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Key information

Qualification type

Mmus/MusM - Master of Music

Subject areas

Music Technology / Production

Course type


Course Summary

Sonic arts are becoming a fully-fledged discipline in their own right within the music world due to the increase in sound technology and availability of international possibilities in the area. You study sonic arts and sound design with options in renaissance counterpoint, vocalstration, current issues in music education, contemporary issues in aesthetics, visual culture, art and business, Northern worlds, roads, mobility, movement, creative coding, composing with sound, words and music, contemporary European opera, sacred music from 18th century Italy, enhanced practice in music teaching, history, locations and dislocations, curating an exhibition, developing a theory of practice, Northern peoples and cultures, oral traditions and your research project.

The university offers you a wide range of activities to be involved in whilst you study. This includes the Sound Emporium Research Group which is an active sonic arts research group at the university, the Sound Festival and the music department has a close relationship with sonADA. The department offers a wide range of groups which are available for students, staff and members of the local community. These include a University Symphony Orchestra and University Chapel Choir, Big Band and Jazz Band, University of Aberdeen Chapel Choir, Choral Society, Concert Band, Early Music Ensembles, Elphinstone Fiddlers, Opera Society, Aberdeen Steel Pan Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Spectrum – contemporary music ensemble, and Marischal Chamber Orchestra. The department offers an active concert series which is regularly broadcast throughout the world.

Graduates from Sonic Arts will be able to seek employment in creative industries areas and work across film, multimedia, computer games and programming, broadcasting, theatre, education and other areas of music plus the sound and entertainment business. You can get involved in making audio content for computer software, gaming, websites and other areas of the new media industry.

The Department of Music offers strengths in composition, instrumental and vocal music, electroacoustic historical music, Scottish Music, 18th century Venetian music, 20th Century music and aesthetics. You are invited to the music seminar series where visiting practitioners from a range of international universities perform every Thursday evening. You can attend further concert series on campus around the year. The Department of Music offers a wide range of music societies such as Big Band, Jazz, Chapel Choir, Choral Society, Concert Ban, Music Ensembles, Fiddlers, Opera Society, Steel Pan Orchestra, Performance Group, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and University of Aberdeen Symphony Orchestra.

You study at the beautiful University of Aberdeen campus at Kings College which is the 5th oldest university in the UK. It was founded by Bishop William Elphinstone in 1495 in the ‘pursuit of truth’ to provide a progressive, innovative research led training to students in disciplines which are relevant to North East Scotland and subjects which continue to progress societal and economic needs and innovations. The university was initially aligned to the universities of Paris and Bologna in its outward looking international desire to communicate and learn to and from a global stage. This international focus is continued today as the University attracts international research staff and academics from Europe and beyond to provide quality academic study which is relevant to the future needs of society globally

You are taught by internationally recognised research and teaching staff with professional consultancy experience in your discipline, 76% of research is rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent. (REF 2014).

Different course options

Full time | University of Aberdeen | 12 months | SEP-19

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date



A Survey of Sonic Arts: History, Theory and Practice - Core
Renaissance Counterpoint - Optional
Vocalstration - Optional
Current Issues in Music Education - Optional
Contemporary Issues in Aesthetics - Optional
Introduction to Visual Culture and Theory - Optional
Art and Business - Optional
Northern Worlds - Optional
Roads: Mobility, Movement, Migration - Optional
Creative Coding and Technology - Optional
Composing with Sound - Optional
Sound Design for New Media - Core
Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums - Core
Words and Music - Optional
Contemporary European Opera - Optional
Sacred Music from Italy in the Eighteenth Century - Optional
Enhanced Practice in Music Teaching and Learning - Optional
On Documentary: History, Theory and Practice - Optional
Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature - Optional
Curating an Exhibition - Optional
Developing A Theory of Practice: Learning and Museums - Optional
Northern Peoples and Cultures - Optional
Roads: Mobility, Movement, Migration (Extended - Optional
Oral Traditions - Optional

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students must normally possess a good second-class Honours degree (or its equivalent) in a subject of relevance to Sonic Arts (such as Music, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Media Studies, Theatre Studies, Performance, and Film) or at a level deemed equivalent. In addition to these University requirements, each application must be accompanied by the following: Contact details for two referees (not required for students and alumni of the University of Aberdeen); A short statement (1000 words) reflecting the applicant's interest in sonic arts, their technical background, and a proposal for the Final Project; Two pieces of creative work, such as compositions, creative writing, video clips of performance, visual work (2D or 3D, moving or non-moving), sound art and installation work, computer applications, or sound design portfolio for films, videos or games.

University information

Founded by William Elphinstone, the stunning University of Aberdeen has been ‘Open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others’ for over 500 years. It was founded on the Paris and Bologna university model and it continues an outwardly international focus; winning 5 Nobel Prizes and The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education (2018). The University of Aberdeen has enabled major positive international research...more