Postgraduate study

Sound Design MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Sound Design

This programme is targeted at individuals interested in exploring the domain of sound in the wider context of new media theory and technology. It is strongly interdisciplinary and course content ranges from the study of film sound to interactive audio design, sound installation and web design.

This programme will provide you with knowledge, skill and understanding in a range of sound design situations both commercial and experimental. Graduates of the programme will be armed with professional, practical, analytical and critical skills to take into sound-related industries or on towards further academic study such as a PhD.

The Reid Studio is our new surround-sound mixing and production studio, and our Russolo Room offers industry-standard recording equipment and software. Our Sound Lab, which hosts a number of fully equipped workstations, is available for your use.

Students will attend a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions supported with occasional input from external professionals in the field of sound design and related areas.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSound Design1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScSound Design2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students who follow this programme will:

  • develop specific knowledge and obtain a broadly based foundation in sound design technologies
  • explore the use of existing computer-aided sound design techniques in a creative way
  • be able to analyse and critically think about sound and its role in a wider creative arts environment
  • develop understanding of the scope and limitations of computer applications in sound design
  • engage in cross-disciplinary collaboration in the context of audiovisual practice
  • discover new creative uses of advanced technologies
  • foster the ability to work cooperatively in groups in the context of design
  • develop an understanding of the potential for new technologies

Thanks to the rich cross-disciplinary course of study this programme provides, you will graduate with advanced skills in multimedia, audio production, post-production and other digital technologies which are applied to sound design. These skills will allow you to take on commissions in professional sound design, or pursue your own creative path.

You will also gain a wide variety of transferable skills, such as research, teamwork and communication that will increase your employability.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as music, sound design, sonic arts, media arts, sound engineering, acoustics, film, animation or art/design, accompanied by a portfolio introducing us to some recent work that you are proud of.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements or if you do not have a sound-related degree, we may still consider your application if you have significant professional sound-related experience supported by a substantial portfolio (at least 3 pieces of work). Portfolios can include a range of items such as an essay on sound, a small collection of sound recordings, performances or documentation of a sound-based project, such as an installation, film or animation. Whatever you include, it should be your own work. A short explanation of your role in collaborative projects is required. Your portfolio is best uploaded with the application as a PDF file with explanations about the projects and links to the work hosted on a reliable space online. If passwords are required, please include these on the PDF file.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 09/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSound Design1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScSound Design2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

If you do not have a sound-related degree you must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You will not be able to upload your portfolio immediately; you must wait for an email prompt, which you'll receive within a few days of submitting your application and will explain how to upload your portfolio. If you plan to submit audio or video files, please upload these to an online sharing website and add the link to the portfolio upload section of your online application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX