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BA (Hons) Music and Sound Recording

Capture inspiration wherever it takes you

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

拢9,250 per year

International and EU fees

拢23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June.

Book your place

From classic cassette tapes, to the vinyl revival and global streaming services, recorded sound has become the primary way we experience music.

At York, Music and Sound Recording (BA) acknowledges that music and production are no longer separate art forms. Our course offers you the freedom to develop a tailored set of intellectual, technical and musical skills.

You’ll gain practical experience in audio engineering and recording techniques essential to a career in music technology. Your core modules will show you how to record, mix and master a wide variety of music genres, from pop to rock to classical and beyond.  Our flexible, modular approach lets you shape your learning to your passions and career aspirations. You’ll have the chance to take options available to all undergraduate students in Music, in addition to modules specifically designed for this course. 

Our five recording studios give you access to 60 years of audio technology: vintage tape machines; analogue synthesizers; high-end outboard and mixing consoles; and a range of digital audio workstations. 

We have a dedicated careers service and a growing internship and placements programme, so you can gain industry experience before you graduate. Our graduates have gone on to work in recording studios, radio, mix for Dolby Atmos, hardware and software development, and become successful arts practitioners.

Course content

This course allows you to specialise across a wide range of music activities (including performance and composition) and studio-based arts. We provide a skill set which highlights enterprise, enabling you to take creative, design and managerial roles in projects that will prepare you for a career in the music and audio industries. To this end, the course addresses a wide array of contemporary contexts for music production: from pop studio practice, to classical recording of ensembles and instrumentalists.

You'll also engage with extensive practical and theoretical coverage of new systems and philosophies for sound and music creation and performance. This is combined with an evidence-based approach to audio principles and studio technique, drawing on relevant engineering practice and scientific knowledge. This will enable next-generation tools to be designed, developed and used.

You will benefit from modules in creative entrepreneurship, developing individual work and research under close supervision by staff with significant industrial and creative experience. These modules will allow you to reflect critically and help you respond to the demands of the professional environment. 

四虎影院 abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Core modules

Option modules

You'll also choose one option module from the selection available to BA Music students. Rather than being split by year, students from all years of the degree are taught together, giving you invaluable opportunities to meet and learn from other students on the course. We update these modules every year. Recent examples include:

Music and Sound Recording

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

You'll take core modules, which may include:

Option modules

You will also study two option modules. Recent examples include:

Music and Sound Recording

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

Core modules

You'll take core taught modules, which may include:

You'll also complete an independent project, in which you will develop a substantial piece of creative, technical or scholarly work which will be presented to professional standards.

Option modules


Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Find, develop and deliver individual applications for informed creativity that benefit society, both culturally and economically. 
  • Make a wide range of audio media and musical outcomes in a range of production and performance environments. 
  • Take a multidisciplinary approach to studying sound and music. Applying an understanding of issues and practice in music (from at least two of production, engineering, performance, composition, history and analysis) and articulating and utilising relevant knowledge and skills in computing, engineering and science. 
  • Transfer knowledge of the techniques and technologies of audio capture, production and control across a wide range of applications and interactions with business and industry for a sustainable career in a variety of sound practices and audio professions. 
  • Utilise current audio software systems and music programming languages in creative ways to realise artistic work and innovative technical solutions. 
  • Place their own theoretical and practical work within a cultural, historical and critical context that understands production and other technological mediation as a musical activity not simply an adjunct to it.
四虎影院ing Music at York gives you real creative freedom. I had the opportunity to record some of my original work where I focused on combining acoustic and electronic elements to really blur the lines between what was vocals, guitar or synthesiser. I鈥檝e also been able to work with some fantastic musicians, both fellow students and professionals.
Tom, BA Music and Sound Recording

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
拢9,250 拢23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

You can complete all aspects of the course without a personal computer, but many students find it more convenient to have a laptop of their own. For our course we recommend the industry standard of Apple computers, particularly the MacBook Pro with as much processing power and memory as possible. We expect students to use Reaper in their first semester, but the choice of DAW beyond this point is up to you. 

You will need an external hard drive. Given you will be generating a lot of audio and music materials (and possibly video and software), we recommend a portable solid-state drive (SSD), 2TB or larger, with USB3.0 connectivity. You will also need a pair of wired high-quality headphones. As a general guide we would recommend the Sennheiser HD series (particularly HD559, HD569, HD58X, or HD599 models), AKG, or Beyer Dynamic models. You should avoid headphones that have noise-reduction technology. Teaching staff are happy to provide recommendations. You will have the opportunity to work on analogue tape on the course. If you wish to explore this further, you may wish to purchase your own additional 2-inch multitrack tape.

The School has a network license for Sibelius which students can use at no extra cost. The School will also provide hearing protection for musicians playing in high-volume settings, but you may choose to purchase your own. You may also wish to take out specialist insurance if undertaking professional work or travelling with instruments or equipment.

You will be expected to pay for the maintenance of your instruments, equipment and sheet music. Instrumental and/or vocal tuition for Music and Sound Recording students can be arranged with individual tutors for an additional fee. Students on our MA Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching course give lessons as part of their learning. These lessons are open to all across the university community – contact richard.powell@york.ac.uk for details.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Our Future Voices Scholarship programme provides a package of financial and industry support to welcome talented UK undergraduates from Black, Asian, Gypsy, Traveller and ethnically diverse backgrounds to our creative community.

Subject-specific funding

We offer some scholarships for undergraduate students. See our bursaries for instrumental and vocal studies

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we鈥檙e gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Our modules are taught in small groups (typically 15-25 students). Much of the course content is developed alongside ongoing staff research so what you learn keeps pace with the constant changes in music culture and technology. Most modules are taught across all three years, giving you the chance to learn from your peers as well as your tutors.

Each module is made up of intensive tutor-led sessions which typically include a combination of lecture-style teaching, group discussion, studio and technology workshops and other practical activities. With the support of the module tutor, you will then produce a portfolio of work in response to these taught sessions.

Your contact time with the School can take the form of studio-based practical sessions, lectures, rehearsals, listening seminars, tutorials, supervision meetings and concerts. Around your timetabled hours you'll work independently – altogether we recommend that you spend about 40 hours per week on learning.

Beyond your scheduled teaching, you’ll have the chance to attend weekly seminars on research and composition and performance masterclasses (some of these may be compulsory, depending on the modules you choose). These sessions are often delivered by visiting experts in the field, including professional composers, internationally established concert artists and ensembles and specialist researchers. You’ll join at least one musical ensemble and attend the associated rehearsals and performances, but many students choose to join many more. Many students also take the opportunity to put on their own performances as part of our biweekly, student-run series of lunchtime concerts.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures5-6 hours per week
Seminars1-2 hours per week
Practicals2-6 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.


Our facilities are some of the finest in the UK, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and Rymer Auditorium. Our five recording studios give you access to 60 years of audio recording - from vintage analogue to contemporary digital software integrations. 

John Paynter Music Library
The John Paynter Music Library is an elegant facility, located within the University's JB Morrell Library, and houses the main music collections. It is also equipped with digital pianos and media replay equipment. The physical collection as well as an extensive range of electronic resources are searchable through the YorSearch.

Sound Resources
The University Library houses and extensive collection of CDs and DVDs, which are available for listening and research. There are also archival recordings available for student use in the 四虎影院 Sound Archives.

Explore our facilities

Teaching location

You will be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the School. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

We don't assess through written exams or set essay titles: you’ll work with your tutors to craft research projects that fit your interests, with opportunities to be assessed through creative work, recordings, composition or other practical work that mirror real-world tasks, alongside written submissions that showcase your analytical and critical thinking.

Careers and skills

Our dedicated careers service and experience-based modules have seen our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. They work in world-leading recording studios, national and international radio, lead the sector in mixing for Dolby Atmos, develop creative hardware and software for music production, write for industry publications, and become successful arts practitioners.

Career opportunities

York's alumni include:

  • , Controller of BBC Radio 3
  • , Artistic Associate, Southbank Centre
  • , Mercury Prize-nominated composer
  • , concert pianist and award-winning musicologist
  • , Oscar-winning film editor (Dune, Arrival)
  • , journalist and music critic

Others have gone on to work in:

  • Broadcast and media
  • Professional performance
  • Arts management
  • Teaching and community education
  • University lecturing
  • Music outreach
  • Music publishing (most major houses)
  • Major music agencies
  • Orchestral management

Transferable skills

  • Independent thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation
  • Writing
  • Critical analysis
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Audio engineering
  • Use and development of technology
  • Science and technology research

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAB including A in Music Technology or Music

If you are not taking A level Music or Music Technology we will accept AAB in three A Levels plus ABRSM or Trinity Grade 5 Theory and Grade 7 Performance. Other equivalent qualifications and exam boards may be considered on a case by case basis.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits from units awarded Distinction and 9 awarded Merit or higher. An additional A Level or equivalent qualification in Music or Music Technology will be required.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD in Music or Music Technology. If you are taking a BTEC in a different subject, an additional A Level or equivalent qualification in Music or Music Technology will be required.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including D3 in Music
European Baccalaureate 80% overall, including 85% in Music
International Baccalaureate 35 points including 6 in Music at Higher Level
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in Music has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - B in Music plus Scottish Highers - BBBB

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. Following your application you may be called to an interview and audition. On the day you visit York, there will be a chance to talk to current students and see the department in action. For general information about the application process, visit the  site.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Jack McNeill, Programme Leader

Learn more

School of Arts and Creative Technologies

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