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Music Production BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code

    BA: W374
    BA with Foundation: W375

  • Level

    Undergraduate

  • Duration

    Full Time: 3 years
    Full Time with Foundation: 4 years
    Part Time: 4 years

  • Starting

    September

  • BCC at A-Level or,
    DMM at BTEC

  • Fees UK 24/25

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,540 (per 20 credits)
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 24/25

    Full Time: £15,200
    Integrated Foundation Year: £15,200

  • Location

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 893981

Follow the UON Music team

Overview


The University of Northampton’s BA Music Production degree is intended to prepare you for a growing, and ever-evolving industry which contributed £1.26 billion to the economy in 2021. The course is specifically designed to ready you for a range of potential avenues of music creation, for example working in the video game industry or in the world of live music, or working as an educator. We aim to provide you with the broad range of transferrable skills required to be a self-producing Artist. You will develop a breadth of skills within the digital domain, the studio environment, and – perhaps most importantly – academically.

The music production course at UON is Industry Accredited by JAMES representing APRS, MPG and associate industry bodies. Accreditation of a course by relevant industry bodies provides assurance to students and employers of its potential and value.
JAMES accreditation logo

Updated 10/04/2024

Highlights


    • Accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES)
    • Opportunities to work in real-world situations across Northampton
    • Extra-curricular masterclasses in music production
    • Interaction with partner degree in Popular Music
    • Industry expertise from published and researching music team
    • Contemporary specialisms in many areas of EDM
    • Cutting-edge software: Native Instruments, Ableton, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, SoundToys, Mac OS X
    • Field Trips to events such as BBC Music Introducing Live, and visits to professional recording studios.
    • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise*.
    • HP Laptop and software included with this Music Production course. Terms and Conditions apply

Course Content


  • The Music Production degree at the University of Northampton is split into three stages. In the first stage you’ll develop proficiencies across all areas of the music production domain.

    Take a guided tour of our music facilities:

    The first year of our music producing degree focuses on fundamental principles across all areas, including sequencing in the DAW, audio and MIDI, acoustics and psychoacoustics, studio engineering, hardware implementation, synthesis, critical listening skills, and reasoning, writing and debating. In the second and third year you are able to specialise and focus on areas that you are particularly interested in.

    In the second and third stages, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise; choosing from a range of areas, including music production, composition, live sound and sound for media and gaming industry, sound design, and music education.

    The music production course modules are informed by staff actively researching, composing, performing and publishing in their specialist areas within the music industry. These modules introduce you to music principles and techniques which will help you develop the necessary analytical and creative skills, to aid you when evaluating and implementing real-life practice.

    Culture of Music

    Music’s role in culture is critically and philosophically examined throughout our music production course. Using musical examples, you will learn to engage with esoteric and difficult concepts around inter alia genre, gender, race, politics, capitalism, culture, power, evolution, and science.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 23/24. The modules relating to the academic year 24/25 will be available from June 2024.

      • Module code: MUS1129
        Status: Compulsory
        This module introduces students to theoretical approaches afforded by cultural studies. Students will experience a range of complementary and competing theoretical positions related throughout the module to popular music and culture more broadly. The skills learnt here will act as a foundational scholarly base for analysis in later modules.
      • Module code: MUS1140
        Status: Compulsory
        Electronic Music Performance 1 enables higher education music production practitioners to develop and apply good musicianship by deploying music technology equipment in performance.
      • Module code: MUS1141
        Status: Compulsory
        Music Production Analysis enables students to understand music and production essentials from the perspective of a digital audio workstation (DAW) user. Through this module, they will recognise the components of professional music production styles.
      • Module code: MUS1142
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will explore creativity in music production. It will require the student to engage and experiment with creative techniques so as to unearth and sculpt original sonic results. Both audio and MIDI will be explored with a keen eye focused on the innovative techniques found across 70 years of experimental electronic music.
      • Module code: MUS1143
        Status: Compulsory
        This module introduces students to the fundamentals of digital audio workstation use through the application of Logic Pro X and Ableton 10 software. The module teaches students the skills required to use a DAW effectively and professionally. It introduces MIDI, audio, and navigation of the DAW.
      • Module code: MUS1144
        Status: Compulsory
        This module allows the students to creatively apply the fundamentals of digital audio workstation use through the creative application of Logic Pro X and/or Ableton 10 software. The module teaches students creative and musical applications within the DAW.
      • Module code: MUS1145
        Status: Compulsory
        This module introduces students to the recording studio. Its focus is on safe and accurate use of the analogue mixing console, and on the effective use of microphones and communication between musician and engineer in a professional recording studio.
      • Module code: MUS1146
        Status: Compulsory
        This module continues in the recording studio. Now the students have completed the Driving Test, the focus is on completion of a recording session in small groups. The groups must demonstrate good microphone placement, routing, gain structure, dynamics processing, and basic approaches to mixing a session. This module will equip all students with the ability to use the recording studio flexibly and effectively to capture, process and mix sound.
      • Module code: MUS2132
        Status: Designate
        This module introduces the student to approaches to performance with technology including the application of music software such as Ableton?s Live combined with mapped MIDI controllers. The module also considers approaches to music making beyond the DAW including working with analogue synthesis, drum machines and hardware effects.
      • Module code: MUS2140
        Status: Designate
        Understanding how music ? sound ? behaves both acoustically and psychoacoustically is a necessary requisite for a successful career in music performance, music production and sound engineering. Many areas of work within the music industry require knowledge of sound processing and acoustic principles including studio recording, live sound engineering, the design of musical instruments, music production studios and synthesis. This module is therefore one that will underpin everything you do during this course. The module will enable the musician to understand the science behind their craft so as to better navigate their musical careers.
      • Module code: MUS2141
        Status: Compulsory
        This module develops professional skills relevant to working both in the music industry and further afield. With a focus on enterprise, entrepreneurialism and professional development, students will explore a variety of ways by which they might manage their professional careers. Students undertake an industry placement.
      • Module code: MUS2146
        Status: Compulsory
      • Module code: MUS2147
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to allow students to explore and develop skills within recording studios, individually or collaboratively in the capture, processing and mixing of music to an intermediate level.
      • Module code: MUS2148
        Status: Compulsory
        This module looks closely at the role of the mastering engineer, the reasons behind mastering, the environment required for critical listening and how commercial needs have shaped the way we master music and sound.
      • Module code: MUS2149
        Status: Compulsory
        Soundtracks for Games and Apps enables higher education music production practitioners to develop both a contextualisation specific to soundtracks as deployed in the service of Gaming and Apps, as well as develop the ability to produce soundtracks for a given media.
      • Module code: MUS2150
        Status: Designate
        Students are introduced a crucial production method found in popular music production and sound design: synthesis. The advanced use of a digital audio workstation is integral to the completion of the production tasks, where students will develop their knowledge and understanding of synthesis and sound design.
      • Module code: MUS2151
        Status: Designate
        Students are introduced to a key production method found in popular music production: sampling. The advanced use of a digital audio workstation is integral to the completion of the production tasks, where students will develop their knowledge and understanding of digital audio and sampling.
      • Module code: MUS3127
        Status: Designate
        This module is designed to develop skills in audio production and sound design. Through lectures, seminars and workshops, students will gain an understanding of the context of sound design in media applications including location based media, film and computer games.
      • Module code: MUS3130
        Status: Designate
        The Music Education module has been designed to bridge between undergraduate study and post-compulsory teaching qualifications. Much of the content is drawn from PGCE level accompanied by a placement. This module prepares students for teaching by providing information about a wide range of teaching and learning methodologies, theories and practice.
      • Module code: MUS3140
        Status: Compulsory
        Innovation in Music Production enables higher education music production practitioners to develop new ways of thinking about, creating and producing through an object-based programming approach.
      • Module code: MUS3141
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to deliver a series of projects typical of those presented to sound designers and media composers in industry. Students will develop material for a wide range of text-based mediums, for example: podcasts, radio programmes, games, software applications and the moving image.
      • Module code: MUS3142
        Status: Compulsory
      • Module code: MUS3143
        Status: Designate
        The module will enable students to develop their recording and production skills to an advanced level in order to produce recordings which are ready for commercial release on our NN1_Records label. Projects will be achieved by working at the University studio and through working with external partners.
      • Module code: MUS3144
        Status: Designate
        The module will enable students to ensure their recording and production skills are to an advanced level by producing recordings which are ready for commercial release on our NN1_Records label. Projects will be achieved by working at the University studio and through working with external partners.
      • Module code: MUS4130
        Status: Compulsory
  • A typical offer for BA Music Production is:

    • BCC at A-Level or,
    • DMM at BTEC/Cambridge Technical or,
    • Pass (C and above) at T Level

    All qualified applicants will be invited for interview. We welcome international applications and applications from students with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications.

    We welcome applications from students with a mix of A levels and BTEC/Cambridge Technical qualifications.

    For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation programme is normally:

    • DEE at A-Level or,
    • MPP at BTEC or,
    • Pass (D or E) at T Level

    However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

    Interviews

    Once your application has been reviewed, you may be invited to attend an interview with us.

    Prior to your interview, you will be required to send in a video of yourself, which will serve as your audition. The video should be footage of you making music in a DAW of your choice, for example, Logic Pro, Ableton. Alternatively, you could send footage of you DJing, making live music using software etc. We’ll review your video during your interview.

    Your interview will include a discussion with a member from the programme team, a chance to interact with some of the technology and a tour of the music facilities.

    The interview is in a group setting with other applicants, and you should expect to be with us for 1-2 hours.

    We’d love to see you face-to-face for your interview, but if you need a virtual interview instead this can be arranged.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a Music Production course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study Music Production in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £15,200
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £15,200
    Additional Costs
    • 1TB portable hard drive (approximately £50)
    • A good pair of closed back headphones (approximately £60-100)
    • core texts for first year modules: Bennett et al. The Popular Music Studies Reader – £28.99
      John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture:  An Introduction – £27.99
    • Consumables for individual instruments (jack leads, capos, plectrums, drum skins, drum sticks, reeds, strings etc.)
    • USB Flash drives (data sticks) for submitting coursework (£10-20 for two)
    • £50 towards travel costs across three years
    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study Music Production in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £14,750
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750
    Additional Costs
    • 1TB portable hard drive (approximately £50)
    • A good pair of closed back headphones (approximately £60-100)
    • core texts for first year modules: Bennett et al. The Popular Music Studies Reader – £28.99
      John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture:  An Introduction – £27.99
    • Consumables for individual instruments (jack leads, capos, plectrums, drum skins, drum sticks, reeds, strings etc.)
    • USB Flash drives (data sticks) for submitting coursework (£10-20 for two)
    • £50 towards travel costs across three years

     

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time music producing degree at Northampton, you will receive a laptop when your course begins*. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your Music Production course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page or dedicated International Perks page.

    *UK fee payers only (see Terms and Conditions for further details).

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements for the Music Production BA degree, we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year music production course which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

Staff


Facilities


The Music Production BA degree is taught at Waterside Campus, specifically the newly renovated Development Hub.

Specialist facilities for Music Production students include:

  • Two Mac Suites: running Logic Pro X, Ableton 10, Native Instruments Komplete 12, Pro Tools, iZotope, FabFilter
  • Two recording studios: running Pro Tools and Audient 8024 mixing console, Neve 1073LB preamps, SSL VHD preamps, Apollo 8P, Apollo Satellite Octo, Rupert Neve Designs 5043, SoundToys bundle, Arturia V studio, Universal Audio Ultimate, Spitfire Audio Hybrid, Steven Slate Drums
  • Microphones: U87 condensers, AKG414s, Telefunken FET M60s, AKG 451s, Radial DI boxes, Radial SGI and re-amp boxes, and a full range of other industry mics
  • Hardware synthesisers: Arturia DrumBrute, Novation Circuits, Roland TB303, Behringer Deepmind 12, Roland Juno DS, Novation Bass Stations, Ableton controllers – Launchkey 49s, Launcontrol XLs, Launchpad Mark 1 and Mark 2
  • Three fully kitted rehearsal rooms
  • Live performance hardware: Vox amps, Marshall MG 4×12 amps, Orange Crush Pro amps, Peavey Amps, Ampeg PF500 Bass amplifiers, Yamaha Stage Custom kits, Gretsch Drum Kit, Studio AAX, full PA, three rehearsal rooms
  • Two grand pianos: Bechstein Boudoir Grand, Steinway Studio B, two Yamaha upright pianos
Special course features include
  • introducing you to a critical engagement with popular music
  • fostering musicianship and studio craft
  • developing performance skills
  • exploring the music industry in the digital age
  • fully equipped recording studios
  • full access to a range of instruments and free tuition on an instrument you don’t play