COURSE OVERVIEW

If you’re looking to establish yourself as a composer or producer of music for the moving image, then this highly specialist music production course is for you.

Set against the backdrop of the booming film, television and games industries, you’ll explore audio composition and production requirements across a host of moving image platforms. As you progress the three years of your study, you’ll develop the technical and creative skills you need to create and produce high-quality music content for the broadcast media world.

This practical course will see you confidently grasp the spectrum of studio production techniques including recording, signal processing, audio editing, post-production skills, and multichannel mixing and mastering. You’ll also develop advanced skills in using digital audio workstations (DAWs), industry-standard plugins and our large selection of studio equipment. 

With guidance from ICMP’s expert music production tutors, you’ll delve into theoretical areas of production, including musical language, composition and arrangement, while exploring those concepts in practice across film scoring, composition design for games, spatial 3D audio, Dolby Atmos, and Virtual and Augmented Reality sound design. 

There will be plenty of opportunities to develop your creative side, with subjects such as sampling and synthesis, and ongoing chances to participate in the worlds of foley and SFX. 

The course offers extensive opportunities for emerging composers, producers and sound designers to work and be assessed on real-world projects – particularly writing to brief.  

Lessons take place in ICMP’s state-of-the-art Mac labs and impressive in-house recording studios featuring an Avid S6 specialist desk for post-production and sound and music for film, tv and games. Our teaching spaces are solidly equipped with high-quality production kits, including instruments, PAs, microphones, controllers, vocal processors, loop stations, effects pedals and more. Other rooms include Audient's 5.1 expansion pack, which powers a complete 5.1 monitoring system from Genelec. All facilities can be booked for your personal use outside of class hours, free of charge, seven days a week. 

The course is highly collaborative, with regular chances to make music with your fellow film, TV and games students, and others across ICMP’s whole spectrum of courses. Real-world music events are frequent and include masterclasses, guest lectures, gigs, songwriters’ circles, careers days, industry conferences and more.  

Across all three years of the degree, you’ll evaluate the music and wider creative industries – particularly from the perspective of a composer–producer – so you’ll gain a deep understanding of how it operates and connects together. You’ll explore areas of business, marketing, project management and entrepreneurship so you can hit the ground running in your future music industry career.  

In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an area of music production for film, TV and/or games to focus on, creating a professional production project like a film soundtrack, audio for a video game or mobile app, or sound for a TV episode or ad. The project will see you undertaking significant research across your area of expertise and delivering creative work to a very high production standard.  

Successful completion of the course will see you graduate with the background knowledge, technical skills, creative vision and entrepreneurial spirit to embrace a successful career as a composer–producer, sound designer, foley artist, supervising sound editor, audio designer or dubbing mixer in the world of audio for film, television and/or video games. If you’d prefer to continue your studies, you can access a direct pathway into ICMP’s MA Creative Music Production or MA Songwriting postgraduate degrees. 

Fees & Funding

Taking a music production degree course at ICMP makes financial sense too, with the fees for ICMP music degrees the same as those at many traditional universities - making studying music at ICMP in London great value as well as great fun. 

Course Fees: UK Students | EU/EEA/International Students

Please visit our Fees pages for information on access to Student Loans.

Programme Sepcification

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Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Music Production for Film, TV and Games at ICMP will lead to the award of Bachelor of Arts by the University of East London.

Redesigned for 2021
This course has recently gone through a redesign process with our validating partner UEL, making it one of the most current Music Production degree courses in the UK. Please visit https://www.icmp.ac.uk/study-at-icmp/2021-course-redesign for further detail on why we periodically redesign our courses and the benefits this has to you as an ICMP student.

 

UCAS CODES

Key facts

  • A highly practical career-focused course designed to make you business-ready as a composer, music producer or sound designer in the film, television or games industries.
  • Taught in a professional music production environment using high-tech industry-standard facilities. 
  • Develop advanced skills using digital audio workstations (DAWs).
  • Explore contemporary concepts including spatial 3D, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Dolby Atmos and Ambisonics audio. 
  • Become a flexible and adaptable music producer thanks to regular use of ICMP’s multiple studio environments.
  • Foster your creative skills through regular collaboration with fellow students from ICMP’s diverse artist pool. 
  • Build entrepreneurial, business and networking skills in branding, PR, marketing and project management to help set you up for a portfolio career.
  • Connect with London’s music and wider creative industries as you build an impressive musical network.
  • Apply Now

COURSE DETAILS

YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)

YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)

YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)

In your first year, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the technical and creative skills needed for a music production career in the film, TV or games industries. You’ll have ample time in ICMP’s industry-standard music production environments as you develop professional composing and recording techniques while gaining vital feedback on your original work from tutors and peers. 

Music for the Moving Image

In this module, you’ll be introduced to the wide world of music composition for different media formats – from advertising, film and factual TV, to video games, trailers, mobile apps and library music. Your focus will be on understanding how music impacts and enhances a viewers’ experience of a picture or moving image. You’ll learn composition and arrangement techniques that explore melody, harmony and rhythm while developing a solid fundamental grounding in music theory. You’ll gain knowledge of concepts distinctive to composing for the moving image, like time codes and synchronisation points, and will work towards producing an original composition portfolio (a video reel) as you gain hands-on experience creating music from real-world briefs and director’s notes. 

  • Arrangement techniques 
  • Relationships between sound and image 
  • Workflow techniques in film and media composition 
  • Thematic development
  • Time signatures 
  • Exploring harmony, melody and rhythm in the film context 
  • Bespoke composition 
  • Genre analysis 
  • How to interpret briefs 
  • Loops for video games 

Digital Audio Workstations

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are an essential production tool for modern music composing and recording. In this module, you’ll be introduced to various industry-standard software technologies that you can use to enrich your cinematic vision. Through practical experience and analysis of industry techniques, you’ll develop skills in sequencing, sampling, audio editing and synthesis. Working with your peers, you’ll give and receive feedback on original work, implementing insights to improve your own compositions. You’ll also learn how to use sample libraries to create authentic-sounding performances, plus experiment with digital notation software to produce scores your fellow musicians can perform. 

  • Understanding virtual instruments (synths and samplers)  
  • Sample-based composition 
  • VSTs and hardware sound-making tools 
  • MIDI programming
  • Audio processing/time and pitch manipulation  
  • Managing your session files and workflow 
  • Making cinematic sounding music on a budget 
  • Programming 
  • Templates
  • Automation and modulations 

Digital Music Production

Consolidate and build on your existing digital audio workstations (DAWs) skills in this highly practical module. You’ll start to apply advanced techniques and new methodologies while using more complex workflows within DAW management. In a fast-paced studio environment, you’ll experience working quickly and effectively to meet the demands of contemporary digital music production. You’ll explore a range of methods used by established composers and sound engineers to raise your production practices to professional industry standard. 

  • Advanced programming for a range of instruments 
  • Managing video files within the DAW  
  • Advanced templates and routing 
  • Advanced tempo and time signature mapping 
  • Collaborating with mix engineers
  • MIDI and audio connection with external gear  
  • Advanced audio editing and processing  
  • Bus processing 
  • Audio restoration 
  • Multi-channel audio 
  • Balancing 

CREATIVE SYNTHESIS

In this module, you’ll develop your understanding of sound design and the important role that sound designers play in creating soundscapes for film, TV and game development. You’ll discover the different types of synthesis, including subtractive, additive, FM and wavetable synthesis, and will investigate synthesiser components such as oscillators, filters and envelopes. This module combines technical exploration and practice with creative techniques, as you begin to design your own synthesiser patches to use across various media. As you study, you’ll create a production portfolio of sound design tasks and work with your peers to develop imaginative sound concepts. 

  • Creative sound design 
  • Subtractive, FM, additive, wavetable, PWM and granular synthesis 
  • Modular synthesis 
  • Creative sampling techniques 
  • Layering 
  • Resampling   
  • Spatialisation  
  • Audio FX 
  • DSP processing 
  • Procedural audio 
  • Time manipulation and editing
  • Dynamics processing 

Music Business for Producers

In the modern music industry, creative practitioners and businesses constantly interact. This module explores the core structures and functions of today’s media industries and the current models, processes and practices they employ. As you prepare for a successful portfolio career in the music industry, it’s crucial to understand how each area of the industry works and the supporting roles that professional organisations, trade bodies and collection societies play. Through case studies, seminars and discussions, you’ll explore music industry management, copyright and revenue flow, and start to consider marketing, branding and self-promotion for composers and producers. 

  • Recorded music and publishing in the modern music industry 
  • Professional membership organisations and trade bodies 
  • The role of collection societies
  • The role of the composer in media productions
  • Media and advertising sectors
  • The role of management 
  • Sales and distribution, music rights and royalties 
  • Exploring industry transformation and highlighting future developments 
  • Trailers (film advertising) 
  • TV and documentaries
  • Library music 

In your second year, you’ll develop greater independence as you explore your knowledge of music production for the moving image and build your technical skills by working on real-life briefs and projects. You’ll deepen your understanding of the music industry and develop business skills in marketing and branding. You’ll also be guided to find your strengths and passions so you can start to create a niche for your future career.  

MUSIC FOR THE MOVING IMAGE II

This module deepens the skills and knowledge of composing for film, television and games you developed in the previous module: Music for the Moving Image I. You’ll further investigate the historical relationship between sound and the moving image through weekly industry briefs and real-world case studies which explore cinematic productions. You’ll interpret industry game briefs, identify project requirements, use specialist middleware tools to create SFX, and compose then implement your audio to work in game. Your sound design and notation skills will continue to develop and, as your skills progress, you’ll focus on how to balance the aesthetic and technical considerations of your projects.  

  • Sound design techniques for games 
  • Analysing character, emotion and situation 
  • Game-specific mixing 
  • Audio asset formats and organisation 
  • Preparing audio for implementation 
  • Improvisation in composition 
  • Working with string, brass, wind and percussion sections 
  • Spotting and marking hit points 
  • Rhythm and dynamics 
  • Intervals and motifs as trigger points and characterisation 
  • Interpreting briefs 
  • Working with client feedback 

AUDIO POST-PRODUCTION

Across this practical module, you’ll complete an end-to-end post-production workflow project. Drawing on the skills you’ve learned to date, and using the latest software and mixing consoles, your project will combine creating, mixing and delivering a piece of original work to the current UK and technical standards. You’ll explore audio synchronisation as you learn the surround sound standards and mixing techniques. Other skills you’ll focus on include audio restoration and automated dialogue replacements – both essential for refining and fixing sound recordings in the studio. 

  • Post-production workflows 
  • Post-production technical standards
  • Session management and organisation 
  • Grouping and submixing audio type 
  • The process of mixing
  • Breaking sessions into manageable chunks
  • The importance of signal routing for post-production 
  • Achieving multiple deliverables 
  • Stem and delivery
  • Routing tracks to groups
  • Reverbs and where they go
  • Monitoring levels
  • I\O for Post
  • Managing large mixes 

marketing strategies

Whichever direction your music production career takes, branding, marketing and PR are essential for success. This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of marketing for a modern, global environment – both traditional theories and contemporary approaches. You’ll focus on consumers – how they behave, how they think and how to solve their real-world problems. You’ll also develop an understanding of how marketing continues to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of changing markets and will explore branding specifically from the viewpoint of an entrepreneurial creative. By the end of the module, you’ll have produced a detailed plan for marketing yourself as a uniquely creative, producer or composer.  

  • Competitor analysis
  • Environmental analysis
  • Product development
  • Positioning
  • Market research
  • The product life cycle
  • The marketing mix
  • The 4Ps of product marketing
  • The 7Ps of services marketing
  • Building an online presence
  • Social media and the role of content
  • Brand partnerships
  • Commerce vs credibility
  • Promotion, pricing and distribution
  • Creating an integrated promotional campaign
  • Building audiences and engagement
  • Viral marketing
  • Online advertising and PR

Sound design and theory

In this module, you’ll learn the fundamental principles of audio theory, sound design and critical listening. Taught in our brand-new purpose-built music production facilities, you’ll develop techniques to analyse sound characteristics and create original sonic events to produce a portfolio of original sound design and creative work. To further develop your understanding of audio theory, you’ll analyse the audio–visual work of composers from the field of sound design – learning how humans perceive sound. As you develop your portfolio, you’ll give and receive constructive feedback on original work in your class – with your expert tutors helping you to build advice into your compositions. 

  • Frequency and amplitude 
  • Audio acoustics and sound behaviour
  • Reflection, refraction, absorption and diffusion
  • Harmonics
  • Phase
  • Equal loudness contours 
  • Fourier analysis and synthesis 
  • Masking
  • Sound localisation
  • Psychoacustics
  • Film sound theory

STUDIO RECORDING TECHNIQUES

This module offers extensive time working in the studio and getting hands-on with sound recording. You’ll learn how to capture and record sound – both vocal and instrumental – by studying microphone technology, mic placement, basic acoustics and audio signal flow. You’ll work in teams to record music in a studio environment – from either a string or brass ensemble – focusing on how to capture sound in stereo. Continuing to refine and build on your skills using a DAW, you’ll edit, mix and then share audio. You’ll incorporate engineering techniques to capture a range of audio sources and will learn how to create a realistic drum replacement ‘in the box’.  

  • Microphone techniques for vocals and instruments  
  • Studio recording 
  • Editing performances
  • Techniques for capturing a broad range of audio sources
  • Mixing levels using a DAW
  • Recording sessions 
  • Editing and mixing ensembles  
  • Recording acoustic and electric instruments 
  • Recording vocals 
  • Capturing sound in stereo
  • ‘In the box’ drum replacement
  • Foley and sound effects 

In your final year, you’ll take two industry-project modules plus two advanced technical modules. These four modules at Level 6 let you hone your technical and creative skills within your area of interest and consolidate your entire course experience. They’re specifically designed to help you launch your music production career – getting you prepared and connected to step into the music and wider creative industries. 

professional practice

In this year-long module, you’ll research and design a music-related professional creative project which supports your compositional and production development. You’ll continue developing, testing and revising your project proposal and portfolio over the year, linking and building upon learnings in other Level 6 modules. As well as technical and creative skill, you’ll develop a range of transferable skills in communication, negotiation, analysis, project planning, project management and project evaluation. The Professional Practice module is an excellent opportunity to look at promoting your professional practice through community or charitable work. 

  • Developing a project proposal 
  • Presentation and communication skills 
  • Project risk assessments 
  • Research methods and enquiry
  • Ethics 
  • Analysis and interpretation 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Effective planning and pitching 
  • Interdisciplinary practice  
  • Project management best practice and methodologies 

MIXING for media

In this practically focused module, you’ll apply functional knowledge of studio techniques and software, using industry-standard DAWs to create a broadcast-ready mix. You’ll explore a range of advanced mixing techniques and sound formats that relate to audio for the moving image, such as 5.1. Mixing engineers often need to work quickly, so workflows and mixing environments will be a crucial focus during this module, and you’ll encounter mixing techniques both in and out of the studio. You’ll also examine surround sound formats and multichannel mixing across various genres and outputs within the appropriate areas of post-production sound. 

  • The studio mixing environment 
  • Spatial audio   
  • Objects based audio 
  • Studio hardware and plug-ins 
  • The mixing process
  • EQ and separation in the mix
  • Effects
  • Loudness mixing, r-128, SPL and standards
  • Monitoring/nearfield vs cinema 
  • Dolby and THX 
  • Room calibration 
  • Ambisonics and binaural  
  • Spatial 3D audio mixing
  • Virtual reality
  • Augmented reality

MASTERING for media

In this advanced module, you’ll develop skills relating to mastering – the crucial final step in producing music for media. It’s an area of production that has undergone enormous change in recent years, and industry professionals are increasingly expected to be capable in it. During your studies, you’ll explore the listening skills needed to identify whether a mix is ready to be mastered. Through practical workshops exploring professional audio processing techniques, you’ll gain valuable proficiencies in mastering audio for picture. You’ll also gain hands-on experience applying these to your work by mastering both single tracks and longer album projects. 

  • Mastering audio 
  • Listening skills 
  • Creating rich stereo while maintaining mono compatibility 
  • Signal processing  
  • Mastering techniques for EQ and dynamics processing 
  • Loudness measurement and platform-specific standards 
  • Using clippers and limiters 
  • Advanced metering  
  • Working with long-form projects  
  • Audio consistency in EPs/albums 
  • Metadata tags and ISRCs   
  • Using appropriate reference material
  • Delivering masters for video or games projects 
  • Delivering masters for diverse formats such as CDs, vinyl and digital release  

creative production project

This year-long module will enable you to develop your creative and commercial skills at an advanced, industry-ready level as you plan, develop and manage a cohesive catalogue of original work. You’ll craft a portfolio of original music for a moving picture project of your choice – a film, TV episode, commercial, computer game or more. You’ll set intentions and provide the vision and context for your project, undertaking critical reflection during the year to shape and refine it. Finally, you’ll draw together a range of advanced creative techniques to develop material that showcases your unique musical ‘voice’. 

  • Creative development  
  • Composition practice  
  • Setting and developing a creative direction  
  • Critical reflection and discussion 
  • Academic and cultural frames of reference 
  • Commercial frames of reference 

TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

You’ll be taught at our campus in Kilburn and will regularly use our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities, as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. While you’re a student at ICMP, you’ll have access to these facilities outside of class time so you can rehearse and record your own music. 

You’ll learn via a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one-to-one instrumental tuition. 

You’ll have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice if you have any questions about welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding, or more. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team – ‘The Hub’ – who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and will offer you unique industry opportunities. 

As a student of the University of East London (UEL), you’ll also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries which contain over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases.

Teaching and Learning

On the BA (Hons) Music Production for Film, TV and Games programme you will be taught through a variety of lectures, seminar, workshops and demonstrations.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.

Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching hours per week
Semester A • Year 1: 12hrs | Year 2: 10hrs | Year 3: 8hrs
Semester B • Year 1: 12hrs | Year 2:  10hrs  | Year 3: 8hrs

Total Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year
Year 1: 288hrs | Year 2: 240hrs | Year 3: 192hrs

Total self-study hours per year
Year 1: 912hrs | Year 2: 960hrs | Year 3: 1008hrs

Assessment

Your knowledge and thinking will be assessed through reports, workbooks, presentations, essays, examinations and recordings. Your practical skills will be assessed through recordings, performance, composition and practical examinations, and your skills for life and work will be assessed through project pitches, coursework and presentations.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

Year 1: 17% Written | 33% Practical | 17% Coursework
Year 2: 17% Practical | 83% Coursework
Year 3: 34% Practical | 66% Coursework

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants will typically have A Levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, or International Baccalaureate equivalent to 80 UCAS points, or an ICMP Higher Diploma.

In addition, you should hold a GCSE Grade C or 4 or above in English, or suitable equivalent, such as Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

International students will typically hold a relevant equivalent qualification –please check your qualification with our Admissions Team. In addition, you should hold a relevant English language qualification equivalent to CEFR  Level B2.

We also welcome applications from mature applicants who may have no formal qualifications but can demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

All applicants will be invited to attend an audition/interview.

This course is also available as a one-year Cert HE.

UCAS code W102Uni code i25

HOW TO APPLY

 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 



By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email:
enquiries@icmp.ac.uk

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