforms and publications. The module encourages self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Advanced Music Theory and Analysis
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Advanced Music Theory and Analysis aims to examine a broad range of advanced music theory topics that will form a basis for analysing creativity in the conception of contemporary music. In addition, learners will be required to understand and apply advanced music theory, and be encouraged to study in detail a range of concepts within a broad spectrum of musical genres and styles. The module predominantly comprises self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Audio Design for Video Games
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Through Audio Design for Video Games you will be exposed to the myriad of opportunities that the gaming industry offers to the contemporary music professional. You will learn to adopt a suitable and relevant writing style, and examine the various audio types that a gaming soundtrack requires, from basic sound effects to fully orchestral compositions. Further study will examine the role of online listings, agencies and networking in this competitive and exciting industry. The end goal of this module is to enable you to demonstrate your ability to create a complete song or composition to a specific brief within the context of the gaming industry. This will include critical reflection on your processes, methods and rationale.
  • Recorded Music Production
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Through Recorded Music Production you will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of record production. The module will focus on how a song (or collection of songs) evolves from a demo or rehearsal room arrangement to a master recording. Key areas of study include song selection and quality control, pre-production and arrangement, choosing a producer, goal setting, mixing, mastering and the psychology of recording. Your lessons will also explore the strategy of bypassing the demo stage and producing a fully finished master following the initial writing stage. You will examine the production of various recordings and assess how it has affected the record’s commercial success. Successful completion of the module will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of record production and how to apply this in your chosen career path. As the module is part directed and part self-directed, you will be expected to develop a strategic approach and effective time management to ensure you complete tasks as required. Tutorials and group work will supplement scheduled lectures.
  • Composition for Audio-Visual Media
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits This module aims to explore the use of music in a variety of audio-visual media, including film, television, radio and games, and to equip learners to compose music to a contemporary brief suitable to a given format. Learners will analyse classic media music forms and be stimulated to discuss and debate the nature of commercial success. They will apply the concept of commercial viability to musical works, mapping their own work against market-leading product. Writers will be encouraged to develop their understanding of the responsibilities of commercial writers, analyse the emotive qualities within music, and link musical content to audience reaction.
  • Tour Management
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits It is not uncommon for a manager to control the planning and execution of a tour in the early stages of a band or artist’s career and, to that end, the Tour Management module will equip you with a thorough understanding of touring logistics. In this module you will study budgets, processes and logistics and examine the roles of various crew members. You will learn which areas of a budget are most susceptible to variation as a result of the creative and practical decisions made by an artist, manager or tour manager. Key themes of the module are innovative thinking on budget management and the optimisation of commercial and creative outcomes. You will discuss the principles of effective promotion, including relationships with booking agents and promoters, and investigate the art of effective set list creation for a range of professional situations, from short support sets and small venue gigs to festival slots and arena headline shows.
  • Freelance and Musical Direction Skills
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Freelancing and Music Direction Skills aims to examine and develop the career strategies and professional skills of a freelance musician, including the essential skill of working with musical direction in the contemporary music environment. Additionally, it is essential that you apply a critical approach to the opportunities of freelance employment related to your specialism, justifying how these are part of your own career trajectory. The module predominantly comprises self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Experimental Sound and Music
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Exploring both an historical perspective and examples from more recent practitioners, this module aims to explore the creation of music and sound utilising a variety of experimental techniques. Interpretations of experimentalism will be discussed and demonstrated using a combination of software, hardware and performance techniques. Students will be encouraged to utilize a variety of these techniques to enhance and improve the originality of their compositions and productions.
  • IP Rights and Publishing
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits IP Rights and Publishing takes a detailed look at the publishing industry, one of the major income streams available to songwriters, and will provide you with an understanding of the role of IP rights within this industry. In this module you will study the content and terms of different types of publishing contracts and the importance of copyright law in protecting your intellectual property rights and song rights. Additionally, you will explore scenarios such as songwriting splits, and how to agree on their terms to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. Successful completion of this module will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the publishing industry and related copyright law by applying this knowledge within the context of your own practice.

In the final year of the programme, students will study the following compulsory modules.

All compulsory modules must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Exit Project
    Study Block 2 – 30 Credits Exit Project aims to enable learners to consolidate the skills and experience gained during the course of their studies and deliver a substantial project associated with their chosen specialism. In addition to specialist skills and knowledge, project management will be required, requiring activities such as the choosing of personnel and repertoire, the organization of rehearsals and recordings, managing a budget, writing a proposal, compiling scores/charts and program notes or creating relevant multimedia presentations. Additionally, learners will also be required to submit a reflective essay that critically analyses and evaluates the processes involved in realising the project.
  • Specialist Practice in Context
    Study Block 1 – 30 Credits This module provides you with an opportunity to focus and develop your specialist practice in context. The module is designed to help you realise your professional aims and ambitions by developing an in-depth, specialist understanding of the relationship between your practice and context. Consequently, there is an emphasis on strategic and tactical thinking, appropriate professional conduct, project management and skills acquisition, all of which are required in any professional field. The project enables you to consistently critical reflect on your work and to evaluate your project as it evolves in relation to a growing and well-researched understanding of context.  Self-directed understanding of the context in which you wish to practice equips you with the necessary specialist knowledge to excel in your field and to apply a critical understanding that generates critical research questions, innovation and creativity. You are offered the opportunity to propose and negotiate an off-campus project or to apply for an on-campus project strand.
  • Portfolio
    Study Block 2 – 30 Credits The Portfolio module is your opportunity to research and report on the full spectrum of career opportunities within your specialist area. You will be expected to identify and discuss available career pathways and explain how your craft can be applied within the context of professional opportunities and, if desired, lead to the monetisation of your skills through entrepreneurial practice and artistic excellence.
  • Dissertation
    Study Block 1 – 30 Credits The dissertation module provides an opportunity for you to carry out in-depth research and critical analysis of a topic relevant to the direction and development of your practice. The module also provides a further opportunity for you to gain and develop skills in the structuring, protocols and conventions associated with effective academic and discursive writing.

Our Students | Sam Day

sam-noble

Creative Sound Design
BA(Hons) Degree, 2015-16

ASPIRATIONS
» Touring Electronic Artist
» Video Gamer / Film Sound Designer
» Soundtrack Artist

“Being at ACM has given me true insight to just how vast the music industry really is; demonstrating the countless opportunities and career paths that are out there for students to work and succeed in.”

Ready for ACM?

Jump over to our Apply Now page, select the relevant course and fill in our online form. Good luck!

Course Details

AWARD
BA (Hons) Creative Music Production

MODE OF STUDY
Campus based, full-time.
London | 3 Years
Birmingham | 2 Years Accelerated

FHEQ LEVEL: 6
Degree 360 Credits

UCAS CODES
Course code: WW37
Institution code: A48

Entry Requirements

All candidates will be required to attend an audition / interview.

London | 3 YEAR DEGREE
Birmingham | 2 YEAR ACCELERATED DEGREE

Minimum age 18

All candidates should hold two A-Levels or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification.

We normally require Grade C GCSE (or an equivalent qualification) in English. Candidates should be capable of using the English language fluently, and able to structure arguments and present evidence to a standard appropriate to study at Level ‘4’. Where the application materials appear insufficient to form a clear judgement on the candidate’s fluency, additional documentary evidence (e.g. recent essays) may be required.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to have achieved IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent qualification. For details regarding Falmouth University’s language requirements and accepted test certificates click here.

Please note that if you live outside of the EU or EFTA and require a Tier 4 VISA to study in the United Kingdom, we thank you for your interest in ACM but we are unable to accept your application at present for our full time Further Education and Higher Education programmes.

We welcome applications from those who might have completed alternative qualifications and/or have prior experience. In the instance of no Level 3 qualifications being held or the conditions not being met, we will ask for additional material to be submitted in support of your application. Details for this will be provided to you upon successful audition.

* New UCAS 2017 tariff system.

Awarding body
Falmouth University

FEES
£9,000 per year. Student loans are available.

CAMPUS DELIVERY
London / Birmingham

Important Information

Important information pertaining to your studies and the regulations that govern your studentship can be found on Falmouth University’s website by following this link. In particular, you should note the ‘Student Terms & Conditions’, ‘Academic Regulations’, ‘ACM Student Code of Conduct’, and ‘Academic Integrity Policy’.

If you are dissatisfied with the level of service that you have received with ACM and wish to make a complaint, please read and follow ACM’s Complaints Policy and Procedure, which can be found on Falmouth University’s website at this link.