Postgraduate taught 

Sound Design & Audiovisual Practice MSc

Sound Shaping and Design MUSIC5058

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

An introduction to practices and methods of capturing, synthesising and sculpting sound using interactive computer-based environments such as MaxMSP, PD and Supercollider along with DAW and other sound processing software. The course includes discussion of sonic design aesthetics and concepts relating to sonic image, acousmatic theory, and electronic and electroacoustic music repertoires.


Weekly 2 hour seminar/workshop

Excluded Courses



Students will: a) create a sonic art work of ca. 6-10 minutes duration (or work of equivalent depth or complexity), demonstrating key methods and concepts covered in the course and accompanied by a critical commentary of ca. 1000 words (75%); b) give a presentation of 10 minutes duration, demonstrating engagement with texts and practices centred on sound, listening, technology and electronic and electroacoustic music repertoires (25%).

Course Aims

The overall aim of this course is to develop students' understanding of aesthetic and technical issues in sound capture, synthesis and sculpting of sound by computer. In particular the course aims to:


■ Examine advanced methods for recording, synthesizing, controlling and manipulating sound for creative ends.

■ Consider the aesthetics of sound and sonic design in relation to students' own prior knowledge and individual musical or sonic practices

■ Critically evaluate concepts relating to acousmatic theory and electronic, electroacoustic and experimental music repertoires

■ Develop students' technical skills in using and programming interactive computer music environments

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ design and realise advanced computer-based objects and methods for sound synthesis, sampling and composition

■ develop a substantial piece of creative sound work

■ apply critical reflection to their own creative practice and the practice of others

■ engage with critically and discuss texts that deal with sound, listening, technology and electronic and electroacoustic music repertoires

■ engage critically and analytically with a range of sonic practices and repertoires

■ identify and relate key features of sonic materials through close listening

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.