Study Sound Design

Sound Design is one of the most dynamic and creative subjects available to study. Sound and music are so important. They infiltrate, influence and enrich most aspects of our daily life and culture and both the importance and impact is often taken for granted. Imagine a life without sound or music.

Study Sound Design

So, what is Sound Design? It has two major definitions. It can be seen as a means of designing all the non-compositional elements of TV, film animation or gaming production creating sounds and soundscapes for objects, actions and events, often for elements beyond our knowledge and experience. It also can be seen as a means of telling a story with sound from spoken word, podcasting to surround sound cinema or an interactive immersive environment.

We are all familiar with sound in TV and film but probably have no idea about how much careful work and planning goes into sound production with a lot of the work broken down into specialised skill areas. Courses in Sound Design have been developed to meet the needs of various facets of the sound or audiovisual industries. Sound Design programmes will appeal to new graduates wishing to gain employment in such industry sectors with career opportunities in areas such as:

  • Sound Design for film, television, multi-media or computer games,
  • Dubbing mixer for film or television,
  • Post production sound, including dialogue editor, Foley artist or supervisor or automatic dialogue replacement supervisor,
  • Production sound mixer for film and television,
  • Production recordist
  • Composition
  • Freelance employment in sound design, servicing a wide range of clientele in the audiovisual industries,
  • Sound design research or consultancy.

Sound Design courses should aim to incorporate challenge, excitement and playfulness into the curriculum by encouraging you, and your course tutors, to experiment, innovate and share learning (…Fancy building a binaural head?...) An MA in Sound Design attempts to promote an appreciation and awareness of broader applications of sound design and sound art in relation to subjects such as surround sound, immersive experiences - creating real and imagined sonic environments. Any project work should attempt to work flexibly across a diverse range of multi media disciplines and activities. This flexible delivery will equip you with the skills needed to engage in specialised areas of sound production and post-production across a wide range of film and media applications including film, animation and gaming.

film reelStudying a degree in Sound Design will give you experience and problem solving skills through “real world’ scenarios. Sound design courses emphasise the development of innovative practice and encourage students to explore alternative audio and audiovisual experiences and environments. A good Sound Design programme will seek to empower students who have the option to author their own sonically motivated or “sound art” projects.

Areas that you are likely to cover during an MA degree in Sound Design are:

  • Post Production,
  • Sound and Space,
  • Production Recording,
  • Research and Project Development.
  • Sound Design for Film, Animation and Special Effects/Gaming


At postgraduate level, programmes should build skills and conceptual thinking. The course may be delivered with through taught elements and tutor-led workshops. In this way, students benefit from both theoretical and practical aspects of Sound Design.

For example, the MA in Sound Design at Sheffield Institute of Art and Design (SIAD) gives students the opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of production contexts. In addition to taught modules, students can take modules via a project-based delivery style, thus developing the ability to work autonomously on practical production pieces. In the final semester, students have the opportunity to engage in a substantial research and production project. This will require you to produce a range of professional-standard sound design works within a variety of practices, and which demonstrate conceptually coherent and technically accomplished approaches to sonic or audiovisual work.

A postgraduate Sound Design programme is a unique course that is aimed at those interested in the creative field of sound design and should particularly appeal to music technology students. Studying Sound Design is ideal for anyone with prior experience, education or keen interest in audio, which may include areas such as music, music technologies or media-related practice. Typical Sound Design students would be interested in furthering their experience and knowledge, applying skills across a broad range of sound genres to which sound design applies, such as film, media production, special effects, computer games or related multimedia and sound art applications.

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