Postgraduate study

Sound Design

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Sound Design

The MSc by Research in Sound Design is aimed at those with considerable practical experience of sound design, but who wish to pursue further study, researching a particular area of this field.

Graduates will be able to engage critically with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of sound art, design, digital composition and digital media.

You will learn via a research-methods course, reading courses, and selections from an interdisciplinary menu of course options, with supervision from an academic 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
MScRSound Design1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScRSound Design2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

You will learn via a research methods course, reading courses and selections from an interdisciplinary menu of course options, with supervision from an academic active in your research area.

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 will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

Requirements for entry 2018/19 (entry between September 2018 and August 2019): Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Requirements for entry in 2019/20 (entry between September 2019 and August 2020): 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. Please also include a proposal that explains the research project that you’d like to work on with us. 

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional programme costs (APCs) are used by programmes in Edinburgh College of Art to cover associated costs such as: basic consumables; equipment purchase, hire and maintenance; computing hardware and software; field trip and excursion expenses; and programme specific events. More detail will be available in programme handbooks.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

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

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 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