Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Music: Creative Music Technology

School of Arts and Media




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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In a nutshell

As the first UK institution to offer pioneering and distinctive courses in Popular Music and Recording and Band Musicianship, our reputation for innovation and excellence within music education continues to flourish.

This course builds upon our long-standing reputation and offers a full specialisation in the field of music technology and has been ranked the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West and number two in the UK in the 2020 Guardian university league tables. Plus, overall satisfaction with the course among students is 94% (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data).

The studio recording and production modules enable you to develop confidence in traditional studio skills, backed up by a solid academic understanding of historical developments and aesthetic considerations. Audio for Media trains you in the specific discipline of composing, arranging and producing  audio  for film, radio and television. Studio Composition covers a broad range of technical and genre viewpoints, from popular electronic music techniques to electro-acoustic composition. Thorough technical training and the study of acoustics underpin all of the creative work undertaken through the course.

You will:
  • Study on the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West (Guardian 2020)
  • Be able to take full advantage of the region's world-renowned music scene as both an active participant and an enquiring spectator
  • Study as an instrumental performer, receiving one-to-one tuition on your instrument in your first year

students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to access to industry-standard facilities


You want to be part of a diverse and vibrant music department and benefit from numerous performing and showcasing opportunities in Manchester and beyond


You want to be taught by practicing music technology professionals on a course well known for producing graduates who excel in their chosen careers

Course details

All about the course

Building upon our established reputation in music technology, the Creative Music Technology pathway offers a broad-based curriculum in Year One followed by the opportunity to specialise in music technology throughout Year Two and Three. Creative work is underpinned by technical training and study of acoustics. 

Year one

Foundation Musicianship Skills

This module develops both your individual and ensemble instrumental ability. You will receive weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition from an internationally recognised specialist tutor, focusing on technique and its application across a broad range of repertoire. You will also join one of the many Ensembles within the Directorate, including Popular Music Choir, Big Band, Brass Band, Brass Ensembles, Wind Band and Classical Choir.

Fundamentals of Composition and Technology

The core aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for composing and arranging music in a variety of styles. You will gain a working knowledge of the key aspects of instrumentation voicing, score layout, formal design and the manipulation of texture. This module also provides an introduction to location recording techniques, appropriate sequencing software, musical acoustics and their relationship to music technology.

Performance Studies

Continuing on from Musicianship Skills in Semester 1, this module consists of Individual Performance (weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition), Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (either Session Musicianship or Classical Conducting). Within the Ensemble component, you will have the opportunity to form your own Popular Music group (writing and rehearsing original material to be presented at a concert at the end of the semester), or join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, or Classical Choir.

Applied Composition and Technology

This module will provide you with a strong understanding of advanced diatonic harmony, melodic writing, fundamental musical forms, and practical skills concerned with rhythm as applied to the broad field of composition. You will explore the creative uses of a range of microphones in relation to musical instruments and acoustic environments, and be introduced to techniques of sound synthesis using a range of hardware and software based synthesisers.

You will choose one of the following options for each semester:

Music and Society: Antiquity to Enlightenment

This module engenders a sense of history and an awareness of significant cultural epochs and the music associated with them. It relates performance styles, compositional techniques and musicological discourse to particular historical periods.

Popular Music Style and Genre

Providing a historical overview of English-language popular music, this module begins to examine the concept of genre. You will develop an understanding of music style analysis as well as improve your aural skills.

Music and Society: The Modern Era

This module explores the continual interaction between “art” music and “popular” music, demonstrating the relationship between musical techniques/practices, ideology and historical contingency. You will be introduced to a broad range of repertoire and explore the historical development of competing canons in relation to social class, available technologies and prestige.

Interpreting Popular Music

Throughout this module, you will explore the social, political and economic contexts impacting upon the production of popular music. This module presents key ideas from culture theory, critical theory, and postmodernism in order to provide you with a strong understanding of popular music within these various cultural contexts. You will be introduced to a systematic and rigorous method by which to critically examine popular music and develop abstract thinking.

Year two

Studio Composition

You will be introduced to the creative use of sound and a range of hardware and software interfaces. This module instils a flexible and considered approach to musical interface by covering various sonic installation possibilities and a range of studio composition techniques including synthesis, sampling, interactive and generative.

Audio for Media

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the creative use of sound and music within a range of media. You will explore techniques for recording stereo drama in a recording studio; sound and image synchronisation techniques; and how to apply and develop audio digital editing techniques.

Studio Recording and Production

You will explore the ways in which the needs and demands of technology and performing artists can best be reconciled. This module will enhance your working knowledge of sound mixing consoles, audio recorders, signal processing equipment, digital audio workstations and software audio applications. You will develop strategies for analysing existing recordings in order to appreciate and utilise the technology involved in the recording process.

Professional Development in the Creative Industries

Focusing on current economic structures and potential development, this module provides an in-depth examination of the UK creative economy. You will explore concepts of copyright, authorship and ownership and gain an understanding of the processes involved in successful personal development planning.

Advanced Studio Composition

Continuing on from Studio Composition in Semester 1, this module begins to explore the integration of live sound, live instrument recording, and signal processing within studio composition.

Advanced Studio and Location Recording

Building upon your learning from Studio Recording and Production in Semester 1, this module aims to provide you with confident, genre-appropriate mixing, mastering and signal processing skills. You will develop a range of detailed recording strategies in relation to acoustic considerations.

Year three

Project Scope

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Production & Recording, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Conducting, Collection of Writings and Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

Negotiated Major Project

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Production and Recording, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Conducting, Collection of Writings and Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

You will choose one of the following options:

Sound Reinforcement

This module provides a theoretical understanding of live sound and informs a creative interpretation of musical material and situation. You will gain practical experience of rigging, sound checking, and be exposed to a range of setups, instrumentation and problematic scenarios.

TV Studio Programme Management

Providing you with a strong understanding of programme production and key creative and technical posts, this module will enable you to gain experience in programme construction, planning and execution in television, audio or video.

Music Video Production Management

The purpose of this module is to provide you with the necessary creative and technical expertise to coordinate the production of a music video. It introduces the methods of organising the production processes from planning to final delivery. You will gain knowledge and understanding of production and technical basics, technical language and communication of requirements.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I Be Doing?

Lectures are enhanced with audio/visual material. A lecture on a topic is usually followed up by a relevant seminar. You will be encouraged to prepare materials in preparation for seminars, where you’ll contribute to discussions.

  • Masterclasses - Visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music industry
  • Supervision both individual and in groups
  • Individual Instrumental Tuition to develop you performance technique and musical vocabulary
  • Ensemble Tuition in order to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary in an ensemble setting
  • Workshops to explore concepts and develop research techniques within a workshop environment, mixing class-based discussion and activities with library and archive work, providing you with the opportunity to develop creative ideas and to interact with leading scholars in the field Virtual Learning Environment(VLE) – 'Blackboard', supports every module within the course.


Guitar tutors
  • Les Bolger
  • Glenn Cartlidge
  • Paul Cusick
  • Mel Dean
  • Andy Duffy
  • Brian Kelly
  • Adam Palma

Bass Guitar tutors

Carl Barnett 
Ollie Collins  www.olliecollins.com

Piano (Popular/Jazz/Classical)

Rob Gibney 
Matt Steele 


Sarah Doggett

Clare Hogan 

Sue Hickey 


Jimm Fieldhouse www.apollosaxophonequartet.com 
Tim France (sax/ensembles/ Big Band)


Helen Tonge www.rivoliquartet.com


Mark Wilkinson (flugel / cornet) www.fodensband.co.uk
Brian Taylor (cornet) www.faireyband.com
Richard Marshall (cornet) www.blackdykeband.co.uk
Mike Eccles (flugel) www.faireyband.com
Helen Varley (tenor horn / French Horn) www.blackdykeband.co.uk 
Peter Christian (baritone /ensembles)
Billy Millar (euphonium)
Les Storey (bass trombone)
Gary Curtin (euphonium & tenor horn) www.blackdykeband.co.uk
Brett Baker (trombone) www.brettbaker.co.uk
Peter Christian (baritone / ensembles)
Lee Hallam (jazz trombone)
Les Neish (tuba) www.tuba-artist.com

Drums & Percussion

Eryl Roberts (drums)
Steve Gilbert (drums)
Gaz Hughes (drums)
Mark Landon (percussion)

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.


The Music Directorate houses five fully equipped professional recording studios with access to a variety of recording/performance spaces. We have created a creative and educational environment that aims to mirror contemporary professional studio practise. Our general philosophy is to facilitate the use of both analogue and digital recording platforms, software and hardware signal processing. All studios centre around a large format mixing desk which can feed hard disk recording systems and 24 track analogue tape machines. All studios make use of professional level outboard and software plugins as well as comprehensive balanced patch bays, giving students the opportunity to fully explore traditional signal routing, a skill vital to ones progression into professional practice.

Our studios are equipped with a range of different equipment, including, among many others:

  • Audient ASP 8024 mixing desks
  • Tama Superstar Drumkits
  • Rhodes Stage 73 MK2 Electric Pianos
  • Fender Deluxe Tweed amplifiers

Our suite of 24 iMacs are equipped with sequencing, wave editing, synthesis, signal processing and post-production software. The software in the computer suite is, on the whole, the same as that found in the recording studios, so that work can easily be transferred from one facility to another. Logic Studio 9 and Sibelius 6 are standard across all the machines.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Salford’s music courses are renowned for producing graduates who excel in their chosen professions. Our graduates have forged careers as signed recording artists, professional performers, studio producers/engineers, live sound engineers and freelance composers/arrangers. Many have become events organisers, promoters and entrepreneurs while others have developed successful careers in music education as teachers, lecturers, senior administrators and educational advisors. Those who continue their studies at a postgraduate level find themselves well-equipped to cope with the academic and technical demands of a higher degree.

A taste of what you could become


Sound Engineer



an Arranger


Career Links

We have direct links with professional institutions such the BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as well as the ‘Sounds from the Other City’ festival. We have a good working relationship with many venues in the local area including Islington Mill.


What you need to know

You will be required to undertake a theory test and performance audition for the course. You will be auditioned on the instrument you wish to study for practice-based pathways.

You should be able to sight-read, have a good understanding of chords, scales, rhythms and harmony, and have the ability to transcribe ensemble performances.


International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A level

104 - 120 points including B in music. Appropriate subjects to include music, general studies not accepted

UCAS tariff points

104-120 points including Music

BTEC National Diploma

DMM to include music

Access to HE

Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 104 – 120 including Music

Scottish Highers

104-120 points including Music

Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points including Music

International Baccalaureate

31 points, to include 5 (Higher Level) in Music


European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including Music

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019/20 £14,400per year
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15240per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships. 

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID W374

Institution S03