Back

Sound and Music for Games
BA (Hons)

Never before has the world of sound and music for games provided such a rich, dynamic and varied professional landscape.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

2 years (full-time)

Degree Classification

BA (Hons)

UCAS Code

J930

Why Study Sound and Music for Games?

From the uplifting beep of an 8-bit style platformer to the suffocating claustrophobia of a first-person horror slash-'em-up, never before has the world of sound and music for games provided such a rich, dynamic and varied professional landscape.

Please note: This is a top-up programme and entry is only available from year 3 upwards.

A new generation of consoles and the adoption of tablets and mobile phones as gaming platforms has led to an explosion of new game content, and the demand for creatives who can work with sound and music, and who understand its role in enhancing gameplay, has never been greater.

Supported by an enthusiastic team of academic staff who have direct professional experience of the games industry, we’ll help you develop professionally in an environment that reflects both the tools and practice of this nascent but ascendant area of the music industry.

Register Interest

An undergraduate  qualification can help develop you into a confident, independent thinker who's ready to face the challenges of the modern world. 

Information and advice is key to making sure you make the right decision for you. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about stepping into the world of undergraduate study.

Register your interest and find out the fantastic options available to you.

 

Register Interest

Your Journey Starts Here

If you’re a sound designer, engineer, producer or composer, or a game designer or coder with a logical mind and a passion for sound, this course gives you the opportunity to explore the concepts and applications of video game sound.

Entry Requirements

Please note: This is a top-up programme and entry is only available from Year 3 onwards.

 

Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND Music Graded Unit at B -
HND Music and Audio Technology Graded Unit at B -
HND Music Technology Graded Unit at B -
HND Sound Production Graded Unit at B -
HND Computer Game Design/Development (or similar) Graded Unit at B Evidence of engagement with sound design/production as part of game design process. Note: This may be by portfolio submission and review by programme lead.

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

Two females and one male sitting together, smiling and chatting

English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

Find out more

Male and female working together

English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

Find out more

Office environment - two males smiling and chatting

Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

Find out more

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Key Modules (2017/18)

Audio for Games I: Concepts, Assets and Implementation (AUD301)

An introduction to the interactive and real-time adaptive processes and structures that drive sound effects and music in video games. The module highlights the similarities and differences between linear media like film and interactive media like video games, and explores the challenges posed for the creative assets like sound effects and music. Working to a pre-written interactive video game framework, students create detailed lists, sound assets and implement them through audio middleware.

Sound and Music for the Moving Image (AUD302)

An exploration of how sound and music are used alongside the moving image. While acknowledging that sound design and music are interesting media forms in their own right, the module focuses on the point at which these are brought together with the moving image to create something that is greater than the sum of the component parts.

Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping (DES301)

Students work together as individual subject specialists on an interactive media project as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Students will communicate with clients and relevant stakeholders, take part in pitching concepts and deliver presentations, contribute to the iterative design and development of the concept, research and test technical pipelines and create project documentation and planning materials.

Audio for Games II: Procedural Methods, Integration and Scripting (AUD303)

An introduction to procedural and algorithmic methods for sound and music generation. Explores good practices of how pre-recorded sound assets are edited and tagged so as to respond seamlessly to player input alongside procedural audio systems. Students work with audio middleware, and game engines, with a focus on their integration through a sample project provided at the start of term. Finally, students explore further possibilities for game event and parameter control through scripting.

Synthesis and Sonic Art (AUD304)

Provides students with an understanding of how sound synthesis and simple algorithmic techniques may be used as the basis for electronic music production and in the design and implementation of sonic art installations.

Professional Project: Development and Delivery (DES302)

Working within a multidisciplinary team, students will develop an interactive media prototype based on the planning and initial prototyping of concepts conducted within the module DES301 Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping. The emphasis is on the development and delivery of a final digital prototype in response to an initial creative brief, taking into account both stakeholder and user feedback.

Honours Project Proposal and Development (ART405)

This module allows students to formulate a contextual, theoretical, and practical foundation in a self-selected area of professional practice and research. Students will evaluate existing research, texts and projects with a view to developing a project proposal and will develop a portfolio of practical work pertinent to their own professional practice and the selected honours project topic.

Dynamic Audio for Digital Media (AUD401)

Provides a concrete understanding of the basic principles behind dynamic audio system design, implementation and deployment in different contexts, as well as an introduction to object oriented computer programming. Students gain the design and awareness skills, and the aesthetic awareness, to interpret and address a creative audio project brief.

Honours Project Dissertation (ART404)

Approaches research as an active process of inquiry that leads to the production of a dissertation which appropriately communicates research process and findings.

Honours Project (3) (ART403)

Students undertake an extensive creative research project where they fuse theory and practice to create a large scale portfolio of work sensitive to critical theories, concepts and practices within a specialist area of enquiry.

How the Course Works

Learning and Assessment  

Our approach to assessment recognises the practical and applied nature of the subject.

Most work is assessed by portfolio, with the majority of portfolio submissions consisting of a finished piece, a piece of contextual written work which provides some critique and analysis, and evidence of work-in-progress, usually in the form of a blog or online workflow.

You’ll have opportunities to present interim work for feedback before submission, and deadlines, rather than the clock in the exam room, provide the pressure of time for our assessments, an approach which mirrors working practices in industry.

The programme is assessed entirely by portfolio. There are no formal written examinations.

You’ll be based in White Space, Abertay's hub for creative computing.

From the outset, you’ll be working alongside programmers, artists, animators and producers in interdisciplinary production teams, ensuring your skills are both up-to-date and informed by direct contact with industry.  

You’ll use industry-standard production tools, audio middleware and game engines, allowing you to develop a professional portfolio, and will be supported by enthusiastic team of internally-acclaimed academics at one of the world's leading institutions for computer games education

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BA (Honours) Sound and Music for Games

Accreditation

About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined above, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules.

Career Opportunities

Although the degree is focused on game sound, it’ll help prepare you to find employment across the music industry and beyond.

The ability to work creatively with sound can find a home in many different areas.

This programme also provides an excellent platform for further study, and there are a number of excellent Masters programmes in sound design and music business, both here in the UK and overseas, which provide the next step for many of our graduates.

Your experience of working in a vibrant and creative atmosphere in multidisciplinary teams and negotiating submissions with clients and academic staff will help prepare you well for the future, no matter what it holds.

Female wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone

Occupations

Sound design and composition for computer games, film and television, radio and theatre are all career options, but previous graduates have built successful careers for themselves in:

  • Audio programming
  • Audio software design
  • Game audio
  • Audio-visual installations
  • Designing visitor attractions
  • Sound production for holiday and festival venues
  • Web design
Rectangular box with stones inside - male feet walking on the stones - a microphone is capturing the sounds

Industry Links

This degree was the first in Scotland to be fully accredited by JAMES, and is part of the creative suite of programmes that form Abertay's Skillset Media Academy.

As part of those networks, you’ll have access to a programme of speakers drawn from across the games industry, and the inside track for exclusive industry placements and job opportunities.

Throughout year 3, you’ll work in small development teams on live projects for external clients. This embeds industrial contact directly in the curriculum, giving you the benefits of a placement within the safe environment of the university campus.

Three people sitting on sofas talking

Sound and Music for Games Graduate

Meet Russell Bennett, who graduated with a Creative Sound Production degree from Abertay.

Two males standing together with sound equipment

Russell Bennett

Meet Russell Bennett, a BA Creative Sound Production graduate from Abertay.

Find out more

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Programme Fees for 2018

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students

£14,600

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Programme Leader - Sound and Music for Games

Dr Christos Michalakos

Dr Christos Michalakos

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

View profile

Explore our Dundee campus facilities

Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

Our Campus

Male standing in front of Abertay University

Why Abertay?

We're proud of our students and graduates, and we believe there's no better place to study if you're looking for a degree that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate in an increasingly competitive job market.

Why Abertay

Female standing outside the Bernard King Library

Come to an Open Day

An Open Day is your chance to get an up close experience of the University and the city. You’ll come away with all the information you need about us and the courses you’re interested in.

Open Day

Female hanging upside down on hand railing

Living in Dundee

Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

Living in Dundee & Scotland

Male standing outside Groucho's shop

Unistats

Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Related Courses

Check out the related courses below - there's a degree for everyone at Abertay.

Computer Game Applications Development

Create games and interactive experiences or script game mechanics and programming tools by choosing this world-leading degree.

Find out more

Male wearing Virtual Reality head - another male in background using Desktop PC

Computer Games Technology

Press start on a world-leading Computer Games Technology degree. Go under the bonnet to explore the engines that make computer games whirr.

Find out more

Game Design and Production

Learn to harness your creativity and get set to push the boundaries of games making by studying in the thriving city that spawned Grand Theft Auto.

Find out more

Find a course