BSc (Hons) Sound Design

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Study and apply the underlying principles of sound design and listening so that you can develop a career in designing sound for linear and interactive media.

  • Napier code:

    56225BH

  • UCAS code:

    5G7B

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

If you have a passion for sound, and would like to learn how to design it so that it is seamlessly integrated into media, then this degree will help you develop an in-depth understanding and the practical skills to design and evaluate effective sound for listeners.

Both linear and interactive media are addressed, with students studying sound design for fields such as animation, augmented reality, computing, film, radio, television, theatre, video games and virtual reality.

This course builds upon Edinburgh Napier University’s close contacts with internationally recognised sound designers and researchers. Information about past guest lecturers can be found on https://twitter.com/SoundDesignMSc.

Sound design student Joanna Zachiariasz was Cinema Audio Society Student Recognition Award Finalist in 2016.


sound design

The School of Computing has an established research record in listening and sound design, which is fully integrated into the teaching and assessment. Students will be actively encouraged to take part in sound research, both in order to develop a greater understanding of listeners’ experiences, and to contribute to new developments within the sound design field.

The course introduces you to the wide range of media that sound designers work in, as well as the underlying principles and techniques suitable for each field. Giving you the opportunity to specialise in your chosen discipline, this programme works towards creating an appropriate portfolio, and establishing contacts to aid your transition from study to a professional career.

For students who wish to work as freelancers, the University offers a free incubator space as well as free mentoring and advice. Teaching includes class lectures, laboratory practical sessions, class tutorials, online guest lectures, individual supervision, industrial experience and independent study.

What our students say

Christopher Laidler: "The Sound Design BSc is a great course for those passionate about sound and its many applications. This course and its staff will help nurture your ideas for a career in sound design and allow you to flourish, be it working with sound for film or games, sonic branding, sound art or even something more experimental. The modules are varied and informative, giving you the opportunity to gain experience through a wide range of assignments, independent studies and industry standard equipment and software. The guest lectures and group discussions keep you constantly inspired, and the staff are very accessible and always provide valuable feedback. Given the scope of the course, anybody with an interest in almost any facet of sound will benefit from this degree."
George Vlad: "I can heartily recommend this course to anyone looking to start working as an audio professional. The course offered invaluable insight into the sound designer's work, from sound editing for moving picture and game audio to installation art and acoustic ecology among others.
The modules were taught at an appropriate pace, leaving me enough time to work full-time and still have a social life.
The teaching staff are always prepared and available, industry-standard facilities and equipment are available to all students, and the assignments are constructed to resemble real-life job tasks. On top of this I was encouraged to pursue my passion for field recording, which I now perform as part of my freelance work."
Shaylah Grech-Duncan: "This course re-ignited my love of learning. It’s interesting and challenging without being daunting. It offers and creates opportunities to experiment in a variety of sound fields, providing a broad and sturdy base upon which to found a career in sound design. You get to try a bit of everything.

The course doesn’t just brush the surface of sound technique though - I gained invaluable insight into the unwritten rules and tools of the trade through my interaction with fellow experienced classmates, as well as through the lectures. The support provided by the main lecturer is seemingly unlimited and I feel like I have been fully equipped with skills and confidence to enter the professional world of sound design."
Rosalie Good: “This course is comprehensive and varied, you will gain extremely valuable knowledge and skills which will prepare you for a career in sound design. When I started I was inexperienced and lacking confidence, and now I feel ready and that I can take on work at a professional level. This course will train you to think like a sound designer, teach you to be able to self-evaluate your work effectively, and provide you with an opportunity to get plenty of diverse practical experience.

The main lecturer goes above and beyond to support and encourage your learning. After leaving Perth with a BSc in Audio Engineering I was able to transfer into fourth year, where I attended interesting and relevant lectures by a lecturer who is very committed and constantly trying to learn more himself. I received honest and constructive feedback from lecturers, and also classmates during class feedback sessions. There are also numerous guest lecturers, with established and talented sound designers, and other experts in the field.

I had many struggles over the year, and thanks to the staff at Napier I managed to be successful in attaining my degree, and actually enjoy my time there. All in all, I would highly recommend the course."

What you study

Please note we are currently only accepting applications for Year 3 direct entry. This page will be updated should this change.

Stage 1

  • Sound theory 1 and 2
  • Being digital
  • Producing digital
  • Experiencing the digital city
  • Programming for interactive media and design

Stage 2

  • Sound production 1 and 2
  • Practical interaction design
  • Digital video development
  • Playful interaction
  • Audio internship

Stage 3

  • Sound design 1 and 2
  • Interactive audio
  • Digital storytelling
  • Responsive environments
  • Group project

Stage 4

  • Listeners
  • Honours project
  • Creative computing
  • Professional identity through portfolio development

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Career opportunities

  • Audio Programmer
  • Boom Operator
  • Dialogue Editor
  • Dubbing/Rerecording Mixer
  • Foley Artist
  • Foley Editor
  • Production Sound Mixer
  • Sound Archivist/Cataloguer/Librarian
  • Sound Artist
  • Sound Designer
  • Sound Editor
  • Sound Engineer
  • Sound Lecturer
  • Sound Recordist
  • Sound Researcher
  • Sound Supervisor
  • Sound Technician

Currently, sound designers can gain employment in:

  • Art
  • Audio Books
  • Audio Branding
  • Auditory Displays/Interfaces (Desktop, Mobile, Vehicle, Web)
  • AR/MR (Augmented/Mixed Reality)
  • Data Sonification
  • Education (Further and Higher)
  • Film
  • Podcasting
  • Product Design
  • Radio
  • Soundscape Design (Domestic, Leisure, Retail, Travel, Workplace)
  • Television (TV)
  • Theatre
  • Theme Parks
  • Video Games (Console, Mobile, PC)
  • VR (Virtual Reality)


Minimum year 3

HND

Pass in a related subject with grades B at SCQF Level 8 in the graded unit(s).

Places are limited and students should anticipate a rigorous selection process, including interview.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £13,900 £14,350

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

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