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

Key information

Start date: October 2020

BSc (Hons) UCAS: J931

4 years with professional training

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BMus (Hons) UCAS: J931

4 years with professional training

View KIS data set

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 2020.  We also achieved 100 per cent overall satisfaction for this course in the National Student Survey 2019.

A week in the life of a music student

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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

Choose two optional modules, either: a) one from Semester 1 and one from Semester 2; or b) one year-long module and one from either Semester.

Timetables

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. 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.

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.

Entry requirements

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.

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.

During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course 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

The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2020

BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £18,500

Professional training To be confirmed

BMus (Hons) (with professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £18,500

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: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
  • 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 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.

Placements

You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.

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

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

You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.

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 about 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 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.

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