Module code: CMT3011

Module Overview

This module centres on a range of immersive sound contexts and practices, including binaural audio and multi-channel audio, moving beyond the familiar use of ‘stereo’ sound within a creative context. Building on listening and production skills developed over the course of Level 5, students will be introduced to a selection of diverse musical repertoire and gain experience in technical and practical aspects of immersive audio work in line with current creative industry practices.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HALL Thomas (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 26

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 84

Seminar Hours: 33

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

CMT2012 Creative Music Technology Practice B 

Module content

Indicative content includes:
- aspects of immersive sound (acoustic, psychoacoustic, physiological)
- the creation immersive audio using a variety of computer software configurations
- immersive sound techniques, including binaural and multi-channel presentation
- overview of music, sound and radio art related to sonic immersion

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Portfolio of creative immersive sound work and commentary 100

Alternative Assessment

An alternative to a group assessment is an individual project equivalent to an individual's assessed contribution within a group project.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate creative and technical practice-based skills and awareness of existing creative repertoire in relation to immersive sound practices within a group work context. 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of coursework comprising a portfolio of creative immersive sound work and commentary (addresses learning outcomes 1-5). Projects are usually undertaken as group work, but are also allowable to be assessed as individual projects. The experience of group work is intended to foster student resourcefulness and resilience through the negotiation navigation, and communication around roles and responsibilities within the group project. This digital portfolio is linked to professional work in spatial audio and is thus related to employability in this area.

Formative assessment
Formative assessment in this module is intended to help students monitor their learning and ensure they are ready to work on the summative group project. This assessment includes a small creative recording and editing task within a group, which is intended to help the student settle on a group for the final project, as well as engage with the type of sonic repertoire relevant to the module. 

The module leader will provide feedback on the students learning in the form of informal quizzes on a regular basis, e.g. to review material from the week before. Written and/or verbal feedback will also be provided for the formative assessment task. Peer formative feedback is also an important feature of the group work, and this will be facilitated by the module leader as needed. The module leader will also offer feedback on drafts of portfolio work via email or in tutorials.

Module aims

  • - develop students' skills in immersive audio techniques and production workflows
  • - enhance students' critical listening skills and develop compositional skills appropriate to immersive sound
  • - develop students' knowledge and awareness of diverse immersive sound practices, via historical and current creative repertoire
  • - enhance students' application of research techniques to creative portfolio work in relation to practice as research appropriate to this level

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Create immersive compositional work of a professional standard KCP
002 Demonstrate the application of technical principles underlying immersive audio KC
003 Apply critical listening skills and develop awareness of their application to the area of immersive audio PT
004 Demonstrate musicological knowledge of relevant context and repertoire with respect to immersive sound practices KC
005 Articulate a clear understanding of research-informed sound art practice via a portfolio commentary KT

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 complement and support the kinds of learning students undertake in their other modules at this level. For example, spatial audio techniques can also be developed further to form part of students’ Creative Music Technology Research Project and complement the standard ‘stereo’ audio formats are an important part of other Creative Music Technology modules.

The learning and teaching methods centre around both interactive and practical hands-on seminars, usually divided between the Mac Labs (where each student has access to a university computer), and the CMT Studio, where immersive audio techniques can be demonstrated.

Guided listening / reading for Independent Learning are intended to supplement in class listening and help form the aesthetic and technical basis for students’ own creative group work. 

Group discussions and peer feedback help test and develop students understanding of the module content.
Supporting materials on SurreyLearn and elsewhere as appropriate supplement the learning that occurs during the weekly seminars.

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: CMT3011

Other information

The Department of Music and Media is committed to developing graduates with attributes encompassing employability, digital skills, global and culture awareness, sustainability as it relates to music and the wider arts and, finally, resourcefulness and resilience.

Digital capabilities
Like other modules in the Creative Music Technology programme, our focus and ways of working inherently involve digital capabilities, using computers with specialist software for digital audio. During the course of this module you will learn new digital workflows involving multichannel audio using a variety of software and immersive audio plug-ins.

Resourcefulness and resilience
Immersive Sound Practices introduces students to new and different ways of thinking about digital audio and sound production, though this encouraging both active participation and resourcefulness in researching and creating the group portfolio. The module has been designed to encourage peer support and reflective engagement as part of working in groups, as well as strategies for resilience around planning, time-management and effective co-operation between group members.

This module helps develop key employability skills, especially relevant to current creative industry practice in immersive audio. These include employability skills around overall knowledge of this specialist field, as well as new digital workflows learnt as part of the module. Transferable skills developed include those related to group work required to create a creative portfolio for assessment. 

This module relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in a number of ways. The immersive sound repertoire examined over the course of the module promotes as far as possible EDI principles, in particular in relation to the gender equality of the artists’ work we explore (SDG 5 & 10). This repertoire, especially that aligned with immersive sound art projects, also encourages appreciation and reflection around climate action and ecologies of life on land and below water (SDG 13, 14, 15). Co-operation within and between groups in the module models ideas around sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), and use of open-source software and digital software workarounds encourages responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 1 Optional 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 2024/5 academic year.