Module code: CMT2008

Module Overview

This module introduces the history and practice of creating music and sound design for the moving image in a variety of contexts. Skills in this area are introduced alongside key concepts in visual literacy for 'reading' a film and other examples of the moving image. Contexts examined will include an overview of the principles of musical design for commercial work, as well as those for more experimental moving image repertoire and techniques. Appropriate theories and critical responses to music and sound design for the moving image will also be a core part of this module. 

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

THOMPSON Bill (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 109

Seminar Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 8

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

 CMT1004 Sound Design 

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Analysis of existing moving image repertoire and techniques;

Overview of and how music and sound design relates to genre;

Aspects of different theories of music and meaning in both commercial and experimental contexts;

Critical arts practice in relation to sound, image, music;

Mapping of aspects of theories onto compositional techniques;

Case studies of moving image repertoire.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Portfolio and Commentary of Sound Design and Music for Moving Image 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate technical and practical compositional skills in relation to music and sound design for the moving image. 

Thus, the summative assessments for this module consists of:

Project: Portfolio and Commentary of Sound Design and Music for Moving Image (addresses LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

The portfolio format is the most appropriate assessment type for this module, as it is designed to include varied types of sound design and music for moving image that demonstrate appropriate learning at this level.

Formative assessment

Students work on small regular compositional and technical tasks, which are intended to inform their approach to the summative assessment, including elements of music, sound design and Foley.


Exercises completed as part of formative assessment will receive feedback as appropriate when presented in class as works in progress. Individual tutorials will be offered both for general guidance and for coursework assessments. Furthermore, peer feedback is incorporated into weekly seminars. 

Module aims

  • - To develop a theoretical understanding of the history and aesthetics of free improvisation in an electronically mediated context.

    - To gain a practical proficiency in group improvisation in electronic music.

    - To learn to make a bespoke electronic musical instrument and/or assemblage for the purpose of electronic music improvisation.

    - To develop a group dynamic and process of applying theoretical and aesthetic understanding to to group improvisation.
  • - Demonstrate awareness of a variety of possible sonic responses (music, sound design) to given moving image content
  • - Create effective music and sound design as appropriate for given examples of moving image content
  • - Be able to articulate an analysis of moving image content and sonic responses in the context of both aesthetic and technical theories of music and the moving image
  • - Demonstrate knowledge around a variety arts-related practices to music, sound and image

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse a brief and plan an appropriate response based on knowledge of the type of moving image involved KCPT
002 Plan a composition according to key building blocks of musical composition and integrate appropriate sound design to a moving image project KCP
003 Write commentaries that demonstrates critical and technical awareness of the sonic response to a task brief KCT
004 Create varied and contrasting sonic responses to different kinds of moving image projects KP
005 Distinguish the requirements for both sound design / Foley and musical composition in an example of moving image project, and coordinate a sonic blend or balance between these elements as appropriate KCP

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 facilitate learning through a series of seminars and workshops covering technical, aesthetic and practical skills in relation to music for the moving image. Students are expected to engage with existing repertoire related to sound and music for the moving image as directed by the module tutor. 

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: CMT2008

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.

Employability This module helps develop key employability skills, especially relevant to current creative industry practice in sound and music for moving image (film, TV, online video, video games). These include employability skills around overall knowledge of this specialist field, as well as developing techniques for composing, doing sound design and Foley for moving image. Transferable skills developed include those related to creating a creative portfolio for assessment.

Digital capabilities 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 be encouraged and supported to use a range of specialist hardware and software, including DAWS, audio plug-ins, synthesizers and effects units. Specifically we will look at how these technology packages are used in the crafting of an aesthetic experiences sonically in relation to moving image and how various experimental processes have become mainstream.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 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 2025/6 academic year.