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Sound Engineering with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons)
Duration
Location
UCAS code
Overview

Overview

Get a head start in your sound engineering career with this multifaceted course, which combines vocational study and academic theory. 

The foundation year course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to continue onto your Honours degree. You will study a range of subjects that will underpin your future study and also gain valuable experience of university life, with full access to campus facilities.

Successful completion of the year allows you to progress straight onto Level 4 of this course.

In the first year you will cover the fundamentals of sound, audio electronics, programming, recording and production, critical listening along with the mathematics that underpins all these subjects. 

In the second year we want you to dig deep into wider applications of sound engineering in different domains, immersing yourself in the tools and techniques that add depth and variety to your engineer's toolbox. We also want to see your personal vision and persona develop, to the point where you are happy to take on work outside of the university.

By the third year you will have a huge array of marketable skills under your belt and in this final year you will learn to apply them in a range of environments. You will also prepare a major project of your own choosing, which will present your talent to the world.  

When you finish our aim is that you are not only a highly talented sound engineer but, through the reading and thinking undertaken, you will be operating at an intellectual level worthy of a University of West London graduate.

During your studies, you will have access to one of the largest audio complexes in Europe, which includes more than 20 studios, as well as teaching rooms, labs and computer suites. 

This is one of only eight sound engineering courses in the UK accredited by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) with Full Incorporated Engineering status (IEng).

Applied Sound Engineering and Computer Science video - thumbnail

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Why study Sound Engineering with Foundation Year with us?

Why study Sound Engineering with Foundation Year with us?

What our students say…

The course helped me critically think what I was doing to sound at all stages of recording in both the analogue and digital domain. This helped me achieve the sounds I wanted to create.

Tom Davis
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Accredited course: The Institution of Engineering of Technology.
4 dedicated computer suites with extra 27" Apple iMacs in the library.
98% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (*4).
Top 10 UK facilities spend - Complete University Guide
Course detail & modules

Course detail & modules

This degree offers a balanced and varied approach to sound engineering. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge you will need to work within a variety of industries as a sound engineer.  On the course you will combine lectures and private study with practical work that will help you to apply your learning. You will develop your practical skills and experience through a series of laboratory, workshop and studio sessions in our professional facilities.

As a sound engineer, it will be essential for you to work as part of a diverse team and the course will help you to examine the key collaborative, social and ethical considerations that you will likely encounter in your career.

The school has links with Audient, Focusrite and Avid, among others. These organisations help to support our guest lectures, masterclasses and student visits, adding industry input to your learning experience. We will encourage you to build links with relevant industry bodies such as the Audio Engineering Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.  You will also have opportunities to provide technical support for the London College of Music’s live performances.

We will encourage you to apply your learning in a professional environment and past students have gained work experience a variety of areas while studying, including: 

  • broadcast sound technician
  • theatre sound engineer
  • live sound reinforcement
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  • Audiology.

The London College of Music boasts excellent facilities for music performance and sound engineering, including recording studios and production resources. You will have an enviable range of equipment to practice with, including a Custom Series 75 Neve 48-channel console, Focusrite RedNet networked audio interfaces, ProTools HDX workstations, numerous synthesisers and microphones.

Visit our Music Technology Facilities page for more information about our exceptional equipment. 

The modules below are subject to approval.


Compulsory modules

  • Sound Production Workshop

    This module will provide the fundamental skills required to be successful in analogue studio-based work, exploring technique through supported practice. The module will focus on the fundamental skills of signal routing between hardware devices typical in modern studios. 

  • Personalised Learning

    This module is designed to cater to your individual learning needs.  Group learning is an integral part of the module, where you will consolidate your learning and frame it in the context of sound engineering. 

  • Analytical Mathematics

    The module provides you with a strong mathematical grounding to prepare you to undertake further mathematics throughout the course.  The module will start by covering essential basis of numbers, the application of algebraic and trigonometric principles, application of differential calculus and complex numbers.  

  • Academic Performance

    The module is designed to help you improve your analytical, creative and critical thinking skills.  Practical activities such as debate, creating artefacts and group discussions on real world issues relating to specific subject areas.

  • Introduction to Software Development

    This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of software programming using Python.  This module forms the basis of other programming modules you will undertake during the course.

  • Applied Engineering Project

    This module will give you the opportunity to apply specialist skills and knowledge in order to produce an artefact or design that addresses the requirements of a given case study.  This module will enable you to work independently on an applied project in sound engineering.

The modules below are subject to approval.


Assessment


Compulsory modules

  • Theory of Sound

    The aim of the module is for you to understand the theories and parameters relating to sound engineering that apply to all areas of the course.  The main subject areas include; human hearing, physics of sound, sound measurement and decibels, basic room acoustics and digital audio conversion.

  • Production and Critical Listening

    The module is designed to introduce you to modern audio production processes and how to listen to sound in an objectively critical manner.  You will study relevant hardware, digital audio workstations and MIDI sequencer packages.  A programme of ear training will develop you critical listening skills on recorded sound and their musical attributes. 

  • Engineering Software

    The module will help you develop as programmer using C++ as a toon to build simple applications related to sound engineering. You will learn to specify, develop and test software to specified standards to meet a range of sound engineering needs. 

  • Studio Recording Techniques

    The module will introduce you to the multitrack recording studio environment.  You will develop practical skills in each stage of the production process, tracking and mixing. The module will focus on developing microphone techniques and producing musically balanced and controlled final mixes.   

  • Audio electronics

    All audio hardware is designed and built upon principles of electrical theory.  The processes of simple fader movements on a mixing desk to the detection of higher frequencies in a de-esser can be reduced to simple and more complex design of electronic circuits.  This module will introduce these principles and help you understand what is happening underneath the control panels. 

  • Mathematics for Engineering 1

    This module provides a mathematical background for areas such as acoustics and signal processing.  Indicative content includes the study of algebraic principles including polynomial functions, partial fractions, matrix algebra, essential principles and applications of differential and integral calculus. 

The modules below are subject to approval.


Assessment


Compulsory modules

  • Acoustics

    The module will provide a detailed understanding of the principles of acoustics. These principles will be explored in the context of studios, concert halls and public spaces.  You will focus on the control of sound in a space to a required specification, and the prevention of interaction between isolated spaces.  

  • Electroacoustics

    The module aims to provide you with a deep understanding of the design and performance of electroacoustic systems such as loudspeakers and microphones. You will explore and analyse the design and the behaviour of these systems and devices using theoretical analysis and industry-standard tools, software and processes. 

  • Audio Electronic Design

    You will explore and analyse the design of audio electronic circuits through a range of applications, such as filters, amplifiers and oscillators.  You will design, simulate, build and test your own audio device based on a given specification.  

  • Embedded Systems for Audio Technology

    Embedded systems are those that combine computers and electrical systems, such as an audio interface.  The module provides a background to embedded development, introduces open-source tools and techniques used in the audio industry to programme embedded hardware, and enables the you to gain experience in programming languages and techniques, typically used for mobile and embedded applications.

  • Sound Design and Synthesis

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  • Live Sound Production

    This module is focussed on employability and provides you with an understanding of the processes involved in musical theatre and play production. The module will focus on the techniques and roles involved within the sound department, from the sound designer through to the sound operators. In addition to this there will also be contextualisation through an introductory study of theatre practice.

The modules below are subject to approval.


Assessment


Compulsory modules

  • Audio Digital Signal Processing

    You will be introduced to the fundamentals of digital signal processing.  This will then be applied to audio as both a tool for developing audio effects but also for audio analysis. You will learn how to develop your own adaptive digital audio effect.  The module will look at convolution, filter design and audio restoration.

  • Mixing for Screen and Broadcast

    The module embraces the notion of balance mixing as an art (form), at the same time celebrating its dependence on firm technical engineering skills, combined with a conceptual understanding of the multi-dimensional stage of the envisioned sonic illusion.  The curriculum focuses on format specific techniques which are found within a professional industry setting such as film sound, broadcast music and sound, 2D and 3D surround sound, virtual and augmented realities, podcasts and audio for gaming. 

  • Creative Sound for Games

    Gaming is a fast growing and lucrative area of the entertainment industry.  By the end of the module you will have a solid appreciation of the power of audio for games, combined with the skills to develop audio assets and implement them in middleware. This in turn will form the basis of a show-reel which can be used for future promotion and collaboration within the gaming industry.

  • Sound System Design

    This module will give you a detailed understanding of a range of PA sound system types and how they behave in settings such as theatres, halls and public spaces.  The module will explore the latest technologies available, the requirements of a variety of acoustic spaces and will investigate how to develop solutions and best practices for an optimum design. 

  • Sound Engineering Project

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

72 UCAS points required from level 3 qualifications

These can include:

  • A Levels at grades B and C (if you have two A levels) or grades D, D and D (if you have three), or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma with Merit, Merit, Pass
  • Access to HE Diploma

You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 – 4 / A* - C) or Level 2 equivalents.

Looking for BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering without Foundation Year?

Mature applicants (aged 21+): If you do not hold the qualifications listed but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

We take pride in our inclusiveness and the diversity of our student population. We have a vibrant mature student community and look forward to welcoming you.

Looking for BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering without Foundation Year?

5.5 IELTS or above

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 International Office to find out more.

You also need academic qualifications at the same level as UK applicants. In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Check for local equivalents

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements.

Find out more about our English Language courses.

Looking for BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering without Foundation Year?

Mature applicants (aged 21+): If you do not hold the qualifications listed but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

We take pride in our inclusiveness and the diversity of our student population. We have a vibrant mature student community and look forward to welcoming you.

Looking for BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering without Foundation Year?

Fees & funding

Fees & funding

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If your course runs for two years or more, you will need to pay the fee for each academic year at the start of that year. If your course runs for less than two years, the cost above is for your full course and you will need to pay the full fee upfront. Government regulation does affect your fees, so what you pay may go up in future. For example, government regulation around future inflation may increase your course fees.

If no fee is shown above then the fees for this course are not available yet. Please check again later for updates.

Funding your studies

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees, or a maintenance loan. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants and disabled students.

We offer generous bursaries and scholarships to make sure your aspirations are your only limit. In recent years, hundreds of students on a four-year degree with a foundation year have received our Path to Success Scholarship.

View full details, including conditions and eligibility.

{{ formatCurrencyValue(currentVariantData.field_p_cv_int_main_fee.name) }} per year

The fee above is the cost per year of your course.

If your course runs for two years or more, you will need to pay the fee for each academic year at the start of that year. If your course runs for less than two years, the cost above is for your full course and you will need to pay the full fee upfront. Government regulation does affect your fees, so what you pay may go up in future. For example, government regulation around future inflation may increase your course fees.

If no fee is shown above then the fees for this course are not available yet. Please check again later for updates.

Funding your studies

We offer scholarships for international students including International Ambassador Scholarships worth up to £5,000. 

Further information about funding and financial support for international students is available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

 

Teaching staff

Teaching staff

Nino Aurrichio

Nino Auricchio

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Engineering, and a composer of electronic music. I also produce funk and soul music, and am involved in mixing production for house and electronic acts. I am a member of the Audio Engineering Society.
I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Engineering, and a composer of electronic music. I also produce funk and soul music, and am involved in mixing production for house and electronic acts. I am a member of the Audio Engineering Society.
Study & career progression

Study & career progression

A man using a sound desk

Once you graduate you could go on to work in: 

  • studio recording engineering
  • computer music and synthesis
  • live sound recording and engineering
  • sound system design
  • field service engineering
  • acoustic consultancy (installation)
  • design and test engineering for audio hardware and software
  • theatre sound engineering
  • sound designer and audio post production
  • audiology, broadcast engineering and production.

You may also want to progress your studies to explore a related field or specialise on a postgraduate course.

How to apply

How to apply

Student life at UWL

Student life at UWL

Paragon Lets (exterior)

Accommodation

We have student accommodation only a couple of minutes walk from our Brentford site. It's a great opportunity to live close to your lectures, while meeting lots of people and making new friends.

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Want to know what students really think about the University? Then follow our vlog where students share their top tips for getting the most out of uni and living in West London. 

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Our facilities

We opened a brand new campus in 2015 with fantastic new social spaces to relax in, and specialist equipment for your area of study. View our music recording studios, Mac labs, nursing simulation centres and much more.

Important notes for applicants

Disclaimer

All of our facts are drawn from authoritative sources. We have cited the following surveys and guides on this page:

*1a - National Student Survey 2018, question 27, Overall Satisfaction. *1b - National Student Survey 2017, compared to other modern universities. A modern university is a university created in or after 1992. *1c - National Student Survey 2019, question 27, Overall Satisfaction. *2 – Guardian University Guide 2019 *4 - HESA employment performance indicator on graduates (2016/17) who say they are in work or studying six months after completing their studies.  *5 – Complete University Guide 2018

Our students or former students provided all of our testimonials - often a student from the course but sometimes another student. For example, the testimonial often comes from another UWL student when the course is new.

Where optional modules are offered they will run subject to staff availability and viable student numbers opting to take the module.