Sound Design - MSc by Research


This research programme is aimed at people with considerable practical or professional experience of sound design who wish to pursue further study in a particular area of the field. This could range from advanced surround sound applications, through to performance-based sound design, sound archiving, sonic art and installation, sound eduction, or theoretical and critical lines of enquiry informed by practice. 

Programme format

You will learn through a research-methods course, reading courses, and selections from an interdisciplinary menu of course options, with supervision from an academic active in your research area. 

You will develop a Masters level thesis of around 15,000 words, accompanied by significant practical research where appropriate.

Where will it take you?

Upon graduating, you will be able to engage critically with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of sound art, design, digital composition and digital media.

The programme is especially good preparation for PhD study in a sound design related area, via our PhD in Creative Music Practice.

View the programme handbook (login required) >


Dr Owen Green, Course organiser for Digital Media Studio Project, Sound Design Media and Sonic Structures | View staff profile >

Dr Martin Parker, Programme Director and Course Organiser for Sound Design Media | View staff profile >

Dr Jules Rawlinson, Course organiser for Interactive Sound Environments | View staff profile >


Everything you need to know about finding perfect student accommodation.

Six purpose-built, acoustically-treated music studios, with tie-lines to a shared recording space.

A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.

Recording equipment is available to students through BookIt, the online booking system.

Get information, advice and guidance about your career options.

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.

Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.

At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.

ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.

Edinburgh Global's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.

EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.

Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.

A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.

The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.

Edinburgh is home to a number of musical societies, bands, orchestras and dance troupes.

A technical support team is on hand to help you with any studio or equipment queries.

Information on the equipment available to students in the music studios and editing suites.

Nearly 1,000 items including stringed, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.

Includes organs, harpsichords, and instruments from the Musical Instruments Museum.

By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.

A 218-seat Victorian venue built in 1859. Used for regular orchestral and choral rehearsals and performances.

Located beneath Reid Concert Hall, this studio is built to record live performances in the venue.

The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.

Studio equipment and software tailored for music students to be able to record, edit, and experiment with their work.

Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.

Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.

Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.

Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.

Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.

A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.

A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.

Scholarships & bursaries

Open to current students pursuing research in the area of Scottish Music. (£1,000)

Open to new and current postgraduate Musicology students. (£500)

News & events

Kirsty Keatch 960 x 610.jpg

Photo of a Sound Design student
Kirsty graduated from our Music Technology programme in 2014
She is now doing an MSc by Research in Sound Design

We talk to Sound Design by Research student, Kirsty, about her portfolio of games and installations.

local setup.jpg

Gaby Yánez at her console at home in Ecuador
Photo: Gaby Yanez

"Don't limit your experience to what happens during lectures and/or assignments. Meet people, go places, discover the library... attend every concert and event you can."


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086