Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) or BMus (Hons) – 2018 entry

Why choose this course

Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for music, with our courses ranked 2nd by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

The prestigious Surrey Tonmeister degree is unique in the UK, blending rigorous musical study, advanced investigation of audio engineering and mastery of sound-recording operation and practice. The programme enjoys superb links to, and reputation within, the industry.

Our Tonmeister degree is for exceptional students who are primarily interested in the theory and practice of sound recording and audio engineering. However, you will gain a breadth of experience, numerous practical skills, and invaluable initiative and adaptability that will prepare you for a career in any area of the professional audio industry.

What you will study

Our degree comprises three areas of study: technical understanding of audio; practical experience of recording; and musical theory and practice. We believe that all of these components are essential for an audio engineer to be able to cope with the wide variety of tasks that the role entails.

The technical aspects of our degree cover the components that contribute to modern sound recording and reproduction, such as acoustics, electroacoustics, electronics, computer audio systems, sound synthesis and signal processing.

The practical elements of your studies will provide you with tuition in recording techniques and critical listening, as well as allowing you to apply technical theory by recording a wide range of music.

The musical components of the programme will develop your analytical skills and provide the opportunity for detailed study of creative disciplines such as performance and composition.

This is a challenging degree that has produced a stream of highly successful alumni during its long history, including winners of Oscars, Grammys and the Mercury Prize.

The high quality of teaching, professional studio facilities, equipment similar to that used in the best studios and talented student intake mean that the Tonmeister course is highly regarded in the industry. Consequently, as a Tonmeister graduate you will enjoy unrivalled career prospects.

Read about the experience of Music and Sound Recording student Jack Wensley.

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training UCAS KIS code
BSc (Hons) 48 months J931 View KIS data set
BMus (Hons) 48 months J931 View KIS data set

Professional Training placements

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) placements

Your third year is the integrated Professional Training placement, which provide you with first-hand experience of working in professional audio and help you make important contacts in the industry.

The integrated Professional Training placement will provide you with first-hand experience of working in professional audio and help you to make important contacts in the industry. You will gain valuable experience by working for a year in a commercial company such as:

  • A recording studio
  • A broadcasting company
  • An audio consultancy
  • An audio manufacturer
  • A computer games developer
  • A post-production facility

We will maintain contact with you through formal visits by Professional Training tutors and other informal means. In recent years, students have obtained placements in top London studios such as:

  • Abbey Road
  • Strongroom
  • Air Lyndhurst

Classical recording companies such as:

  • Chandos
  • Floating Earth

Audio equipment manufacturers such as:

  • Harman-Becker
  • Dolby
  • Bang and Olufsen

You can expect to be employed in a variety of responsible tasks, often as part of a relatively small team, tackling work ranging from music recording and editing through technical maintenance to product support.

Applying for placements

Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

The broad range of subjects covered in the Tonmeister degree programme prepares you for work in any area of the audio industry, from musical roles through practical audio engineering to development of new audio technologies.

Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers, including:

  • Audio engineering for pop music, classical music, film, post-production, mastering and broadcast
  • Audio editing for film, television, radio, classical music and pop music
  • Specification, installation, operation and maintenance of live sound systems for music and theatre
  • Technical support for the recording industry – undertaking studio maintenance, equipment rental and technical installations
  • Manufacture of all types of professional and consumer audio equipment – research and development, technical support, product management, marketing and sales
  • Creative music roles, such as composition for film and television, freelance performing or sound design for computer games

Recent graduates entered employment in roles such as:

  • Abbey Road Studios, Runner
  • Banff Centre, Audio Engineer
  • BBC, Studio Manager
  • Calrec, Customer Support Engineer
  • Focusrite, Test Engineer
  • Metropolis Studios, Assistant Recording Engineer
  • Orbitsound, Sound Technology Engineer
  • RGB Communication, Technical Support
  • Roll to Record, Sound Engineer
  • Sonorous Post, Assistant Dubbing Mixer

In fact, given the large number of students that have graduated from the programme, each sector of the audio industry that you can think of probably employs at least one of our graduates.

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges pages.

You could have the chance to go to institutions such as:

  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Central Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • Monash University
  • Sydney University

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Facilities

Our music and sound recording (Tonmeister) degree programmes benefit from a range of facilities that are of the highest professional standards and are unmatched in the UK university sector.

The majority of the facilities are housed in the Performing Arts and Technology Studios (PATS) building, which was built to stringent acoustical specifications and fitted with equipment to match the best professional studios.

As a student on the Tonmeister degree programme, you will have access to three recording studios:

Studio one

  • A studio floor large enough to record a full orchestra and choir
  • A control room containing a Studer Vista digital console
  • A Pyramix multi-channel recording and editing system and a range of analogue and digital recorders.

Studio two

  • A smaller studio floor which is less reverberant and a control room containing a 56-channel SSL 9000K series console
  • A 24-track 2” analogue multi-track tape, Apple Logic
  • A 48-channel Pro Tools HDX system
  • A 48-track hard disk-based recorder.

Studio three

  • A small overdub booth and a control room containing an AMS/Neve 88-D digital console
  • Pro Tools HDX with 64 channel MADI I/O
  • A 24-track 2” analogue multi-track tape machine
  • Pyramix Native with 64 channel MADI I/O
  • A range of outboard including Bricasti M7 reverb
  • Surround sound monitoring.

You also have access to five edit suites containing a range of analogue and digital recorders and digital audio workstations, including:

  • Pro Tools HD
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Pyramix
  • SADiE.

In addition to these facilities, you are able to use our extensive range of more than 100 microphones, our ITU BS-1116 standard listening room, 16 Apple Mac Pro workstations, mobile recording vans and an assortment of measurement and test equipment.

More information about the Institute of Sound Recordings facilities can be found on the Tonmeister website.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
 
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules

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.

Year 3 (with PTY)

Optional modules for Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6

Choose one optional module in Semester 1 and one optional module in Semester 2

Professional Training Year (PTY)

Year 3 (with PTY)

Optional modules for Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6

Choose one optional module in Semester 1 and one optional module in Semester 2

Professional Training Year (PTY)

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Teaching

The teaching methods that we use encompass a mixture of lectures, seminars, in-depth projects and practical work. In Years 2 and 3, you will spend a significant part of your time managing your own recording sessions, and in Year 1 you will learn by assisting other students.

We encourage all of our students to participate in the many practical opportunities that are available. These include a wide range of ensembles, recording sessions and performance/composition workshops.

Your final-year project gives you the chance to specialise in an area that is either of interest or of use in your chosen career; you will be supervised individually by a member of the academic staff.

Staff

This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Programme leader

MASON RD Dr (Music & Med)

Personal tutor

All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:

  • Academic progress
  • Pastoral/welfare issues
  • Personal/professional development and employability.

Assessment

Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

What qualifications do you need?

A-level

Overall: AAA.

Required subjects: Mathematics, Music, and Physics. Music Technology A-level together with ABRSM Music Theory grade 5 is acceptable in place of Music A-level. Musical performance proficiency equivalent to ABRSM Grade 7 is desirable.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent). 

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: D*DD.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 34.

Required subjects: Mathematics HL6/SL7, Music HL6/SL7 and Physics HL6/SL7.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL/SL4.

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 85%.

Required subjects: Music 8.5, Maths 8.5 and Physics 8.5. If Music not taken in EB, please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language (1/2) 6 or English Language (3)7. 

 

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Scottish Highers

Overall: AAAAB.

Required subjects: Mathematics, Music and Physics. Music Technology A-level together with ABRSM Music Theory grade 5 is acceptable in place of Music.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language: Scottish National 5 - C.

In addition, Musical performance proficiency equivalent to ABRSM Grade 7 is desirable.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with AAA from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element. 

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Select your country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates may be invited to an Applicant Day where they will be interviewed.

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

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

Qualification Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BSc (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £17,500 £1,850
BMus (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £17,500 £1,850

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate courses.

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.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

How to apply

Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.

Admissions information

Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Open Days

15
September 2018

Webinars

Join a webinar and speak to our current students

Our students

Our graduates

Discover



Find us

Address
01SE01, Senate House
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH