Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) or BMus (Hons) – 2024 entry

Key information

Start date: September 2024

AwardUCAS codeCourse duration
BMus (Hons)4 years with professional training
BSc (Hons) UCAS: J9314 years with professional training View KIS data set

Apply for your chosen course online through UCAS, with the following course and institution codes.

CourseUCAS codeInstitution code
BSc (Hons) with professional trainingJ931S85
BMus (Hons) with professional trainingS85


Why choose this course


In the UK for music by the Guardian University Guide 2023


In the National Student Survey 2022

Our prestigious course is unique in the UK. We blend rigorous musical study, advanced investigation of audio engineering and mastery of sound-recording operation and practice.

Our BMus/BSc Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister®) course is aimed at exceptional students who are primarily interested in engineering and music. You’ll 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.

Our graduates have gone on to amazing careers; from equipment design to film composition; from computer game programming to writing and producing hit songs; from designing broadcast studios to mixing the broadcast sound from Glastonbury.

Our award-winning Professional Training placements prepare students for roles in industry.

We were shortlisted for University of the Year in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Introducing the Department of Music and Media | University of Surrey

Five reasons to study a course in music and media at Surrey

What you will study

Our course is made up of three areas of study:

  • Technical understanding of audio
  • Practical experience of recording
  • Musical theory and practice.

The technical aspects of our course cover the engineering components that contribute to modern sound recording and reproduction. This includes 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. You’ll also apply technical theory by recording a wide range of music.

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

Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2024/25 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.


Our Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) degree course benefits from a range of facilities. These are of the highest professional standards and are unmatched in the UK university sector.

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

As a student on our course, you’ll 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 48-channel AMS-Neve 88RS console
  • 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 88D digital console
  • Pro Tools HDX with 64 channel MADI I/O
  • Pyramix Native with 64 channel MADI I/O
  • A range of outboard including Bricasti M7 reverb
  • Surround sound monitoring.

You’ll 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.

In addition to these facilities, you’re able to use our extensive range of more than 120 microphones, our ITU BS-1116 standard listening room, two labs including Apple Mac Pro workstations, mobile recording vans and an assortment of measurement and test equipment.

Find out more information about the Institute of Sound Recordings facilities.

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 quality of teaching, professional studio facilities and equipment, and the success of our graduates, mean that the Tonmeister course is highly regarded in the industry. Consequently, as a graduate you will enjoy unrivalled career prospects.

Our course has produced a stream of highly successful graduates during its long history, including Oscar, Grammy and Mercury Prize winners.

The broad range of subjects covered by our course will prepare you for work in any area of the audio industry. This can vary 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 – carrying out 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:

  • Assistant Engineer, Abbey Road Studios
  • Assistant Engineer, Angel Studios
  • Technical Assistant, CTV Outside Broadcasts
  • Embedded Software Engineer, DiGiCo
  • Graduate Engineer, Hoare Lea
  • Recording & Mastering Engineer, K&A Productions
  • Graduate Engineer, KEF Audio
  • Studio Technician, Real World Studios
  • Studio Manager, Royal Academy of Music
  • Technical Co-ordinator, Ableton Loop.

In fact, given the large number of students that have graduated from our course, each sector of the audio industry that you can think of probably employs at least one of our graduates. View our much larger list of graduate jobs and awards our graduates have won.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each.

The Tonmeister course modules run through the whole academic year and include a combination of teaching and workshop weeks so that you can learn theory and immediately put it into practice. The year ends with revision sessions and examination assessment.


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

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules usually can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

The structure of our programmes follow 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.

Please note: The full module listing for the optional Professional Training placement part of your course can be viewed on the relevant programme specification.


Course 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. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).


Our teaching is supported by expertise and years of industry experience. Researchers who conduct cutting-edge research into recording, synthesis, reproduction, and perception of sound teach the engineering aspects. The practical aspects of our course are led by practitioners who are experts in their fields while world-leading researchers, composers, and performers teach the musical aspects of this course.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.


We assess modules individually and award credits for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

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.

As a guide, the Tonmeister course involves around 20 hours per week of contact hours in first year, 15 hours in second year, and 10 hours in final year.

Entry requirements


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. 

Please see our admissions FAQs for further information about our entry requirements including alternative routes for applicants without A-levels.

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: 35.

Required subjects: Maths Analysis and Approaches  HL6/SL7 or Maths Applications and Interpretation HL6. Admissions Tutor may be able to make exceptions for individual cases following interview.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL/SL4.

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 85%.

Required subjects: Music 8.5, Maths 8.5 (5 Period)  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: QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma, 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 ­– Numeracy as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Please check the A-level drop down for the required GCSE levels.

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

Do I meet the requirements for this course?

We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).

International entry requirements by country

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 at the Surrey International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree course.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other 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.

Selection process

Suitable applicants will be invited to an interview day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students. Offers are normally made in terms of grades following a successful interview.

Please see our admissions FAQs for further information about what to expect at the interview day.

Recognition of prior learning

We recognise 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, the recognition of prior learning (RPL) process may allow you to join a course without the formal entry requirements or enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. 

There are restrictions on RPL a 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 contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries. 


The annual tuition fees for courses starting in September 2024

BMus (Hons) (with professional training year)

To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Professional training
To be confirmed

BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)

To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Professional training
To be confirmed

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

  • Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. 
  • Fees for EU students: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
  • Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 
  • Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 

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.

Payment schedule

  • Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
  • International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
    • 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
    • 50% in January of the same academic year.

The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.

If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.

Professional Training placement fees

If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.

See the information about 2023/24 academic year Professional Training placement fees.

Additional costs

It may sometimes be necessary for students taking instrumental or vocal lessons with tutors in the Department (as part of their performance modules) to incur some small travelling expenses to tutors’ homes. This is only the case with tutors for whom it is advantageous for their students and themselves to teach at home, for example in the case of drum kit and bass guitar tutors.

These additional costs are accurate as of September 2022 and apply to the 2023 year of entry. Costs for 2024 entry will be published in September 2023.


Our award-winning Professional Training programme offers you the option to spend a career-enhancing year in industry, either in the UK or abroad. We have thousands of placement providers to choose from or you can source your own placement. 

Most placements are paid, and we will support you every step of the way. 

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

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’ll 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 with leading audio industry employers such as:

  • AIR Studios
  • Abbey Road Studios
  • BBC
  • Bang and Olufsen
  • DiGiCo
  • Dolby Content Services
  • Floating Earth
  • Martin Audio
  • Sky Post Production.

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

Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement. 

Find out more about the application process.

Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

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 procedures, the student 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 for the 2023/24 academic year and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/23 academic year as a guide as to what to expect. 

Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 and changes for the specific academic year.  


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 and before you accept an offer. Read our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Placement location

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH