Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) – 2017 entry

You can study a wide range of modules, focus on a specific area of music, learn about the more traditional and historical side of music or about the technological side.

What you'll study

This degree develops an understanding of what is needed in the film, TV live-event and computer-games industries. You will interact with our own leading practitioners and creative specialists from the music industry to acquire advanced artistic and technical skills.

As a student on our Creative Music Technology degree, you will work in music of many different styles and for many different purposes. By the end of the degree programme, you will have a strong portfolio of works that will help you in your career, and also the skills necessary to create new works for a broad range of media.

You will have the opportunity to choose your specialist topics from modules including film, dance, multimedia, rock and pop, as well as composing for film, TV, advertisements and computer games.

Our degree programme is geared towards your creative practice and our modules are supported by a strong performance ethic within the Department of Music and Media, so your works are played and recorded to a professional standard.

At Surrey, you will join a thriving community of musicians actively involved, as performers and composers, in music across a broad range of historical periods and contemporary styles.

Programme overview

This is an innovative degree, carefully designed to meet the needs of music graduates going into the broad range of careers available in the contemporary and computer-based music industry.

It gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of topics in an area of music that is growing, vibrant and challenging, all within an academically strong yet creative environment.

You may shape parts of your study by choosing options that fit with your personal interests. Each of the three years offers you a variety of modules covering topics that will benefit you, whether you are a performer, composer, analyst or sound designer.

During the programme, you will work with creative artists and academics to acquire the skills and understanding needed for employment and/or further study.

Your practical work will be strengthened through analysis, theory, history and repertoire study to help you create your own works and build a professional practice portfolio to bid for work when you leave.

Professional Training is integrated into the degree through its required standards of professionalism, submission formats, software used, real-world briefs, guest speakers and specialist input from entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Read about the experience of Creative Music Technology student, Kye Voce.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In your first year, you will focus on the essentials of creativity and technique, writing pieces that are immediately relevant and engaging.

You will acquire a good understanding of how to unlock creative processes and how music works emotionally and functionally, learn about sound design and be taught professional skills.

Compulsory modules include:

Optional modules include:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In your second year, you will continue to develop core skills such as composition, sound synthesis and industry knowledge. However, you can specialise in different musical genres, including film music, dance music, digital multimedia, jazz and pop, depending on your preferences.

Compulsory modules include:

Optional modules include:

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In your final year, you will focus on building your professional portfolio, including writing and presentation skills. You will have options to develop advanced skills in research, compositional programming, performance, collaborative creative practice and academic study.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

  • Repertoire Studies 3
  • Topic Study 3A
  • Topic Study 3B
  • Performance 3B

Indicative Project, Repertoire Studies and Topic Study subjects include:

  • Cage Songbooks
  • Soundscape
  • Frank Zappa
  • World Music
  • African American Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Screen Music Studies
  • Jazz Studies
  • English Music from Elgar to Britten
  • Advanced Popular Music Harmony

If you wish to keep up your high-level performing skills, instrumental lessons are included in the Performance modules, and you have the opportunity to perform in choirs, orchestras, recitals and recording sessions.

Many of our students form their own ensembles and rock/pop groups.

By the end of the degree programme, you will have a strong portfolio of works that will help you in your career, and also the skills necessary to create new works for a broad range of media.

Note: Course structure and content may be subject to revision.

Professional Training placements

Your Professional Training is integrated into the degree programme, rather than being a separate period of study or work placement.

From the first week, we help you to achieve professional standards in creating and delivering projects, business direction in aspects of law, entrepreneurship, and business relevant to the music industry. 

You also build a portfolio of works or a showreel using material from this practice-based programme.


You acquire your skills through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Appropriate teaching materials are made available to you through the University’s online e-learning system, SurreyLearn. 

Practice rooms, edit suites, audio labs and self-study areas are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Whether your classes are practical or theoretical, you will develop your skills through a combination of academic, theoretical and creative practice led by teaching staff who are qualified to approach topics from all points of view.


Studying by module allows you to be assessed on elements as the programme develops, and you can expect most of the assessments to be spread throughout the academic year. More than two-thirds of the work you submit will be through coursework rather than examination.

Your degree classification does not take into account the marks for your first year and is weighted to take most account of the more detailed work in your third year.

You will receive written confirmation of marks as you move through the programme so that you can monitor your own progress.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 2 per cent medium group teaching
  • 11 per cent large group teaching
  • 87 per cent studying and revising in your own time


We have an enviable set of facilities for you to use, including performing spaces, professional recording studios, a good selection of practice rooms (exclusively for use by Department of Music and Sound Recording students), a Steinway concert grand piano and a collection of instruments, some of which may be loaned to students. 

You will have access to a well-stocked audiovisual room, with digital and online listening resources plus an extensive archive collection of scores/cassettes/LPs/CDs located in the nearby University Library.

Global opportunities

For an international experience, you have the opportunity to go abroad as part of your degree to spend one or two semesters as a student in one of the numerous universities with which we have agreements. These include:

  • University of Cincinnati (USA)
  • University of Central Florida (USA)
  • University of North Texas (USA)
  • North Carolina State University (USA)
  • Monash University (Australia)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)

The benefits of participating in such an experience are numerous. They include the development of adaptation and communication skills, an increase in confidence and the ability to deal with unfamiliar situations, new traditions and a new language.

Graduate prospects

Graduates of this programme have gone on to become successful film and TV sound designers and composers, have found employment in music education, business and marketing, and have also achieved higher degrees and qualifications.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent).

A-level Music or Music Technology at grade A.

Grade 5 theory (ABRSM) or equivalent proficiency.

Applicants who are not taking A-level Music and who wish to take performance modules during the degree programme will normally also require Grade 7 practical (ABRSM) or equivalent.

Selection process

Offers are usually made in terms of grades. All suitable candidates will be required to submit a portfolio of computer-based compositional work and may also be invited for interview.

During the visit to the University, the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

Applicants based overseas, who are unable to attend an interview, are assessed via skype interview and by submitting a portfolio of work.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BMus (Hons) 3 Years W3G5 View KIS data set

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The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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