Music Design for Games and InteractionThe study

Music Design for Games and Interaction

About the study

Bachelor Music
Mode of study
Music and Technology
Bachelor of Music
4 years
Like all graduation paths, Music Design for Games and Interaction offers a mix of music, sound and technology. When you choose to graduate in this particular direction, you focus on the use of sound and technology in a way that is meaningful for an interactive sound experience. You design, for example, a sound system for a game that matches the games’ emotions and situations and offers an immersive experience.

Our course teaches you much more than just sound design, the use of sound systems and music production. You will also gain an understanding of the underlying technologies and the principles beyond how people experience and react to sounds. This teaches you to think critically about the interaction between sound or music and the people who experience it. And consequently, you will be able to create the sound design that offers the most fitting experience for every situation.

You learn all this by trying out and experimenting in projects. And while you are actively creating, you also get to learn the theory. We constantly challenge you to broaden your perspective. Not only do we teach you to work with systems such as FMOD, Wwise and AI, but also to analyse your own designs from broader principles. Examples are: ‘How can you create an interesting video game without visuals?’ We also let you work with various musical genres and cultures, allowing you to make more informed choices.

Naturally, you don’t have to understand all the technology inside-out at the start of your studies. More important is that you are willing to try out new things and dare to challenge your own conceptions about sound design and interaction. Whether you end up as a music designer for a games studio, or will design sound at a tech company, doesn't really matter to us. What we do care about, is that you develop a broad enough perspective to make your own well-thought decisions and are able to build a lasting and diverse career.

This programme is in Dutch only!

Please only apply if you are able to read and write Dutch. To see all details, please see the Dutch language version of this page.

Go to Dutch page

Music Design for Games and InteractionWhat will you learn
Music Design for Games and Interaction

What will you learn

  • You develop a musical insight and learn to dissect the structure of various types of music and sound.
  • You learn everything about how people experience interactive sound. For example, within the professional fields of creative system design, sonic interaction design, composition, and sound design.
  • You learn to come up with creative solutions through developing concepts and conducting research.
  • You learn entrepreneurial skills. What does the professional field look like? How can you best present yourself? How to get clients and assignments? You will know how to prepare yourself for your career.

Course structure

Year 1

The first year is the same for all students. You are introduced to many diverse and general subjects: the structures of the various musical genres, the characteristics of tones and sounds, how technology can be used to create and manipulate sound, and the basics of programming. You not have to excel in all subjects. The main purpose of this broad introduction is that you get a general overview of the work field. You thereby lay the foundation for your own position, while you learn to cooperate in a team.

Year 2

In the second team, you maintain your broad perspective, yet also start zooming in on your own future position within the professional field. You do this by selecting two of the seven focus areas within the course. You focus on these areas in two blocks, each consisting of projects, task groups and theory classes. Both the theory and the practice are meant to teach you how to make your own creative productions, in the way that appeals to you personally.

Year 3

In year 3, it’s time to choose your professional and artistic profile within your field. Like in the second year, you start with two blocks that are aimed at your focus areas, again with projects, task groups and theory classes. After that, you do an internship in which you put everything you learned so far to the test in practice. The year ends with a large project in which you further sharpen your profile and knowledge. You can also do this abroad.

Year 4

In year 4, your projects are complemented by a thorough research that supports your creative practice and further distinguishes your own personal profile. The second part of the year is spent on your graduation, that serves as the bridge between your studies and your future professional practice. Within a company, collective or a network that you form with a number of fellow students, you work on assignments that are focused on practice. This work also serves as your calling card to your future work field.

Music Design for Games and InteractionWhat you will be creating
Music Design for Games and Interaction

What you will be creating

Music Design for Interaction is about more than just sound and music for games. Of course, you can get employment as an interactive composer at a major games studio. But you can just as well go and work as a designer of interactive sound experiences for people with a visual impairment. Or as a creator of music systems for festivals, museums, escape rooms or theme park rides. Any place where interactive sound plays a part, there are work opportunities for you.

As a Sonic Interaction Designer, you work independently on projects, or as employee at a studio. You often have to cooperate with other professional fields, such as the games industry, product designers, or healthcare. Your role is to transform the desired user experience into an interactive sound system, while working from you own unique vision. Another requirement is that you quickly get a grasp of the whole process, so you can respond quickly and come up with an idea of what you will create, how it fits the specific demand, and how to realise it technically.

For these reasons, the work field has a high demand for people who have learned more than ‘mastering a trick’, but who bring along their own vision and maintain a clear overview. As a graduate from our course, you have your own, well-substantiated vision on how people experience interactive sound. This enables you to offer a valuable contribution to each project you’re involved with. In short: the professional field is waiting for you!
Music Design for Games and InteractionApplication and admission
Music Design for Games and Interaction

Application and admission

Language requirement

The programme is only taught in Dutch. To be enrolled you must meet the Dutch language requirement. Find more information here.

Detailed information about requirements, application and admission, can only be found on the Dutch language version of this page.

Go to Dutch page

The video below (in Dutch) explains everything about the admission process for the courses at HKU Music and Technology.

Admission dates

There are various admission rounds, that each have two selection days. When you enrol, your admission exam is planned on the next admission round.

Are there still open positions?

You can still register for the academic year 2024-2025. Please keep into account that any applications received after 15 January will only be processed when there are still open positions. Therefore, it might occur that the course is full.

Prior Education

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent. You must also have sufficient artistic aptitude.

Apply with your DigiD through Studielink

Once you have applied through Studielink, HKU will inform you by e-mail of the admission procedure and you will be assigned to the first admissions day. This date is binding.

The online preparation consists of a number of home assignments, which you will need an average of three weeks to complete.

If you deliver your assignments on time, you will be invited to the first admissions day.
There are two admission days.

On day 1, you take an online test. In 45 minutes, we test your knowledge of general music theory, your solfege skills (intervals, triads, including inversions, rhythmic dictation and melodic dictation, your knowledge of music technology and acoustics, and your calculation skills. You will be informed per email whether you may continue with the second admissions day. This depends on the test results and the assessment of the material you have delivered online.

If you continue with the second admission day, you have a meeting with the admissions committee. Here your submitted materials are discussed, together with your vision on the course and the professional field. It is an open conversation, in which we hope that you present yourself as a suitable candidate in the best possible way.
Roughly three weeks later, you will hear whether you have been accepted.

Study Costs

HKU has two types of tuition fees: the statutory tuition fee and the institution tuition fee. Which one applies for you, depends on your situation.

Would you like to find out what fee you will have to pay? Go to our tuition calculation page.

What are the requirements for my laptop and software?

For your admission:
HKU Music and Technology deliberately chooses not to offer any advice on software or hardware in preparation for the admission. This is because the tools that a candidate uses are not that relevant. Most important during the admission is that a candidate shows they have successfully created a musical work with the technological means they had available, and that they can explain and tell about the creative judgements and decisions they made. These technological tools can be very diverse in nature, from old tape recorders, analogue mixing consoles and 4-track cassette decks, to contemporary software such as MaxMSP, Logic, Protools, Cubase, FL studio and Ableton. Hardware may range from AKAI MPC's, to free open-source software such as PureData, Ardour and Audacity.

For the admissions, being proficient in the specific DAWs that we use at the school is not required. However, being skilled in any type of DAW is regarded as a plus.

For students:
M&T deliberately chooses not to set any specific requirements for soft- and hardware. Although you could theoretically complete the course without your own software and hardware, many students choose to use their own laptop and software, be it Windows, MacOS or Linux. In general, each student decides for themselves during the first period of year 1 what setups works best for them, often based on the info and advice from fellow students and teachers.

Any other questions?
Please contact the HKU Service Desk Student Affairs:
T: 030-2091540
  • A laptop or computer is essential.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.