Courses and Programme Info

BA Popular Music

Whether you’re a musician (singer, guitarist, bassist or drummer), composer or producer, finding your way into a career in popular music is always going to be a challenge. As well as honing your performance or composition skills, this course can equip you with the technical knowledge and realistic expectations you need to make your mark in this extremely competitive industry and a wide range of related careers.

Visit the Edinburgh Napier University website for information on programme content and entry requirements:


You’ll be building on your already-accomplished performing or composing skills, bringing them up to professional standard. You’ll also learn and explore new genres in music, and work on your ensemble skills with fellow students. Away from your instrument, you’ll be introduced to recording techniques, MIDI technology and the ins and outs of the music business.

As a UK Top 10 University for Graduate Employability (HESA 2009) and Graduate Prospects (The Independent and The Times University Guides for 2009), we can offer you a valuable head-start in your chosen career.

MA Sound Production

This course is studied full-time over 1 year; a part-time option is also available. You will learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, seminars, demonstrations, screenings and through independent study.

The first trimester is designed to give you a broad experience of the various techniques involved in studio practice, screen sound and live/event sound, enabling you to make an informed decision about potential areas of specialisation. The following three modules are compulsory:

  • Studio Sound 1
  • Screen Sound 1
  • Live and Events Sound 1

During the second trimester you undertake an Audio Soft-and Hardware unit that covers fault finding, soldering, integrated circuits, software installation and other practicalities that are a “real life” necessity for any engineer or technician. You also specialise in two different areas of sound production, with further opportunity to develop practical and academic skills:

  • Compulsory module: Audio Hardware and Software

Choose two of the following, depending on your area of interest:

  • Studio Sound 1
  • Screen Sound 1
  • Live and Events Sound 1
  • Sound Design and Synthesis

The third trimester involves more work experience as you undertake a final project in your chosen specialist field. Edinburgh’s reputation as one of Europe’s leading cultural and artistic capitals has led to the university establishing links with theatres, performance venues, studios and sound reinforcement/corporate communications companies with the opportunity for placements and other project work.

The Popular Music Industries department also has links with Toronto’s prestigious Harris Institute, where five work placements are available for Napier MA students as a final project option. All placements are competitive and are dependent on module results and an interview process.

Professional accreditation

Please ensure that if you are seeking a course which leads to accreditation with a professional body you have checked what the requirements are or have contacted us for specific advice. We cannot accept any responsibility if the course you select does not subsequently meet your requirements.

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