MA Music and Sound for Media

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Music and Sound for Media MA has been developed to give you a comprehensive understanding of high level technical theory alongside key practical skills associated with composition, sound design and production for a broad range of digital media.

You will have studied in an associated area such as composition, sound design, recording and/or producing at undergraduate level and this course will develop your skills and knowledge further as you create and produce music and sound for environments and contexts that are immersive, interactive and responsive.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

We cultivate highly motivated, independent and creative thinkers who can transfer their skills into the creative marketplace, as entrepreneurial innovators, freelance practitioners and innovative team players.

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Entry requirements

You will normally have an undergraduate UK honours degree or international equivalent or a degree-equivalent postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification. Alternatively, you may be admitted if you can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree standard. In addition, you may also need to submit a digital portfolio.

Course details

The MA Music and Sound for Media is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.

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Core Units

Professional Platforms

This unit extends your experience into the professional sphere, either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry. Projects and placements take place in a set network of art, design and media organisations in the region, but can also be arranged by individual students if based on similar frameworks of professional development and experience. The PDP also takes place in this unit.

Practice 1 Media: Project Synopsis and Development

The unit will develop the outline and first framework for a future large-scale project by investigating a range of practical research methods, and experimenting and exploring with the innovative application of related media and theory content, through visual and theoretical outputs and display forms. This unit explores the pre-production and prototyping phase of the specialist creative process and project development.

Practice 2 Media: Music and Sound Major Project

This unit builds upon the previous practice 1 unit and provides an opportunity to take forward compositional, sound design and production concepts to completion within a variety of media contexts. Within this unit students will be expected to resolve a comprehensive understanding of individual and/or collaborative practice within music and sound for the digital arts, its place in relation to the broader related discipline and the potential professionalisation and sustainability of their future practice.

Likely Optional Units

Sound Design for Interactivity

You will acquire and develop underpinning critical theory and practical skills in the capture, processing and integration of sound for a variety of interactive media contexts. Focusing primarily on the application of sound within non-linear narrative, you will analyse, prototype and critically evaluate adaptive and immersive environments from the perspectives of user experience, practical application and overall aesthetic.


Within this option, you will develop their compositional skills and apply these skills to a variety of digital arts practices. This will be achieved through three broad strands of activity:

  • Contextual Frameworks: Tutor-led seminars will explore current and historic practices through exploration of a range of key practitioners and key works in the field of music and digital arts.
  • Practice: You will negotiate and develop a practical portfolio of compositions that draw on the approaches explored during the tutor-led seminars. Suggested areas of composition practice may include: music for screen (TV adverts; computer games; film (any genre); animation); music for theatre; popular song on screen.
  • Critical Reflection: each composition project will include a short analysis that contextualizes the portfolio, in relation to the wider context and lineage of contemporary arts practice/practitioners studied and compositional techniques explored.
Contemporary Screen Music Studies

This option engages students with the wealth of new scholarship in the field of music and sound for screen media. Drawing on disciplines as diverse as cognitive psychology, post-colonial studies, semiotics and cultural studies, this literature addresses key questions regarding how we 'read' the audio elements of screen media, the cultural values and ideology manifest in screen music practices, and the impact of new media on the way screen music is produced, disseminated and understood.

Improvisation for Screen

This option will present you with a series of practical projects through which strategies and skills necessary for devising and improvising music, sound and contemporary body music for the moving image will be developed. Tutor-led seminars will provide you with a set of contextual frameworks for improvisation for silent film and digital media, and thematic improvisation workshops (animation, film, video installation, fashion events, etc.)

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.