Course Specification. MSc Audio Engineering (MSADE) LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY

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1 LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY Course Specification MSc Audio Engineering (MSADE) Our courses undergo a process of review periodically, in addition to annual review and enhancement. Course Specifications are updated on an annual basis to include modifications approved through our University s quality assurance processes. This Course Specification provides an indication of the current curriculum. If any changes are made to material information an updated Course Specification will be made available.

2 Faculty of Arts, Environment & Technology School of Film, Music & Performing Arts Award and programme title: MSc Audio Engineering Level of qualification: Level 7 Interim awards available: PGDIP Audio Engineering 7 PGCERT Audio Engineering 7 Length and status of programme and mode of study: Programme Length (years) Status (FT/PT) Mode (campus based/dl or other) FT 1 Campus PT 2 Campus Course Specification Overview and Aims MSc Audio Engineering is a trans-disciplinary course for the professional audio industries. These industries require engineering expertise for a variety of roles. This course will be of interest to graduates from Music Technology, computing disciplines or graduates in Music Production who have a strong grounding in the technical aspects of Music Production. It would also be of interest to those currently working in the professional industries that seek further professional development. The main aim of the MSc Audio Engineering is to provide an opportunity for study at a higher level. The course builds on existing threads within the undergraduate BSc Music Technology and provides an opportunity to develop these areas further. Our Level 3 module of the same name is the most popular on the undergraduate programme and is frequently praised by external examiners for its real world contexts. It is an aim of this course to

3 continue on this good practice. Modules in Acoustics are undertaken by students at all three levels and is an area that continues to develop and grow. Making links with the Acoustics facilities within the faculty of health will strengthen expertise and resources in this area an highlight the trans-disciplinary nature of the course. The professional audio industries require highly skilled individuals that are able to combine creative and technical skills, and work in collaboration with others in creative and technical roles. The alignment of this degree with existing Masters programmes will enable students in Audio Engineering to work collaboratively with students in other areas of the creative audio and visual media. This alignment will also encourage the cross fertilisation of ideas thus broadening the postgraduate study and research culture within the School of Film, Music and Performance and the wider University. The course builds on, and integrates with, our existing Postgraduate music courses, and with the wider school brings together students from music, film, drama and performance in a mutually beneficial multidisciplinary environment. Shared components and teaching within a production house environment reflect an industry practice within an efficient and sustainable delivery pattern. Our Target Sector Students with a technical background in audio or music technology or production. Experienced Audio professionals seeking professional development Our own undergraduate students who wish to progress to postgraduate study in this area. General Aims of the Course To provide opportunities for graduates with honours degrees (or equivalent qualifications) to pursue advanced study in the field of Audio Engineering and develop general skills appropriate to the holder of a Masters level award. To produce individuals with a rational and pragmatic approach who are able to employ their knowledge of Audio Engineering in a flexible, creative and innovative manner. To provide a forum for the exchange and critical analysis of techniques and technology relating to the field of Audio Engineering, thereby developing the experience and skills of the students themselves in order to contribute to the body of knowledge within this area. To provide a curriculum informed by professional practice and research thereby encouraging professional practice and research in the students. Course Learning Outcomes 1 Demonstrate a rational and pragmatic approach to undertaking Audio Engineering Projects.

4 2 Demonstrate a creative, innovative and flexible approach to problem solving. 3 Demonstrate a comprehension and critical awareness of current issues and emerging technologies within the field of Audio Engineering informed by existing research and professional practice. 4 Demonstrate originality and synthesis in the application of theory and techniques, drawn from earlier studies, through the production of the project, a significant piece of critical independent project work. Course Structure Level 7 Semester 1 consists of one award specific modules, giving students an immediate opportunity to develop their skills and theoretical framework in the areas of audio engineering. The collaborative practice module gives an opportunity to work with students from other music courses, as well as with students from across the school. It allows students to demonstrate and apply existing knowledge, form relationships with peers and experience a collaborative working environment that mirrors industry practice. Semester 2 allows students to develop the skills learnt in semester 1, as well as widening their experience. Two more award specific modules are taken in this semester, alongside Negotiated Skills development that enables students to develop skills in other areas. In the final semester of the course students complete their research practice module, looking at key texts and methodologies in the field, culminating in the final project, in which students create a significant piece of high level work accompanied by some written commentary to reflect and analyse the process and outcome of the project. Semester 1 Core (Y) Semester 2 Core (Y) Acoustics Y Negotiated Skills Y Development Interfaces and Y Audio Software Y Interactivity Engineering Collaborative Practice Y Advanced Audio Engineering Y Semester 3 Research Practice Final Project Y Y

5 Learning and Teaching Details relating to contact hours and other key information sets (KIS) are available on the course page of our Online Prospectus on our web site. Learning and Teaching Approaches Our Learning and Teaching Strategy is based on the Vision, Values and Strategic Themes set out in the Strategic Plan Our vision is: to be acknowledged for our commitment to student success, our innovation and enterprise, our global reach and strong local impact. Our Learning and Teaching Strategy has strong connections with other strategies including; Widening Participation, Research and Enterprise, Schools Partnership, Employability and Human Resources. We are committed to the following values: Inspiring We share our values and ideas with passion, energy and commitment, supporting all to achieve their potential. Creative We stimulate innovation, imagination and discovery, generating challenging and original ideas. Enterprising We identify and maximise opportunities using our resources widely and building on our strengths. Purposeful We are clear as to our shared plan and committed to delivering this efficiently and effectively. Respectful We are inclusive, supportive and ethical in our behaviours and actions, actively valuing diversity. Professional We expect and uphold high standards, leading by example with integrity and responsibility The programme fits in to a structure with other Masters programmes and modules promote group working on projects with real world parallels. Modules such as Negotiated Skills development also allow for students to develop in an area of interest outside of the core modules such as studio engineering or sound for moving image. This also allows for tutors to share in other areas of their expertise. A postgraduate event to celebrate the good work that is being undertaken by students on the programmes has been held in previous years and we will continue to promote this good work. An extra curricular staff/student ensemble has been created for those interested in

6 laptop performance with works being performed at other HEIs. The Echochroma concert series provides opportunities for staff and students to explore mutual interests. Learning and Teaching Activities The course covers a diverse range of learning, including theory, practice, group work, and self-study, and delivers this through a range of integrated approaches to teaching and learning and assessment. The course delivery is based around the core of practical and seminar tuition supported by lecturers. Guest lecturers from industry and academia help to emphasise professional and intellectual development and to ensure that practical studies are underpinned by a contextual and theoretical understanding. An appropriate range of industry standard recording studios, laboratories and computer facilities provides a challenging and professional learning environment which usefully mirrors the context of professional practice. Access to high quality, capital intensive resources is highly valued by students. Learning and teaching activities will draw on and explore the real world contexts in which techniques and technologies operate. Such a focus will help develop a professional approach. The scientific method will be embedded in the curriculum and the students will develop an understanding of the health and safety implications and legal requirements on those operating within the audio engineering fields. This course encourages and prepares students to take increasing responsibility for the content and direction of their creative work and requires students to undertake significant and sustained periods of independent study, culminating in a major project carried out in the final semester of the course. Through this work students will develop skills in literature survey and critical thinking. Literacy skills will be developed through structuring balanced arguments synthesised from a variety of sources. All core modules on this programme require students to develop their work from a deep understanding of the subject area. Students will use research papers and journals to help develop this deep understanding. Assessments such as the Audio Software Engineering Journal provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their work while developing and understanding of process and the need for structured projects. Group work engages students in extending their creative abilities into the area of collaboration and negotiation both with students in the music area as well as with students in the wider school including film, dance and performance. Use of the Virtual Learning Environment The VLE is used as a repository for lecture and tutorial material, assessment documents and background material relevant to each module. The vast majority of coursework submissions

7 take place through the VLE. This makes submissions easy to track and allows staff to provide online feedback directly on the submission. Turnitin is used for major written submissions to allow developmental plagiarism checks and targeted feedback on student work. 'Gradebook' is used to keep students informed of their progress on individual modules with relation to assessed work. Module handbooks, course handbooks and assignment briefs are all provided electronically through the VLE. Module discussion forums, blogs, wiki's are used to help develop discussion around each of the core modules. Tutors and students are encouraged to post interesting articles, papers or gobbets of information. Audio-visual material will also be used to add value to the online presence for many of the modules on the course. Use of Blended Learning As mentioned above, the VLE is used for the distribution of information relating to modules, as well as for details of assignments. While no formal on-line hours are identified within the course, the use of learning journal methods of assessments and discussion fora to promote enthusiasm for broader and deeper learning helps the use of VLE blend with the formal learning structures of the timetabled sessions and 1 on 1 tutorials.

8 Assessment Strategy There is strong use of industry style tasks for assessment throughout the course. Learning activities and assessments are undertaken in forms that they will be expected to in real world projects with reference to industry standards and Health and Safety. Assessment is through a mix of practical tasks, technical reports and academic writing as appropriate to the particular module. Technical writing is a common theme in the core modules and as such, feedback from one can inform and assist the students work in a subsequent module. Through developing their practical and technical writing skills and drawing on research and professional practice, students are developing academic and professional skills required by the industry Assessment points are staggered through the year to help to manage the student workload and formative tasks are used to lead up to summative assessments, giving students valuable feedback and structure to their work. There is scope within the modules and many assignment briefs for students to follow their own areas of interest, and in many cases students will be expected to develop their own specific project ideas within the guidelines of the assignment. This is particularly the case for the final project, in which students are free to develop their own outcomes in consultation with their tutor. Students are encouraged for their final project to delve deeper into a chosen area that they have covered within the course so far thereby building on previous knowledge. Through continuing a research strand, drawing on a deeper and wider body of literature to specialise within an area of interest students will develop a project informed by current research and/or professional practice. Students are encouraged to seek advice and guidance from a number of members of staff. By doing so, we are also encouraging students to think about deep learning and further study with respect to future possible PhD study. Feedback on Assessed Coursework The VLE is heavily utilised as a vehicle for summative feedback. Many assessments are submitted to the VLE and written feedback is returned on this submission through standard proformas and rubrics. Given the limited numbers of students on this course, verbal feedback is also very effective. Developmental feedback and critique can be given verbally by tutors and peers on a regular basis, and verbal feedback on assignments can be detailed and thorough. Feedback on final project work is provided on a one-to-one basis through regular meetings with the project supervisor and with subject specialists, and paperwork has been introduced to document this process and ensure continuity of supervision over the summer break.

9 Module Assessment Methods Assessment Method Mapping Please enter % weighting for a maximum of two pieces of summative assessment per module. Add additional rows for available option choices and add/delete rows where not needed for PG. Core (Y) Proposal Presentation Practical Course Work/Assignment Module Titles Acoustics Y Portfolio Written Critique Evaluation Project Interfaces and Interactivity Y Collaborative Practice Y 30/ 70 Negotiated Skills Y Development Audio Software Engineering Y Advanced Audio Y Engineering Research Practice Y Final Project Y Employability and Professional Context The course has strong industry focus throughout. Students will work on a wide variety of industry style projects throughout the course. Employability is embedded in the course and strong professional practice is encouraged throughout all coursework. The MA Music Production course, which shares several modules with MA Music for the Moving Image, is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) who are backed by the Music Producers Guild, Association of Professional Recording Services and UK Screen Association. JAMES accreditation of MA Music Production feeds into the curriculum of this course, and helps to ensure that it is up to date and relevant for the industry and

10 equips graduates with a strong and appropriate range of skills. Leeds Met is the North East regional centre for JAMES. Career Paths, as both employees and freelance practitioners, include: Live Sound Engineer - System Technician Acoustic Engineer Studio Designer Audio Design Engineer Audio Software Engineer This course provides the necessary Science and Engineering skills to go in to employment within the professional audio industries. This course also provides students with the guidance and confidence to operate alongside the 36% of those already working in the music industry on a self employed or freelance basis (CCSkills, 2011). The course allows students to mix with musicians, producers, games designers, filmmakers and performing artists in order to develop a wide network of contacts which may lead to further collaborations and partnerships upon graduation. Regular guest lectures and master-classes from industry practitioners allow students a window into the industry they will be moving into, as well as developing an understanding of many of the professions that the professional audio industries serve. The course taps into a strong network of staff contacts, the vibrant local music scene and the JAMES network in order to provide input to the course from industry practitioners. Leeds has a vibrant and exciting live music scene and the students on our postgraduate courses are involved in this as musicians, DJ s, promoters and sound engineers. Students on the course also have the opportunity to work with the Students Union on music events at both campuses. Through providing an academic and industry balance, students seeking further academic study can be encouraged and prepared for this. Modules will highlight the strong links between research and industry that exist in many areas of study on the programme. Work Related Activities N/A Placement or Work Related Activity Level: N/A Placement or Work Related Activity Length in Weeks:

11 N/A Type of Placement or work related activity: N/A Reference Points used in course design and delivery (standard text provided below) All our courses leading to Leeds Beckett University awards have been designed and approved in accordance with UK and European quality standards. Our courses utilise the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications (FEHQ) and where relevant subject benchmarks (where these are available) and professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements (for professionally accredited courses). We review our courses annually and periodically, responding to student feedback and a range of information to enhance our courses. Our University is also subject to external review by the Quality Assurance Agency. Our latest report can be found on the QAA web site at We appoint External Examiners to verify that our University sets and maintains standards for awards which adhere to relevant national subject benchmark statements and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (UK), ensure standards and student achievements are comparable with other Higher Education Institutions in the UK, with which they are familiar, and ensure that assessments measure achievement of course and module learning outcomes and reach the required standard. External Examiners may also provide feedback on areas of good practice or potential enhancement.

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