Key themes: music cognition, recording and mixing, music production, audio processing, digital effects, machine listening, interactive sound and music systems, music information retrieval, new instrument design, musical expression
The MSc in Sound and Music Computing responds to a growing skills shortage in industry for engineers and computer scientists trained specifically in sound and music processing, as digital media become ever more advanced and ubiquitous.
Developed by the acclaimed Centre for Digital Music (C4DM), this programme offers you a broad range of study options in methods of processing, analysis, synthesis and manipulation of musical signals. You will develop the knowledge and skills required for careers in the technical aspects of audio production, sound engineering, broadcasting, intelligent signal processing, computational music analysis, music information retrieval and other areas of sound and music computing. You will acquire an in-depth understanding of data analysis and signal processing techniques related to human speech and hearing, psychoacoustics and masking, and instrument and room acoustics.
The MSc is intended for graduates in a related discipline, who wish to hone and enhance their skills, and for industrialists with experience of sound and music computing, seeking formal qualifications. The taught modules are fully supported with computing and laboratory work.
You will graduate with an understanding of how today's audio and music technology works, possessing the potential to become a pioneer in developing future generations of leading edge music technologies.
This programme will:
- Allow you to shape your own programme, by selecting two optional modules per semester to complement the core modules in Sound and Music Computing.
- Give you and understanding of how today’s music and audio technology works, but also help you to become a leader in developing the next generation of sound and music computing technology.
- Give you an understanding of the design and software development process for music recording, analysis and synthesis for home, studio and live performance environments.
Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for companies such as Ableton, Last FM and Mix Genius.
Why study your MSc in Sound and Music Computing at Queen Mary?
Our research-led approach
Your tuition will be delivered by field leading academics engaged in world class research projects in collaboration with industry, external institutions and research councils.
The Centre for Digital Music is a world-leading multidisciplinary research centre in music and audio technology.
- C4DM has over 50 full-time members and since 2001 has become one of the UK's leading Digital Music research groups. Our enthusiasm for our research keeps our teaching exciting and up-to-date.
- We have excellent connections with the music and entertainment industries; many members of the C4DM community are active musicians involved in several different aspects of the music and digital industry network.
- We run regular seminars for internal and external invited speakers in Sound and Music Computing and publish software such as the widely acclaimed open source project Sonic Visualiser.
Our strong links with industry
- We have collaborations, partnerships, industrial placement schemes and public engagement programmes with a variety of organisations, including BBC, Vodafone, Google, IBM, BT, NASA and Microsoft
- Full-time MSc with Industrial Experience option available on our taught MSc programmes. You have the option to complete over two years, with a year of work experience in industry.
- Industrial projects scheme - To support industrial experience development, you can to do your final project in collaboration with an industrial partner.
The Centre for Digital Music hosts a soundproof listening room for recording, a performance space with lighting and motion capture and a control room fully equipped for recording and production. The School of Electronic Engineering and Computer science has a fully equipped electronics laboratory and dedicated computing labs. We formed the Interdisciplinary Informatics Hub in Collaboration with the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences which provides a meeting place for postgraduates from these Schools to interact and exchange ideas.
Want to know more?
Find out more about this course from our academics and current students by logging in for our next virtual open day.
MSc Sound and Music Computing is currently available for one year full-time study, two years part-time study.
Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.
Part-time study options often mean that the number of modules taken is reduced per semester, with the full modules required to complete the programme spread over two academic years. Teaching is generally done during the day and part-time students should contact the course convenor to get an idea of when these teaching hours are likely to take place. Timetables are likely to be finalised in September but you may be able to gain an expectation of what will be required.
Important note regarding Part Time Study
We regret that, due to complex timetabling constraints, we are not able to guarantee that lectures and labs for part time students will be limited to two days per week, neither do we currently support any evening classes. If you have specific enquiries about the timetabling of part time courses, please contact the MSc Administrator
The modules listed below provide some general guidance on what you may be expected to learn during each semester and year of this degree. The exact modules available may vary depending on staff availability, research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Semester 1 - 4 Modules
- Fundamentals of DSP (required if equivalent background is missing)
- Music Perception and Cognition
Plus maximum one of:
- Sound Recording and Production Techniques
- Interactive Digital Multimedia Techniques
Plus further option(s) from:
- Machine Learning (highly recommended)
- Big Data Processing
Semester 2 – 4 modules
At least two from:
- Digital Audio Effects
- Music Analysis & Synthesis
- Real-Time DSP
- Music & Speech Modelling
Plus further option(s) from:
- Interactive System Design
- The Semantic Web
(must take and pass)
We aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. Please be assured that we review our modules on a regular basis, in order to continue to offer innovative and exciting programmes.
Please check the School website for further module information.
Jenny Richards, Postgraduate Administrator, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7333
An upper second class degree is normally required, usually in electronic engineering, computer science, maths or a related discipline. Students with a good lower second class degree may be considered on an individual basis. Applicants with unrelated degrees will be considered if there is evidence of equivalent industrial experience.
For international students we require English language qualifications IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 92 (internet based).
Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find out more about our English language entry requirements.
If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.
Places on this programme are limited. We will give equal consideration to all applications received by May 1st 2019. We may still accept applications received after this date, but will not be able to offer a place if the programme is full.
Learning and teaching
As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.
Teaching for modules includes a combination of lectures, seminars and a virtual learning environment. Each module provides 36 hours of contact time, supported by lab work and directed further study.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and written examinations. You will also be assessed through an individual project.
You will also be assessed on a supervised 10,000-15,000-word dissertation.
Tuition fees for Home and EU students2020/21 Academic Year
Full time £10,900
Part time £5,450
Tuition fees for International students2020/21 Academic Year
Full time £22,750
Part time £11,400
Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.
This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.
There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.
These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.
Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships
We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.
Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.
Alternative sources of funding
Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.
Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.
Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717
Queen Mary's Computer Science postgraduates go on to work in a wide variety of careers, mostly within IT and information services.
The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 80.9 per cent of postgraduates in this School were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 89.5 per cent of these already working/studying at graduate level. Queen Mary graduates from this School also have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £26,110.
The broad range of skills gained through programmes in this School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled postgraduates to move into careers such as:
- Technical Analyst, Credit Suisse
- Interactive Systems Developer, Sky
- Software Developer, Accenture
- Analyst Technical Associate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- IT Contractor, FDM
- Computer Analyst, ITRS Group
- IT Developer, Qube Global Software
- Team Manager, Bromley-by-Bow Centre
- Computer Programmer, Rightmove
- Computer Consultant, Mac Experts Ltd
- Graduate Engineer, Ministry of Defence
Throughout the course, postgraduates have access to a careers programme to prepare them for applying for work after graduation. This programme includes workshops on job hunting and job applications as well as employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.
Recent careers events open to Computer Science postgraduates include the IT and Technology Fair, featuring Accenture, Babcock, BskyB, FactSet, Framestore, IBM, one-to-one sessions with Morgan Stanley, IBM and Accenture, IT company presentations, and Start Up Stand Up for those interested in working with technology start ups and SMEs.
Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village redevelopment means that there are substantial opportunities for on campus and local part time work and work experience. On campus there are 1200 job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Website Administrator and from Society President to Student Mentor. QTemps job agency offers work suitable for current students and recent graduates, QMSU Volunteering facilitates volunteering and QM JobOnline hosts over 800 part time and full time job vacancies.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the Queen Mary Careers pages.