Postgraduate study

Sound Design MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Sound Design

This programme is aimed at those with considerable practical experience of sonic art, electronic composition or sound design who wish to pursue further study by researching a particular area of these fields.

Students will engage richly and creatively with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of one or more of the following:

  • Sound design

  • Sonic art

  • Digital composition and performance

  • Digital audio and media technology

  • Creative coding for sound

You will learn through a research-methods course, via selections from an interdisciplinary menu of taught course options, and with supervision from a supervisory team active in your research area.

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
MScR1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MScR2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors.

Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required.

On occasion, more than two supervisors can be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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, a research proposal and a portfolio introducing us to some recent work that you are proud of.

Your portfolio should include at least three pieces of work and 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 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. Please contact us to check before you apply.

Common to all research programmes are a set of research aims, a research context, a research process and a research product/outcome. The research proposal should include reference to all of these elements. All applicants for postgraduate research programmes must submit a research proposal. This should be a .pdf file, usually 1 page long explaining what you'd like to do (the research aims), how you'd like to do it (research process/method), why the work needs to be done (research context) what will be the outcome (the work you'd like to make).

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass 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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Depending upon your research project you may face some additional costs relating to realising aspects of your practice. ECA is well stocked with technical sound equipment and a wide range of hardware and software to assist the development of your research.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScR2 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
  • your tuition fee 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 Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 1 August 2022

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.

You must submit two references with your application.

You should submit a research proposal that outlines your project's aims, context, process and product/outcome. Read the application guidance before you apply:

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE