South Thames College

BSc (Hons) Live Sound Production - Level 6

This live sound qualification is designed by one of the world’s foremost live sound companies (Britannia Row Productions) and delivered with their engineers to launch careers, consolidating the legacy of excellence and innovation in this global growth industry. To succeed in the music industry, in whatever capacity, you need a range of skills that will allow you to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity made available to you.

The degree aims to produce professional and versatile graduates who can respond to the varied and complex live events landscape of the twenty first century.  You will get the chance to develop the skills that you already have and to develop new skills that will only add to your creativity as a technician, engineer, specialist and as a professional, working with live events and technology.

On this course you will not only study how to become a technician and live events practitioner in your own right but you will also learn to think about it critically and with an informed perspective on its historical development, its cultural context and its effects on all those who encounter it.  Further, you will come to see live sound as just one facet of a contemporary and vast industry.

The course experience should never be only about qualifications and careers, it should foster a life-long thirst for enquiry and knowledge and we hope that you will take with you a critical approach to technology, professionalism, culture and society that will serve you well throughout your professional and personal life. 

  • Introductory Course Information

    Award: BSc (Hons) Live Sound Production

    Awarding body: Award validated by University of Northampton

    UCAS Code: W123

    Location of study: This course is taught mainly at South Thames College (Wandsworth, London) as well as Britannia Row Productions (Twickenham).

    Course duration: 3 years (full time)

    Academic year: Next cohort September 2019

    Days of the week: You will be expected to attend for 3 days a week (Tues, Weds, and Weds). Include some evenings for performances.

    Part time study: N/A however this option might become available. Please enquire.

    Work placements: Work experience at the prestigious live sound company Britannia Row Productions is offered to our students from Year 1 throught the three year course. Work experience is not assessed but it is an opportunity to put into practice the technical knowledge acquired during the course. Please note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from work and the College, and for any accommodation costs.

    Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays.

    Course leader:
    Sebastian Castagna
    Tel: 02089187011
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Module Information

    Students will study the following Level 4 modules:

    • Audio System Electrics (Core, 20 credits): Audio System Electrics examines the science and technology of electronics as applied to Creative & Technical Arts systems. With an understanding of the internal operations of equipment, and the interface between equipment and the outside world, the student is better able to demonstrate confidence in operation, particularly when there are faults or problems to be 'worked around'.

     

    • Principles of Sound (Core, 20 credits): This module explores the physical and psychophysical principles of sound and vibration. The module considers musical instruments, microphones and loudspeakers as acoustical mechanisms and examines the behaviour of sound in purpose-built spaces such as concert halls and recording studios. It also acquaints students with the perceptual and cognitive aspects of hearing, and examines research in this area.
    • Studio & Live Multi-Track Recording (Core, 20 credits): This module offers students the opportunity to learn through engagement with practical projects in the studio facility, whist undertaking cross-industry practise with multi-track recording. At the end of this module the student will have completed different types of multi-track recordings in a variety of situations. In doing so, they will have travelled a journey through a production process that typically includes pre-production and client demands, experimentation, development and resolution.

     

    • Industry Professional Practice (Core, 20 credits): This module will promote skills that allow the learner to maintain a level of personal currency within the industry, develop a targeted and current profile as a practitioner, and maximise employment opportunities within the relevant specialism. Learners will also develop the ability to function within any relevant legal and statutory frameworks.

     

    • Live Sound Systems (Core, 20 credits): Live Sound examines the amplification of voices and instruments so that an audience may hear clearly and at a sufficient level; also the conveyance of information by amplified acoustic means to people assembled into a single acoustic space. The module also includes the common requirement for the characteristic sound quality of amplification.

     

    • Introduction to Digital Live Systems (Core, 20 credits): Sound systems are standard now in venues, offices, arts centers, studios, shopping centers, sports centers and places of worship. Their ubiquity also brings with it a wide variety of specifications, solutions and some quite complex and bespoke digital equipment. This unit looks at being able to understand and troubleshoot problems which may arise with such systems as well as being able to assess the flexibility of systems as the client’s needs change. Theoretical topics which will be discussed include: Analogue to digital conversion, Audio file formats, Transmission protocols, Data distribution, conversion, Bit-Rate, Clocking and Latency.

    Students will study the following Level 5 modules:

    • Sound System Design (Core, 20 credits): This module is designed to develop the skills necessary for the installation and operation of a variety of sound systems within the context of live venue performance. It deals with music performance where sound reinforcement is integral to the performance. Systems will be planned and rigged, including the generation and sourcing of digital sound effects. Technical rehearsals and sound checks will be undertaken. Public performance will be supported through the operation of the systems and vice versa and the principles and practice of health and safety will be understood and applied with particular reference to electrical safety.
    • Mixing, Remixing & Mastering (Core, 20 credits): This module offers students the opportunity to learn through engagement with practical projects in the studio. At the end of this module the student will have completed a substantial piece of work. In doing so, they will have travelled a journey through a production process that typically includes pre-production, experimentation, development and resolution. The module introduces students to the working practices of project work.
    • Preparation & Rigging Processes (Core, 20 credits): In the modern production environment, it was not until the introduction of the electric chain hoist that all technical aspects were able to make use of rigging and rigging hardware to move and suspend audio, lighting and video equipment and create complex arrangements of set pieces. It is rare now to find a medium to large technical production that does not make use of rigging techniques and equipment in some manner and there are many venues across the world that are entirely reliant on rigging to be able to facilitate events. This module will provide students access to specific rigging and preparation skills and H&S expectations.
    • Acoustic Prediction & Critical Listening (Core, 20 credits): This module is designed to introduce the concept of developing critical listening abilities as a prime requirement in the successful marriage of science and art that is the role of any sound engineer. It will consider the prodigious auditory processing capabilities of the human brain and ear, and how these help the job of a sound engineers. Looking at how the brain organises and catalogues sound information and how one makes critical judgements based on this. This module will also develop skills in the use of prediction and analysis software, tools and equipment for acoustics and audio listening.
    • Sound System Optimisation (Core, 20 credits): This module is designed to introduce the concept of developing critical listening abilities as a prime requirement in the successful marriage of science and art that is the role of any sound engineer. It will consider the prodigious auditory processing capabilities of the human brain and ear, and how these help the job of a sound engineers. Looking at how the brain organises and catalogues sound information and how one makes critical judgements based on this. This module will also develop skills in the use of prediction and analysis software, tools and equipment for acoustics and audio listening.
    • Client Focussed Portfolio Project (Core, 20 credits): This module is designed to support the employability of those studying within the live sound production industry who require a substantial portfolio for employment. You will be encouraged to build your professional skills, with notable emphasis on soft skills development. This will include pitching ideas and also promoting yourself to your peers and potential employers.

    Students will study the following Level 6 modules:

    • Advanced Live Systems Engineering (Core, 30 credits): To empower the students to practically and theoretically demonstrate a detailed knowledge and necessary professional operating skills to design and optimise large scale installed and touring sound systems. The main focus of the module will be systems that rely heavily on new and emerging digital signal processing and audio network/software protocols for the delivery of high quality audio.The module will take the underlying theories and apply them to real world scenarios such as arena and festival or multi-band sound systems. Showing control and management of equipment, students will undertake the organisational and technical roles and responsibilities of sound designer and production sound engineer, applying professional fault-finding skills and solve problems/ameliorate solutions to complex/challenging live sound situations and critically evaluate performance in relation to differing roles.
    • Work Related Learning & Development (Core, 30 credits): This module is designed to encourage independent analysis of students’ own development. Students will use a variety of skills in preparation for work-related learning, including researching the area in which they will be learning. It is closely linked with employability, graduate skills and the PDP process. The module encourages reflection on past experiences and future career plans to ensure the student obtains the most appropriate and relevant work related learning experience.
    • Live Audio Investigation (Diss.) (Core, 30 credits): The dissertation affords a sophisticated instrument for exploring, testing and presenting ideas at graduate level: it encourages the student to deploy and develop a variety of skills to show how well they can conduct and present an investigation, from researching sources to analysing evidence. It requires that the student constructs and interprets their chosen material and presents it in an integrated and coherent fashion. Depending on the aim and choice of subject and material, this may take the form of an argument, a discussion, a critical reflection or exposition.
    • Major Audio Project (Core, 30 credits): This major audio project permits honours-level students the opportunity to conceive, plan and produce a major, summative piece of work that brings together learning and serves as a graduation piece at the heart of their graduate portfolio. It also allows students to deeply reflect on their practical work via a thorough report about the project, which should show clear understanding of the work’s contextualisation in the field of specialism, in the artistic and technical skills involved in the project and in the excellence of the usage of the technologies required to achieve the final outcome. The project shall be of high standard yet leaving students the necessary room for experimentation, for enhancing skills, and for defining themselves in the path of their specialism. At this level, students are expected to originate their own project proposal within a given framework. Besides the technical and artistic skills required for the completion of this project program, the module should serve to arise awareness in the students about the market and other industry contexts in which their work is inserted.

  • Teaching and Learning

    Teaching

    You are taught through a combination of lectures and practicals. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use top of the range industry-standard equipment and have access to labs and library facilities throughout your course.

    Independent learning

    When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, HE area and our computer access.

    Assessment

    The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, practical tasks, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. All assessment are spread across the year to make the workload manageable. The course work will be based on e.g. practical tasks, written work (essays, reports, case studies, etc.).

    Overall workload

    Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning, and assessment activity. While your actual contact hours may vary depending on the module taught, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

    Academic support

    Our Academic Support Team provides help in the following areas:

    • study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
    • written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
    • academic writing (including how to reference)
    • research skills (in conjunction with the library)
    • critical thinking and understanding arguments
    • revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

    Our Student Support Services help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

    Teaching staff

    You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Britannia Row Productions experts, senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.

Entry Requirements

A full Level 3 qualification equating to 96 UCAS points, for example a Level 3 Extended Diploma or a mix of A Levels. Ideally this will include a relevant subject, such as music, music technology or electrical design.

GCSE English and maths grade 9-4 (A*-C).

Alternatively you could have equivalent industry experience.

Additional requirements

References from an official email address (ie. NOT Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) This can be from your previous institution if you were a student in the last 4 years or from a line manager if you are currently working.

Suitable applicants will be invited to interview, where they will be required to further demonstrate their suitability for the course by taking a diagnostic test/talking through their portfolio.

Credit transfer and accreditation of prior learning or experience: 

If you have achieved other qualifications, you may be able to enter the course at level 5 or level 6. For further information please contact the Course Leader. Other qualifications and relevant work experience may also count for academic credit.

International Student Entry Requirements

All South Thames College HE courses are taught in English. You must be able to demonstrate a level of English equivalent to IELTS 6.0 in each of the 4 papers.

International students must possess qualifications equivalent to Level 3 study in the UK to apply for HE courses. Please be aware that this may mean we suggest an alternative course for you.

Portfolios can be submitted electronically if required.

Skype interviews may be possible – please contact HE Admissions to arrange.

Audition via Skype or recorded video may be possible – please contact HE Admissions to arrange this 020 8268 2853/2891

Assessment

You will complete and submit for assessment a set task at the end of each module. These tasks are fundamentally written tasks often in an essay form. The assessments are marked in accordance with the relevant university guidelines and regulations. You will find the relevant marking grids in your course handbook and your tutors will explain these grids to you at various times throughout the programme. The marking grids should serve you as a valuable resource and guide. Students’ final BA (Hons.) classification is calculated from the marks awarded for the three assignments at Level 6. To complete the BA students must successfully complete all the modules and assessments.

You will encounter a range of assessment methods which may include, but are not limited to: essays, practical reports, case studies, portfolios, oral presentations and independent study. You will be assessed against assessment criteria which will be made clear to you at the start of your module of study. The assessment across the programme aims to give you opportunities to demonstrate a variety of knowledge and understanding, skills and qualities expected of a graduate of this degree. The assessment for each module will normally be in one or two parts.

Course Costs and Financial Support

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Annual printing allowance

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees:

  • The cost of additional printing over and above the annual allowance
  • Books and equipment that you might wish to purchase.

Careers and Progression

Once you graduate you could go on to work as a studio or live sound engineer, sound design, studio manager, system design, demonstrator or producer.

Important information

All courses run subject to demand and the content listed here should be used as a guide only. Course content may vary according to a range of factors such as course duration, campus, teaching staff and requirements from awarding bodies. Check our course and fee guidelines for further details.

Apply for this course

Where and when
Location:
Wandsworth
Duration:
3 Years
Study mode:?
Full Time
Start:
21/09/2020
Code:
WMUH002HD/2021
What do I need to pay?
16-18 year olds:
£ 9,250
19 and older: ?
£ 9,250
Materials fees: ?
£ TBC

Course and General Enquiries 020 8918 7777 info@south-thames.ac.uk