Experimental Sound Practice

University College Cork

Experimental Sound Practice

Course Outline
This course is for those undertaking creative work involving sound, including notated or recorded compositions; improvisations; sound art; visual art with a sound component; music theatre; performance art; installations etc. It includes studies in technique; repertoire; artistic ideas; working with instruments and performers; audio/video technology and practical issues in bringing your creative work to performance.

The course welcomes students from a remarkably broad range of backgrounds, and creative work produced for it can be extremely diverse. You are encouraged to experiment with a huge range of possibilities. Staff have specialisms in concert music; dance music; experimental music and art; video art with sound; improvisation; sound Art; field recording. Basic working knowledge of music technology is expected.

The MA in Experimental Sound Practice is a one-year full-time course, involving both taught components and a portfolio of independent, supervised creative work, totalling 90 credits.

The programme can also be taken part-time over 24 months (by day). The course structure for part-time students would be subject to agreement with the Department of Music.

Subjects taught


Part I

MU6100 Expanded Instrument Systems (10 credits)
MU6101 Digital Music and Media Composition (10 credits)
MU6102 Composing in Real Time (10 credits)
MU6103 Sound Art (5 credits)
MU6104 Composing with Field Recordings (5 credits)
MU6105 Experimental Music (5 credits)
MU6047 Music Cognition and Perception in Culture (5 credits)

10 credits (1 x 10-credit or 2 x 5-credit modules) selected from all modules available to final year undergraduates, or postgraduates, studying Music.

In special circumstances, students may be able to select courses offered by other departments which they have not previously completed. The selection of courses is undertaken in consultation with the student’s mentor; those selected should be complimentary to those already being studied elsewhere in the programme and offer the student a significant addition to their skill set that is pertinent to the overall aims of the degree. Module choice may be constrained by timetabling and capacity factors.

Part II

MU6024 Portfolio (30 credits)

Entry requirements

In order to be permitted to proceed to the MA in Experimental Sound Practice, a candidate must hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or higher, and demonstrate experience in the creation of music or other sonic art.

Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent (e.g. professional musician or another artist of high standing, etc.) will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of sound-based creative work in whatever form is suitable (musical scores, recordings, videos, computer programmes, documentation of Sound Art installations etc.) and may also be required to attend an interview with members of the programme team.

Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Application dates

Closing Date
Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.


1 year full-time, 2 Years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2024

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
The MA in Experimental Sound Practice offers training in a number of highly contemporary and sought-after techniques across a broad range of disciplines. They encompass in-demand music and video technologies, cutting-edge creative techniques across several disciplines, and an unparalleled breadth of experience across diverse modern artistic practices. This eclectic mix allows you to build an unusual and distinctive profile that sets you apart from others in your field(s). In contrast to many programmes that follow a more traditional path, our MA is about the future!

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider