Acoustics and Music Technology - MSc


Acoustics and music technology sit at the exciting crossroads between science and the arts. In this rewarding programme you will combine aspects of both worlds to gain insight into the science of sound, and progress towards further research or a career in acoustics and music related technology.

What you will study

The MSc/Dip in Acoustics and Music Technology is the result of a historic and fruitful partnership between Edinburgh's Schools of Music and Physics & Astronomy. Taking the science of musical sound as your focus, you’ll work in a cross-disciplinary environment, using theoretical and experimental work to explore the musical, technical and multimedia applications of acoustics and audio technology. The involvement of two well-equipped Schools means that you’ll have access to a comprehensive suite of facilities – from up-to-date recording studios and sound desks, to an anechoic chamber, reverberation room and historic concert halls. It’s not all science, however: you will also examine the role of acoustics and technology in the creative arts, and you’ll be encouraged to place your work in a cultural context.

This is a unique degree programme, combining both technical and creative subjects. You will gain a solid platform in the essential technical aspects of acoustics, signal processing and computer programming for audio, while at the same time have the opportunity to undertake more artistically creative study in the fields of music and sound design. It is also possible to tailor your course choices to take in subjects related to speech recognition and synthesis technologies, for a more technical overall slant. Whatever path you choose to take, you will have a unique opportunity to engage with and learn from world-class academics in the fields of acoustics, music and audio technology, in an environment of active, international-quality research.  

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Flexibility and focus. Tailor your degree to your interests, whether they lie in the combination of scientific and artistic disciplines, or more weighted to technical subjects in acoustics and audio technology.
  • Technical excellence. Gain a solid technical understanding of acoustics and audio programming, as well as invaluable long-term project experience. Together these can form a sound basis from which to progress to further research. Our alumni have an outstanding track record in going on to such further study.
  • Professional prospects. The practical hands-on experience you will gain in experimental and computational acoustics will stand you in good stead for a career in acoustics and/or music and audio technology. Many of our alumni now work professionally in fields such as acoustic consultancy, acoustic design and audio programming.
  • A world-class research environment. Be part of an outstanding University with a world-class international reputation in the research of acoustics and audio technology.
  • A vibrant capital city. Study in Edinburgh, one of the world’s great capital cities, with a vibrant music and arts scene. The beautiful highlands of Scotland are also only a short journey away.

View the programme handbook (login required) >


Dr Michael Newton, Programme Director | View staff profile >

Dr Stefan Bilbao, Senior Lecturer | View staff profile >

Prof Murrary Campbell

Prof Clive Greated


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.

The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland. Used for concerts and part of the Musical Instruments Museum.

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

Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate study at Edinburgh College of Art. (£5,000)

For full-time postgraduate taught masters students starting at Reid School of Music. (£5,000)

For current full-time music students. Students wishing to enter the competition must present a programme of organ music lasting 35-40 minutes. (£1,000)

For full-time postgraduate taught masters students starting at Reid School of Music. (£3,000)

News & events


Natasha Goldstein (L) and Brian Hamilton (R) picking up their awards
Winners Natasha Goldstein (L) and Brian Hamilton (R) with judge, Colette Grant of Grant Property
Image: David P Scott

Alumni and research recognised in both award categories at the E Club pitching competition.

waves 450.jpg

Simulated propagation of acoustic waves in a large space computed on a set of four Nvidia Tesla K20 graphics processing units
Simulated propagation of acoustic waves in a large space computed on a set of four Nvidia Tesla K20 graphics processing units

The funding, worth €150,000, will go towards developing commercialisation in the area of architectural acoustics.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086