Course specification and structure
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UDCRMUTE - BA Creative Music Technologies

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Subject Area Creative Technologies and Digital Media
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 8 YEARS
Part-time Day 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader Elaine Thomazi freitas

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

BA Creative Music Technologies is a new interdisciplinary course designed to explore the music studio and live sound in innovative ways. For the applicant interested in the use of new technologies in sound, music & media, from composing and producing studio-based works, in a variety of styles and genres, through interactive technology aimed at the creative industries end clients. Collaborative projects are carried on cross-faculty and inter-discipline.
Post-Production surround sound and Live/Recording studios, integrated and acoustically treated, complemented by Video Editing suites, a Music Computer Lab equipped with iMacs and MIDI keyboards, and multiple sets of portable equipment including kits for live sound production are currently available. This basic resource of space, facilities and equipment supports all aspects of the sound/music and media delivery. The demand of specialist studios could be optimized by means of restructuring the hours dedicated to teaching within a newly arranged, optimised timetabling (for example, implementation of a 3-schedule timetable divided in AM / PM / Eve). Blended learning is envisaged to be used as appropriate, engaging on the new structured programmes for blended-learning delivery as proposed on the OC|OC Masterplan: professionally-accredited online programmes, students collaboration by virtual means, and promotion of high-quality virtual contact hours.
The teaching team includes a professional range of expertise connected with innovative practices who are acknowledged both locally and internationally and who operate in the field of music research, composition, interactive media, studio based and live music performance. The portfolio of cross-discipline subjects has partners in Computer Games, and the course plans to explore possible synergies with Music Business, Digital Media; Dance; Theatre and Performance Practice; and Education.

Course aims

  1. To prepare students to the creative use of new technologies in sound, music & media, from composing and producing studio-based works, to exploring live sound spaces in innovative ways by providing them with the skills and critical thought which support and enable the creation of ground-breaking works in sound, music and interactive media;
  2. To educate students as both artists and producers with an understanding of the needs of the music industry, developing also the ability to analyse and solve the technical problems when producing hybrid works in a London-based course offering a distinctive range of expertise in music and sound, and the wide field of digital media arts, crafts, and performance;
  3. To develop the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility with enterprise and industry exchange. Real opportunities of working for clients in the industry in high profile hybrid projects;
  4. To prepare students for research and further studies, development, management, and production roles within the music industries promoting the enhancement of work related learning combining music technologies with Music and Digital Media Industries experience;
  5. To foster the development of students’ intellectual and imaginative powers; their understanding and judgement; their problem-solving skills; their ability to communicate; their ability to see relationships within what they have learned, and to perceive their field of study in a broader perspective; to develop an enquiring, analytical approach, encouraging independent judgement and critical self-awareness expanded to an interdisciplinary content leading to a wide range of possible outcomes.

The course as a whole encompasses and focuses on a number of areas (music research, composition, processing of digital audio, audio recording/mixing/mastering, interactive media, studio based and live music performance, and computer games). Emphasis is placed in practice-based projects at levels 4, 5 and 6, on progressively developing students’ creative skills, and developing their ability to work both independently and in teams. Project work throughout the course stresses the importance of self-evaluation and critical self-awareness.

Course learning outcomes

Course learning Outcomes:
Level 4

  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Demonstrate a broad knowledge base with respect to the creative music technologies applied to the conception and creation of practical outcomes, and discuss them using appropriate terminology and forms of presentation.
  2. Cognitive intellectual skills
    Demonstrate familiarity with the context of creative music technologies, both with its artistic and technological foundations and its broader critical, cultural, historical and ethical background.
  3. Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice
    Use information retrieval systems effectively and develop appropriate methods for collecting, analysing, organizing, interpreting and deploying knowledge.
    Work effectively with others as a member of a group and meet obligations to others.
  4. Subject-specific practical skills
    Apply specified and appropriate tools and methodologies to well-defined problems in music composition, interactive media and production, under direction or supervision.

Level 5

  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Acquire a deepened understanding of the artistic and technological context on the subject of creative music technologies.
  2. Cognitive intellectual skills
    Deploy critical and analytical skills in oral and written discussion and demonstrate the ability to develop, structure and communicate an argument or similarly rigorous line of enquiry, using the appropriate scholarly methods, conventions and protocols.
  3. Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice
    Interact effectively within a team / learning group, giving and receiving information and ideas and modifying responses where appropriate.
    Act with increasing autonomy, demonstrating skills in self-managed learning and self-assessment with a reduced need for supervision and direction.
  4. Subject-specific practical skills
    Operate in situations of more advanced complexity, requiring the identification and diagnosis of technological problems, particularly as they apply to the subjects of composition, production, interactive arts, games, music computing and digital audio, and the application of a wider range of techniques and tools for their resolution, reporting practical procedures in a clear and concise manner.

Level 6

  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Select, manage and produce a thorough and penetrating investigation into a historical, theoretical, artistic or technical question in the context of creative music technologies.
  2. Cognitive intellectual skills
    Research, order, analyse, evaluate and make appropriate use of original evidence, scholarly materials and techniques and current research, identifying the key arguments or issues at play in the selected topic, constructing a clear argument or line of thought and showing how his/her work fits into and arises from previous work in the area.
  3. Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice
    Demonstrate the ability to act autonomously, with minimal supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines.
    Foster responsibility for student’s own self-marketing and personal, academic and professional development and employability.
  4. Subject-specific practical skills
    Develop confidence and flexibility in identifying and defining complex problems relating to creative music technologies, apply appropriate knowledge and skills to their solution, and describing the process in detailed and coherent project reports.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The subject benchmark statements for Music (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2008) apply appropriately to the aims of the BA Creative Music Technologies course, which combines the disciplines of music composition, music technology, and music aesthetics and criticism (paragraphs 3.9, 3.14, and 3.16). Paragraphs 4.1, 4.3, and 4.4 describe in broad terms the kind of skills that students undertaking a course in music technology should acquire and align fairly well with the objectives of the course, as do the subject specific skills and other skills listed in chapter 4. Benchmark standards have been used in defining the Course Learning Outcomes, presented in Item #11.

Assessment strategy

A variety of assessment methods are used within the course, ranging from formative, summative, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment, through studio based work, workshops, written assignments, practical courseworks, essays, individual and group practical projects, and a final dissertation. These methods are aligned to the Faculty and University assessment strategies and with the course learning outcomes and curriculum.
Strategies utilised support students’ understanding of their learning by providing timely developmental feedback that promotes a deeper learning approach to their studies. Assessment methods such as reports, essays, critiques, and presentations, allow differing learning styles, whilst encouraging reflective approaches.
Each assessment (formative and summative) seeks to build students’ confidence as independent learners, providing pertinent advice for all aspects of learning.
The course team provide a regular set of opportunities for scheduled tutorial ‘drop in’ sessions and the course’s virtual learning environment offers students opportunities to discuss (with tutors and peers) their assessment strategies. Further support is available via personal academic tutors, Library Services, University Student Services, and the Centre for Learning and Teaching.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

‘Employability’ is integral to the design and delivery of the Creative Music Technologies critical practice curriculum. At all levels and throughout, notably in the opportunity to realise intellectual and practical properties of accumulated learning in levels 5 and 6 by completing an integrated programme of specialist, discipline-specific studies.
Shared module FC6W03 Long Work Related Learning from FLSC provides work related learning in L6. The module enables students to undertake an appropriate period of professional activity, related to their course level, with a business or community organisation and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be a professional training, volunteering activity, employment activity, an activity within the Faculty of Computing Virtual Business Environment (VBE), placement, or business start-up activity.

Course specific regulations

To qualify for the award of BA (Hons) Creative Music Technologies students must:
1. Satisfy the University’s requirements for a Degree with Honours (see Undergraduate Awards Framework; regulations for undergraduate assessment) and additionally;
2. Progression between levels of study:
• Level 4
In order to progress to Level 5 of this course students must have completed and passed each Level 4 core module at 40% or above.
• Level 5
In order to progress to Level 6 of this course students must have completed and passed each Level 5 core module at 40% or above.
• Level 6
In order to achieve an honours degree award on this course students must have completed and passed each Level 6 core module at 40% or above.

LATE SPECIALIZATION:
(i) The structure and scope of learning in the Year 0 (level 3) programmes shall permit early and late specialization. In other words, students who succeed in passing all modules and who wish to, based on their learning experience in level 3, may elect to alter the designation of the ‘extended degree’ they had embarked upon and to instead migrate onto another cognate degree title within the purview of the Faculty portfolio; that is not restricted to the original choice of pathway title upon admission. Progressing students may of course elect to confirm to continue onwards following the ‘early specialist’ route they joined at point of entry.
(ii) The BA Creative Music Technologies reflects the discipline‐specific work completed in the vertically‐integrated Music Technologies Subject Discipline modules and in the honours-level specific modules.

PART-TIME MODE OF STUDY
Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 360-credit degree will be 6 years. The pattern of study shall be as follows:
Year 1 – MD4001 & MD4002
Year 2 – CP4017 & MD4006
Year 3 – CU5005 or CU5008 & MD5002
Year 4 – CP5017 & MD5003
Year 5 – MD6004 & FC6P01
Year 6 – CP6017 & FC6W03

Modules required for interim awards

Core modules:
MD4001 - Creative Studio Practice 1
MD4002 - Media Skills and Practice 1
MD4006 - Introduction to Interactive Arts
CP4017 - Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (Music)
MD5002 - Media Skills and Practice 2
MD5003 - Applied Creative Music Technologies
CP5017 - Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (Music)
MD6004 - Project Development: [Creative Music Technologies]
FC6P01 - Project
FC6W03 - Long Work Related Learning
CP6017 - Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Music)
Plus, one to be chosen between:
CU5005 - Digital Toy Design
CU5008 - Moving Image and VFX

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The course places great emphasis on the process of reflective learning, through a number of embedded methods within the music, sound, games, interactive arts and media projects, to develop self-motivated and critically conscious students, appropriately equipped with sector-specific skills of creative and critical flexibility and practical knowhow, vital for future employability.
Throughout the course, students are asked to reflect upon their own learning development and practice, through dialogue and structured guidance. Formative self and peer assessments, tutorials and written feedback support students’ understanding of their own working practice providing formal points to analyse and make key decisions about learning to date, while engaging with the working processes of their peers and colleagues.
Critical and Contextual Studies modules include a formal Personal Development Plan component focusing on individual objectives, planning and management of tasks. Teamwork and study groups encourage knowledge transfer, allowing students to reflect and build upon skills held by their peers.
Regular critiques of work in progress provide constructive feedback, enabling students to reflect upon and improve their outlook and approach in relation to current and future development. Industry specialists contribute to studio tutorials and critiques, providing further ‘real-world’ insight to the professional context and focus of the music industry.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Personal development planning is integrated within the CCS delivery. Careers education, information and guidance are integrated on WRL modules and further support provided by regular Visiting Lecturers.
Student Services provide Careers & Employability events throughout the year with workshops that help to prepare CVs for job applications and interviews. The Career services provide advice and guidance, along with collaborative projects set within specific modules. A close link with these services is added to the planning of then WRL module making sure that these activities are fully integrated on the student’s learning experience and not an optional service that students would access in an ad hoc basis. As well pointed on the Chapter B4 (Enabling student development and achievement) of the UK Quality Code, [students] who are also aware of their responsibility to engage with those opportunities, are more likely to make effective use of services and resources.
Students are supported to reflect upon their own practice throughout the course to progress successfully to their chosen field within the professional sector of creative music technologies. Planning and resourcing is therefore covered by means of teaching and assessment; learning resources; information technology; and employability. A widening access and/or participation; corporate plans and strategies for learning, and research and enterprise are incorporated on the new WRL model. A list of organisations involved including possible employers offering work-based learning or placement opportunities should be devised by the start of each new academic year. Student’s development and achievement is enabled by taking into account individual needs and the diversity of the student body. Information about the services and resources is made available within the new course pages to both prospective and current students. The course’s aim is to meet the needs of every student including those that begin their studies at different points in the academic cycle, which is very important due to the current music provision regularly attracting students via Direct Entry.
Academic progression and retention is another sensible point of concern. The course team keeps a close contact with students providing support in all stages of their studies following principles of Chapter B9 of the Quality Code. The course counts on the university’s structure of induction programmes, teaching and learning support courses, staff development programmes and networking opportunities to ensure the academic staff are appropriately qualified, competent, up to date and supported. Appropriate learning resources are made available and the set of specialist music studios is ongoing a transition process of moving to a new building location. The course leader followed closely all stages of planning, design, and construction in direct conversation with Estates department. It is in the best interest of the academic team that all students have appropriate facilities to develop their skills to a high professional level.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Throughout their learning students are progressively encouraged and enabled to develop a professional understanding and approach through a range of problem-solving assignments, conceptual and practical, undertaken both in studio and live environments where collaborative working is integral. There is key emphasis throughout on the professional presentation of ideas and the importance of effective communication.
In addition, teaching staff brings a wide range of expertise and visibility for the Faculty collectively, being directly connected with practices who are acknowledged widely and who operate in the fields of composing with technology, studio-based production, interactive arts & media, music computing and digital audio, and computer games.
In partnership with the School of Computing and Digital Media the course drafted ideas for live projects connected with the industry. The hybrid aspect of this course allows a wider range of participation in the audio industry. Enterprise and industry exchange to develop additional Audio Industry links and potential partnerships, student success, and income generation. Identification of resources in order to achieve deliverables.
Faculty Support and Consultancy:
The School of Computing and Digital Media provides a supportive professional environment that allows students to develop their projects.

Career opportunities

This degree will provide you with creative and technical expertise to open up a wide range of career opportunities in the music and media industries.

You'll develop as a creative, flexible and reflective practitioner with employment and self-employment opportunities in sound recording, sound engineering and sound broadcast. You could even become a freelance composer, media artist or sound designer, or work in post-production, sound for film and video editing, sound and music for games, music production, or live sound such as sound for theatre, concerts and outdoors festivals. All these opportunities represent an important sector of employment for music and media graduates.

You may also choose a career in education or progress to postgraduate study and research.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels including relevant music subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)
  • Music GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

If you don't have a music GCSE qualification, then practical music experience may also make you eligible for application. This experience will be assessed in the portfolio interview.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to the portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Formal qualifications are not always necessary since life and work experience can be considered. In such cases, we ask for a CV and supporting letter.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2016/17 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 09 Aug 2016 Last validation date 09 Aug 2016  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes W370 (Music Technology and Industry): 100%
Route code CRMUTE

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP4017 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (Music) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE PM
MD4001 Creative Studio Practice 1 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
MD4002 Media Skills and Practice 1 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
MD4006 Introduction to Interactive Arts Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR    

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP5017 Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (Music) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
MD5002 Media Skills and Practice 2 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR FRI PM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU PM
MD5003 Applied Music Technology Core 30        
CU5005 Digital Toy Design Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
CU5008 Moving Image and VFX Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM

Stage 3 Level 06 August start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP6017 Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (... Core 30        
FC6P01 Project Core 30        
FC6W03 Long Work Related Learning Core 30        
MD6004 Project Development: Music Technology Core 30