Taught course

Music and Sonic Media

University of Sussex · School of Media, Film and Music

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in music, theatre, sonic arts or audio-visual media. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

This course develops your creative abilities in composition and sound through practical and theoretical work. The MA reflects current developments both within and beyond the concert hall, including music for film, media and interactive arts. Theory and practice in the field of popular music production is also
explored, focusing on historical contexts and the development of advanced technical skills. The course is for composers, musicians, sound artists, sound and music practitioners from related fields, including theatre, and theorists with interests in music and sound. You:

  • have access to facilities including the Music Department’s recordings and scores collections, the Jonathan Harvey Electronic Music Studio for recording and synthesis, and a wide range of current music software
  • compose, make sound art, devise music theatre, use music technologies, and create film music
  • evaluate music and sonic art in relation to developments in technology and interdisciplinary understanding.

Modules explore music and sound as practised now in both live and mediated forms. They are taught by faculty with international recognition in the practices and theories of composition, interdisciplinary sound creation, opera and music theatre, film music, site-specific and networked sonic events, performance, studio recording and production, sonic art and computer music. Creative work is stimulated through workshops from visiting professional musicians, as well as by public showcase events organised by students with the support of the Music Department.


For each module, you can choose between submitting a creative project or an essay. You also submit a supervised extended project or dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

This MA provides a flexible structure, strongly grounded in creative and critical practice.

Autumn term: you take Composing for Media Practice and Composition (Practice).

Spring term: you choose two options from Activist Media Practice • Animal Life and the Moving Image • First Person Film • Global News Industries • Media Histories and Cultural Change • Media, Culture and Communication, • Media, Technology and Everyday Life • Music Production in Context • Music and the Media of Performance (Practice) • Music and the Media of Performance (Theory) • New Developments in Digital Media • New Moving Screens • Photography: Documentary, Landscape, Politics • Queering Popular Culture • Research and Prototyping for Interactive Practice • Sound Environment (Practice) • Sound Environment (Theory) • The Politics of Promotional Culture.

Summer term: you work on either a dissertation (Music MA) or a creative project.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/media-film-and-music/music-and-sonic-media-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Creative work50

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 877538