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Durations and wordcounts

Submissions on practice-led courses will usually require a short written document explaining your approach, summarising your main achievements, crediting influences and explaining your aesthetic choices. Each course will set limits for word counts which will include footnotes, but will not count the bibliography. Durations for time-based work will also be set and usually have a window of acceptable length. In this example: between 4-6 minutes, you are expected to meet the minimum and not exceed the maximum.

Durations for submissions specified in course project briefs are purposefully set to help you refine your practice in a specific context, to ensure parity across the cohort and to help guarantee that each submission gets the same amount of time devoted to assessment and feedback. These limitations are designed to challenge you to work within specific parameters much like the challenges you will meet in your career.

Work that goes over the set durations may not be listened to in its entirety. Work that is significantly shorter than specified durations may not get a high mark, especially where it is clear that its brevity is evidence of having done less work than was expected.

In some cases – through collaborative pressures or because of a bold aesthetic choice – you might push durations in one direction or another beyond the suggested limits. Often there will be allowance for such in the brief but if you choose to take significant risks with specified durations, you should check with your course organiser the extent to which this can be stretched.

We understand that some practices are denser than others. Course organisers try to design briefs that negotiate this in sensible ways. For example, it is understood that a 5-minute solo oboe piece is a radically different proposition than a work of the same duration for chamber orchestra. Similarly some work demands that you develop rafts of material, code or technique and the finished creative work will represent just the tip of your achievements. In such cases the brief will ask you to submit the other materials to evidence this effort.

It is important to bear in mind that the amount of time dedicated to marking work is finite. Work that takes much more time to engage with will almost certainly not get as thorough engagement on all of its elements as work that fits the size of the submission.

Often, especially in projects involving software you develop yourself, we ask you to take a screen grab of the work as you see it behaving and sounding on your machine. This is a very important part of the submission since software frequently does not work as expected on a different operating system. We may also ask for a technical explanation video which can work in lieu of a manual. These kinds of screen captures work best when planned, prepared and limited in duration. If these are asked for, there will almost certainly be a specific time limit on how long they should last.

Most courses have two submissions, often the second is more substantial than the first. The following is a guideline for the durations of submission elements you might expect to encounter, but please refer to specific project briefs for exact details:

30% first submission

  • Text document 500 words including footnotes, not counting bibliography
  • Creative work between 2-5 minutes
  • Technical explanation videos 2-4 minutes
  • Software code, readme.md file, score, diagrams and other resources as specified

70 % second submission

  • Text document 500-1000 words including footnotes, not counting bibliography
  • Creative work up to 8 minutes
  • Technical explanation videos up to 5 minutes
  • Software code, readme.md file, score, diagrams and other resources as specified

Cover

MSc/Diploma in Sound Design

Programme Handbook 2021-22

REID SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Sound Design Programme welcome and handbook overview

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Introduction to the Reid School of Music

Music at the University of Edinburgh has a long and distinguished history, combining tradition with innovation, and theory with practice. We have a broad view of music, not confined to one kind of musical genre or tradition but engaging with classical and popular music, Western and non-Western music, professional and amateur music-making.

We think of music as a performing art, a creative art, a subject of scholarly and scientific study, a site of technological innovation, and a practice with implications for many aspects of human life.

Situated in the heart of the old city of Edinburgh, Music enjoys the resources of two extraordinary historic concert halls, unique collections of historical musical instruments and a world-class music library, as well as well-equipped audio studios and IT facilities. There is a lively musical life across all areas and genres of music.

Learning and teaching is a mix of seminars, supervised individual research, and one-to-one tutorials. Our regular Music Research Seminars are just one of many opportunities to hear and discuss current ideas from leading local and international researchers and musicians.

We are part of the creative environment of Edinburgh College of Art, as well as being linked to intellectual strands across the university. We are also strongly engaged with the local community, for example through our Music in the Community programme and its public events.

We encourage our students to develop a thoughtful, critical and creative response to music through intellectual curiosity and practical engagement.

Key Locations

Edinburgh College of Art is located close to the University's Central Area in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The main College campus is situated on Lauriston Place on the south side of the city centre. The address of Edinburgh College of Art is: 74 Lauriston Place Edinburgh EH3 9DF   Campus Maps You are able to access maps of the University of Edinburgh campus via the below link: http://www.ed.ac.uk/maps   ECA Facilities Edinburgh College of Art has a wide range of studios and workshop spaces, libraries and collections, as well as places to socialise which are made available to all students. The below link will direct you to further information on these facilities and their locations: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/eca-home/facilities

Student Feedback

Student feedback is taken seriously in Edinburgh College of Art, and the opportunity is provided for postgraduate students to raise any issues, of concern or praise, via the Postgraduate Staff/Student Liaison Committee (PGSLC), which holds one meeting each semester and is chaired and attended by members of staff.   Each of the taught programmes should nominate their own representative to speak on this Committee, at the beginning of the academic year (usually in the first week of Semester 1). If you are interested in being a student rep, please contact the Postgraduate Secretary.   The student rep is responsible for letting the wider student body know when meetings of the PGSLC will be held, and should invite students to tell him/her of any ideas or problems. Students should also feel free to approach the nominated student representative at any time with particular issues. Additionally, all students are invited to give full and free comments and opinions on all aspects of the programme, both to the Postgraduate Director and to other members of staff, at any time. https://www.ed.ac.uk/arts-humanities-soc-sci/taught-students/participation-quality-assurance https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/facilities/academic/representation https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/representation/yourrepresentatives/

Student Representation

Staff members at the University of Edinburgh work closely with student representatives. Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) coordinates student representation and provides training and support for student representatives across the University. Student representatives (‘Reps’) listen to you to identify areas for improvement, suggest solutions, and ensure that your views inform strategic decisions within the University, building a stronger academic community and improving your student life. Schools share students’ emails with their student representatives as a matter of course; any student wishing to opt out from this should tell the School’s Teaching Office/Graduate School or equivalent. https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life/student-voice/student-representation https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/representation/studentrepresentation/

Peer support

Peer Support in the context of the University means a student with more experience sharing their knowledge, skills, abilities and expertise with a new or less experienced student.  Peer Support may focus around advancing your academic work, providing opportunities to socialise with other students within your School or offering additional support to ensure you wellbeing while at University. Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) and the University have been widely developing the Peer Support Project across the University since 2012.

Student Support

The University of Edinburgh provides numerous support services for students who encounter problems during their studies.  If you have any difficulties with your work, personal life or health, there are people available to help you.   One of the main benefits of studying at the University is the quality and range of the support services available.   https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-disability-service/student-support/support-we-provide All staff are available to help you with problems and you may find it easier to approach a tutor or course organiser in the first instance. However, there is also a more formal and structured system of student support available which is explained below:   Your Personal Tutor   A Personal Tutor will normally be your first point of contact if you experience any difficulties whilst studying.   Your Personal Tutor is a member of teaching staff within ECA.  They are there to provide you with academic guidance and to help you reflect on your academic progress so that you get the most out of your studies.   For further information on the Personal Tutor system, please see the following link: http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life/personal-tutor   ECA Student Support Officers   Edinburgh College of Art’s Student Support Officers are here to help you move forward in your studies.  Student Support Officers are happy to be a first point of contact for students on any subject, and they can typically advise on all administrative and pastoral matters, including:  
  • Absences, interruption of study applications and withdrawal;
  • University procedures;
  • Special Circumstances applications;
  • Information on University of Edinburgh services;
  • Degree transfers and course changes (for undergraduate students).
  For further information on ECAs Student Support Officers, and how to contact them, please access the ECA Student Support LEARN course:   https://www.learn.ed.ac.uk/   For further information on the range of Student Support Services available to you, please follow the below links: https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/new-students/student-support

Attendance and Engagement

University teaching at postgraduate level is often less ‘hands on’ than you may be used to from your previous studies. A key outcome of university‐level education, and particularly postgraduate education, is that of student independence and initiative: we expect our graduates to possess the skills and confidence needed to find things out for themselves, rather than requiring significant and ongoing direction.

In the early stages of your programme we seek to accustom you to becoming proactive in directing your own learning, especially in seminars and tutorial sessions. You will then be increasingly challenged to make practical use of the independence, confidence and initiative you have developed. Through participation in discussions, and occasionally through giving presentations in tutorials, crits, tutorial‐like seminars, and studios, your progress as an independent learner will be demonstrated (and in some cases, evaluated). You will also be encouraged to engage in extra-curricular seminars and events, many of which will have a participatory element.

Your involvement in all such activities will play an important role in you taking ownership of your learning and academic development, and in many cases will be central to achieving the intended learning outcomes of our courses.

Where we monitor your attendance and engagement

Attendance monitoring varies across programmes and between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. ECA, like other areas in the University, will take attendance/engagement registers at a range of events which may include:

  • small-group sessions such as tutorials, seminars, studios and crits;
  • submission of coursework;
  • attending a meeting with your Personal Tutor, Supervisor etc.

We monitor your engagement with your studies across a range of events and across the duration of your studies. If you do not attend or engage with your studies and start to miss these engagement points, we will follow this up with you.  Using these engagement points assists ECA in identifying where you may be experiencing difficulties and ensures that timely and appropriate intervention can be made to prevent non-attendance becoming a serious matter.

Avoid problems - Keep in contact with us

If you know you are going to miss a seminar/tutorial/studio then you must let us know (see below). You should outline the reason for not attending. If you have a valid reason for not attending, i.e. something out with your control such as illness, emergency care for a dependant etc., then we will mark you as exempt from attending.  Please contact us in advance – if this is not possible then contact us within 5 working days of the event. It is important to note that poor time-management is not a valid reason, so the following would not be accepted as valid reasons for being absent: you slept in; you had commitments to other work/paid employment, etc. 

Whilst we realise that not every student will have a 100% attendance record, we do expect you to engage with your studies throughout your time in Edinburgh. As outlined below, we will contact you if your attendance is lower than expected/required for the programme.

Who to contact about not attending:

  • For teaching events and assessment – email the Course Organiser/tutor and eca-attendance@ed.ac.uk
  • If you are going to miss a number of classes or other programme level events (e.g. induction), then please email your Personal Tutor, and copy your email in to the ECA Student Support Office at eca-sso@ed.ac.uk.
  • If you need to apply for an interruption to your studies (i.e. you need to be away for 2 weeks or more) then contact your Personal Tutor, and copy your email in to the ECA Student Support Office at eca-sso@ed.ac.uk.

What happens if you don’t engage with your studies?

The Escalation Procedure is a formal, recorded structure of communications with a student who has a demonstrable lack of engagement with their studies, such as though attendance that falls below the agreed level of engagement required by the University.

You will enter the Escalation Procedure if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your engagement level falls below 75%;
  • Your last positive engagement was more than 30 days ago;
  • You fail to respond to communications regarding non-engagement.

Ultimately, the Escalation Procedure can lead to exclusion for non-attendance. For Tier 4 sponsored students, exclusion immediately results in losing sponsorship by the University.

If we notice a pattern of non-engagement with your studies then our first response is normally pastoral in nature i.e. to make sure that things are OK. If your engagement continues to be poor, or if you fail to respond to communications regarding your non-engagement or attendance, then we will escalate as outlined below:

  • STAGE 1 - Informal email message. We will let you know that your engagement with your studies is below what is expected. This normally consists of attending less than 75% of all events where attendance is monitored and/or failing to confirm your attendance at the start of teaching. You will be given 5 working days to respond or to re-engage with your studies.
  • STAGE 2 - Formal warning. If you fail to re-engage with your studies and/or fail to respond to school communications, you will be considered to be at Stage 2. You will again be contacted and given a further 5 working days to respond or to re-engage.
  • STAGE 3 - At this point we deem your attendance/engagement to be inconsistent and of serious concern. Further investigations will be made to determine whether you are otherwise progressing with your programme, and it is likely that you will be invited to attend a meeting with the School to discuss your non-engagement.
  • FINAL STAGE -  If you have consistently missed engagement points (meeting your personal tutor/supervisor, tutorials, seminars, studio registers, submitting assessments, attending examinations, etc.) or your academic progress more widely is at a level deemed unacceptable, then ECA will consider your status using the ‘Procedure for Withdrawal and Exclusion from Studies’ policy and the Taught Assessment Regulations. 

If you reach this Final Stage, you will normally be referred to College (i.e. CAHSS) by your School (i.e. ECA). College will then invite you to a formal meeting, with one possible outcome being your exclusion based upon the issue of persistent non-engagement.

  • If you are a Tier 4 student, the University will report the decision to exclude you to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKV&I) Office, informing them that we have withdrawn your sponsorship. This is done within 10 working days of the date of decision to exclude.

Please note that all attendance and engagement communications will be sent via email to your University email account. It is your responsibility to check your email regularly and to respond to emails in a timely fashion. Not checking your email will not be considered a valid reason if you have entered the Escalation Procedure. This includes situations where you may be studying away from the University (e.g. study abroad, ERASMUS, work placements etc.).

What Happens If You Don’t Attend Any Classes At All?

If you are recorded as having 0% attendance in your teaching activities, and you have no contact with anyone at the University, you will be at risk of expulsion after 60 days. Your situation will be considered under an Accelerated Escalation Procedure, and will immediately progress to the next stage if no response has been received after 7 days, and no other contact has been made with the University.

International Students on a Tier 4 visa

As a Tier 4 student, the University of Edinburgh is the sponsor of your UK visa. The University has a number of legal duties to manage its sponsorship of your visa. These include:

  • Regularly monitoring your attendance/engagement on your programme;
  • Reporting to UKV&I if you suspend or withdraw from your studies, complete them early, fail to register, or are repeatedly absent to the point of being excluded from studies.

As a student with a Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh, the terms of your visa require you to, (amongst others):

  • Ensure you have a correct and valid visa for studying at the University of Edinburgh, which, if a Tier 4 visa, requires that it is a visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh;
  • Attend all of your University classes, lectures, tutorials, etc. where required. This includes participating in the requirements of your course including submitting assignments, attending meetings with tutors and attending examinations. If you cannot attend due to illness, for example, you must inform your School.

Please note that any email relating to your Tier 4 sponsorship, will be sent to your University email address – it is your responsibility to check this regularly.

Please familiarise yourself with your Visa responsibilities and restrictions by reading the following links:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/global/immigration/while-you-are-here/rights-responsibilities-and-restrictions

Students with questions related to their Tier 4 visa should visit the Student Immigration Service website at:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/immigration

The Student Contract

Successful study at University stems from a partnership between students and staff, and the University is committed to providing you with a learning environment and student services which enable you to fulfil your potential.   Find information on the University's rules, regulations and policies here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life/contract

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal is a request for a decision made by a Board of Examiners to be reconsidered in relation to:  
  • Grades/marks
  • Progression
  • Degree classification
  • Degree award
  If you are considering lodging an appeal, it is important that you act promptly. It is important to note that the appeal process cannot be used to challenge academic judgment. That is, a student cannot submit an appeal simply because they believe that they deserve a better mark.   There are specific and fairly narrow grounds under which an academic appeal may be submitted. These are set out in Student Appeal Regulations: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/studentappealregulations.pdf   Further information about appeals can be found on the Academic Services website: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/students/appeals  

External Examiners

The Board of Examiners includes an External Examiner, whose role is to assure standards of assessment and to provide a further source of advice on the Programme.  Students are sometimes invited to an informal meeting with the External Examiner in December/January May/June.   The External Examiner system forms a key part of the University’s quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms.  External Examiners help to ensure that degrees awarded by the University are comparable in standard to those awarded at other Universities, although their content may differ. They also ensure that the assessment system is operated equitably and fairly in respect of the treatment and classification of students and that the University’s regulations are consistently applied.   Further guidance on the role of the external examiner and associated regulations can be found here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/quality/external-examining   The External Examiner appointed for the programmes PROGRAMME for the ECA academic session 2018/19 is detailed below:
Programme(s) External Examiner Institution
Sound Design and Sound Design by Research Claudia Molitor City University, London
  Please note: **Students must not make direct contact with External Examiners**

Board of Examiners

A Board of Examiners is a body with membership approved by the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences.   The role of the Board of Examiners is to take an overview of each student’s academic performance on a relevant course or programme based primarily on assessment results, and to make a final academic judgement on the appropriate outcome.   Board of Examiners meetings are held two to four times per academic year depending on the programme.   1 Year Postgraduate Programmes (MA, MSc)   Board of Examiners meetings will be held at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2 in order to ratify course marks. The Board at the end of Semester 2 will also assess whether students can progress to the next stage of their academic study e.g. a final project or dissertation, or the 2nd year of a part-time programme. A final Board will then be held following the submission of the final project or dissertation to assess what final award – including classification – students will be granted for their degree programme of study.   2 Year Postgraduate Programmes (MFA)   Board of Examiners meetings will be held at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2 each year in order to ratify course marks. The Board at the end of Semester 1, Year 2, will also assess whether students can progress to the next stage of their academic study e.g. a final project or dissertation, or the 2nd year of a part-time programme. The final Board at the end of Semester 2, Year 2, will assess what final award – including classification – students will be granted for their degree programme of study.   2 Year Postgraduate Professional Programmes (MLA, MArch)   Board of Examiners meetings will be held at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2 each year, in order to ratify course marks. The Board at the end of Semester 2, Year 1, will also assess whether students can progress to the next stage of their academic study. The final Board at the end of Semester 2, Year 2, will assess what final award – including classification – students will be granted for their degree programme of study. These programmes also have a Resit Exam Board in August to assess award and degree classification for students who were permitted to resit assessment following the final Board at the end of Semester 2.   All marks and grades are provisional until their ratification during the above Boards.   Further information on the policies and principles of the Board of Examiners can be found in the below handbook: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/boe_handbook.pdf

Special Circumstances

The University is committed to supporting its students. Special Circumstances Committees (SCCs) will seek to take account of illness, accident or other circumstances beyond students’ control that have adversely affected their performance in assessment.   Please refer to the Special Circumstances Policy for full guidance: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/special_circumstances.pdf   Special Circumstances are circumstances which are exceptional, beyond your control, and for which there is sufficient evidence to show that they had a significant adverse impact on your performance in an assessment, or resulted in non-attendance or a non-submission for a scheduled assessment.   It  is  your  responsibility  to  submit  your  request  for  consideration  of  Special Circumstances  as  soon  as  possible.  The deadline for Special Circumstance requests is not more than one week after your final assessment for the semester. SCCs will only consider accepting submissions after this deadline where you can provide evidence of exceptional reasons for having been unable to submit on time.   Your request for consideration of special circumstances must be submitted using the Special Circumstances form: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/special_circumstances_form.docx   Special Circumstances forms should be submitted to ECA-SSO@ed.ac.uk   The form should be prepared in consultation with your Personal Tutor and/or Student Support Officer. In the form you should describe the circumstances, state when the circumstances affected you, and detail all of assessments and courses affected. It is important that you clearly explain the impact that these circumstances had on your assessment. You should provide sufficient documentary evidence to support your request.   Details of what is considered sufficient can be found in Section 6 of the policy: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/special_circumstances.pdf   Further guidance regarding the Special Circumstances process is available to you from the following sources:   Academic Services: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/policies-regulations/if-things-go-wrong   The Advice Place: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/the_advice_place/academic/special_circumstances/   The  Advice  Place  can  provide  independent  advice  to  students  regarding  the preparation of their requests for consideration of Special Circumstances.

University Support Services

http://www.ed.ac.uk/students The University of Edinburgh offers support services to students in the following areas: Academic Life http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life  
  • Surveys, Student Representation and Engagement
  • The Student Contract
  • Student Conduct
  • Study Support
  • My Profile
  • My Personal Tutor
  • Curriculum, Assessment and Appeals
  • How to Make a Complaint
  • Exams and Timetables
  • Disability Support
  • Technology and Libraries
  Living in Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/living-in-edinburgh  
  • Activities
  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Accommodation
  • Transport and Getting Around
  • International Students
  • Childcare
  Health and Wellbeing https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/health-and-wellbeing  
  • Support for Study
  • Student Counselling
  • Disability Support
  • Chaplaincy
  • Sport and Exercise
  • Health Services
  • Your Wellbeing
  Careers and Opportunities http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/careers  
  • Job Portal
  • What are my options?
  • Work while you study
  • Help with Applications
  • Developing your Employability
  • Volunteering
  • International Opportunities
  • Postgrad Launchpad
  Money, Fees and Finance http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/finance
  • Tuition Fees
  • Financial Assistance
  • Money Problems and Debt Advice
  • Bank Accounts
A-Z of Student Services: http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/student-services

Social Media Guidelines

Social media – tools such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter – can be a good way for you to share your thoughts and questions about the University, your programme and your courses.  Many courses will have a social media space (e.g. a Facebook group), some may be set up and administered by course organisers, class reps, or others. While there are many cautionary tales about the use of social media, there are also many positives to engaging with it.  There have been many examples recently of students and graduates using social media to network and, in some cases, find employment. Social media allows easy exchange of information and ideas and can provide a powerful platform for discussion - all of which is within the control of the account owner. Do not be afraid to engage with debate, but do remember that what goes on the internet stays on the internet – you need to remember that a future employer may discover things about you that you would prefer to keep private. We expect you to be courteous in your postings and to not make personal or hurtful comments about other students or staff. You should ensure your comments are lawful, i.e. are consistent with legislatively protected areas of equality and diversity, and do not constitute a disciplinary offence under the University’s code, which include offensive behaviour (in writing as well as actual) and bringing the University into disrepute. For further information on the use of Social Media, please see the University’s main website via the following link: http://www.ed.ac.uk/website-programme/training-support/guidelines/social-media   To view the University of Edinburgh Social Media Handbook, please see the following link: http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/socialmediahandbook_v1_4.docx

Extended Common Marking Scheme

Extended Common Marking Schemes are used to mark and/or grade all of the assessments which make up your programme.

The University operates the following Extended Common Marking Schemes:

CMS1: Undergraduate degree assessment (except BVM&S and MBChB)
CMS2: Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S)
CMS3: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)
CMS4: Postgraduate Assessment Mark
   

The Extended Common Marking Scheme which is used is CMS4.

For further information on the University’s Extended Common Marking Schemes, including a breakdown of the marking criteria, please see the below link:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/exams/regulations/common-marking-scheme

Institute of Academic Development Online Resources

The Institute of Academic Development has created a suite of online resources for effective study.  These tools can enhance, develop and expand your skills.  Visiting the site is highly recommended as study aid and a source of advice for taught students.  Areas covered by the tools are as follows:

  • Critical thinking
  • Effective studying
  • Time management
  • Presentations
  • Group Working
  • Academic Writing
  • Making notes
  • Dissertations
  • Reading effectively
  • Literature review
  • Academic standards

Please visit the website for further details:

www.ed.ac.uk/iad/studyhub

You can also follow the IAD Twitter feed here:

https://twitter.com/IAD_StudyHub

ECA Student Support

A network of student support is in place to help you with any issues you may encounter during your studies.

Personal Tutors

Each student within ECA is allocated a Personal Tutor whose role is to offer guidance and encourage reflection on academic matters. The Personal Tutor will be a link between you and the wider academic community of the University. The Personal Tutor is not the same as a subject tutor: rather than dealing with the specifics of your studies in a particular course or programme, your Personal Tutor's role is to provide you with advice about academic matters, to ensure that illness or personal difficulties are dealt with appropriately and to help you review and reflect on your progress and develop the skills to allow you to do this. There is also a responsibility on you to attend and engage with this process, so it is important that you are familiar with the system and how to access it.

For more information: 

http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life/personal-tutor

If you don’t know who your Personal Tutor is you can find this information on MyEd. You will meet with them a number of times throughout your studies

Sign-up arrangements for meetings will be sent to you by your Personal Tutor and attendance is compulsory. If for good reason you are unable to attend, please let your Personal Tutor know as soon as possible. If you are away from campus (e.g. studying abroad) you can still access support and guidance from your Personal Tutor; typically this will be via telephone, Skype and, in some circumstances, email. You are welcome to request extra meetings with your Personal Tutor as necessary, by email.

Student Support Officers

ECA has four specialist Student Support Officers (SSOs) who work alongside academic and administrative colleagues. The SSOs support all ECA undergraduate and postgraduate students and can undertake a number of tasks for you including:

  • Advice about transferring to a new degree programme
  • Advice about requesting an Authorised Interruption of Study, or AIS (the total duration of which depends upon your programme of study)
  • Policies on withdrawing permanently from your degree programme
  • How to apply for Special Circumstances (where your performance in assessment has been disrupted) and guidance on criteria for Special Circumstances
  • Further information about other support services available and how to access them e.g. Student Counselling, EUSA Advice Place, etc.
  • Being a general contact point for all ECA undergraduate and postgraduate students - if you don’t know who to ask, the SSOs will be able to point you in the right direction.

Please note that SSOs do not provide detailed programme support, so if you have specific questions about your programme, e.g. hand in dates or a question about assessment, then you will need to speak to an appropriate member of staff in your Subject Area such as a Course and Programme Administrator, or your Personal Tutor.

The main ECA Student Support Office is located in the Hunter Building at Lauriston place, Room O.30 (next to the ECAfe). It is open at the following times:

  • Monday 11am – 5pm;
  • Tuesday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

The Student Support Team also offer outreach days and can be found in the Student Administration and Support Service Office in the following locations:

Location Day Time
Minto House Tuesday and Thursday 9am – 5pm
Alison House Wednesday 9am – 5pm
Evolution House Friday 9am – 5pm

You can either pop in and see the SSOs or make an appointment.

The SSOs can be contacted by emailing: eca-sso@ed.ac.uk

Special Circumstances

The Special Circumstances Committee (SSC) meets before the Board of Examiners to consider the cases of students whose performance has been affected Special Circumstances, and makes recommendations on mitigation actions that might be made at the exam board.

Special circumstances are circumstances which are exceptional for the individual student, are beyond that student’s control, and for which there is sufficient evidence to show that they had a significant adverse impact on the student’s performance in an assessment, or resulted in non-attendance or a non-submission for a scheduled assessment.

The Special Circumstances Committee deals with issues in the strictest confidence, but it can only deal with problems it knows about, so it is very important that if the need arises, you make sure that your Personal Tutor is aware of any problems. If appropriate you will be advised to complete a Special Circumstances application which will be presented to the Special Circumstances Committee. The ECA Student Support Officers can also give you advice and support to help you complete your Special Circumstances application. The deadline for applications is 7 days after your final assessment/exam in the corresponding exam diet.

Examples of circumstances that a Special Circumstances Committee is likely to accept:

  • Significant short-term physical illness or injury;
  • Significant short-term mental ill-health or similar illness;
  • Bereavement or serious illness of a person with whom the student has a close; relationship
  • A long-term relationship breakdown, such as a marriage.

Examples of circumstances that are unlikely to be accepted include:

  • Pressure of academic work;
  • Employment commitments or financial issues;
  • A short-term, self-certificated illness, such as a common cold;
  • Occasional low mood, stress, or anxiety.

Marks/grades cannot be adjusted by either a Special Circumstances Committee or a Board of Examiners as a consequence of Special Circumstances. In many cases, if you fail a course and your SC application is upheld, you will typically be allowed to resubmit as if it was the first/original attempt, or you may have late penalties partially or fully waived.

For further information, including the Special Circumstances form, see:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/students/assessment/special-circumstances/procedure

You can also email the Student Support Office for the application form: 

eca-sso@ed.ac.uk

If you feel your studies have been disrupted as a result of Special Circumstances, please contact your Personal Tutor as soon as possible. It is essential that you make an application in good time, prior to the Board of Examiners.

Your Personal Tutor will provide support and guidance in making an application for Special Circumstances. The final decision on your application is made by a School Special Circumstances Committee which meets prior to the Board of Examiners. This decision will be communicated to you by the Student Support Office following the publication of results.

Authorised Interruption of Studies (AIS)

An ‘Authorised Interruption of Studies’ (AIS) is required if you are going to be absent for more than two weeks. Students seeking an authorised interruption must have their Student Support Officer submit the request for authorised interruption of study form.

You should contact the Student Support Office as early as possible to discuss whether to apply or to proceed with an application. It is really important that you do not simply stop engaging with your studies – please seek advice first.

Authorised Interruption of Studies request form

The form, together with appropriate evidence, will be sent to the ECA Senior Tutor for consideration. Any such request must have the support of the student's Personal Tutor.

Leave of Absence (LoA)

As a postgraduate student you may apply for a Leave of Absence (LoA) to move away from your normal (semester time) residence to continue your studies for temporary periods at a more remote location.

An appropriate application procedure must be followed to allow this – you should not simply leave. This is of particular importance to those students who are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa.

Authorisation may be given by Colleges and Schools provided that such a temporary move does not conflict with any other requirement of your programme of study, including any obligations to be physically available for on-campus activity. Please note that you have a right to request a LoA, but there is no automatic entitlement to being granted one. In some circumstances an Authorised Interruption of Studies may be a more appropriate option.

If you wish to request a LoA, you should discuss the matter with your Personal Tutor or supervisor, and contact the Student Support office. The SSOs will advise on whether a LoA or an AIS is most appropriate for the time period requested. 

Withdrawal

If you are considering withdrawing from your programme you should contact your Personal Tutor in the first instance. If they are not available, please contact one of the ECA Student Support Officers. Please note that withdrawing from your studies will have implications for your fee liability, loans, student finance and, for international students, your visa.

Degree Programme Transfers

If you are considering making a request to transfer to a different degree programme, you are advised to contact your Personal Tutor or Student Support Officer as soon as possible to discuss your plans. They will give you advice on what may or may not be possible, as well as informing you of any formal requirements.

Transfers within ECA and to programmes elsewhere in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science (CAHSS) are often possible, but a number of factors will be taken into account, including your academic profile to date, space on the destination programme, and other relevant factors.

Transfers which extend your total period of study have to be approved by CAHSS and so a formal application is required. For more information, see:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/arts-humanities-soc-sci/taught-students/changing-your-programme

Transfer requests may be subject to strict deadlines and should therefore be made as early as possible.

Peer Support

Peer Support in the context of the University means a student with more experience sharing their knowledge, skills, abilities and expertise with a new or less experienced student.  Peer Support may focus around advancing your academic work, providing opportunities to socialise with other students within your School, or offering additional support to ensure your wellbeing while at University.

Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) and the University have been widely developing the Peer Support Project across the University since 2012.

Student Representation

Staff members at the University of Edinburgh work closely with student representatives.

Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) coordinates student representation and provides training and support for student representatives across the University. Student representatives (‘Reps’) listen to you to identify areas for improvement, suggest solutions, and ensure that your views inform strategic decisions within the University, building a stronger academic community and improving your student life. Schools share students’ emails with their student representatives as a matter of course; any student wishing to opt out from this should tell the School’s Teaching Office/Graduate School or equivalent.

Student Feedback

Edinburgh College of Art offer the opportunity for Student Feedback in a variety of ways.  On some postgraduate programmes (and/or groups of postgraduate programmes) this takes the form of a Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) that is held once per semester and that is Chaired and attended by members of academic staff.  Some programmes also have meetings throughout the year giving the opportunity for students to feedback to academic staff at regular intervals.  All student feedback is taken seriously at Edinburgh College of Art, and the opportunity is provided for you as a postgraduate student to raise any issues, of concern or praise, via the mid-course feedback mechanisms and Course Evaluation Questionnaires.  Course Evaluation Questionnaires are opened at the end of all courses, and provide the opportunity for you to submit anonymous feedback on your courses.

Programmes (or programme groupings) that have a Student Staff Liaison Committee should nominate their own student representative to speak at the SSLC meetings.  Reps should be chosen at the beginning of the academic year (usually in the first week of Semester 1). If you are interested in being a student representative for your programme, please contact your Programme Administrator.

The student rep is responsible for letting the wider student body know when meetings will be held, and should invite students to tell her/him of any ideas or problems. Students should also feel free to approach the nominated student representative at any time with particular issues. Additionally, you are invited to give full and free comments and opinions on all aspects of your programme, to the Programme Director, to other members of staff, or to the ECA Director of Learning and Teaching (PG) at any time. Further details on student representation can be found at:

Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism

This includes plagiarism, collusion, falsification, deceit, cheating and personation. The University takes all reported incidences of academic misconduct seriously and seeks to ensure that they are dealt with efficiently and appropriately.

Information on academic misconduct including the academic misconduct procedure is available here:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline/academic-misconduct

Plagiarism

The University takes plagiarism very seriously and is committed to ensuring that so far as possible it is detected and dealt with appropriately.

Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one’s own work, without adequate acknowledgement, intentionally or unintentionally, the work of another or your own previously assessed original work. At whatever stage of a student’s course, whether discovered before or after graduation, plagiarism will be investigated and dealt with.

Please note that self-plagiarism (that is, submitting the same work for credit twice at the same or different institutions) will also be investigated and is taken very seriously by the University of Edinburgh.

Information of plagiarism including avoiding plagiarism is available here:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline/plagiarism

Health and Safety

ECA takes the issue of health and safety very seriously to try to eliminate or minimise the risks involved in our collective working environment wherever possible. Attendance at the Health and Safety Induction is mandatory for all new ECA students, where the basic ‘ground rules’ will be explained. It is important that you appreciate that our focus on health and safety is NOT to stop you doing anything, but rather to keep you safe as you carry out your work at ECA. Academic and technical staff, and the ECA Health & Safety Officer, keep a regular eye on observance of these rules purely for the purposes of keeping you all safe. Further guidance on specific health & safety issues is contained within the series of guides which make up the ECA H&S Handbook. You should familiarise yourself with these early on and refer back to them as appropriate.   http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/healthandsafety

Examination Diets

The University has two examination diets (December/January and May/June) and a resit diet in August. Final summative assessments for courses without exams may also be due during these diets.

Further details on exam diets and information about centrally-arranged examinations is available from Student Administration:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/exams

Progression and Award Information

The progression point for a Masters degree is at the end of the second Semester of the programme in May/June.  At this point the ‘taught’ component of the programme is complete.  Once the course results from first and second Semester have been confirmed, the Board of Examiners will consider each student’s academic profile to decide if they have achieved the criteria to progress to dissertation. 

To progress to Masters dissertation a student must:

(a) pass at least 80 credits with a mark of at least 50% in each of the courses which make up these credits; and

(b) attain an average of at least 50% for the 120 credits of study examined at the point of decision for progression

Credit on aggregate can be awarded for failed courses when:

  • A student has achieved PASS marks in at least 80 credits
  • A student has achieved an overall average of 40% or more for the 120 credits of the taught component of their degree

Postgraduate degrees do not offer resit opportunities for failed taught courses. 

Borderline Criteria for Progression

Where a student is borderline for progression, the case will be considered by the Board of Examiners. The decision whether or not to allow progression in such cases is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the boundary for progression, up to the boundary itself, i.e. 48.00% to 49.99%.

Where applicable, factors taken into account in such cases will be:

  1. any special circumstances, such as illness or other adverse personal circumstances, which have been brought to the attention of the Board of Examiners;
  2. credit weighting of individual courses;
  3. the range of overall course marks;
  4. marks and letter grades awarded to learning outcomes.

Criteria for Award of Degree

In order to be awarded a Masters degree students must:

(a) have satisfied any requirements for progression, as set out above, and

(b) attain an additional 60 credits, by achieving a mark of at least 50% for the dissertation or final project component.

(c) satisfy any other specific requirements for the Masters degree programme, that are clearly stated in respective programme handbooks.

Students are entitled to one resubmission of the dissertation or research project for postgraduate Masters programmes where the student has achieved a mark of 45 to 49% at the first attempt.

Students may be permitted to resubmit the dissertation, research project or courses from the taught component of their degree in line with the provisions of the Special Circumstances Policy where a student’s performance in assessment has been affected by illness, accident or circumstances beyond their control.

Degree Award Calculation and Classification

The Board of Examiners has the responsibility to decide which students can be awarded a Masters degree.

Masters degrees can be awarded in the following categories; Pass, Merit, Distinction

Please see the table below to show the criteria for each category:

Credits Studied for award 80 credits or more at 50% or over in taught courses Overall average of taught courses Dissertation Mark Classification
180   50 – 59 50 – 59 PASS
180   60 – 69 60 – 69 MERIT
180   70 or above 70 or above DISTINCTION

Both the overall average of the taught courses and the dissertation mark must be in the category to qualify for the classification.  If either the overall average of the taught courses or the dissertation mark is in the category below (and borderline rules do not apply), the degree will be awarded in the lower category.

Borderline Criteria for Award – including Distinction and Merit

Where a student is borderline for award including award with Distinction and award with Merit, the case will be considered by the Board of Examiners. The decision regarding classification of degree in such cases is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the boundary for award, up to the boundary itself, i.e. 48.00% to 49.99% (Award), 58.00% to 59.99%

Where applicable, factors taken into account in such cases will be:

  • any special circumstances, such as illness or other adverse personal circumstances, which have been brought to the attention of the Board of Examiners;
  • performance in dissertation;
  • credit weighting of individual courses;
  • the range of overall course marks including dissertation;
  • marks and letter grades awarded to learning outcomes.

Borderlines for both the dissertation and course average element of the degree are considered by the Exam board.

Example calculation PASS:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 55

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 62

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 52

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 50

Credit weighted average of taught component = 54.33

Dissertation – 60 credits = 62

Degree award classification: Award Masters PASS

Example calculation MERIT:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 68

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 62

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 58

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 60

Credit weighted average of taught component = 62.33

Dissertation – 60 credits = 65

Degree award classification: Award Masters MERIT

Example calculation DISTINCTION:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 72

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 68

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 78

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 82

Credit weighted average of taught component = 75

Dissertation – 60 credits = 76

Degree award classification: Award Masters DISTINCTION

Please note that optional courses chosen at SCQF level 9 or below will be disregarded when calculating averages for progression and award purposes.

Exit Awards

If you do not qualify for the Masters degree it is possible you could exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma.  The Board of Examiners has the responsibility to decide which students can be awarded the Certificate or the Diploma.

Regulations

The programme follows the University’s Taught Assessment Regulations. 

http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/policies-regulations/regulations/assessment

You can access the full Taught Assessment Regulations here:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/2019-taught.pdf

Please refer to:

  • Regulation 44 Borderlines
  • Regulation 56 Postgraduate assessment progression
  • Regulation 57 Postgraduate degree, diploma and certificate award
  • Regulation 58 Resubmission of postgraduate dissertations or research projects

Regulation 59 Award of postgraduate merit

Regulation 60 Award of postgraduate distinction

You will be informed of your Progression decision and your award classification on EUCLID accessible via your Myed channel.  We are unable to provide results verbally, over the phone or by email.

Auditing Courses

As per the Postgraduate Degree Regulations, students can be permitted to attend courses on a class-only basis (i.e. not for credit) without being formally assessed for their performance.

Auditing can fall into two different categories of auditing: 

  1. Read-Only Access: A student is manually added to the course Learn site as “Class Only”. The student can access course content, but cannot participate in any class activities or assessment, and does not have a record in the grade centre.  If you are an online student this is the only way you can audit a course.
  • Class Only Enrolment: A student is enrolled as “Class Only” in EUCLID. The course will appear on the final transcript but does not incur any course credits. Since “Class Only” courses appear on the student’s official record, the expectation is that students engage with the course as if it were being taken for credit. On enrolment, a student will be advised of this. Once enrolled in EUCLID, students will automatically be added to the relevant Learn site – again as “Class Only”, meaning they do not have a record in the grade centre.  Enrolment on EUCLID is not available to online students.

Auditing is at the discretion of the Course Organiser – some courses might not accept auditing students, for example, if the course is already full, or if the course structure means auditing is inappropriate. The student must also meet any academic prerequisites for the course.

In the case of Class Only Enrolment, some Course Organisers may only allow auditing students to attend lectures, while others may expect them to play a full role in seminar discussions. It is each student’s own responsibility to contact course organisers before signing up for their course to clarify whether auditing it is possible and under what circumstances.

Approval:

Once the Course Organiser has confirmed that they are willing to take auditing students, students must also obtain approval from their Programme Director if they want to be enrolled as “Class Only” in EUCLID. Approval might take into account the overall load (credit and non-credit bearing) on the student in the year, and the student’s current performance. Students needs to be aware that any subsequent time management issues due to course auditing is not ground for coursework extensions or Special Circumstances. Students are not typically permitted to audit more than one course in any semester, and no more than 60 credits in any one year.

A request to audit a course may be withdrawn if that place is needed by a student taking the course for credit.

Enrolment:

Once approvals have been granted, Class Only Enrolment should be processed by the Student Administration and Support Service. This ensures that support staff are aware of the additional students, and the circumstances under which they have been approved. Students wanting to enrol in courses outside ECA should be directed to the relevant Course Secretary. Course Organisers can manually grant Read-Only students access in Learn.

Attendance and Engagement:

Engagement will not be monitored for Read-Only students. Students who have been enrolled in EUCLID as “Class Only” will automatically be included on attendance registers. If students are not in attendance at a particular teaching activity (or if they are permitted to attend lectures only) tutors should mark them as EXEMPT. Students who are in attendance should be marked as YES. Students will not necessarily be escalated due to non-attendance in a course they are auditing, unless their lack of engagement compounds upon other attendance concerns.

About this Handbook

This handbook is intended to provide students with basic information on the programme content, aims and objectives, teaching and assessment, support and other issues. It indicates what is expected of you, and will help you to make the most of your time on the Programme. It should be read carefully and frequently, and used in conjunction with other material provided by the University and the School (Edinburgh College of Art), especially the Code of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes (also available on the Web at www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/taughtassessmentregulations.pdf) the Students Association Postgrad Handbook (also known as the “Postgrad Survival Guide” available via www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/) and the Architecture General Handbook. Questions or problems should be addressed in the first instance to the Programme Director. Note: This handbook is published by the Edinburgh College of Art to give information to candidates about the MSc/Diploma programme. This programme handbook does not supersede the University regulations, and the formal requirements for the programme are as set out in the University’s Postgraduate Study Regulations: http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/21-22/regulations/PGDRPS2021-22.pdf. A copy of the Degree Programme Table entry for this programme is available here: - full time: http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/21-22/dpt/ptmscsndes1f.htm - part time: http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/21-22/dpt/ptmscsndes1p.htm Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this handbook is correct at the start of the session. However, details are subject to change during the course of the year, and will then be notified to students as appropriate.

University Context

The MSc in Sound Design is organised and run within the Reid School of Music (http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/reid-school-of-music) and is very closely associated with activities in the subject area of postgraduate degrees in Design and Digital Media and Acoustics and Music Technology. ECA includes also the subjects areas of Art, Design, ESALA and History of Art. In the University structure, ECA is  a School within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

Complexity and terminology

The University of Edinburgh is a large institution with a complex structure. It can be helpful to understand where the Sound Design programme sits within this, as you will almost certainly interact with a range of different levels of the university organisation during your time on the programme. The University is divided in to three academic colleges, which are in turn divided in to twenty schools that house a range of subject areas (departments). Alongside this academic structure are various support groups, such as Information Services (computing and libraries, among other things), Accommodation Services, and so forth. Sound Design is situated in the Reid School of Music, which is part of Edinburgh College of Art, and ECA is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Confusion can arise because ECA, despite having the word ‘college’ in its name, is actually a ‘school’ in terms of university organisation, and the Reid School of Music is actually a Subject Area.

Programme Director

Dr. Martin Parker

Edinburgh College of Art
Alison House, room 3.07
12 Nicolson Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9DF, UK

Phone: +44(0)131 650 2333
Direct line: 50 2333

Email:martin[dot]parker @ed.ac.uk

Web: www.tinpark.com

The Programme Director is responsible for the smooth running of the Programme, including coordination of teaching and assessment, and programme evaluation. The Programme Director aims to facilitate your orientation and smooth progression through the programme, from initial induction through to transition to the project/dissertation stage, and final completion; and is also available as the first line of pastoral support (see the section on support services below).

 

Educational Aims of the Programme

The MSc Sound Design aims to provide a rich cross-disciplinary programme of study for its students to develop skills in the area of audio production, post-production and related digital technologies applied to sound design. Once you’ve completed this degree, you will be conversant with specialist technologies and with the social, artistic and creative contexts in which such technologies are developed and used. The programme will impart practical skills within the framework of a critical and reflective appreciation of the impact and influence contemporary developments in sound design and its affiliated disciplines. The programme assumes all students are at least at the beginner level in sound design, studio use and audio-based computing, but are prepared to advance quickly. The programme is structured  to allow you to develop according to your skills, interests and motivation. Specifically, the programme aims to:
  • provide an analytical and exploratory framework for thinking about sound and its role in a wider creative environment in order to enable students to develop a fresh approach to sound design.  The programme intends to help you build on your previous studies or industrial experience
  • develop specific knowledge and provide a broadly-based foundation in sound design technologies
  • encourage the development of good design in its broadest sense
  • foster the ability to work cooperatively in groups in the context of design
  • develop understanding of the potential for new technologies, techniques and approaches in your design activities
  • enable the use of existing computer-aided sound design techniques in creative ways
  • assist students in discovering the usefulness of advanced technologies
  • give students an understanding of the scope and limitations of computer applications in sound design
  • engage in cross-disciplinary collaboration in the context of audio-visual practice
 

Programme outcomes

The outcomes of the programme fall into several categories, as follows:

Knowledge and understanding

On completing the programme students should be able to
  • advise on the applicability of sound in a professional design context
  • critically evaluate digital technologies and their applicability to sound design
  • analyse requirements and derive design solutions for a wide range of sound design contexts
  • demonstrate understanding of the cultural context in which sound design is developing

Subject-specific skills

On completing the programme students should be able to:
  • apply techniques of recording, audio production and post-production, sound synthesis, digital signal processing, multimedia, video editing and programming of dynamic [interactive] systems
  • design effective multimedia presentations
  • develop audio for games and/or with communication opportunities such as podcasting
  • program interactive behaviours using a graphical programming language
  • create sound components to formats such as film, games, animation and multimedia
  • relate technological options to considerations of practice
  • develop and respond to  argument on cultural issues relating to the use of sound and technology
  • operate in a digital sound production studio

Key skills

On completing the programme students should be able to:
  • use information technology creatively in solving problems
  • put together presentations and installations using a range of digital media, especially sonic tools
  • assess the value and applicability of developments in digital technology as they emerge
  • critically assess the popular and academic literature that accompanies the promotion sound technologies and sonic arts
  • manage time and prioritise work tasks
  • follow an independent programme of study through to completion
  • present themselves as sound designer and demonstrate the ability to work in a professional context, in particular following and/or setting a brief

Note

Our overall objective is not to produce highly skilled technicians or programmers, but to encourage the development of rounded sonic artists with a wide appreciation of the issues of sound design in the contemporary world. This is a one-year programme, and as such has certain limitations. It may be taken, for example, by designers, computer specialists, sound theorists and musicians. It aims to inform any of these about the others, to allow them to understand each other's points of concern, and to work together in teams. It cannot, in most cases, directly convert students from any one of these specialisms into another, e.g. designers into computer specialists, or vice versa. It should, however, equip those who wish to pursue conversion with a solid foundation from which to move forward in the desired direction. Students who begin at an advanced level in any area are encouraged to exploit and share their skills, but cannot expect dedicated tuition to cater to their further development. In assessment, credit is given for advanced performance, but also for grappling with, using and benefiting from material outside an area of original specialisation. In assessment, we seek especially to acknowledge sensitive and effective team working with fellow students from a diversity of backgrounds, both academic and cultural. We endeavour to offer and support recent and highly-specified versions of the software we use; however, these are never crucial, and we aim to promote a flexibility that includes addressing projects by making appropriate use of whatever tools are available.  

Graduate Attributes

Graduates of the MSc Sound Design will have developed skills and abilities in:

Research and Enquiry

Graduates will be able to:
  • Research, analyse and creatively respond to design problems that require the assimilation of information from a wide variety of sources, utilising the expertise of related professionals;
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to various aspects of sound design;
  • Show skill in researching and critically assessing sound as a cultural phenomenon;
  • Develop an ability to develop creative sound design strategies informed by the needs of other media or collaborators;

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

Graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ways that industry standards and adherence to specifications in project briefs do not necessarily restrict creative processes;
  • Collaborate effectively when working in a team, displaying an understanding of interdisciplinary roles and responsibilities;
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills, professional judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances;
  • Be proficient in sound design techniques for problem solving;
  • Show a development of research skills based on scenario based learning;
  • Dispay a facility in effective information gathering across diverse discipline fields;
  • Demonstrate experience to contribute and co-operate effectively in complex and multidisciplinary working environments.

Communication

Graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of issues in making complex and often contradictory aspects of sound design comprehensible and accessible to non-experts;
  • Communicate effectively with others using appropriate techniques;
  • Communicate the rationale of a design proposal through oral presentation and demonstration or performance in the context of design practice;
  • Communicate effectively with fellow consultants and professionals in an interdisciplinary, collaborative context.

Personal Effectiveness

Graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills, judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances;
  • Understand the transdisciplinary nature of working within a contemporary understanding of sound design;
  • Work in an interdisciplinary environment and collaborate with others, working effectively when required as a group leader, design team member and autonomously as an individual.
  • Collaborate effectively when working in a team, displaying an understanding of interdisciplinary roles and responsibilities;
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify individual learning needs and have an appreciation of the rapid development of the field and its implications for continuous professional development.
 

Programme structure and content

The full time Programme runs across three semesters and takes close to a full 12 months to complete. Work on the supervised dissertation project occupies the whole of the summer or 3rd semester period. Each semester typically includes 11 weeks of teaching, plus an 'examination' period. Official session dates are given at http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/semester-dates. You can subscribe to this calendar in your preferred calendar reader. Note that in this Programme we are not committed to avoiding all teaching during those weeks that are nominated as 'examination' weeks, workshops, concerts and showings are often arranged then. Any periods marked for 'consolidation' will in our case be dedicated to work on the Final Project. In accordance with the University’s Curriculum Framework, the programme is of 12 months duration. It consists of 180 SQCF credit points, of which 120 constitutes the taught portion of the programme with the remaining 60 devoted to the dissertation component of the degree. A copy of the Degree Programme Table entry for this programme is available here: – full time: www.drps.ed.ac.uk/21-22/dpt/ptmscsndes1f.htm – part time: www.drps.ed.ac.uk/21-22/dpt/ptmscsndes1p.htm

The Sound Design MSc

The sound design degree is designed with the following course structure. You will be enroled on these courses by default, but you can discuss with your programme director alternatives:

Semester 1: Introduction and Orientation (60 credits in total)

  • Audio Crafting (skilling up and developing your studio-related abilities)
  • Creative Coding for Sound (sound design and systems for making sound. Interaction)
  • Introduction to Community Arts Practices (very useful practical introduction to the ways community arts projects are devised, funded and delivered) or other course choice

Semester 2: Practice, Reflection and Action (60 credits in total)

  • Interactive sound environments (non-linear audio structures such as game sound)
  • Soundtracks for SCreen (sound and its behaviour in fixed media contexts such as moving image)
  • Audio Programming (deepening skills in programming computers for audio)

Summer period : Integration (60 credits)

MUSI11061 - Music Masters Final Project (MMFP) (your own practice-led period of research that helps you launch your career and go deeply into a specific area of your craft). We know that the above menu covers all of the important areas contemporary sound designers need to be aware of. However, we're also aware of the need to be able to customise and shape your learning in ways suitable for your own aims and objectives. Therefore, we have structured the programme with optional courses that can be swapped out. If you want to go off the recommended list above, you can discuss this with your programme director or personal tutor.

Teaching and learning methods

The programme is taught by a combination of lecture/seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and studios. However, much of the responsibility for study will be the student's own and you will be encouraged to form study groups, work together and share expertise. Teaching will be available at various times outwith the timetabled hours of specific sessions. Each taught course provides advanced tuition in a specialised aspect of the subject. Certain courses are based mainly on lecture/seminars, while others emphasise short creative production projects which develop, exemplify and integrate practical skills in Sound Design. Each course has a Course Organiser, who is the first person to contact with questions about the content, assessment and other specifically course-related issues. Commonly, project work will be team-based. Projects are required to display evidence of original thinking, independent achievement within a framework of team-working, and creative ability. Collaborative team-based projects will be structured so that the individual contribution of each student in the group can be identified and assessed. The Final Project in particular will, of course, be mostly self-directed work (again perhaps as a team), with periodic supervision meetings. Although this is a "taught programme", our emphasis in these courses is more on facilitating learning than on teaching. We aim to provide an environment in which learning can be maximised, and the teaching staff are just one resource among many that students can exploit. Even when not explicitly team-based, learning is to us a highly collaborative activity, and the students themselves are the key resource for each other. We prescribe little; we expect to be challenged and questioned. We are often not expert users of particular software applications; we expect students to explore, exploit the internet, seek other sources of expertise, engage with practices of research. We will usually reward experimentation, innovation, creativity and boldness of conception in all courses. Note that in this research-led university, staff are engaged in research projects as well as teaching, which brings benefits to students involved in taught programmes. Research informs teaching, and there may be opportunities directly to engage in research projects during the year and beyond.

Assessment

In common with general design education practice, the main assessment of design progress is by means of project-work (some of it group project-work), sometimes complemented by a relatively short written report. Assessment will take into account:
  • the extent to which a student has contributed original ideas to the projects
  • the creative ability displayed
  • the depth and breadth of coursework understanding revealed
  • the extent to which the intention of the project has been revealed
  • skills in visual, written and verbal communication of the project ideas
Criteria for the assessment of group work vary, and will sometimes be based on the overall product of a group, sometimes more on individual contribution. Assessment of project work, in particular, may require students to engage with techniques of self assessment and peer assessment. Criteria for assessment are further elaborated in each course description and in the marking scheme. In all cases the limitations and potential of the available resources will be taken into account. The importance of written reports is not to be minimised. There will also be longer assessed essays in certain courses. In this programme, there are no traditional written examination sessions. Note that, in accordance with Appendix 1 of the Code of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes, any form of plagiarism will be treated as a very serious disciplinary issue. See also the University regulations at http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/academic-services/policies-regulations/regulations/assessment, and on plagiarism the useful student guidance offered via the links on the page at http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/students/conduct/academic-misconduct/plagiarism. All submissions will be given a mark which remains provisional until ratified by the Board of Examiners, which meets once for each semester of work (three times). The Board of Examiners includes an External Examiner, whose role is to assure standards of assessment and to provide a further source of advice on the Programme. Students are also usually invited to an informal meeting with the External Examiner in May/June. **Students must NOT make direct contact with the External Examiner.** Project work may usually ONLY contain visual, sonic and interactive resources that are developed within the class, by you or your colleagues during this year. WE hope to avoid using commercial or public sound libraries wherever possible. This is in order to:
  1. help you develop skills in using resources creatively, responsibly and with appropriate acknowledgement
  2. enable you to publish material on the Internet without the risk of violating copyright. So you may not ordinarily use or adapt external copyrighted resources, such as photographs, smileys, icons, video or sound or music clips, animated gifs, CD tracks, mp3 clips, etc.
  3. remind you that we can only give credit for work you've produced yourself and during the period of study. We can commend strategic and sensible use of 3rd party material when nothing else is poissible, but this is discouraged generally.

Grade Descriptors

All courses and projects will be marked on the University of Edinburgh’s common postgraduate marking scheme, as laid out in the Code of Practice. The marking scale is in accordance with the University’s Extended Common Marking Scheme (CMS4), see http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-administration/exams/regulations/common-marking-scheme for full details of CMS4. *Assessment of the dissertation component: In those programmes where a diploma may be awarded for the taught component only, a failed dissertation may be put aside and the diploma awarded. (MSc Sound Design is such a programme.) The final mark, grade, result, award and classification decision must be expressed using the relevant Common Marking Scheme, which for postgraduate courses in Edinburgh College of Art is CMS4.   CMS4 Assessment Grade Scheme:  
Grade Mark (%) Description
A1 90-100 An excellent performance, satisfactory for a distinction.
A2 80-89 An excellent performance, satisfactory for a distinction.
A3 70-79 An excellent performance, satisfactory for a distinction.
B 60-69 A very good performance.
C 50-59 A good performance, satisfactory for a Masters degree.
D 40-49 A satisfactory performance for the diploma and certificate, but inadequate for a Masters degree.
E 30-39 Marginal Fail.
F 20-39 Clear Fail.
G 10-19 Bad Fail.
H 0-9 Bad Fail.
The standard of work required to achieve these grades is as laid out below.

A1 (90+) Excellent

Requirements are as for A2, but with all or almost all aspects of the work being of exemplary standard. Normal expectations will have been substantially exceeded and there will be clear evidence of originality. Work at this level may be considered to be publishable in a scholarly or academic conference, or similar context.

A2 (80-89) Excellent

Requirements are as for A3, with the addition that most aspects of the work will be of exemplary quality, normal expectations of the brief or task having been clearly exceeded. There may be evidence of originality in thought, conception or execution.

A3 (70-79) Excellent

Design work

Requirements are as for a B, with the addition that the design is of excellent quality, in terms of concept, resolution and level of integration. It is well justified and there are no obvious gaps in the presentation, whatever means are used. The approach taken may entail some risk but the work has been successful in terms made clear in its presentation. In the case of team work there may be evidence of team leadership. The work may be excellent in its totality, or there may be some aspect of the work that is exemplary. This aspect should be well communicated and be important in terms of the project brief. Where there is evidence that the student has exceeded the time and effort normally required for the project then this time and effort is evident in the quality of the work.

Written work

The Structure will demonstrate a close, critical engagement with the question and demonstrate a strong grasp of its wider implications. The piece of work will have a clear argument and factual material will be used in an analytical, rather than descriptive way, to further that argument. The Language and Expression will be appropriate to the task and demonstrate a clear understanding of the appropriate scholarly apparatus. It will aid the development of the argument through its fluency and clear evidence of independent thought. A piece of work at this level will have a strong base in a Range of Knowledge that is both broad and deep. It will demonstrate a clear understanding of the complexity of the subject, an ability to argue at both the general and particular level and to evaluate information and make discriminating use of it. In general, the work will meet the requirements of the assignment brief in a way that is exemplary through its thoroughness and/or it may exceed the expectations of the brief in certain respects. The work may be excellent in its totality, or there may be some aspect of the work that is exemplary. The approach taken and the argument followed may entail some risk but this has been successful in terms made clear in the work. Where the work entails the collection and collation of data, this will be handled with appropriate rigour and be very well integrated into the argumentation. In the case of team work, there may be evidence of team leadership. Where there is evidence that the student has exceeded the time and effort normally required for the task, this will be evident in the quality of the work.

B (60-69) Very Good

Design work

The project meets the requirements of the project brief or challenges them in a way that is creative and well argued. The design is of high quality with good justification for the decisions made. Where a student is given scope for defining the problem tackled, then the problem presents a high degree of challenge appropriate to the level of the course. The presentation is complete, though there may be gaps that could be resolved with minor modification. There is evidence of consistency of application in developing the design from the early stages of the design. Where group work is involved then there is evidence of full engagement in the work of the team. Where the project emphasises the production of a complete design then the work shows an ability to resolve the design at an appropriate level.

Written work

The Structure will demonstrate a serious attempt at critical engagement with the question and demonstrate an appreciation of its wider implications. The piece of work will have a clear argument and will employ relevant factual material. This may be used mainly analytically, although with less critical engagement than A-grade work. The Language and Expression will be accurate and show an understanding of the appropriate scholarly apparatus. It will aid the development of the argument through its clarity and make a serious attempt to develop independent thought. A piece of work at this level will be based on a Range of Knowledge that is extensive, even though it may be uneven. It will demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the subject, and will show evidence of an ability to argue at both the general and particular level. In general, the work will meet the requirements of the assignment task and will approach them in a way that is creative and well argued. The level of ambition will be high, both in the student’s approach to work set by a tutor and where a student is given scope for defining the topic. Where the work entails the collection and collation of data, the work will be handled with appropriate rigour and be well integrated into the argumentation. Where group work is involved, there will be evidence of full engagement in the work of the team.

C (50-59) Good; satisfactory for Masters

Design work

The design is good. Where a student is given scope for defining the task then the work falls short of achieving those ambitions in the execution of the design, or, conversely the ambitions of the task are met, but they are relatively modest. The work may be competent but not be completely resolved in its design or presentation. There is evidence that the work could reach the B grade given more time and effort.

Written work

The Structure will demonstrate some understanding of the question set but may show only moderate awareness of its wider implications. The piece of work will have a point of view but the arguments may be stated rather than developed and factual material, although relevant, may be used more descriptively than analytically. The Language and Expression will be sufficiently accurate and relevant to demonstrate a reasonable grasp of the topic but may lack fluency. The scholarly apparatus will be sufficient but may be incomplete or idiosyncratic. The argumentation may be derivative with little evidence of independent thought. The Range of Knowledge will be sound, although there may be some inaccuracies. It will have been assimilated uncritically and there may be a reliance on information and argumentation already presented in the lectures. In general, the work will meet most of the requirements of the assignment task. Where a student is given scope for defining the topic, it will present an appropriate degree of challenge for the level of the course. Where the work entails the collection and collation of data, this will be handled with appropriate rigour but may not be very well integrated with the argumentation. Where group work is involved, there will be evidence of involvement in the work of the team.

D (40-49) Satisfactory for Diploma but inadequate for Masters

Design work

(i) The work is competent but not good, suggesting that it could not reach the B level without major re-working; or (ii) the work is not sufficiently complete in its design or presentation. In the case of (ii) there is evidence that the work could attain the C level with major re-development.

Written work

The Structure may demonstrate little understanding of the question set and may tend to stray from the topic The argument may be undeveloped and haphazard and the factual material may be used descriptively rather than analytically. The Language and Expression will generally be grammatical but may lack fluency and sophistication. The scholarly apparatus may be deficient. There may be little evidence of an understanding of the complex nature of the inquiry and the answer may show no intentional originality of approach. The Range of Knowledge may be adequate but may contain errors. It will be broadly relevant to the question but may be used in a descriptive and uncritical way. In general, work will be competent but not good. Where a student is given scope for defining the topic, it will present a degree of challenge appropriate to the level of the course. Where the work entails the collection and collation of data, this will be handled with appropriate rigour, but may be poorly integrated with the argumentation. Where group work is involved, there may be some evidence of involvement in the work of the team.

E (35-39) Marginal Fail

Design work

(i) The work may be insufficiently complete to assess its quality adequately or (ii) the work may be judged to be of poor quality whatever the level of completeness. In the case of (i) it would be expected that the work could be brought up to the D level with more time and effort.

Written work

The Structure may be weak, showing little understanding of the question and no understanding of its wider implications. It may tend towards random presentation of facts and opinions. The Language and Expression may present a significant number of basic errors in spelling and grammar and may have deficiencies in the scholarly apparatus. It may fail to present any evidence of coherent, independent thought. The Range of Knowledge may be inadequate, with major errors, and of doubtful relevance to the question. In general, the work may be poor in most, if not all areas. It may also, or alternatively, be incomplete.

F (25-34) Clear Fail

Design Work

The work is not of sufficient quality or at a level of completeness that it could be redeemed to a D without re-starting the project.

Written work

The work may be seriously deficient in most, if not all areas. It may also, or alternatively, be incomplete.

G/H (below 25) Bad Fail

The work, of whatever kind, is extremely poor, incomplete or absent. It is deficient in most or all significant respects.

Evaluating Design

As well as your work being evaluated by your tutors, we want you to be able to critically examine your work as well.  Evaluating creative work can be tricky, especially when it's your own. However, it is essential to your creative and professional growth that you are able to do this, both as part of the MSc programme and as part of your continuing careers. Indeed,  as the programme progresses you will take steadily more responsibility for establishing the terms of your work. In some earlier courses we will use the first submission as a way of developing goals for the final submission. By the time of the final project you will be responsible for establishing the goals and scope of your work in negotiation with your supervisor. One way of making the task a little more manageable is to approach things from the point of view of a set of relationships between you, your work, the work's recipient (client, examiner etc.) and the wider world. This is the approach taken by the design scholar John Wood who devised an assessment scheme tailored to the needs of design students. We really like the clarity and sophistication of this scheme, so suggest that you consider it as a way of thinking about and evaluating the work that you do. In the image to the left we can see three subjective relationships, between you and each of these other entities, and three more between the entities themselves. Focusing on some aspect of a particular relationship can be a good way of establishing clear and achievable criteria for approaching a design. The set of relationships divides neatly in to two types (thus the different coloured arrows). First there are relationships to consider between yourself, as a developing individual, and those entities that provide the context for your work: the work itself; the recipient(s) of this work; and the world at large. Considering these relationships allows you to reflect on how you feel about the work that you do; how you and your clients / public might communicate or relate; and how you want to engage with the wider world. Second, there are relationships between these entities. Your work relates to the people who receive it, in terms of expectations, usefulness, incitement etc.; it also to its wider context, through history, culture, social-fit etc. Meanwhile, the recipients of the work also have relationships with these wider contexts. Here's the same image, but with some additional detail about each of the relationships to help illustrate the sorts of things that could be considered. Some of the questions you might ask yourself, whilst reflecting on your work:
  • Me→My Work: This is to do with developing a critical relationship to the work you produce. Are you developing a personal style or voice? Is it the style or voice you wish to develop? Are you accruing the skills you wish for?
  • Me→My Work's Recipient: How do you relate to your clients? Are you able to understand better what they need by appreciating their experience of the world (i.e. empathy)? Are you and they able to make yourselves mutually understood? Are you able to use your skill and cleverness to delight them even when under constraints of time and resources?
  • Me→The World: Who are you? How do you wish to be seen / heard or known? What impact do you want to have on others and on the world around you? What is the cultural or social context that you work in? Are they the ones you want to work in? What are the historical bases for your practice? Do they inform your sense of identity?
Likewise, you can flesh out particular questions to ponder about the remaining relationships. For practical purposes, it would be unwieldy to try and account for all these relationships in detail all the time. You should probably elect to focus on one or two when evaluating your coursework. Of course, in terms of growing as an artist / designer, each of them warrants close attention at various points.

Graduation

Students enrolled on the MSc in Sound Design who are eligible to graduate will do so at the Winter Graduation Ceremonies - this includes students who exit with a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate. The winter ceremonies usually take place in the last week in November and are administered by Student Administration. http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-administration/graduations/overview  

Prizes

At the discretion of the exam board, two prizes can be awarded at the end of the session. The Sound Design Student Prize For outstanding leadership in the learning and welfare of the student body ( £ 200). The Sound Design Project Prize For outstanding contribution to the Final Project ( £ 200).

Career Opportunities

On completing the programme there are a number of career opportunities open to you and this degree opens pathways into careers in the music industry, in film, television, computer games, internet design, multimedia, acoustics, and independent practice as a sonic artist. If your background is a practicing sound designer, the degree allows career progression and specialisation within this area, perhaps specialising in computer-games sound, film, television or other aspects of post production. Sound design skills are desirable both in UK and overseas contexts but the market is highly competitive. As a Sound Designer with an MSc from Edinburgh, you'll feel empowered to adapt to changes in this market. Most graduates enter this arena as freelance sound experts and this programme has been designed to be able to accept design opportunities and challenges as they come up from a wide variety of contexts, not just those traditionally aligned with sound design (such as film). As a graduate, you'll have had significant experience collaborating in multi-media contexts with a wide range of people with different skills and aesthetic outlooks to you.  These experiences  are formative in helping you to develop an adaptable and efficient approach to working both in larger teams but also how to behave as a proactive individual in these contexts. The masters degree is a sound foundation from which to develop research skills and interests in higher education through, for instance, doctoral study. Further information about your career opportunities is available here: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/architecture-landscape-architecture/postgraduate/taught-degrees/sound-design-msc

Computing Facilities

The sound lab and design studio are well stocked with a number of computers and other equipment, including advanced software, and is normally reserved for MSc use. Further machines, all on the same network, are available in the Multimedia Studio (room 2.08) in the Architecture building at 20 Chambers Street, which is shared with undergraduates. However, at peak times (especially when a submission is due) demand may well exceed availability. It is very much in students' interests to even out the load by working flexibly. Note also that some software will be available on only one or a small number of machines, so cooperation and negotiation are essential. While strenuous efforts are made to maintain all the equipment in excellent order, students also need to appreciate that advanced computing machinery and complex leading-edge software are often by their nature unreliable, and our computing support staff are a finite resource. Systems will sometimes crash, usually at the most unfortunate moment. Any problems that arise should be notified to computing support immediately. Details of how to contact computing support, and other useful information, can be found at https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/ECAIT . It is important to follow good practice in saving and backing-up all work. Personal hard disc drives and USB memory sticks are a useful resource. Responsibility for any lost material rests ultimately with the student. Where possible, we seek also to accommodate and encourage students’ use of their own laptops etc., including wireless connection to the studio network. Note that all such use, along with use of any University equipment, carries responsibilities in terms of sensible and legal use of software and networks. Infringement of the University Computing Regulations, which are signed up to by all students at matriculation and which cover any machine attached to the University network, even if only by wireless for a short time, is a potentially very serious disciplinary and legal matter. These regulations may also be supplemented from time to time by the Edinburgh College of Art. In addition to ECA computing provision, a wide range of University facilities are available to students, including open-access computing labs in Alison House and the Main Library. These offer mainly standard office applications, but there are also a number of more specialised facilities. The University Computing Service also offers a number of training courses in the use of various applications. http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/students/study-space/computers-for-study For the University Computing Regulations, see http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/about/policies-and-regulations/computing-regulations   Students should use one of the following routes for IT support: * Email: IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk * Web form: http://edin.ac/15kaBJX. * Phone: (0131 6)51 51 51   Links to self-help documentation are available on the ECA intranet: https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/hss/eca/it-technical-services/

Audio Facilities

Students currently enjoy access to our studio facilities and we aim to run the programme with approximately one dedicated audio computer between two. This facility is often augmented by student’s laptops, which can connect to the University network wirelessly. Reserving equipment and recording studios can be done on the online booking system: http://bookit.eca.ed.ac.uk/. This requires login with your EASE account details.  Most of the equipment we have is very valuable and therefore should be collected from and returned to the studio office; Room G.13, ext. 51 4320.  Return times are between 10am and 11am, collection times between 3 and 4pm (or as advised by the studio manager). Please make every effort to return equipment on time, as repeated late returns will have an impact on your booking privileges in the future. Less valuable items are available from the cupboard next to the studio manager’s office. Keys for the Russolo Room and studios are available from the safe next to the studio manager’s room.  You will be told the code for this safe in week 1. If you are unable to attend your studio booking or pick up your equipment as arranged, as the Studio Manager enforces a 30 minute Rule. Please let us know by email or phone if you cannot fulfil your booking. If you are more than 30 minutes late, we reserve the right to pass on this equipment/booking to another student or member of staff. Should you encounter a problem with equipment or in one of the studios, it is important to let the studio office know immediately. The preferred way to do this is through the help-desk system via studiofaults@ed.ac.uk Students also have access to a top-flight recording studio in the basement of the Reid Concert Hall.  This space features a PMC TwoTwo 6 surround sound speaker rig, an SSL AWS 900 analogue-digital desk, TC 6000 surround reverb and mastering suite, a Manley Mastering EQ, DAV Mastering grade EQ, Vertigo Compressor, Drawmer Valve Compressor and a Cranesong compressor/limiter. The Reid Studio also boasts a large collection of excellent microphones made by Neumann, Schoeps and DPA and a suite of industry standard audio software including Pro Tools HD, Max, Live, Voxengo Plugins etc.  This special facility is only available on a booking basis with permission to use the space granted after you’ve attended a training course on how the studio works.  Reid Studio Driving Lessons will will be run by the studio manager and you’ll be invited to sign up for them when the semester begins.   You can find out more about the Reid Studio by visiting the studio’s blog site:  https://sites.eca.ed.ac.uk/reidstudio/. Bookable audio equipment information also available at: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/eca-home/facilities/studios-and-workshops/bookable-audio-equipment and for Equipment Loans: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/computing/audio-visual-multi-media/audio-visual-loans/student-loans  

The Russolo Room

The Russolo Room boasts a dedicated 5.1 Adam S1x based Surround Sound design studio located in Alison House. This space runs a Macintosh Xeon Quad Core processor with 4Gb ram and 750GB of dedicated hard disk space. The surround system is augmented by a stereo pair of PMC TwoTwo 6 Active loudspeakers and sub unit. Relative amplitude of all speakers is controlled with an SPL 5.1 monitor controller. The machine runs Pro-Tools, Logic, Nunedo and Digital Performer and is based around a RME Fireface 800. We also recently invested in a PCM96 surround reverb unit made by Lexicon, two AVID (EuCon) control surfaces and SSL and UAD PCIe DSP cards. Other software includes;
  • Waves platinum bundle 6.x
  • Waves IR reverb and a multitude of sampled acoustics 6.x
  • Logic Audio
  • Nuendo
  • MaxMSP
  • Native Instruments bundle including Absynth, Reaktor, Synths, Vocator and Spektral Delay
  • Sample Manager
  • WaveEditor
  • Soundhack

The Sound Lab

The sound lab is equipped with a lab of 13 iMacs each running Pro-Tools, logic Pro, MaxMSPJitter, AUDICITY, PD, Supercollider and CSound each with an Mbox.  The lab also boasts a pair of Genelec 1032 monitors, and an 8 channel rig of Genelec 1029 speakers attached to the wall. We have 4 x Digital Video dedicated Xeon Quad Cores running Final Cut Studio and Peak DV and several machines running Final Cut Express. We recently invested in a Canon XL2 DV camera and tripod for producing documentaries and high quality recordings of events and student work. There is also access to Canon 550 D and two 660D available from the online booking system and collectable from the McGovern Media Centre. https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/facility/reprographics Students also have access to the Adobe Suite, Cold Fusion, Photoshop elements, Proce55ing Blender and Maya.

Microphones:

Matched pair of DPA 4061 Pair Neumann KM 184 Matched Pair Neumann KM 184 Beyer Dynamic shotgun Audio Technica Stereo Field AKG instrument mic AKG 414 Rode NT4 Rode NTA Beyerdynamic Boundry Mic SoundMan in ear headphone mics * 4 Sony Field Mic AKG Drum Mic Pack Windpac and boom for field recording AudioTechnica Wireless Levalier Mics Also access to Neumann KM140 *2 Neumann KM 130 *2 Neumann KM 120 *1 Portable Mixer Sennheiser MKH60 Sennheiser MKH30 Various Rycote and DPA wind jammers

Recording:

8 Channel DAV Broadhurst Gardens Pre Amp 4 channel API preamp Mytek two channel Analogue-Digital Converter 2 * TC Electronics fireworX 2 * DBX DriveRack HHB Portadisc Sound Devices 744t Sound Devices 722 2* Fostex FR2 - solid state hi resolution audio recorder 3 * M-AUDIO solid state portable recorders (MicroTrack 24/96) 3 * Zoom 2 channel portable recorders TASCAM DA78, 8 channel digital recording to tape ALESIS ADAT, 8 channel digital recording to ADAT tape Portable recording Mac Laptop with MOTU 8pre audio interface

Loudspeakers

We have a collection of 10 portable Genelec 1031 loudspeakers for concerts and experimental events. The Sound Lab has an 8 channel sound system for spatialisation experiments and performance and we part-own a Mackie long throw active speaker system. We also have a transportable (but heavy!) five-channel Meyer UPA system for concerts.

Other Hardware

includes reel to reel tape recording, hardware samplers, midi interfaces a Mackie VLZ 1202 portable mixer and a Mackie ONYX 1602 with high quality pre-amps. Portable Genelec Loudspeakers

Venues

In addition to a large number of university venues, ECA boasts two performance spaces (The Reid Concert Hall and St. Cecilia's Hall). The Atrium of the Graduate School has been developed into a hybrid performance and presentation space with ATC loudspeakers and high lumen projector.

Library resources

The University Library

University Main Library http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/using-library/lib-locate/main-lib In the music section, you'll find hundreds of CDs and LPs that can be listened to in the library itself.  At this link; http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/services/library-museum-gallery/finding-resources/library-databases/databases-subject-a-z/database-music, you'll find numerous periodicals and access to our library subscriptions that relate to music. Library and Museum Services www.lib.ed.ac.uk/ ECA Library http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/using-library/lib-locate/eca-library

Course book listing

The following books are available on a shelf outside the Sound Lab for anyone to read locally. They have been bought by the Graduate School or donated by current and future students in order to provide a fast reference access but they are strictly not available to be loaned or removed from the building. This means that you can take a book, read a chapter at your workstation and then return it.  What you can't do is take them home or remove them from the graduate school, even at weekends or in the evenings.  The books must always be in the building, on the shelf or in your hands, nowhere else.  This is a very short loan kind of idea so we're suggesting two hours use at a time.  Please use the university library for all other book-based requirements. Our local book collection is augmented by a collection of DVDs, available on similar terms and if you open iTunes, you'll see the Graduate School Play list available.  We'll give you the password in the first session.  We also offer access to the ZKM database of hundreds of recordings of innovative computer and tape music pieces.

Books available

Ballard, J. G. (2006). The complete short stories. Harper Perennial.  

Berghaus, G. (2005). Avant-Garde Performance. Palgrave Macmillan.

Blesser, B., & Salter, L. (2007). Spaces speak, are you listening? MIT Press.

Chion, M. (1994a). Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York: Columbia University Press.

Chion, M. (2009). Film, a Sound Art. New York: Columbia University Press.

Christensen, E. (1996). The Musical Timespace: A Theory of Music Listening. Aalborg University Press.

Collins, N. (2010). Introduction to Computer Music. Wiley.

Collins, N. (2009). Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Cox, C., & Warner, D. (Eds.). (2004). Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. New York: Continuum.

Deleuze, G., & Patton, P. (2004). Difference and Repetition. Continuum.

Emmerson, S. (2007). Living Electronic Music. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Film Sound: Theory and Practice. (1985). . New York: Columbia University Press.

Ingold, T. (2000). The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill (1st ed.). Routledge.

Kahn, D. (1999). Noise, water, meat : a history of sound in the arts. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.

Katz, R. A. (2002). Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science. Oxford: Focal Press.

LaBelle, B. (2006). Background noise : perspectives on sound art. New York: Continuum International.

Makagon, D. G., & Neumann, M. (2008). Recording Culture: Audio Documentary and the Ethnographic Experience. Sage Publications, Inc.

Manning, P. (2004). Electronic and Computer Music (Revised.). Oxford University Press, USA.

McLuhan, E. (1998). Electric Language: Understanding the Message. St. Martin's Griffin.

Miranda, E. R. (2001). Composing music with computers. Focal Press.

Toop, D. (1995). Ocean of sound : aether talk, ambient sound and imaginary worlds. London ;;New York: Serpent's Tail.

Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music. (2002). . London, Eng: Continuum.

Whittington, W. B. (2007). Sound design & science fiction. University of Texas Press.

Winkler, T. (1998). Composing Interactive Music: Techniques and Ideas Using Max. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Wyatt, H., & Amyes, T. (2004). Audio Post Production for Television and Film, Third Edition: An introduction to technology and techniques (3rd ed.). Focal Press.

Yewdall, D. L. (2003). Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Focal Press. 

Kindly donated by Donella Chai

Barthes, R. (1989). Image, music, text. Noonday Pr.

Gaut, B. N., & Lopes, D. (2005). The Routledge companion to aesthetics. Routledge.

Jeans, J. (2010). Science & Music. READ BOOKS.

LaBelle, B. (2006). Background noise: perspectives on sound art. Continuum International Publishing Group.

MacPhee, G. (2002). The architecture of the visible. Continuum International Publishing Group.

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J. (2001). The medium is the massage: an inventory of effects. Gingko Press.

Neill, A., & Ridley, A. (2002). Arguing about art: contemporary philosophical debates. Routledge.

Sadler, S. (1998). The Situationist City. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press.

Wake, P., & Malpas, S. (2006). The Routledge companion to critical theory. Taylor & Francis.

Wallin, N. L., Merker, B., & Brown, S. (2001). The origins of music. MIT Press.

Young, R. (2002). Undercurrents: the hidden wiring of modern music. Continuum. 

Support Services

ECA Personal Tutoring Statement

Information relating to the Personal Tutor system, Student Support Officers, and the student support services available across the University can be found here. https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/hss/eca/personal-tutoring/SiteAssets/SitePages/Student%20expectations%20and%20Personal%20Tutor%20guidance%20documents/ECA%20Personal%20Tutoring%20Statement%202017%2018.pdf   Your Student Support Officer (who is a member of the Postgraduate Office Team): Lucy Hawkins – PG Student Support Officer lucy.hawkins@ed.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 5734   Other support services include:  

University Student Counselling

If you think you would benefit from counselling please contact the University Student Counselling Service. http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-counselling/about-us http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-counselling/about-us/opening-hours Tel: 0131 650 4170 Email:   student.counselling@ed.ac.uk http://www.student-counselling.ed.ac.uk  

EUSA Advice Place, Potterrow (Bristo Square)

0131 650 9225 http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/adviceplace/  

Language Support

The University’s English Language Teaching Centre run English Language courses for international students. http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/english-language-teaching  

Student Disability Service

The Student Disability Service is a service which supports disabled students. Their main focus is providing advice and support. They support students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments. www.ed.ac.uk/student-disability-service  

Institute for academic development

The University’s Institute for Academic Development offer study skills support for current students. This includes a range of courses and workshops to help you make the most of assignments, essays and exams as well as access to online and other learning resources: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/institute-academic-development http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/taught

How to get a reference

by Richard Coyne

How to inform us if you need a reference or letter of recommendation

Ensure you get the reference in time by making the process as simple as possible for the referee (ie your teacher who is providing the reference). If you ask for the reference in person then follow up this request with an email. Different lecturers may have different procedures and operate under different time frames.  

Who do I ask for a reference?

Choose a lecturer who is familiar with your work and can give an accurate and positive account of your abilities. Sometimes you need a reference from more than one person. Don’t ask more people than you need to. Approach the lecturers individually, and don’t rely on them to communicate with each other about your need for a reference. Please make sure you really are eligible to apply for the job, scholarship, grant or university place before asking for the reference. Let your referee know promptly if you change your mind and don’t need or want a reference after all.  

I am applying for a job and the prospective employer wants me to name a referee on the form.

If you are, or have been, enrolled in an MScs/PhD/MPhil that I teach in then you are welcome to supply my name and work details in an application. Email me to let me know you have done this, and attach an electronic copy of your CV, and any other details that might be important. Put the word 'reference' in the subject line of your email. The employer may phone me or email me a form or the URL of a form to complete. Check with other lecturers to see if they are happy to be always so named.  

I want you to join my LinkedIn network and endorse my skill set.

The value of Linked in for getting a job is still untried. Please remind us that you are or have been a student in one of our courses/programmes when you use LinkedIn to invite us to join your network. LinkedIn seems to be a good way of keeping track of what our graduates are up to.  

I want a general reference letter to show to any employer when the opportunity arises.

These letters are usually headed TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, are not confidential (ie you get to read it), are less frank, and therefore carry very little weight. If you really think you need this kind of reference then request this in an email, supplying as much CV material and information about your marks and achievements as you can. State when you need the reference by. Put the word 'reference' in the subject line of your email.  

When should I ask for the reference?

It is better to ask for a reference after we have had a chance to see your work and award marks. So don’t ask too early in the academic year. Ask us for the reference at least two weeks before any deadline.  

I am applying to gain entry to one or more degree programmes at a university and need to submit one or more written references.

Most universities now have an online application system. The referee is usually required to use this as well. Make sure you tell your referee whether they need to submit the reference by a particular date, or whether they need to wait for an email from the university. • If there are forms then fill in as much information as you can yourself. • If the reference needs to be placed in an envelope and bundled with an application you are submitting via the post then supply us with the envelope, already labelled with your name and the name of the recipient institution/s. The academic or office staff can usually supply you with an envelope. • Email your referee a record of your marks to date, a CV (if you have one), link to your professional website, and any other relevant information with the word 'reference' in the subject line. • Sometimes the referee will ask you to supply a list of points that you think will help your case. Don’t list personal hardships, unless the university specifically asks for this. • Supply this information to each of the lecturers you are approaching for a reference. • Come and see us about the reference if you need to. • Remind us in person and by email as the deadline/s approach. I am applying for a scholarship, studentship, grant or other award and need a reference. The same procedures apply, but sometimes the referee has to supply supplementary information, especially if it is for a scholarship awarded by the University of Edinburgh. Allow plenty of time, and complete as much of the information as you can on the forms.  

How do I collect my reference?

These days this is usually all handled by email and online forms, but if a paper reference is required then we usually supply this on University letter paper with any forms attached, in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal, and with a strip of transparent tape over the signature. If we can't catch you in person we will leave sealed references for you to collect from the office staff.

Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism

Student Conduct

Every student of the University is required to adhere at all times to those University regulations, policies and codes of practice which relate to student behaviour, and is expected to ensure that they are aware of these. When a student fails to observe University rules and regulations, disciplinary action may be taken against them through the procedures set out in the University’s Code of Student Conduct. http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline/code-discipline  

Academic Misconduct

This includes plagiarism, collusion, falsification, deceit, cheating and personation. The University takes all reported incidences of academic misconduct seriously and seeks to ensure that they are dealt with efficiently and appropriately. Information on academic misconduct including the academic misconduct procedure is available here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline/academic-misconduct

Plagiarism

The University takes plagiarism very seriously and is committed to ensuring that so far as possible it is detected and dealt with appropriately. Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one’s own work, without adequate acknowledgement, intentionally or unintentionally, the work of another or your own previously assessed original work. At whatever stage of a student’s course, whether discovered before or after graduation, plagiarism will be investigated and dealt with. Information of plagiarism including avoiding plagiarism is available here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/staff/discipline/plagiarism  

Students on a Tier 4 Visa

As a Tier 4 student, the University of Edinburgh is the sponsor of your UK visa. The University has a number of legal duties to manage our sponsorship of your visa. These include:  
  • Monitoring your attendance/engagement on your programme and;
  • Reporting to the Home Office where you suspend or withdraw from your studies, complete them early, fail to register or are repeatedly absent to the point of being excluded from studies.
  As a student with a Tier 4 visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh, the terms of your visa require you to, (amongst others):  
  • Ensure you have a correct and valid visa for studying at the University of Edinburgh, which, if a Tier 4 visa, requires that it is a visa sponsored by the University of Edinburgh;
  • Attend all of your University classes, lectures, tutorials, etc. where required. This includes participating in the requirements of your course including submitting assignments, attending meetings with tutors and attending examinations. If you cannot attend due to illness, for example, you must inform your School. This includes attending Tier 4 Census sessions when required throughout the academic session.
  For further information on your responsibilities as a Tier 4 student, please see the below links: http://www.ed.ac.uk/global/immigration/while-you-are-here/rights-responsibilities-and-restrictions   http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/tier_4_student_engagement_and_attendance_policy_feb_2017_update_0.pdf   Please note that any email relating to your Tier 4 sponsorship, including census dates and times will be sent to your University email address - you should therefore check this regularly.   Further details on the terms and conditions of your Tier 4 visa can be found in the “Downloads” section at: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/international-office/immigration/downloads   Information or advice about your Tier 4 immigration status can be obtained by contacting the International Student Advisory Service: http://www.ed.ac.uk/global/student-advisory-service/about-us/how-we-can-help

Leave of Absence

For students not on distance learning programmes, leave from attendance and participation is permitted in order to undertake study, research or other activities outside their programme of study, provided it can be shown that this will enhance the student’s career or study. It would be odd to grant this on a taught programme like this one, but during the summer months, it can be in the student's best interests to work elsewhere in order to gain experience or do work related to the summer project. Leave of absence requires College approval after consideration of an application by the student’s personal tutor, supervisor or programme director. A “Leave of Absence Request Form” must be completed by your Programme Director. This form can be found here: Leave of Absence Request Form The University regulations about this can be found here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/arts-humanities-soc-sci/research-students/concessions-for-research-students/leave-of-absence

Teaching locations

The physical location of the Reid School of music is Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, EH8 9DF http://www.ed.ac.uk/maps/maps?building=alison-house We are also making use of the Lauriston Campus, largely the West Court. However, most content this year will be delivered via online learning platforms. These will likely centre around those avaialble via Microsoft platform TEAMS and another tool called Blackboard Collaborate. As the digital learning landscape changes, no-doubt we will adapt our teaching approaches and teaching locations accordingly. Studios in the basement of alison house are available for booking via our online booking system bookit: https://bookit.eca.ed.ac.uk/av/

Submissions

Guidelines for submissions

(a) The fully “official” version of any submission is by copying the file(s) or a digital version of the written text (for essays etc.) to the online submissions system inside the LEARN platform. This must always be submitted by the due date, and will be treated as the real submission for any formal purposes. 

PLEASE NOTE Work submitted late is late, even if it misses the time by a minute, so if you are uploading large files please consider the day before the due date as an ‘upload’ day. 

Digital Resources (sound, images, animations, flash files, software/code etc)

  1. Name your files so that it is clear which part of the submission each file constitutes.
  2. Upload the files as a single zip to the subsys.
  3. Upload the files to Infrar.ed with suitable metadata where requested in the project brief of a particular course.

Essays

  1. You must  upload a digital copy of the essay in pdf format to the subsys.

Websites

  1. Place the site it in the ’submissions’ directory of your world-readable webspace folder.  There is a subfolder for each website submission.  Ensure that your site works in this location.  The best way to use these is actually to build your site in this location from the start.  So that we always know exactly how to view it, your website for the submission should appear online using exactly the URL derived from the name of the folder, e.g.: …/your_folder/submissions/idm1/.  This will only work if you have an index.html file directly in that folder (not in another folder inside that one), so please construct your site this way.
  2. You must still also copy the content of this folder into the subsys.  This ensures that nothing has changed on the site between the submission deadline and marking, whilst also ensuring that a  working version remains online.

Submission Dates

For all submission dates, please see the LEARN pages for each course. 

As noted elsewhere in this handbook and in course regulations, please note Project work may only contain visual, sonic and interactive resources that are developed within the class, by you or your colleagues this year. This is in order to (1) help you develop skills in using resources creatively, responsibly and with appropriate acknowledgement, (2) enable you to publish material on the Internet without the risk of violating copyright.

THERFORE, you may not use or adapt external copyrighted, even creative commons or shareware resources, such as photographs, smileys, icons, video or sound or music clips, animated gifs, CD tracks, mp3 clips, etc. unless this is explicitly part of the project brief. All third party work you use, develop or modify should be properly credited in the submission.

 

Return of Marked Submissions

Final course submissions will be marked and returned within two months of the submission date.  Interim submissions will be marked within 15 working days, with feedback and discussion during tutorial meetings. For information on student feedback deadlines, please see the university regulations, specifically Regulation 15:  http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/taughtassessmentregulations.pdf Also see  http://www.enhancingfeedback.ed.ac.uk. Key elements of this policy state that:
  • All students will be given at least one formative feedback or feedforward event for every course they undertake, provided during the semester in which the course is taken and in time to be useful in the completion of summative work on the course. ...
  • Feedback on formative assessed work will be provided within 15 working days of submission, or in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course, whichever is sooner. Summative marks will be returned on a published timetable, which has been made clear to students at the start of the academic year.
For our programme this is realised, in practice, by design project-oriented courses having a series of interim submissions, often known as "crit submissions", that exist primarily for the generation of feedback which arises from a later discussion of the submissions in class sessions. Note that feedback in these cases may not include a mark or grade, but will include commentary on the quality of work and advice on improvement. However, there will generally be at least one marked interim submission with written feedback. In essay-oriented courses there will be at least one interim submission (e.g. of an essay abstract) for which written feedback may be given and which will be discussed for feedback in tutorials. The timetable for these submissions and events will be part of the Programme Calendar, which forms part of this Handbook and is regularly updated online. Notes given as feedback at any stage are not necessarily complete and do not generally reference all of the assessment criteria. Compliance with any suggestions in interim feedback is no guarantee of a good mark in a later assessment.

Late Penalties and Extensions

You are expected to submit assessed coursework by the published deadline. Assessment deadlines will normally be published on the Virtual Learning Environment for the course (e.g. Learn) or via a Course Handbook. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with all assessment deadlines and methods of submission, particularly if you are taking a course outside of your subject area. All ECA deadlines refer to the time in the UK at the point of submission. If assessed coursework is submitted late, the penalty is a reduction of the mark by 5% of the maximum obtainable mark per calendar day (e.g. a mark of 65% on the common marking scale would be reduced to 60% up to 24 hours later). This applies for up to seven calendar days (or to the time when feedback is given if this is sooner), after which a mark of zero is given.

Application of late penalties relating to digital submissions

Late submissions due to technical errors are not considered exempt from late penalties.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the submission has been uploaded to the Virtual Learning Environment by the stated deadline.  Many courses will require large files uploaded as part of the assessment.  The upload of large files can take longer than expected.  Students are advised to upload on the University campus if possible where the network will be faster than offsite.  Students should factor in the upload time of their submission and not leave submissions online until the last minute. It is the student’s responsibility to submit correct, readable files as part of their submission.  If a file is incorrect (relating to a different assessment) or is corrupted or inaccessible, it will be classed as a non-submission until the correct submission is uploaded.  Once the correct submission is submitted it will be marked, but it will be subject to late penalties as set out above. Schools can consider cases for coursework extensions of up to a maximum of seven calendar days if the student has good reason for late submission.  To request an extension, you are responsible for submitting your case and supporting evidence to the Student Support Office (eca-sso@ed.ac.uk) in advance of the published deadline using the Coursework Extension Request form: http://www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/forms/student-forms Please remember to submit any relevant evidence with your form, e.g. doctor’s letter.  If you are taking a course outside ECA, they may use a different form. You should familiarise  yourself  with  the  School's  process to  make  sure  that  you  meet  their requirements. Good reasons for requesting a coursework extension or late submission without penalty are unexpected short-term circumstances which are exceptional, beyond your control, and which can reasonably be expected to have had an adverse impact on your ability to complete the assessment on time. Good reasons may include:
  • Recent short-term physical illness or injury;
  • Recent short-term mental ill-health;
  • A long-term or chronic physical health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • A long-term or chronic mental health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • The recent bereavement or serious illness of a person with whom the student has a close relationship;
  • The recent breakdown in a long-term relationship, such as a marriage;
  • Emergencies involving dependents;
  • Job or internship interview at short notice that requires significant time, e.g. due to travel;
  • Victim of a crime which is likely to have significant emotional impact;
  • Military conflict, natural disaster, or extreme weather conditions;
  • Experience of sexual harassment or assault;
  • Experience of other forms of harassment;
  • Exceptional and significant change in employment commitments, where this is beyond the student’s control;
  • Exceptional (i.e. non-routine) caring responsibilities.
Should you have a good reason for requiring a coursework extension of more than seven calendar days, you should submit the coursework when able to do so and apply via the Special Circumstances process for the Board of Examiners to disregard the penalty for late submission. In this case, we strongly advise you to speak with your Personal Tutor as soon as possible. For more information please refer to the Taught Assessment Regulations, Regulation 28 Late submission of coursework: https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/2019-taught.pdf

Official communications

Email

Email is the formal means of communication by the University. All students on this programme are given an official University email. Your email address is made up of: s + your student number@sms.ed.ac.uk (e.g. s1101234@sms.ed.ac.uk). You can access your email via the MyEd portal: https://www.myed.ed.ac.uk

IMPORTANT!

Your University email is your official email and will be used for a variety of essential communications. You must access and manage this account regularly as you will be sent vital information from time to time, for example on exam arrangements. It is assumed that you have opened and acted on these communications. Failure to do so will not be an acceptable excuse or ground for appeal. Information on forwarding your email to another mail service can be found at: http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/computing/comms-and-collab/email/webmail/help/imp/filters/forwarding

Updating Personal Details

Via Student Self Service, you can view and edit personal and study details within your MyEd Portal. The Student Personal Details channel allows you to review your contact details, address information & emergency contacts. It also provides the ability to edit certain personal details directly. https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-systems/support-guidance/

Other Forms of Communication

Mobile phones are used in emergency situations and students are encouraged to update their contact details via the MyEd portal. At times we will write to you; it is important to keep both your semester and permanent home address up to date. This is also done via the MyEd portal.

Staff

The following staff contribute to the programme:

Dr. Martin Parker

Programme Director of MSc in Sound Design | Senior Lecturer in Sound Design

Dr Tom Mudd

Lecturer in Creative Audio Programming and Computer Music Systems

Dr Jules Rawlinson

Programme Director of Design and Digital Media, delivers the course Interactive Sound Envrionments.

Dr Chris Letcher

Lecturer in Composition for Screen, delivers Music on Screen and Composing for Screen modules.

Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop

Teaching Fellow in Sound Design & Studio Manager (electronic music studios, sound lab, atrium and Reid Studio) Alison House, Room - G13. | ext. - 514 320 | Tel. - +44(0)131 651 4320

Carrie Parker and Laura Varga

Programme Secretaries Tel: + 44 (0) 131 651 5735  -  Email: music@ed.ac.uk

Librarian

Subject librarian for Music: Jane Furness, +44 (0)131 651 5701, e-mail: J.Furness@ed.ac.uk Other staff may participate in specialised teaching and supervising as appropriate; it is impractical to list them here.

Student Representation and Participation

Class Representatives

Students should elect one of the class as Class Representative, who will be invited to join the Staff-Student Liaison meetings. Additionally, all students are invited to give full and free comments and opinions on all aspects of the Programme, both to the Programme Director and to other members of staff, at any time. Note, however, that course organisers may not in all cases be able to provide immediate or written responses to comments. You'll be expected to elect your class rep by the middle of the second week of the first semester. Staff members at the University of Edinburgh work closely with student representatives. Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) coordinates student representation and provides training and support for student representatives across the University. Student representatives (‘Reps’) listen to you to identify areas for improvement, suggest solutions, and ensure that your views inform strategic decisions within the University, building a stronger academic community and improving your student life. Schools share students’ emails with their student representatives as a matter of course; any student wishing to opt out from this should tell the School’s Teaching Office/Graduate School or equivalent. https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/representation/yourrepresentatives/classreps/ Peer Support Peer Support in the context of the University means a student with more experience sharing their knowledge, skills, abilities and expertise with a new or less experienced student. Peer Support may focus around advancing your academic work, providing opportunities to socialise with other students within your School or offering additional support to ensure your well-being while at University. Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) and the University have been widely developing the Peer Support Project across the University since 2012.

Concerts, performances and presentation; documentation and production teams

The Sound Design programme and its related Digital Composition and Performance MSc are very active in the area of performance and public presentation.  We arrange many concerts and workshops through the year and expect students to take a full role in the organisation and production of these events.  We see your participation in these projects as a central component of your learning here.  While we can introduce many interesting themes and ideas in lectures and tutorials, this is an opportunity to gather real technical experience and makes an incredible difference to the speed at which you learn. All students will be expected to volunteer to be part of the production and documentation of at least one of the concerts or presentations scheduled throughout the year.  We aim to organise it such that if you are performing or presenting, then your colleagues will take responsibility for documenting it and setting up / packing away the equipment and vice-versa.  We also encourage this model when preparing documentation of final projects.

Teaching Quality and Assurance

The quality of teaching on all University programmes is regularly monitored both externally and internally. Student feedback is an important part of this process. Even more importantly, student feedback and evaluation is a very highly valued input to curriculum and programme review. For Sound Design, we provide online assessment forms for each course, which students are asked to complete and submit. These augment, but do not replace, the less formal processes of raising issues or making comments directly to teaching staff. We strongly encourage all comments, it being assumed that students will be at all times constructive, even if sometimes critical, in their feedback. Students are also encouraged to complete the annual University questionnaire for taught postgraduate students, details of which will be made available in May/June of the year of study.

Complaints Procedures

Complaints should be brought up in the first instance with the Programme Director or the Head of the ECA Postgraduate Office. Where necessary, other University procedures will apply, such as taking the matter to the College Postgraduate Dean and Secretary. Students who wish to complain about any general aspect of their programme of study should invoke the University of Edinburgh’s Complaints Proce­dure. http://www.ed.ac.uk/university-secretary-group/complaint-handling-procedure

Other Costs

General Costs

Students should be aware that additional costs may arise in connection with any activities that involve travel, e.g. site visits, media purchase (such as memory cards, blank SD cards, CDs, DVDs, Hard Disk Drives for backup and storage etc.) and possibly in relation to summer projects.

Appendix 1: Health and Safety

The University of Edinburgh operates a no smoking policy. It is very important that all students give full consideration to health and safety in the studios, the crit rooms, and in all parts of the building. All students should familiarise themselves with the location of fire exits and the routes to them. Nothing more dangerous than a modelling knife should be used in the studio: activities involving e.g. woodworking tools or power tools should always be carried out in the workshop. The same applies to glues, paints, solvents and other volatile or flammable materials. Any such tools or materials found lying about in the studios or elsewhere will be confiscated, and their unauthorised use may give rise to disciplinary action. Any hazardous waste items (especially broken glass etc.) must be disposed of carefully in the workshop. It is particularly important to keep stairways and corridors open and free from clutter, debris and flammable materials of any kind. Activities such as gluing or spray-painting in these areas will be treated particularly seriously. In the studios, it is critical to maintain clear escape routes from any point to the nearest fire exit. These may be marked on the floor, or may be otherwise designated by the studio tutor. Nothing should be allowed to restrict these routes, or access to them, even for a limited period. This will sometimes be inconvenient, but its importance must be appreciated by everyone involved in studio work. Accumulations of clutter are common in studios, but must be avoided where there is any possibility of resulting fire risk. Piles of paper or components of models, for example, should be tidied and kept out of harm’s way. Nothing should ever be allowed to restrict access to fire extinguishers; and these must never be moved or interfered with except in the event of a fire. Crit rooms and other spaces are equally subject to these points. Similarly, they are often through-routes for cleaners and other staff, and students must have full consideration for possible dangers represented by items on the floor, suspended from wires, involving spikes or sharp edges, etc. In all cases of installations, a risk assessment should be carried out, using the risk assessment check list (with adaptations for specific projects if necessary). Note that crit rooms and other exhibition spaces should be used only for displaying work — the construction of all pieces should be carried out in the studio or workshop. Before the construction of anything large or heavy is undertaken, careful thought, including an assessment of risks, should be given to how it will be moved, displayed, stored and ultimately disposed of. Please recognise that these points are made in the interests of all users of our buildings. Good health and safety practices need be neither onerous nor obstructive if they are carried out continuously and routinely. Failure to comply with the ever-growing array of regulations in this area may easily have very serious consequences, e.g. the withdrawal of facilities such as 24-hour access to studios. An appreciation of health and safety is also an important general aspect of the design and use of all buildings, and increasingly of any professional or managerial role in any walk of life.   University of Edinburgh Security can be contacted via telephone on: 0131 650 2257 or 2222 from an internal extension. http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/healthandsafety
University Health Centre http://www.ed.ac.uk/university-secretary-group/departments/student-experience-services/health health.service@ed.ac.uk 0131 650 2777

Appendix 2: Degree Programme Table

This is the official Degree Programme Table for Sound Design

Sound Design (MSc/Dip)

Degree Type: Postgraduate Taught Masters/Diploma [also available by part-time study] Source: http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/17-18/dpt/ptmscsndes1f.htm

Appendix: Programme Calendar

Please note that while every effort is made to ensure accurate details, this calendar should be treated only as a guide to the structure of the year. The University Calendar is here; http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/semester-dates On the calendar below, many events are subject to alteration but whenever possible, advance notice will be given, especially if the date and time of a lecture or seminar is going to change. The titles of many events and lectures are meant as placeholders and may change depending on the weekly needs of the class. You can subscribe to the course calendars by searching Google Calendar if you have a google account: http://www.google.com/calendar. However, you can also subscribe to these calendar's with Apple's iCAL and other calendar readers using the links below. (Right click or control+click to copy and paste the link.) We strongly recommend you subscribe to these calendars in order to keep up with updates and changes to the schedule. PLEASE NOTE, if you click on these links, you'll simply download the latest calendar version to your calendar reader but it WILL NOT UPDATE, what you must do is SUBSCRIBE to the feed in order for the calendar to update each time you open it.

Subscribe to the MSc calendars with these links:

Semester dates

iCAL HTML

Special events for students on design-related programmes

iCAL HTML

Audio Crafting

iCAL HTML

Sonic Structures -> Creative Coding for Sound (2020 onwards)

iCAL HTML

Digital Media Studio Project

iCAL HTML

Interactive Sound Environments

iCAL HTML

Soundtracks for Screen

iCAL HTML

Appendix: Printing

Taught postgraduates start with a printing allocation.  Once this quota allocation is reached, you can top up your printing account with money via machines at the main library. This quota is intended to help you consider whether you need to print a certain document or whether it can be read on screen.  A lot of paper and ink is wasted each year so we have found this quota system nescessary. The quota should be enough to print our your submissions and other pieces of information like project briefs.  A good way to save paper is, when printing, to print two pages per side.  This can be done by selecting LAYOUT from the print menu and choosing to print two pages per side.
how to print two pages
Notice also on the bottom left of this image that you can export a PDF file from any print command.  This is a good way of preserving web pages without printing them out on paper. For further details, see https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/ECAIT/Printing

John McGovern Media Centre

The John McGovern Media Centre is open to all students and staff of the Edinburgh College of Art and provides a professionally supported facility for large-scale printing and scanning.  It is based in the Department of Architecture on Chambers Street. Other reprographics facilities may be accessible in Lauriston Place; Reprographics http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/eca-home/facilities/services/reprographics Printing http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/printing

Appendix 5: University Structure

The University of Edinburgh is a large institution with a complex structure. It can be helpful to understand where the Sound Design programme sits within this, as you will almost certainly interact with a range of different levels of the university organisation during your time on the programme. The university is divided in to three academic colleges, which are in turn divided in to twenty schools that house a range of subject areas (departments). Alongside this academic structure are various support groups, such as Information Services (computing and libraries, among other things), Accommodation Services, and so forth. Sound Design is situated in the Reid School of Music, which is part of Edinburgh College of Art, and ECA is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Confusion can arise because ECA, despite having the word 'college' in its name, is actually a 'school' in terms of university organisation, and the Reid School of Music is actually a subject area.