Talk to me about UCLAN/Huddersfield/ Leeds Beckett please(35 Posts)
DS just starting to research courses (music technology/ production or sound/audio engineering) . He's picked out courses at Huddersfield (DH alumni of there but 20+ years ago!!) UCLAN (my home town of Preston but was always the brunt of jokes that you only went to Preston Poly if you had messed about too much in sixth form!!) and Leeds Beckett. Trying to get an idea about the accomodation in Huddersfield, some unbiased opinions as to the quality of UCLAN and does anyone know anything at all about Leeds Beckett ? TIA
You can check the ranking of these courses, but I doubt these universities are rated very highly. A brief look at this type of course shows me that the Universities of Surrey and Sussex do music technology. I would seriously look at these as they are higher ranked universities but your local ones might get plenty of their alumni into suitable jobs. You may find music engineering is available at other good universities. Salford might be worth a look and has the advantage of the BBC on its doorstep. However if he wants to stay local, his choices will be limited.
Can't comment much on the universities, but a friend went to Huddersfield and really enjoyed his time there.
Has your DS looked at BIMM (British Institute of Modern Music)?
They do a one year course (free to those 18 and under) and a three year degree programme in the sort of thing he seems interested in. There is a relatively new campus in Manchester (Oxford Road) plus schools in Brighton, Dublin and Bristol (I think)
Salford does have an excellent reputation for music production and as Milly said is great as you are so close to Media City.
I live in Huddersfield and there is new student accomodation being built all the time, everywhere!
Sorry but those of you dissing Huddersfield for Music Technology are wrong. For Music Technology, Huddersfield is amongst the best places to study. It can be pretty rubbish for other subjects, but for Music Tech, it's one of the places to go.
Not for nothing is the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival an international event!
Now, like other posters on this thread giving you advice, I'm just a stranger on the internets, and I can't id myself completely, but I'll tell you why I know this -- I was on the Directorate (ie we ran it) of a national teaching organisation (Gov't funded) which included the then Head of Music at Huddersfield. I, too, was dismissive of "Huddersfield" as an underperforming post-92 university. Until various people from very well-established Music departments (think Russell Group) set me right.
This is why you need to think about the course & the department, and not rely on these broad reputational myths.
Leeds Becketts is a name change for what was known as Leeds Met. I don't know a thing about their music courses, but they are hugely successful and oversubscribed for film, performing arts etc, so given that (in my mind at least) it's a similar sort of course they may be worth a look.
There's also Leeds College of Music if he likes Leeds but wants somewhere more specialist.
As I said, rank the courses! Which ones actually lead to jobs? Courses might be oversubscribed, but how many get work in their chosen field afterwards, especially in performing arts? So difficult post graduation. Definitely choose one with good industry links. Vital!
I think it is difficult when you are going outside the traditional academic subjects, as
middle class prejudices do not apply the rankings are often very different. I know a boy who had to fight his private school very hard to study radio sound engineering at a former poly. On paper he was a potential Oxbridge candidate and they obviously wanted him to go down a more traditional, for their school, route without appreciating that this was a course with huge links to radio stations, and associated work placements, that was absolutely excellent in developing the vocational skills and almost guarenteed work after. He already had lots of knowledge and experience and was in a better position to make that judgement. It was all he wanted to do, and it is what he is doing now.
My company was instrumental in setting up a course at a former Poly in Design with a focus on brand design, because British companies faced a massive shortage of design specialists to support their branding. That demand has increased exponentially with the growth in online marketing and diversification in marketing channels and the need for strong branding . So a place on that course is a route into a job for anyone with artistic flair coupled with attention to detail and the potential to understand strategy development.
And of course if you want to get into Journalism then a stint in the department at City University (not a former poly but not one of the beloved names either) has become almost a pre- requisite.
As I know myself having migrated from business to a very academic university, business is a foriegn country for many academics in the more traditional universities, especially on the Humanities side. And whilst upholding the value of academic rigour should be a priority, if students want to gain vocational skills alongside that then these universities do actually meet their needs better. The problem is that determining the rankings is a little more difficult because they don't feature in subject lists so students have to reach their own judgements about the quality of the course, employment statistics etc. which is probably on balance a good thing.
Has he looked at Salford? My son did a similar course there and it was fantastic.
Here are the courses available.
It's not local to you but Dneice did a similar degree at the Academy of Contemporary Music and walked into a job straight away due to work experience over the course of the degree. Plus the course itself was only two years so less student debt.
Thanks for your comments. DS is doing a level 3 extended diploma (BTec) in Music Technology at our local sixth form college now so needing A level Maths or Physics is just a none starter. He is predicted DDD and most courses asking for DDM or DMM so he is on track but his elder sister has just gone to a Russell Group Uni after getting AAA in her A levels . This means that all my Russell Group info from last time round is no use whatsoever and I am struggling to work out which course will set him up best to succeed in the industry and leave my "middle class prejudices" behind . Huddersfield does indeed have an excellent reputation for all things musical. He knows what he wants out of the course and is wanting a good campus experience with halls of residence accomodation . He wants the broader University experience of meeting people studying a wide range of subjects which I think is great - he hasn't looked at BIMM and ACM because of this
I'm from Leeds and Leeds Beckett is our 'crap' uni. Is Leeds College of Music not an option?
Having said that, Beckett is great for socialising, always loads of nights on exclusively for Becketts students. I have friends who did music tech at Huddersfield and loved it there too.
And btw my dad would turn in his grave at the idea of my having "middle class prejudices" but it does sum up the problem of ranking when you are not comparing like for like ie vocational vs traditional academic subjects
But what I learned from working on the national teaching project I mentioned above is that Music Technology is quite different from a normal Music degree.
I'm a mature student at UCLAN. I've found that the quality of teaching is great for computing. Not sure what the quality is like on music tech though.
I'm at UCLAN too, no idea on the music tech dept though.
I agree with other that Huddersfield is THE place for music tech. It doesn't seem like a bad place to study. Easy to get to, near Manchester and Leeds for bigger nights out.
Those of you being snotty about these universities - Huddersfield uni was university of the year in 2013.
OP - if your DS goes to university, works hard, has a good time, gets a good degree and performs well in interviews for jobs subsequently, that's all that is important and relevant IMHO. I don't believe that there's any more/ less to it.
Oh but it does matter where you study something like music/music technology. Not all universities are equal in terms of equipment, specialist teaching etc.
I'm another at uclan, not for music though. It's a good uni, good facilities etc and the teaching on my course is brilliant. However the parking is fucking horrendous at preston campus.
Think we need to just trawl the open days and do some research. The trouble is that you can't put music technology into the Guardians ranking system - just Music which obviously throws up best places to study classical music type courses and not the technology/production type courses. Any ideas where would be a good place to start to try and find out the best places to study music tech ?
Does unistats cover music tech? Can you find out about employment prospects ?
Yes, you can find it on Unistats so can check on student satisfaction and employment rates
I did music tech at Leeds Met (finished in 2011 so fairly recent). It's known as the lesser university in Leeds but it's incredible for music facilities. Leeds Met and Leeds Uni are two very different universities so it's not really fair to call one particularly worse than the other. I'd pick Leeds over the others just because of the brilliant music scene and opportunities for music students here. Although I am biased
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