Music Tech at UK Uni's
November 16, 2005 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Which UK universities are good for Music Technology?

So I'm getting to the point where I have to submit my UCAS application (those outside the UK, Wikipedia has an article on it here). So I was just wondering - does anybody know which UK Universities are good for Music Technology? Ideally I'll be ending up with a BA as opposed to a BSc. So far I've taken a look at Huddersfield, Lancaster and Music Informatics at Sussex. Does anybody have any more suggestions? My criteria will knock out any course started in the last 24 months, and any joint honours degrees. Other than that, I'm open to suggestion, opinion and criticism. Thanks!
posted by samstarling to Education (9 answers total)
 
I hope you don't mind me asking, but what sort of grades are you expecting to get, and in what subjects?
posted by Lotto at 1:53 PM on November 16, 2005


Can I ask what you want to get out of the course as well?

In terms of getting into the industry, there's only one or two that are any good, and if you're doing it for fun you might be disappointed in the amount of practical work on most courses.

Don't mean to be negative, but they're very good at selling themselves as more than they are.

If I could do it again, I would get a part-time trade of some kind that could pay the bills and spend the money on equipment.
posted by lunkfish at 2:09 PM on November 16, 2005


Or if you want the uni experience, do a degree in something else and you'll still have loads of time for the music tech.
posted by lunkfish at 2:10 PM on November 16, 2005


If you want to get into the industry, then doing a Music Tech course isn't necessarily the best route.

The sheer number of people doing a Music Tech degree, far outnumbers the number of people who will ever be worth their salt in the studio.

Having been to Uni isn't necessarily going to make your dreams of being a big producer or whatever come true either. You're going to have to start at the bottom whatever you decide to do.

If you really, truly have your heart set on getting into the industry, you're going to have to put a lot of hard work in finding an internship or similar at a studio, or wherever you're aiming at getting, and from then on it's going to be a hard slog getting to the top.

It's what I really wish I'd done, I've learnt bugger all on my course (which isn't music technology, but it's quite similar in some ways), and it's been of little help. Right now I can't wait for it to be over so I can try my hand at doing just what I've described.
posted by iamcrispy at 2:23 PM on November 16, 2005


I'm not sure how much usen this is because things may have moved on, but when I was considering going down this route (back in 1994) two very highly regarded places for music technology were Surrey University and Salford University.
posted by chill at 2:56 PM on November 16, 2005


chill, Surrey's Tonmeister course is the most high-flying course, but not exactly what I'm looking for - it seems very technical whereas I'm looking for a course with a greater degree of creativity.

Lotto, I'm expecting grades of ABB in Computing, Music and Physics respectively.

Basically, I'm not sure what I'd want to get from the course - I chose the course because my interests lie firmly in computers and music and from what I've seen and read the courses look enjoyable... Maybe this is the wrong reason? Thanks for all the replies so far!
posted by samstarling at 1:26 AM on November 17, 2005


Don't want to piss on your strawberries, but you should look very carefully at the courses and ask the tutors some demanding questions. Check out if the studio is actually well run, or if they have equipment that they get out for the open day, but is never functional or connected.

Ask how much studio time you will get. Look at the modules offered and expect them to be less fun than they sound. Find out if any of the tutors actually know about practical music tech, or are just interested in their own academic stuff.

I wish you luck whatever you decide, but from my experience and other people's on forums, UK music tech degrees aren't much cop apart from LIPA, Tonmeister and Salford.

One course that is purely creative and looks fun is Sonic Arts at Middlesex university.

It's a subject that attracts a lot of people, so a lot of places will offer a course. Whether they can deliver the goods is another matter. I can't stress enough that they are selling themselves - they get more money for more students. Don't take anything admissions tutors say at face value - they're not your friend.

Maybe a computer science degree would be up your street? A lot of musicians seem to get into IT work after, and computers is the way things are going. As a student, there are loads of opportunities to get involved with performance, club nights etc. whatever degree you're on. And you will come out with a respected degree.

Best of luck.
posted by lunkfish at 1:50 AM on November 17, 2005


Something perhaps to be wary of based on my experience (I in the end decided to do a vanilla music degree at Southampton University) is how doing a degree in something you are meerly interested in, rather than firmly want a career in, could actually have a negative impact on that interest. I like music, I like listening to it and performing it, but having to go to lectures on Gregorian Chant or learn how to write a sonata in the style of Beethoven were not particularly compelling for me, and made music seem like a chore rather than something to be enjoyed. As a result, I decided to quite the course after a year.
YMMV of course.
posted by chill at 2:04 AM on November 17, 2005


Just on your question, Bath Spa University has a good reputation and its quite a fun place to be a student.
posted by grahamwell at 2:12 AM on November 17, 2005


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