Module code: PRO1031

Module Overview

The module provides an introduction to sound reinforcement and sound design, focusing on theatrical and live performance mediums.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W453

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 30

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Seminar Hours: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Sound: a conceptual introduction, what is sound?

  • Rigging and operating basic PA systems, which include a focus on the fundamental importance of the signal chain (multiple sources, mixer, amp and loudspeakers)

  • Introduction to microphone types, condensors and dynamic microphones, introduction to loudspeaker types, active and passive, point source and line array

  • Cabling and connnectors: Common connectors: Jack, XLR, Phono/RCA, Speakon, bare end. Introducing the distinction between balanced and unbalanced connections. Introducing multicore signal cable, analogue and digital

  • QLAB for theatre playback, using group cues, fade cues, edting and looping cues

  • Creating, recording and editing audio with Logic Pro

  • Recording techniques in studio and field environment.

  • Sound design: settings and themes, design concepts, responsibilities and paperwork including cue sheets, speaker plans, signal flow diagrams

  • Theatrical sound department hierachy, Sound designer, Production Sound Enigneeer, Sound NO.1, NO.2 NO.3 deputy.

Health and Safety: safe rigging practices, in particular hanging heavy objects (such as loudspeakers) at height, and the application of other legislation and codes of practice to sound. A brief introduction to The Noise at Work Regulations (2005)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Sound Design Portfolio 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate practical skills and understanding.



This will consist of


Formative assessment


Working within a small team, devise and design a short radio play which will be presented to the group.



Thus, the summative assessment is as follows:



Students are asked to compile a sound design portfolio featuring: written explanatory and research notes in the shape of a rationale; speaker plans; cue sheets and system diagrams.





Formative feedback will be provided after the formative assessment is carried out.


Summative, written feedback will be provided up to 3 weeks following assessment submission.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to concepts, processes and equipment commonly found in sound reinforcement systems within a production context.
  • Familiarise students with the technical vocabulary associated with sound and the importance of the signal chain and its constituent parts.
  • Allow students to explore generic hardware and software underpinning complex sound systems found in the performance industry.
  • Introduce students to theatrical sound disciplines.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply working practices learned in taught modules to the production process. P
002 Demonstrate accurate application of practical skills. P
003 Independently research to support their subject knowledge and practical skills. C
004 Engage in the theatre production process adopting the procedures and methods at every stage of the process. KP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Provide students with the concepts and knowledge to fulfil the learning outcomes of this module and to provide time and resources for students to develop their skills in connecting and operating standard equipment and software culminating in an ability to apply and implement their skills in the delivery of a sound design porfolio.


The learning and teaching methods include:


Taught practical sessions either in studio or class environment.

Attendance at workshops, seminars, master-classes.

Site visits/industry field trips.

Practical exercises.


Individual tutorial/viva voce.


This module attempts to facilitate key areas of the Programme learning and teaching strategy specifically those defining demonstration and review within workshops, rehearsals, productions, practical classes, laboratory/studio-based practice, screenings, lectures, seminars, tutorials and tutor and learner-directed practical projects evidencing core, elementary theory and practice.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PRO1031

Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery falls in Semester 1 due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Block 1.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Theatre Production BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.