Astrophysics and Music Technology 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both Astrophysics and Music Technology.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
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International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: FWM3

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Course Overview

In Astrophysics, you will learn to formulate and tackle problems – from below the level of the atomic nucleus to astronomical scales. Astrophysics is active wherever the laws of physics are being tested to the limit – and beyond. Keele will help you to use astronomical observations, mathematical models and computer simulation to develop theories explaining some of the most complex phenomena. You’ll develop your mathematics and computing skills, and apply them to solving a range of problems in the laboratory and beyond (you’ll have access to Keele’s own on-site observatory). This combined course is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Alongside this you will be studying Music Technology, which, at Keele is highly rated by students for quality of advice and support, fair assessments, plus detailed and prompt feedback (National Student Survey 2015). Led by inspiring creative practitioners and researchers, Keele’s Music Technology degree encourages you to work at the frontiers of the application of technology to composition, music production, sound design, screen music, audio-visuals and music software. You will study many different styles and genres, inventing, capturing, recording, mixing and manipulating audio/visual content using advanced digital media. You will also explore the theory of sound, the history of audio technology, and the cultural contexts of music. As a Keele Music Technology student you’ll have access 24/7 to our purpose-built recording and project studios, practice rooms, a vast library of digital media assets and also an extensive music library. Alongside the opportunity to do a module-based work placement in the local community, you can also combine Music Technology with components of Keele’s Music programme to create an individually tailored, distinctive degree that reflects your imagination and passions.

What will this mean for my future?

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. An Astrophysics degree from Keele will prepare you for many different careers, which need not be directly related to astrophysics. You could take up all sorts of roles in industry, management, and public services, including teaching, health and finance. Through the combined honours degree with Music Technology, you’ll also have the skills you need to pursue a wide range of careers involving creative technologies. Career paths open to Keele Music Technology graduates include broadcasting, recording, production, sound design, soundtrack creation, software design, song writing and performance, as well as original audio and audiovisual composition, studio work, and teaching at all levels of education. You might choose to work as a freelance sound designer for games and video, a sound technician, a community musician or a radio broadcast assistant. Graduates in music technology also develop careers as broadcast engineers, theatre stage managers, radio producers and multimedia specialists.

Indicative modules

First Year

  • Mechanics, Gravity & Relativity 
  • Nature of Matter 
  • Oscillations & Waves 
  • Electricity & Stellar Structure

Second Year

  • Quantum Mechanics 
  • Optics & Thermodynamics 
  • Stellar Astrophysics 
  • Statistical Mechanics & Solid State Physics 

Third Year

  • Electromagnetism 
  • Astrophysics Project and Communication Skills
  • Cosmology 
  • Astrophysics Dissertation
  • Particle Physics & Accelerators 
  • Physics of Compact Objects 
  • Binary Stars and Exoplanets 
  • Life in the Universe 
  • Quantum Mechanics II 
  • Physics of the Interstellar Medium 
  • Physics of Fluids 
  • Plasma Physics
  • Atmospheric Physics

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Astrophysics - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Astrophysics modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

30

30

30

0

0

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

Astrophysics Year 1 (Level 4)

At level 4, Physics and Astrophysics students require a common knowledge and skills base. Therefore, many of the modules taught at level 4 are common to Physics and Astrophysics disciplines. You will study FOUR lecture-based modules of core Astrophysics.

 

The lecture-based modules are supported by problem classes and assessed problem sheets with an end of semester examination in each. These modules also include lectures, problems classes and tutorials in mathematics, and laboratory classes, which are an essential part of Astrophysics. The module descriptors provide detailed synopses of each module with suggested study reading and are available on the KLE.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity

15

None

 

Nature of Matter

15

   

Oscillations and Waves

15

   

Electricity and Stellar Structure

15

   

 

 

Music Technology Year 1 (Level 4)

You MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Music Technology achieved by taking all three compulsory modules. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subjeOur degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Your remaining 30 credits may be selected from the Music Technology Optional module, Music modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of Elective modules provided by other disciplines.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Sonic Arts Repertoire

15

Sound Recording

15

Audio Fundamentals

15

   

Composing with Sound

15

   

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

Astrophysics Year 2 (Level 5)

At level 5 you continue to be taught the fundamentals of Physics. Modules are common to Physics and Astrophysics in the first semester of the second year, but diverge significantly from the second semester of the second year onwards. In the first semester you take an Optics Laboratory and a short series of classes in developing your mathematical skills. In the second semester you take an Astrophysics laboratory.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Quantum Mechanics

15

None

 

Optics and Thermodynamics

15

   

Statistical mechanics and Solid State Physics

15

   

Stellar Astrophysics

15

   

 

Music Technology Year 2 (Level 5)

You MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Music Technology. You MUST take three Optional modules from the list below. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subject.

Your remaining 30 credits may be selected either from additional Music Technology Optional modules, Music modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of Elective modules provided by other disciplines.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

None

 

Audio-Visual Composition

15

   

Introduction to Digital Signal Processing

15

   

Realtime Sound Processing

15

   

Creative Sound Design

15

   

Meaning in Sonic Arts

15

   

Record Production in Theory and Practice

15

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

Astrophysics Year 3 (Level 6)

At level 6, you complete a group research project and follow one compulsory module plus two optional core modules of your choice from a list of available modules.

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

   

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

Music Technology Year 3 (Level 6)

You MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Music Technology with an Independent Study Portfolio (ISP) in at least one of the principal subjects of your combined degree. You MUST take as a minimum EITHER one of the Music Technology ISPs from Optional module group A, along with one 15-credit Optional module from group B, OR three 15-credit Optional modules from group B. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subject.

Your remaining 30 credits may be selected either from additional Music or Music Technology modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of Elective modules provided by other disciplines.

n.b. If you choose to take 60 or 75 credits in Music Technology in year 3 may take both Music Technology ISPs (60 credits).

Optional modules (ISP) group A

Credits

Optional modules group B

Credits

Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 2 (ISP)*

30

Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 1*

15

Music Programming ISP**

30

Colloquia in Electroacoustic Music

15

   

Composing with Interactive Computer Transformation

15

   

Music Programming**

15

 

*You cannot take Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 1 AND Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 2 (ISP).

**You cannot take Music Programming AND Music Programming ISP

 

Modules - Year Four

If you choose to specialise in Astrophysics in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

Dissertation

15

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

You may, in addition to modules listed, include in level 6 of your Astrophysics course one suitable programme approved elective module from another Principal Course, provided that you are not taking the Principal Course from which that module is derived as part of your Combined Honours combination.

 

You will find that in teaching you we put emphasis on problem solving. This occurs in examples classes where you solve practice problems in Astrophysics in class with staff to assist you, in laboratory teaching where you will be expected to address practical problems and in your directed work for assessment. You are encouraged to call upon module leaders and the director of study for guidance. The academic staff will be willing to see you at almost any time and you will have one-to-one progress interviews each semester. The teaching team will monitor your progress and we will contact you if we find that you are not achieving all that you should and advise you on how to improve.

 

You will benefit from a flexible approach to learning the mathematical skills that are essential to the learning and application of Astrophysics. You will find that the classes on mathematics in level 4 are presented in a series of blocks. An assessment test is taken at the end of the class blocks. You will also attend supplementary supporting tutorials in mathematics.

 

If you choose to specialise in Music Technology in your final year you will study the following modules:

You MUST take a minimum of 90 credits in Music Technology. In year 3 you MUST take a Music Technology ISP (Independent Study Portfolio) from group A (30 credits) AND either two 15-credit Optional modules from group B OR another ISP from group A (30 credits). You must also take a further 30 credits from anywhere within groups A, B and C.

Your remaining 30 credits will be selected either from additional Music Technology/Music modules listed in groups A, B and C, or from the range of Elective modules provided by other disciplines.

n.b. Option group C comprises modules that form part of the Music programme, and may require specific pre-requisites relating to Music modules taken as options in years 1 and 2.

Optional Modules group A

(Independent Study Projects)

Credits

Optional modules group C

Credits

Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 2 (ISP)*

30

Dissertation (ISP)

30

Music Programming ISP**

30

Composition 2 (ISP)***

30

   

Recital (ISP)

30

Optional modules group B

 

Approaches to Music Analysis

15

Colloquia in Electroacoustic Music

15

Contextual Studies 1

15

Composing with Interactive Computer Transformation

15

EITHER Music Ethnography OR Music, Conflict and Social Change

15

Music Programming**

15

Composition 1***

15

Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 1*

15

   

 

*You cannot take Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 1 AND Digital Arts Creative Portfolio 2 (ISP).

**You cannot take Music Programming AND Music Programming ISP

***You cannot take Composition 1 and Composition 2

 

Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to Music Technology.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest.
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az