Music composition, production, performance and coding play a huge role in today’s creative industries, which in turn accounts for 9% of the UK’s export market. Most creative music jobs surface from a variety of disciplines and genres (and their intersection).
This course is designed to bring the worlds of performance, coding and technology together as a cohesive subject. Not only will students have to opportunity to learn vital skills in songwriting/composition and production, they will also have to opportunity to create their own software and hardware tools to aid them in a performance environment, whether to support a recital, add to a VJing visualisation, sonify data, or create a soundscape adopting original sonic processes as well as multichannel streaming.
At present, this course is one of very few in the UK to offer this ‘cross-collaboration’ discipline between conventional performance and coding technologies. Moreover, this course directly connects with and enables students to interact with the emerging musical interface industries. These industries look to enable many end users to interact with music (within production and performance settings) regardless of skill and disability. As a result, student will get the opportunity to pitch their new invented products to experts in these industries within the Final Major Project Showcase module.
The course encourages an independence of thought and an entrepreneurial mindset through deep integration of cutting-edge technical skills and a focus on the developing music performance landscape. A range of assessment methods are used at both levels 4 and 5. These include:
- Written reports
- Literature and book reviews
- Practical portfolio
- Reflective blogging activities
Assessments at level 4 are geared towards providing a robust foundation from which to develop the skills required by level 5. In addition to the above, students will take part in the following:
Students taking this course will have the opportunity to learn vital skills in songwriting/composition and production. They will also have to opportunity to create their own software and hardware tools to aid them in a performance environment, whether to support a recital, add to a VJing visualisation, sonify data, or create a soundscape adopting original sonic processes as well as multichannel streaming.
The course is delivered at South Staffordshire College. Students will work in a practical environment with a mixture of workshops, seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials.
The first year of the course consists of music computing, research skills, recording studio practice, music theory and composition, and musical interface design.
The second year takes these core concepts further into areas such as synthesis and live processing, algorithmic composition, live audiovisuals, and applied research. The year concludes with a showcase of the student’s final work.
Students will have access to industrial experts both in terms of guest lectures and workshops as well as direct project involvement. Direct project involvement includes the critiquing of performance-based products that students develop throughout the course, as well as the setting up of industry working brief requirements. Consequently, students not only have access to such experts in a developmental setting, but also interact with real world scenarios whereby projects can be undertaken to satisfy both learning outcomes and industrial needs.
The course encourages an independence of thought and an entrepreneurial mindset through deep integration of cutting-edge technical skills and a focus on the developing music performance landscape.
There are no additional costs to the course. Field trips and visits which incur a small cost may be included.
The course is run at the Cannock Campus of South Staffordshire College. Facilities include:
A fully-featured stage complete with lighting rig and PA system
Who Will Teach you on thsi Course?
Chris Payne: Course Leader
Chris Payne is an international dance music producer / DJ, PhD student and Music course leader at South Staffordshire College. Before lecturing, Chris spent five years full time creating dance music productions for multiple record labels and DJing for international events under the alias ‘Casper’. Chris also has eight years experience as an FE course leader. He has a MSc in Music Technology and a PGCE (QTLS) both from Staffordshire University, as well as a first class honours degree in Popular Music from the University of Wolverhampton.
James has been an educator from the age of 17 teaching guitar in public and private sectors and has been part of the music team at South Staffordshire College since 2008 where he is now heavily involved in the management of the courses through being the curriculum team leader. James is always actively engaged in the music industry and has a fine balance between full-time work in further and higher education and in external work in the music industry. This enables James to be more effective in being a dynamic resource when helping learners to develop. James also has a MSc in Music Technology and a PGCE from Staffordshire University as well as a Popular Music BA(Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton.
Students will acquire skills in music production, sound design, instrument design, performance approaches, software engineering, software design and product design and structure. As a result, multiple industry sectors include sound creation and production, software creation and design, live sound and performance will be open to students on completion of the course.
The course will enable you to develop several complementary skills in a variety of areas, including:
Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for an interview at South Staffordshire College (Cannock Campus)
Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.
Those who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.
2018/9 fees for this course have not yet been agreed.
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2017/8. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact
These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.