• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Sound Arts

Intensive and specialised, MA Sound Arts is designed to further the development of your conceptual and contextual understanding of sound arts practice and its discourse.

About this course

You will be encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to your work and build a distinctive portfolio that taps into the College's Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP).

MA Sound Arts Intensive and specialised, this programme is designed to further the development of your conceptual and contextual understanding of sound art practice and its discourse.

You will be encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to your work in building your portfolio and be engaged in practical and theoretical research that develops your creative and critical competence to an advanced level.

Student films and profiles

MA Sound Arts: LCC Postgraduate Shows 2017

Chase Coley | MA Sound Arts: LCC Postgraduate Shows 2017

Watch // Student Voices: Khaled Kaddal – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Student Voices: Ilia Rogatchevski – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Student Voices: Francesco Mazza – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Postgraduate Shows 2016: MA Sound Arts

Watch // LCC Postgraduate Shows 2015 // Show 2 – MA Sound Arts 

Watch // Student Voices: Anna Celeste – MA Sound Arts

Watch // Highlights from the MA Sound Arts Final Show 2014 at Angus-Hughes Gallery

Watch // Private view of final show 'Breaking the Mirror of Silence' at Angus-Hughes Gallery


Intensive and specialised, this programme is designed to further the development of students’ conceptual and contextual understanding of Sound Arts practice and its discourse. Students are encouraged to adopt a personal and distinctive approach to their work and research.

The course includes a strong taught component combined with ample opportunities for practical work. You will be able to extend your portfolio within an academic context, engage in theoretical and practical research, develop your creative and critical skills, explore personal areas of interest in sound arts and engage in practice-based research. The aim of the course is to facilitate individual practice and guide you towards a professional career as a sound artist or into research.

The course culminates in a curated show and a public symposium where you will get the opportunity to present your work and research to an audience. The advantage of studying at LCC are the opportunities for collaboration with students from other disciplines, such as film students, both inside and outside the college.

All staff delivering the course are active practitioners and researcher, their specialist areas of interest include the following:

  • Composition
  • Sound recording and mixing
  • Phonography
  • Field recording and acoustic ecology
  • Interactive work
  • Sound installations
  • Live performance
  • Radiophonic practices
  • Sound for film
  • A variety of cross-platform work

There is also an extensive programme of visiting speakers and performers and both undergraduate and postgraduate students are extremely active in promoting their work both inside and outside the college. The sound arts department is constantly developing new links with other institutions and other disciplines and is committed to extending the boundaries of this developing discipline.

The course is designed for students who have a substantial background in producing sound-based work within the context of contemporary arts and media practice. You may have studied some aspect of sound arts - such as sound design, music technology and sonic art - at an undergraduate level.

You may come from other disciplines, such as fine art, digital arts, or time-based or performance art. Or you may have no formal qualifications but have significant experience of producing creative work with sound and wish to develop this work in an academic context.

The main characteristic of a successful applicant is that they will already have achieved a distinctive and enquiring approach to and an understanding of the aspects of sound arts that they wish to develop further in a creative and experimental academic environment.

Find out more information about Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP)

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Practice-Based Research (40 credits)
  • Contemporary Themes in Sound Arts Practice (20 credits)

In Term One you will gain a practical understanding of contemporary themes in sound arts practice and explore how they relate to and situate your own practice. At the same time you will begin to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between research and practice in relation to your own work and carry out an applied research project in response to an external organisation or institution.

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • Practice-Based Research (continued)
  • Contemporary Themes in Sound Arts Practice (continued)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • Project Development (20 credits)
  • Curatorial Contexts for Sound Art (20 credits)
  • Major Project (60 credits)

In Term Three the taught programme will help you to explore issues around the curation, exhibition and perception of sound art in a contemporary context and you will begin work on your Major Project.

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Major Project (continued)

Term Four is devoted to the completion and presentation of the Major project in the context of a curated show and symposium.

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.


  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico

    Lens-based and audio-visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
    Image © Ana Escobar

    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

  • The mixing board in the Composition Studio.
    Image © Lewis Bush

    Sound arts and design

    Find out about the range of facilities on offer to students studying Sound Arts and Design.


Course Leader

Thomas Gardner

Associate Lecturers

Dr. David MollinDaniela CascellaMark Peter Wright

Course Tutors

Dr. Salome VoegelinDr. John Wynne

Visiting Curator 

Irene Revell - Irene is Director at Electra, which is an 'organisation-in-residence' at Wysing Arts Centre (Summer 2015). Other projects include Someone Else Can Clean Up This Mess (Flat Time House, 2014); Slow Runner (Badischer Kunstverein, 2013); Her Noise: Feminisms and the Sonic (Tate Modern, 2012); Sound Escapes (SPACE, 2009); The Wire 25 (2007). She writes for various publications including The Wire magazine and is a member of the Cinenova feminist film and video distribution working group. Irene is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Kent (MA Sound and Image) and in Autumn 2014 was a Fondazione Adolfo Pini curatorial fellow at O', Milan.

How to apply

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and the additional the items you would also need to supply. 

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider these key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • The strength of your personal statement and portfolio
  • Your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.


You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).


You will need to supply:

  • Portfolio
  • A study proposal is not required for this course

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.


Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world.

Applicants to MA Sound Arts will have a good honours degree in a relevant subject such as sound arts, fine art, film and video or other related fields, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an honours degree.

If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience.

We also welcome applications from prospective students with a background in fine art or other related fields and those who wish to move their practice or research in other areas towards sound art and sonic practices.

Key subjects in Sound Arts are:

  • Composition
  • Sound recording and mixing
  • Photography
  • Field recording and acoustic ecology
  • Interactive work
  • Sound installations
  • Live performance
  • Radiophonic practices
  • Sound for film
  • A variety of cross-platform work

Your educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required, demonstrating relevant experience and an aptitude for film, television or other moving-image production subjects;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. 

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score. 

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection Criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • An informed enthusiasm about sound arts and related sonic practices
  • A critical approach to working with sound


Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Sound Arts. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Portfolio advice

All applicants will be asked to submit a digital portfolio. You should include work from a maximum of six projects and supporting material. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Your portfolio can comprise of any work; visual, sonic or textual, as well as images of sketchbooks that demonstrates your mode of working, and interest in working with sound and/or a sonic sensibility.

If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.

Interview advice

Applicants are often interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone. 


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

What happens next?

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course. 

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments


Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees, you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

During the course you will have the opportunity to develop both your research profile and creative practice. Upon graduation there are a number of options. You might wish to apply for a research degree, or you might decide to work in the theatre, films, television, animation, games production or websites. Some of our students work as freelance sound artists or musicians in a chosen area which could include performance, composition, sound art installation or curation. Others set up their own businesses.

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.