Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) or BMus (Hons) – 2020 entry

Why choose this course

This prestigious course is unique in the UK, blending 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.

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

What you will study

This course is made up of three areas of study: technical understanding of audio; practical experience of recording; and musical theory and practice.

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

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training Start date UCAS KIS code
BSc (Hons) 48 months Oct 2020 J931 View KIS data set
BMus (Hons) 48 months Oct 2020 J931 View KIS data set

Professional Training placements

A Professional Training placement provides you with 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 many of our students are offered employment on graduation by their placement provider.

The Professional Training placement year gives our students an insight into their subject and career potential, and early access to professional experience. It can be invaluable in developing work-based skills and helping them secure a graduate career.

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
  • Sky Post Production
  • Peter Gabriel Ltd
  • Spitfire Audio
  • DiGiCo
  • Mach Acoustics
  • Dolby Content Services
  • Floating Earth.

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 our online placement opportunities platform called Surrey Pathfinder, within which students can select and apply for placement vacancies. 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 the 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 quality of teaching, professional studio facilities and equipment, mean that the Tonmeister course is highly regarded in the industry. Consequently, as a graduate you will enjoy unrivalled career prospects.

This 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 this course will prepare 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 – 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:

  • Sound Editor and Business Development, Sound Disposition
  • Sound Engineer and Composer, SNK Studios
  • Audio Consultant, Yellow Technology Ltd
  • Systems and Support Engineer, Solid State Logic
  • Sound Engineer, Arena Television
  • Studio Manager, Spitfire Audio
  • Editor/Assistant Engineer, Chandos Records Ltd.

In fact, given the large number of students that have graduated from the course, 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. View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.

Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Facilities

Our music and sound recording (Tonmeister) degree courses 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 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 the 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 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 (PDF) 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. 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, student demand and/or class size caps.

Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course, you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification

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

Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.

Staff

This course is taught by academic staff from the Department of Music.

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, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.

Academic Skills and Development

Academic Skills and Development 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.

Disability and Neurodiversity Service

The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.

We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.

Find out more about the support available or contact the team directly for further information.

English language support

Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.

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 ­– 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.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will receive our standard A-level offer, plus an alternate offer of one A-level grade lower, subject to achieving an A grade in the EPQ. The one grade reduction will not apply to any required subjects.

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 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. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

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.

During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.

If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer following successful interview as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.

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 Start date Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BSc (Hons) Oct 2020 48 months To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed
BMus (Hons) Oct 2020 48 months To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed

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.

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

05 July 2019

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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
Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH