Are you interested in studying UTS Music and Sound Design?
We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this degree, including subjects, staff, culture, assessments and more!
Let’s get started!
What is a Bachelor of Music and Sound Design at UTS?
A Bachelor of Music and Sound Design at UTS is a very hands-on degree that explores music and sound production, focusing both on the individual’s talent and their ability to work collaboratively. If you are passionate about creating and producing then this degree will surely win you over!
From day dot you will pretty much be thrown into a studio and asked to make music. For this reason, students who choose a Bachelor of Music and Sound Design at UTS must be passionate about the content they will be exploring and ready to tackle big, practical projects.
Despite some of its more challenging aspects, a Music and Sound Design degree at UTS will push you to become a career-ready creative and help you to collate an impressive portfolio so that you can begin to do what you were made to: communicate to the world with sound!
Can this degree be studied in conjunction with another?
Although there is a huge variety of skills to be learnt in Music and Sound Design you may also choose to combine this degree with another and specialise in more than one field! Sure this means you have to spend a few extra years at uni (yeah we know, not ideal), but we promise it will be worth it when you’re done!
Music and Sound Design at UTS can be studied along with International Studies, where you will specialise in a chosen culture and language. The best part of International Studies is that you get to spend one whole year in a country of your choice!
If you want to study a language but don’t think you can commit to a year overseas, then you also have the option to study a Diploma in Languages. You could be a global expert in no time!
There is a broad range of career paths that can be taken with a Music and Sound Design degree at UTS. Students may wish to specialise in anything from popular music and film to gaming and advertising.
Possible career options for Music and Sound Design include (but are not limited to):
- Sound designer
- Music supervisor
- Audio engineer
- Computer musician
- Music producer
- New media artist
- Interactive media designer
- Music business professional
Core Units and Majors
What are the Core Units?
As you study a Bachelor of Music and Sound Design you will be required to complete 3 core subjects — these units are:
|Creative Entrepreneurship||Creative Entrepreneurship gives you the skills and knowledge needed for a creative career, teaching you how to work with clients, be adaptable and collaborate with others.|
|Digital Literacies||Digital Literacies helps you to grow your tech savvy skills and understanding of ethical media.|
|Communicating Difference||Communicating Difference teaches students crucial information about cultural and social difference, encouraging them to better understand diversity and how it affects all facets of life.|
These core units provide variety to your degree and teach critical values of diversity and adaptability needed for a career in digital music production and sound design.
For Music and Sound Design major subjects, there are 6 units that you’ll be required to study. These are:
- Audio Cultures
- Audio and Music Production
- Composing with Sound
- Sound Design
- Sound Project
In the final year of this degree you will be expected to complete a major capstone in the Sound Project subject. This project is kept intentionally flexible to allow students to experiment with a chosen style, genre and more.
Building a strong portfolio of work is a major focus of this degree and is used to prepare students for a competitive and creative industry.
This degree also has three units of professional development subjects, specific to a music and sound career. These are:
- Songwriting and Composition for Context
- Screen Soundtrack Production
- Music Business and Professional Practice
As the name suggests, these subjects are designed to improve your professionalism and prepare you for a future career in music and sound design.
Studio-based subjects in Music and Sound Design are kept adaptable so that students can choose an area of specialisation. Although the broad nature of this degree may not be for everyone, it’s what sets it apart from other tertiary-level music and sound qualifications.
You may wish to specialise in one of the following:
- Popular music
- Interactive digital media
- Locational sound
A Music and Sound Design internship can be taken as an elective, however they are not mandatory and you will have to decide if an internship is right for you. Tutors can be quite vague about how to get internships, so you will need to have a lot of initiative and be prepared for rejection.
Although internships are not compulsory, they are highly recommended for this degree as they lead to a stronger chance of future employment, and help to develop networking skills vital to a competitive career in music and sound production.
How to Get into Music and Sound Design at UTS
The ATAR cut off for a Bachelor of Music and Sound Design at UTS is 71.15.
Unlike other NSW degrees that focus on music and sound, a Bachelor of Music and Sound Design does not require an audition. This is largely due to the fact that this degree focuses more on building a portfolio over performing for an audience.
Year 12 Adjustment Factors
If you aren’t too pleased with your ATAR results but did well in a HSC music subject then don’t stress! Excellent results in HSC Music 1, 2 or Extension will be taken into account under the Year 12 Adjustment factors.
Although it is not a prerequisite, you will want to have some experience in music and/or sound before beginning this degree, or at least have a great passion for it!
What scholarships are available?
UTS Communication degrees offer a number of scholarships which you can find here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
Music and Sound Design, like most UTS degrees, is delivered in semesters with a non-compulsory summer semester. If you would rather spend your summer at the beach than in a classroom then you’re in luck!
A Bachelor of Music and Sound Design at UTS involves attending lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars. Lectures are not compulsory and students can choose not to attend, however the tutorials, workshops and seminars are vital, providing the essential information and practical, interactive experience that a career in sound and music requires.
It may sound daunting at first, but even with the combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials and/or seminars, in Music and Sound Design there will usually be three subjects a semester, meaning you will only have to rock up to uni for about 10 hours a week (score!).
Lectures tend to be less important in Music and Sound Design at UTS and are almost never compulsory. Most of the time, only about 30 to 40 students may attend a lecture (about half the cohort), depending on what it is about and what time it takes place.
Although lecturers tend to read right out of a textbook, the content is often delivered in sweet, short snippets and can add a lot of practicality to your subjects. If you are studious and love going above and beyond in your studies then by all means attend lectures, but there is no need to stress if you are less motivated to!
Workshops are the main component of a Music and Sound Design degree. Usually the whole class will attend workshops, so around 20 to 30 people. Workshops are a great way to work through your projects, get feedback and assistance, and collaborate with others.
Tutorials last for two hours and carry on much of the information covered in the lectures. Most tutorials involve sharing different ideas, especially regarding assessments, and tutors will provide plenty of great feedback.
Tutorials are normally made up of between 20 to 30 students and are a great way to engage with the content of your subjects.
Seminars are very similar to tutorials including how the classes are structured and how many students attend, but are usually about an hour longer. Whether a subject uses tutorials or seminars often depends on the content and how much time is needed to cover it each week.
What are the assessments like?
Usually you will have two assessments per subject, one worth 40% and the second worth 60%, that tend to relate to one another. Often assessments will also use a collaborative component and involve a group task, particularly in the music and sound specific subjects.
Creating music and producing sound is the sole focus of assessments in this degree, and after completing these subjects you will have a massive industry-ready portfolio full of practical, hands-on work!
Depending on the subject, you may work on things like essays and exegeses that relate to your practical work. Subjects like Music Business and Professional Practice are quite essay intensive as they are more theoretical. However most of the time if there is an essay in a Music and Sound Design subject it will be worth 40%, leaving the remaining 60% for practical, creative work (aka the fun stuff!).
Skills That You Refine and Learn
Working with others is often a requirement in any industry but especially in Music and Sound Design. Being able to work collaboratively with others is an absolute must in this degree, and a great way to get feedback and tips from others.
Knowing how to set up studios and prepare equipment to an industry standard is a big requirement for this degree which will definitely add to your professionalism in your chosen career path.
From the get-go Music and Sound Design at UTS will be practical. After all, this is a degree that revolves around production and portfolios.
Music and Sound Knowledge
Of course in this degree you will learn so much about music and sound and have a refined knowledge of both. Whether it be working out what works better together musically or how to use sound to your advantage, you can bet that your lecturers and tutors will provide you with the feedback needed to absolutely smash out amazing work!
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Brent Keogh is a great tutor for Music and Sound Design and is super helpful. Another notable staff member for Music and Sound Design is Felicity Wilcox, a stand-out tutor, especially in songwriting.
However all staff members in Music and Sound Design at UTS are great teachers as well as excellent musicians/producers, and you will be in very safe hands!
Even though it is changing slowly, Music and Sound Design at UTS can be quite a male-dominated degree. Although there is a lot of versatility and opportunity in this degree, students are mostly enrolled to make electronic music or are involved in the sound production side of things.
Musicians and music producers are a lot more common in this degree, rather than those wanting to do things like sound for film, for example.
A great way to get involved in music outside of the classroom is by joining clubs like MuscUTS and Reverb UTS. Both clubs are a great way to get ‘real-life’ music experience and share your passion with other like-minded creatives such as yourself!
Kellie Maloney is a driven and passionate writer who likes to flex her creative muscle on the daily. Currently, she also works as a Junior Content Writer at ClassBento, a rapidly growing startup that she is super proud to be a part of. When she is not writing for ClassBento or Art of Smart Education, Kellie can be found writing trashy poetry, cooking (barely) edible food or watching YouTube videos.