Sound DesignThe study
Bachelor Creative Media and Game Technologies
Mode of study
Music and Technology
Bachelor of Science
4 years
Like all graduation paths, Sound Design offers a mix of music, sound and technology. The focus of this particular direction is: how do you use technology for creating meaningful sound? Examples are sound that pull you into a VR world, or that enhances the theme of a theatre piece. But you could also be creating your own dance track.

Our course teaches you to adopt a broad view: how do people experience sound and how do you use technology to play with these experiences? You learn how you can apply sound to add an extra dimension to other media, such as a movie or game. Or how your self-made sounds can add a unique style to your music tracks, by exploring the boundaries between music and sound.

You learn all this by trying out and experimenting in projects. And while you are actively creating, you also get to learn the theory and develop your own style. We constantly challenge you to broaden your perspective. We do not only teach you ‘which button does what’, but also about the advantages and limitations of the various DAWs and how people perceive sound. We also let you work with various musical genres and cultures, allowing you to make more informed choices.

Central to this course are: what story do you want to tell, which means should you apply for that and in which style? In doing so, you automatically learn which tools you need for that. 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. Whether you end up creating dance tracks, soundtracks for arthouse films or design your very own sound library, doesn't really matter to us. What we do care about, is that you develop a broad enough perspective to make your own well-informed 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

Sound DesignWhat will you learn
Sound Design

What will you learn

  • You develop a musical insight and learn to analyse the structure of various types of music and sound.
  • You learn everything about the meaning of sound and how it’s experienced in all its various contexts. For example, within the fields of studio technology/live audio, creative system design, sound design and sonic interaction 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 learn 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.

Sound DesignWhat you will be creating
Sound Design

What you will be creating

Sound Design is about much more than creating sound for movies. You can be employed at any place that needs meaningful sounds or acoustic effects. Movies are one example, but this can also be for theatre, games or podcasts. Or you can choose a wholly different path, and become an independent artist. Wherever sound is needed to evoke the right emotions or reactions, there’s an opportunity for you.

As a Sound Designer, you work as an independent professionalon projects, or as employee at a studio. You often have to cooperate with other professional fields, such as the movie, games or theatre industries, or the corporate sector. You determine which user experience and sound experience are needed, while working from you own unique vision. Another requirement is that you monitor the whole creative process: reacting quickly and deciding what you will create in response to the demand, and how to realise it technically.

For these reasons, the professional 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. After graduating in this course, you have your own, well-substantiated vision on sound experience and how to create it through technology. This enables you to offer a valuable contribution to each project you’re involved with. In short: the professional field is waiting for you!

Sound DesignCurrent news
Sound Design

What's happening?

Sound DesignApplication and Admission
Sound Design

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. When you have havo with a socio-cultural profile, you also need Mathematics (A or B) in your curriculum.

Admission procedure

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.

Online Preparation

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.

Tuition fees / Hard- and software requirements

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.