Music Technology - BMus (Hons)

Outline

Music Technology has advanced enormously in recent years. Underlying the ever-expanding range of creative possibilities is an increasing reliance on key ideas from the physical sciences and engineering. Our students are trained across major music technologies, with an emphasis on fundamental principles and the development of skills that will be applicable both now and over a lifetime of work in the field and beyond.

You will become part of a community of researchers and creative musicians with a broad view of the nature and scope of music. You will develop your core knowledge in a wide and complementary range of musical and scientific disciplines with the possibility to specialise in one or more areas of individual interest. The courses in Music Technology provide practical experience in bringing these varied disciplines together in a creative and technological context.

Who should study for the BMus in Music Technology?

Applicants to the BMus in Music Technology are expected to have a strong background in both music and science/mathematics, as well as a keen interest in technology and computer programming.

Why should you study Music Technology at Edinburgh?

The grounding we provide in core skills, alongside the opportunity to pursue an individual programme of study, is excellent preparation for further study or for a career in the music and media industries. The range of courses and possibilities for specialisation also provide a varied and transferable set of skills for life in an increasingly technological workplace. Key areas include computer programming, maths, critical analysis and writing, all of which are applicable in a wide range of fields.

Where art meets science

The Reid School of Music has longstanding relationships with the other arts disciplines at the University of Edinburgh. The School also has important connections with the physical sciences, engineering and informatics. This is most evident through the expertise, held by staff within Music, in computer programming (for both real- and non real-time applications), acoustics, hearing science, sound synthesis and audio effects processing. The availability of options in the Music subject area, including history, critical theory, and analysis provides further depth and context to the programme.

The varied coursework within the Music Technology programme reflects many of these technical interests, and includes computer programming assignments, mathematical problem sets, as well as numerous projects and coursework of a creative nature. There is also a strong music component, with students required to take several courses shared with our BMus in Music degree.

There is a wide range of studio and technical facilities, including a number of spaces for live recording and performance. There are also exciting possibilities for collaboration with students from the wider ECA community, in subjects such as film, animation, and digital arts.

Skills and careers

The programme culminates with a major independent project in the final year, providing students with the opportunity to research and develop their own ideas. Upon graduation, students will be ready for a range of careers in the music and media industries, the music-related arts, education, or for further advanced study. The broad and deep range of transferable skills developed in areas such as computer programming, mathematics and analytical writing will also be attractive to employers in fields other than music.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • An extraordinary place to study music technology: Edinburgh has a vibrant music and arts scene, and is home to the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh festival. The city hosts the world-class Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and sees regular performances by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera, in addition to a wide range of inspiring bands and performers across all genres of music.
  • Defined by an inter-disciplinary ethosOur courses take place at the crossroads of rigorous science-based enquiry and the creative and technical mastery of music technology. They are designed to provide a broad and deep background to music technology, to stimulate creativity, while equipping students with essential core skills to excel in a wide range of disciplines.
  • At the heart of a great universityThe Reid School of Music at Edinburgh College of Art has been ranked 7th in the UK for music in the Complete University Guide.
  • Work with leading technological and creative thinkersOur staff are world leaders in a wide range of musical areas including musical acoustics and music technology, composition, popular music and the digital arts.
  • Flexibility and focusOur flexible course structure range of Honours options means that you will have the opportunity to tailor a study programme to suit your own individual aims and interests, while gaining an in-depth education in the core skills of music technology.

View the programme handbook (login required) >

Staff

Dr Stefan Bilbao | View staff profile >

Dr Yati Durant | View staff profile >

Dr Michael Edwards | View staff profile >

Dr Darren Hendrie | View staff profile >

Prof Peter Nelson | View staff profile >

Dr Michael Newton, Programme Director | View staff profile >

Facilities

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

Access Awards are non-repayable support based on criteria such as income, background and personal circumstances, and in some cases geographical area.

Awarded to final year students who have made an outstanding contribution to the musical life of Reid School of Music or the wider Edinburgh community.

Open to any full-time undergraduate student in the Reid School of Music. Awarded to the best dissertation. (Amount variable)

Awarded to postgraduates and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduates for travel and study abroad during the academic year or summer vacation. (c. £100-£1,000)

Awarded to a matriculated student or graduate of music. Preference will be given to an organist preparing for the Diploma of ARCO or FRCO (£500)

Awarded to a member of EUMS who demonstrates an aptitude in the development and conducting of a choral ensemble. (Amount variable)

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)

Awarded to the 2nd year Undergraduate in Music who shows the greatest promise and all-round ability in organ/piano performance. (£1000)

Nominations by music staff (final year student dealing with 'Early Music before 1750').

Awarded as part of a first year undergraduate music competition to the student who shows all-round excellence in piano performance. (£500 per annum)

Awarded to the first year undergraduate in Music who achieves the best all-round academic performance in the May examinations. (£500)

Awarded annually to first year undergraduates on the basis of their end of year examination results (not including pianists and singers). (£1000)

Awarded to music student who shows the greatest promise in composition or performance.

News & events

The £234k grant has been awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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.

Contact

College of Humanities & Social Science Undergraduate Admissions Office

Email: hssug@ed.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565