Music and Sound Design for Visual Media BA hons Degree

Design your creative approach to audiovisual storytelling

Applications are now openStart here

Overview

Explore and define your creative voice as a sound designer, audio specialist, and music-making practitioner for film, TV, animation, games, apps, VR and other immersive multimedia formats. 

Develop your creative identity and gain comprehensive knowledge of the technical skills and creative techniques required to work as a professional sound designer and music composer for the multifaceted media industry.

Learn how to ideate, design and deliver distinct sound palettes and original musical pieces in a programme that prepares you for both linear media formats, such as music scoring for film, television, animations as well as the evolving area of non-linear media formats, such as sound design for video games, interactive installations or immersive technologies, digital medias and sound art.

From studio recording, linear and non-linear composition and arrangement to mixing, sequencing, sound design and synchronisation, this hands-on and highly collaborative course is designed to give you valuable experience from day one. Working closely with our film production and visual effects students, you'll gain experience in providing creative and technical sound and music solutions for short film scores, theatre sounds, as well as interactive and immersive installation work. 

Gain access to professional music and film production studios, all sorts of analog, electronic and digital music-making tools, as well as the industry-standard software you’ll need to make any creative idea come to life.

Throughout this course you’ll be building a unique portfolio of highly creative and industry-relevant work as you take on a range of creative roles in the music production and sound design process for a wealth of multimedia formats. Steer your creative interests and personal ambition towards your chosen area of specialisation from early on, thanks to our project-based curriculum and tailored approach to learning. 

Our Music and Sound Design for Visual Media course is designed to give you the technical skills and creative insight needed to deliver quality musical work and to overcome the challenges of any new creative or technical project or workflow that comes your way.

Year 1

You’ll be challenged on a regular basis to provide creative and technical sound and music solutions for countless media productions, from short film scores, theatre sounds, to gaming, interactive technologies and immersive installation work.

Our workshops and seminars covering everything from studio recording, mixing principles, composition and arrangement, sound design and storytelling are designed to help you grow a professional and creative toolkit that will enable you to:

  • Understand the audio production and media industries with specific reference to self-production, autonomy, entrepreneurship, marketing and enterprise
  • Effectively identify and utilise suitable software and hardware tools for a specified brief
  • Develop a critical perspective of the broader field of creative sound and music practice and its relationship with media culture
  • Understand the impact of specific technologies on the music composition, production and sound engineering process
  • Know how to plan, develop and problem-solve in both academic, and practice-led projects
  • Learn how to balance personal aesthetics with the requirements of an external client/collaborator
  • Make your first steps towards a career in the film and media industry

More details on workshops and course structure coming soon.

Year 2

Year 1 goes wide, covering the foundations of sound design, music composition, post-production and arrangement. Year 2 goes deep as you build on the foundational knowledge of Year 1. Refine and hone your critical thinking and creative skills. Explore and expand your individual skill-set and creative approach as you dig even deeper into the techniques of studio production, game sound implementation as well as linear and non-linear composition. 

  • Audio production and sound engineering within the context of complex briefs and interdisciplinary project
  • Learning to balance personal aesthetics with the requirements of an external client/collaborator
  • Understanding of the key technical requirements and processes used for a specified creative practice and how those techniques adhere to industry standards
  • Thorough planning, development and problem solving in both academic, and practice-led projects
Year 3

Consolidate your technical practical skills. Define your creative vision and prepare to present it to the world. Produce and craft your own creative project from conceptualisation to public release. Actively collaborate with like minded individuals. Establish a professional framework and launch yourself in the music scene with empowering personalised projects that prepare you for the real world and your chosen path.

Throughout all 3 years of our programme you will be creating an wealth of material to build an industry-relevant portfolio, while broadening your perspective on the creative techniques and practices necessary to pursue your creative calling.

  • Explore and define your own distinct and creative approach to sound design and music composition for linear and non-linear media formats
  • Initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative projects in a style that is appropriate to specific formats, styles and contexts
  • Generate complex ideas, concepts and proposals independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or self-initiated projects
  • Develop a range of creative composition, arrangement, production and engineering skills within the context of complete briefs set by external parties
  • Understand the key technical requirements and processes used for a specified creative practice and accepted across the wider industry
  • Develop new and innovative sound design and music composition methodologies
  • Achieve an internationally recognised BA Hons degree in 2026

Challenged and inspired

Our Music and Sound Design for Visual Media programme is about working towards something bigger than an idea alone: it’s about working alongside other creative practitioners as sound specialists, creative visionaries and innovative technologists.

Through workshops and project based learning you will develop a critical perspective on the growing field of creative sound and music practice and its relationship with media culture. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of specific technologies on the music composition, production and sound engineering processes.

Spend three years working on a diverse range of sound/music projects across the media industry formats and develop an understanding of the software and hardware tools needed to complete specific briefs. By the end of this learning experience you will have built a media portfolio of high level work that will demonstrate and define your own unique and creative voice as a sound and music technician and artist.

A safe space to dream big

Maximise your hands-on access to audio production and sound engineering gear

Join a thriving industry

From Hollywood to Sundance, to Epic Games or the Webby awards, sound designers and specialists are gaining growing recognition for delivering iconic sounds across the media and filmmaking landscapes. 

The growing need for professional sound design and music composition in the media and arts sectors is expanding alongside the gaming, social media, film and TV industries. This course responds directly to the increasing demands for audio technicians and creatives who are able to deliver quality solutions for different media formats. 

By gaining a thorough understanding of how specific technologies impact the music composition, production and sound engineering process, you will be able to ride the wave of shifting formats and industry-shaking developments.

Progression

Employment model

The media industry never ceases to evolve and reinvent itself. We aim to provide you with an education that enables you to either be a change maker or to be capable of adapting and staying at the forefront of this change.

The last 30 years have seen unprecedented growth in the audio and music for media sector with the proliferation of the gaming industry, accelerated production needs for the film/TV and social media industries, as well as the expansion of app and mobile based technologies requiring creative audio solutions.

There is growing demand for creative practitioners that are able to adapt to the shifting formats and technologies, from AAA games to indie film developments. Roles with permanent contracts do still exist but it is much more likely that you will work either as a freelancer or as part of a small startup on your way to professional creative autonomy.

Career opportunities

Our programme has been designed to give you relevant experience in a number of specific industries whilst also allowing for specialisation as the course progresses.

Here are just a few of the fields a Sound and Music for Visual Media graduate can aspire to: 

  • Music Composition for film
  • Film scoring and arrangement
  • Foley and sound design for film
  • Dialogue and ADR recording for film
  • Game sound supervisor
  • Game sound composer / arranger
  • Game sound concept design
  • Web audio
  • Audio app development
  • Systems design
  • Interactive / installation art
Building success

However you measure it and whatever artistic realm you are working in, most creatives would like to achieve success with their creative endeavour. There are many types of success an individual may want to achieve. From successful completion of an artistic exploration all the way through to financial security and a global audience

There are many skills required to develop these dreams into real and practical futures. Our optional course in self-development and leadership is the ‘rocket fuel’ which will provide you with the frameworks, the focus and the drive to help realise your future.

Self development to better understand how to take decisive action, to communicate powerfully with others and take an honest look at how you limit yourself. Leadership to complete your creative project, to bring your work into the external world and to attract an audience to share, appreciate and follow your work. 

Leadership

Our tutors are industry-experienced professionals and creatives with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. Say hello to some of the tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.

Essential info

New course validation

This is a brand new course which Catalyst will run for the first time in 2023-24. If you see this message, it means that we are still in the process of accrediting it with our university partner (Plymouth Marjon University), which awards the degrees and certificates that our graduates receive after completing their studies with us.

How does this affect you? After the course is accredited, we will register it with the Berlin Senate, so that students enrolled on it are eligible to apply for funding or a student visa in Germany. If you would need a student visa to live in Berlin for the duration of your studies, then we recommend that you wait until this course is formally approved by the Senate before beginning your visa application. 

We expect this to be finalised by April 2023. In the meantime, you can still submit an application to study with us and we will contact you by email as soon as we receive official accreditation and Senate approval. In our 10 years in Berlin, all of our Bachelor and Master degree courses have been successfully validated within the same framework.

Entry requirements

Academic qualifications equivalent to ‘A’ level, Baccalaureate or Abitur are normally required to enter our Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering degree programme. These may be waived if students are able to provide proof of capability via a portfolio of work.

For those students who have the capability but no proof of appropriate qualifications or portfolio we have also designed a new accelerated access course (primer workshops) which runs as part of our short course programme.

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a practising electronic music artist, producer or performer.

For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat!

Info hub
Course dates and application deadline

Course start: mid-September 2023

Application deadlines

  • Round 1 - International (non-EU) and EU students - 31 March, 2023*
    * Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa to live in Germany. The application process for this takes several months and you can only begin this process after you have been offered a place and enrolled on the course.
  • Final deadline - EU students only - 31 May 2023
More info
Tuition fees

We offer two ways to pay:

  • Single Payment Option:
    Enrolment Fee* €895 + Tuition Fee €10,350 = €11,245 per year**
    Single payment tuition fee - August 1st deadline
  • Instalment Payment Option:
    Enrolment Fee* €895 + 10 instalments x €1,135 = €12,245 per year**
    Monthly instalment plan from August 1st - May 1st

* Note- Enrolment fee is non-refundable. It is due every year as part of the total annual fee.
** BA degree = 3 years x total annual fee.

If you decide to enrol in both a short and long course with us, you will receive a discount of 500€ on the total tuition.

More detail
How to apply

Our admissions team has prepared a handy little map of your journey to studenthood with us. Take a look and be in touch if you have any questions.

Coming soon
Open days and taster workshops

Get a feel for our school from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Open Days and skill-focussed Taster Workshops.

Hosted by our team and students, these online events will give you a sense of what it's like to come and study with us in Berlin.

We look forward to meeting you online soon!

Learn more

Student work

In the end it doesn’t matter what we say or do. What matters is the work of our students. Have a listen and decide for yourselves.

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