POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

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1 POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme Title: Awarding Body: Teaching Institution: Final Awards: Intermediate Awards: Mode of Study QAA Subject Benchmarks: JACS Code: MA Music Production Staffordshire University Staffordshire University MA Music Production Post Graduate Certificate Post Graduate Diploma Full Time/Part Time N/A W374 Professional/Statutory Body: N/A Entry Year: If you require this document in a larger text or a different medium please contact us.

2 EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME MA Music Production The award gives students the opportunity to develop their existing creative music production skills using our experienced staff and world-class facilities as resources. Students who complete the award will be equipped with the skillsets necessary to compete for work related to music and sound production in the highly competitive environments of the creative industries. Music production today not only involves being able to record, mix, and edit music in a variety of different genres and situations; it also involves an understanding of composition and arranging, an ability to work in different software environments with a high level of competence, an understanding of performance practices in different contexts, and an understanding of the relationships between music, sound and other media. There are opportunities to develop all of these skills on the award, always with an emphasis on creativity and a focus on rigorous academic underpinning. Successful students will thus be afforded the opportunity to progress to further postgraduate research should they wish to do so. What is distinctive about this programme? The award is different from similar competing courses offered by other institutions in that it does not only focus on traditional music production skills, such as recording, mixing and editing. Students also have opportunities to develop an in-depth understanding of a wide range of related areas including composition, audio-visual music, software design, and performance. Many of the award team are actively involved in the music industry and are thus extremely familiar with current trends and practices. Other members of the award team have either completed or are completing PhDs and are actively involved in academic research. Students complete eight fifteen-credit modules before proceeding to the final sixtycredit project in music production. On the Modern Composition in Context module, students have the opportunity to analyse and evaluate key works of 20 th and 21 st century composition. They also have the opportunity to relate these works to their own practices and produce a composition informed by their research. In Audio Visual Composition and Performance students explore interactive composition techniques for music and visuals. They will also develop patches for interactive performance using environments such as Max/Max4Live, PD, Jitter, and Quartz Composer. In Creative Music Software Design students will produce original and innovative programs for manipulating audio, composing music and designing sounds using environments such as Max or Supercollider. The module in Performance Practices offers students a unique opportunity to develop their skills across a variety of performance situations. Performance in the context of this module is not restricted to traditional instrumental skills, but is broadened to include performances with computers, electroacoustic diffusion, audio-visual performance, DJ ing and more. Students have the opportunity to research and deliver a performance appropriate to their particular skills and interests. On the Negotiated Study: Music module students work with a member of the award team to investigate an area of particular interest. Students can use the music studios and other resources to produce a portfolio and an artefact related to their area of interest. Potential areas of investigation could include mixing and production, 2

3 acoustics, film music, software development, composition etc. Students are expected to follow good academic practice on all of the modules. The Research Methods for Music module equips the students with the skills necessary to carry out academic research at a postgraduate level. Students learn how to write literature reviews, how to construct proposals, how to carry out qualitative and quantitative research including how to construct questionnaires and carry out interviews, and how to interpret data and present results. Students are also required to complete two additional option modules. These options allow them the opportunity to study Advanced Recording Techniques, Mastering and Signal Processing in Music, Pro Tools for Music Production, and Electronics for Musicians amongst others, depending on timetabling and availability. When eight fifteen-credit modules have been completed, students proceed to the sixty-credit MA Project: Music. Students work with a designated supervisor to complete a postgraduate level research project in an appropriate field of music. The area chosen will be determined by the students own areas of interest and expertise. MA programme aims to provide the student with An advanced understanding and depth of knowledge of the creative practices underpinning modern music production An advanced understanding of different software and studio environments associated with modern music production The skills necessary to pursue a range of careers in the creative industries related to music production The ability to work without supervision in a variety of music production contexts to produce creative solutions to complex problems An in-depth understanding of issues related to music production supported by good academic practice and research The ability to deliver creative outcomes to a professional standard The programme also offers students the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills in research, presentation and academic writing. These skills will provide students with enhanced employment opportunities, continued professional development and equip them further study. Students will have opportunities to take part in both individual and group based projects across a range of areas related to the modern music industry. On completion of the award, students will be prepared for employment in a wide variety of areas related to music production. Examples of previous destinations and areas where students could seek employment are: Music production Sound recording Composition Mastering audio Software engineering Environmental acoustics Education Live sound Film sound Sound for games Sound for theatre 3

4 PROGRAMME OUTCOMES What will this programme teach me to do? At the end of your studies you should be able to: Learning Outcome Statements Discipline Based Level Learning Outcome: PgC Knowledge and Demonstrate a systematic Understanding understanding of the principles of music production and of music industry practice. Learning Demonstrate skills in selfmanaged learning and professional development Enquiry Analysis Problem Solving Identify reliable academic sources to establish good research practices Outline effective strategies for the completion of music production tasks Understand and discriminate between different approaches to research management and their use in specific situations Discipline Based Level Learning Outcome: PgD Demonstrate specialist knowledge of the techniques and principles relevant to music production and music industry practice. Demonstrate a professional understanding of the requirements of music production practice and theory. Show a professional approach to research and information gathering using a wide range of academic resources. Produce a literature review and a project proposal. Analyse and interpret data, theory and practice to demonstrate a range of music production solutions. Demonstrate a logical and informed approach to complex problem solving. Discipline Based Level Learning Outcome: MA Demonstrate pertinent knowledge and understanding of music industry processes and professional requirements and their correlation and application to a substantial project Apply an advanced approach to autonomous learning. Relate theories, principles and concepts to advanced music production research and practical projects. Show a professional and systematic approach to research and information gathering using a reliable range of academic and industry resources. Demonstrate relevant knowledge of professional developments in music production. Convey a critical and creative approach when evaluating arguments, assumptions and data in order to make constructive judgements in the context of music production. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of interdisciplinary approaches and the disciplines required for solving problems in the context of music production

5 Application Reflection Communication Apply relevant theory to a variety of music production tasks Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills needed for the production of music. Communicate professionally in the form of written and oral presentations to a variety of audiences Use critical reasoning and thinking to review and develop solutions to situations specific to music production. Demonstrate ability to research and identify an appropriate solution to a presented problem using a systematic research methodology Communicate coherent arguments to support work undertaken in the field of music production Provide detailed evidence of research, experimentation and analysis in a specialist area, employing a logical methodology and a broad range of industrial software and hardware. Relate music production concepts and practices to research, product design and production activities. Critically appraise previous works in applications related to the field of study using a coherent framework. Communicate logically through coherent explanation in a variety of forms for the purpose of presenting the Masters project - 5 -

6 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS Semester 1 MUSI70357 Modern Composition in Context MUSI70637 Audio Visual Composition and Performance MUSI70631 Negotiated Study: Music Option L E V E L Semester 2 MUSI70634 Research Methods for Music MUSI70632 Performance Practices MUSI70169 Creative Music Software Design Option 7 Semester 3 MUSI70639 MA Project in Music [60] Options Teaching Block 1 Credits Teaching Block 2 Credits MUSI60623 Sound Design in creative industries 15 MUSI70325 Pro Tools for Music Production 15 MUSI60150 Sound Design for Mobile Devices 15 MUSI60621 Mastering Techniques 15 MUSI60619 Mixing Techniques 15 MUSI60130 Commercial Recording Management 15 EDUC60230 Teacher Training 15 MUSI70358 Work Placement 15 MUSI70358 Work Placement 15 MUSI70185 Electronics for Musicians 15 MUSI70174 Advanced Recording Techniques 15 MUSI70160 Mastering and Signal Processing in Music 15 MUSI70173 Applied Acoustics 15 Potential Awards: Postgraduate Certificate [60 credits] comprises any three core modules with one option module Postgraduate Diploma [120 credits] comprises six core modules with two option modules Master of Arts [180 credits] comprises six core modules, two option modules and the 60 credit MA project in Music Production Progression: In order to progress from one stage of an award to another [i.e. PgC to PgD, PgD to Masters], you must normally have completed the required number of credits as outlined in the previous section. Part Time Route Students studying on the part time route follow the same programme structures as students on the full time route but they may take between one and seven modules in one year in any allowed combination. Part time students have up to five years to complete the award. 6

7 HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED? Teaching and Learning Teaching and learning at postgraduate level requires individuals to work independently, to investigate and research in depth, and to reflect critically on this work. It will involve the ability to solve and manage complex problems without supervision and to produce solutions, building on academic research. There is an expectation that students successfully completing the award will be in a position to work independently and manage teams and projects without supervision. Students will develop these management skills through most modules, learning to work independently, meeting deadlines and managing their own resources. There will be a spectrum of teaching, learning and assessment strategies that range from theoretical analysis to practical application. Staff directed lectures and tutorials will inform formal learning. Practical work will be conducted through problem based learning and hands-on tutorials in the music studios. Tutorial work includes problem identification and analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation, management of solutions and consideration of professionalism and ethical conduct. Areas of teaching, learning and assessment will be reviewed and developed on a regular basis to respond to the advance of scholarship and the needs of professional contemporary practices in the music industry. Industry working methods will be adapted and applied throughout student learning, teaching and assessment, to assist academic, technical and work based knowledge. Overall students will be expected to study 150 hours in total for each 15-credit module. Each 15-credit module will typically be comprised of around twelve 3-hour lectures and/or tutorials and 114 hours of independent learning. There will be an emphasis on students being confident learners, through their engagement with autonomous and self-directed study. Independent learning will be encouraged throughout the course and assisted by lecturers providing general reading lists, subject specific assignments and a range of formative tasks and activities. All directed study support builds upon the knowledge and skills learnt in lectures and tutorials to provide a fuller understanding of the subject area. Students will be expected to be self-motivated and proactive, and to carry out academic research, finding their own material. Students will also be supported through the use of online tutorials, written documents, academic journals and internet resources which are centrally stored on the Blackboard virtual learning environment. Additionally, learning will be enhanced via master classes taught by visiting professionals from both industry and academia. Assessment Students being assessed at postgraduate level are expected to demonstrate a depth of understanding, academic research, critical awareness and reflection, and the ability to solve and manage complex problems without supervision. Students understanding and knowledge will be assessed through a combination of presentations, written reports, essays, technical demonstrations, exams and logbooks. Students can expect to receive formative feedback in the tutorials and seminars and through discussion forums on the Blackboard virtual learning 7

8 environment. Summative feedback will also be available at the end of each module. In addition, each student will be allocated a personal tutor to guide progression throughout the award. The teaching and learning strategy is primarily described for delivery of the award on campus in a full time mode but part time delivery will be negotiated as needs arise. The learning strategies can also be adapted for distance learning through the use of the resources available on the virtual learning environment. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Entry Requirements [including IELTS score] What qualifications would I need to join this programme? The entry requirements for the award are normally a 2:2 honors degree with a relevant first degree in a subject related to Music Production or equivalent music industry experience. Applicants with different qualifications who have relevant work experience will also be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the award manager. A mature student with significant industrial experience and an appropriate academic qualification could be accredited for part of the award. This accreditation would be reliant on the decision of the Music Production course manager, the programme area manager and the faculty recruitment manager. If English is not your first language we will ask you to show that you are fluent enough to cope with the course. A minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS [the International English Language Testing System] or the equivalent is the normal requirement. Our faculties may decide in some cases to require higher IELTS or to accept other forms of evidence of competence in the use of English language. Disability Statement Staffordshire University operates a policy of inclusive teaching and learning to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. Details about how to apply to have your needs assessed can be found at: AWARD SPECIFIC INFORMATION Students will be required to achieve at least 40% in each component of the assessment with an overall average of at least 50% in order to pass a module. Students should refer to the award handbook for specific information regarding late submissions, ill health and extenuating circumstances. Further information about the award can be found in the relevant Student Handbook and on the University Website. This includes information about optional modules, student support, and academic regulations. 8

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