Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 5 Years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2022 entry)

UCAS code

HJ39

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

One of the leading courses of its kind in the country, this degree prepares you for a technical career in the pulsating world of live events. With the technology involved becoming ever more complex, there is an urgent demand for more skilled engineers and technicians in the industry.

  • Work in a challenging, stimulating and creative learning environment – harnessing world-class equipment in our dedicated facilities
  • Learn from inspirational tutors who have vast experience in the industry and are experts in their fields
  • Plan and deliver actual live events as part of your studies from festivals to fashion shows
  • Take the chance to go on an optional industrial year to strengthen your practical skills further still
  • Enjoy collaborative projects, working closely with other students specialising in subjects such as music technology, music, electronics and theatre
  • Follow in the footsteps of our high-achieving graduates who have gone on to work internationally on everything from James Bond film premières to star-studded concerts

If you have the potential and ambition to study with us, but feel you’re not quite ready to join the BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Engineering right now, why not consider taking this course with a foundation year?

100%of students are satisfied with the course overall**BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology - National Student Survey 2022
100%of students are satisfied with the teaching on their course**BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology - National Student Survey 2022
1stin the UK for student satisfaction with teaching**The Guardian University Guide 2023, Electronic and Electrical Engineering subject area
1st in the UK for student satisfaction with the course**The Guardian University Guide 2023, Electronic and Electrical Engineering subject area
Top 20in Electrical and Electronic Engineering**The Guardian University Guide 2023 - Electrical and Electronic Engineering subject area

The entertainment industry is one of the largest employers in the world. Whether through the live event or through recorded medium, it is enabled and driven forward by its underlying technology. Our innovative BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Engineering degree is engineering based and draws on the technical basis of electronics, computer and software systems, acoustic, sound technology and professional practices. This really is a unique and exciting degree.

Why you should study Entertainment Engineering at the University of Derby

View Sound, Light and Live Event Engineering video transcript

Industry links

Our BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Engineering is an engineering-centred but practical-based course for anyone keen to embark on a career in the events industry. It is also ideal for professionals who have experience in the sector but want a deeper understanding of the theory, along with a recognised qualification.

The degree is built on close links with industry through ongoing contact with graduates who have taken up professional roles. You’ll benefit from regular guest speakers, from Sound Engineers to Tour Managers, and will have the opportunity to go on field trips to get real-life experience.

You’ll plan and deliver actual live events throughout your degree. Previous events have included Green Man in Wales, YNot festival, Derbyshire Sausage and Cider music festival and Back 2 festival. You will also get the chance to work on formal dinners such as Challenge Derbyshire, fashion shows, charity events, album launches and corporate events such as roundtable discussions.

You’ll graduate with multi-disciplinary skills, including technology, design, project management, manufacturing, environment and health and safety knowledge, which will open the door to a wide range of job opportunities, in and out of the industry.

This degree covers a broad range of subjects – from lighting technology, audio engineering, video systems, live streaming, power distribution and rigging to electronics, computer networks, acoustics, computer-aided design and simulation.

You will learn both the theory and practice relating to the underlying technologies and will develop hands-on skills by planning and delivering real live events.

Dan Jellicoe

Making Connections

Dan began working behind the scenes on live events, such as music concerts, when he was still at school. His initial aim was to get a graduate job within the live event industry - and he's done just that.

Read Dan's storyRead Dan's story

The ideal learning environment

As this is an engineering course, you will study 'how it works' – learning about the underlying mathematics and electronics in our electronics and computing laboratories.

You will also learn ‘how to work it’ - developing professional skills in lighting design, sound engineering and event management, with practice in our dedicated production space and in venues around the city.

You'll get to grips with the latest technology, thanks to our links with AC Entertainment Technology Ltd. Our industry-standard equipment includes:

  • Sound: An Allen & Heath dLive system, d&b audiotechnik Y series system with B-subs and a full max wedge monitor system
  • Lighting: Three different brands of lighting console and over 30 moving lights
  • Video: 270 LED video wall panels and a Roland V-8700HD video mixer
  • Rigging: Litec 4 tower truss system
  • Software: EASE (Enhanced Acoustic Simulator for Engineers), WYSIWYG and Capture lighting simulation systems, as well as standard free industry software such as Avolites Titan, Chamsys and d&b Array Calc

Our extensive equipment is housed in the following facilities:

  • Hemi-Anechoic Chamber: Our hemi-anechoic chamber is a specialist acoustic environment. The room has ‘dead sound’; there are no echoes or acoustic reflections which makes the space excellent for acoustic experimentation. The chamber has dedicated test equipment including a dummy torso used for testing
  • Auditorium: The main teaching space for students on the degree. The room includes 12 1-Ton rigging points in the ceiling. In the last few years, £174,000 has been spent on new sound and lighting equipment and our kit now includes 130 panels of video wall and controllers. You’ll have hands-on practicals where you’ll design the rig and make everything – including lighting and sound – work
  • Sound Technology Lab: A space that’s used for practising mixing audio or lighting design. The room includes a digital sound desk, and technical sessions in here are where you’ll judge the performance characteristics of equipment
  • Multi-purpose Lab: An experimental lab with some permanently installed tests. You’ll also be able to programme and prepare shows in here using a small loudspeakers system, digital mixing console, small lighting rig and lighting desk
  • Multi-Channel Sound Lab: The lab is a Dante audio equipped room containing 32 loudspeakers used for investigating future immersive audio applications. You’ll test surround sound decoders and create immersive auditory displays. The equipment is run through software created at the University
  • Multi-purpose Lab: This lab is used for small scale acoustic testing and includes a small anechoic chamber and a vintage hearing test booth. There’s also a selection of loudspeakers in different states of deconstruction

You’ll also have access to our Makerspace – a workshop where you can work on any project and turn your ideas into a prototype. Equipment includes a laser cutter, 3D printers, soldering irons and CNC machines. It’s a fantastic place to collaborate with other students across the University.

A student and lecturer working on a lighting desk
An Entertainment Engineering student making adjustments to the lighting up a ladder wearing PPE
A student sat inside the Millennium falcon in auditorium 3
A female student working on a tablet

Makerspace

Open to all students at the University of Derby the Makerspace is a student-led workshop based at our Markeaton Street site. There is a large range of tools in the Makerspace that you are able to use in your own time to design and develop projects.

Find out more about MakerspaceFind out more about Makerspace
Sam Bowden with his colleagues holding an award

How Sam became a lighting innovator

After graduating from our BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology degree, Sam Bowden has gone on to a fulfilling career journey, recently winning a prestigious industry award.

Read Sam's storyRead Sam's story

Your teaching team

The teaching team has a remarkable range of experience across the sector with some still practising in the industry around their teaching. Some are also research active with an international profile. They include:

  • Kit Lane: Kit joined the University in 2006 and has been working in live events and professional theatre for over 30 years. He has previously worked as a Production Manager at Derby Playhouse (now Derby Theatre), as a video and projection designer for over 20 years, and has worked on hundreds of shows across the UK as well as the USA, Australia and Ireland
  • Ben Sams: A graduate from our very own BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology degree, Ben gained experience in the industry as a Conference Technician and Classroom Audio Visual Engineer before returning to us as a lecturer. He is passionate about helping new students enter the world of live events
  • Dr Adam Hill: Adam is an Associate Professor of Electroacoustics and works seasonally as a live sound engineer at Gand Concert Sound. His research interests span across the whole of the audio engineering area, and he uses his knowledge and experience in the industry to inform his teaching.
  • Jon Burton: Jon joined the University in 2019 having worked as a Sound Engineer for 35 years, primarily in concert touring. Having worked with the likes of The Prodigy, Bring Me The Horizon and Biffy Clyro, Jon is now using his experience to teach a new generation of engineers on the degree
  • Dr Bruce Wiggins: Bruce completed his PhD at the University of Derby and has a research interest in audio signal processing and immersive audio. His software and algorithms have been used extensively in the industry, including for VLC, Codemasters and at Glastonbury festival. He also designed the 32 speaker Ambisonic Decoder now found in the Royal Opera House
  • Mark Dring: Mark joined the University as a lecturer in 2013 having previously completed studies in Audio System Design and Acoustic Engineering. His research is focused on the reproduction and auralisation of sound in acoustically small spaces. He enjoys the diversity of experiences that teaching brings and seeks to enthuse students with their studies
A side view of the stage where Russell Kane performed at Freshers 2020

Being in Derby has allowed me to work with some great industry professionals on large scale events. One of my favourites was working with other students for Freshers 2020. Running the tech for comedian Russell Kane was a definite highlight.

Daniel Jellicoe
Sound, Light and Live Event Technology student

What you will study

    Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

    Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

    Undergraduate Open Days

    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

    Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

    How you will learn

    Sound, Light and Live Event Technology student, Regan Hawley, playing a guitar.

    Personally, the guest speakers have been the highlight of the course. It has given me an insight to what is expected of me in the real world when embarking on my career, from both the technical and social side of things.

    Regan Hawley
    Sound, Light and Live Event Technology student

    Real world learning

    You will have the opportunity to take an optional work placement between stages two and three, during which you will gain an additional qualification, the Diploma in Professional Practice.

    In addition, you will benefit from guest lectures, product demonstrations and venue visits. Recent guest speakers have included:

    • Ian Painter, a Sound Engineer at BBC, who spoke to our students about his work at Maida Vale studio and the many live events they broadcast like One Big Weekend and Glastonbury Festival
    • Lighting Designer Richard Larkum, whose clients include Bullet For My Valentine, Biffy Clyro and the Prodigy, shared helpful tips and tricks of the trade, talking over some of the designs he has produced on tours. He also used the lighting system constructed by second year students to demonstrate in a practical way how to achieve lighting ‘looks’ quicky and easily during a show
    • Paul Kell who came in to talk about his career and the many roles he has had in the industry from designer to operator to crew chief. He has worked on some of the biggest world tours, from George Michael to the Foo Fighter, and his client list spans from Adele to Iron Maiden. His master class session with our students focused on how to build drama using just light
    • Chris Hill gave our students some insight into what it takes to get a job with one of the largest and most prestigious sound rental companies, Wigwam. He also talked about what it was like to work with some of the largest acts in the world, from Coldplay to the Pope, and at wide-ranging venues such as Wembley Stadium to Buckingham Palace
    • Liz Berry came and spoke to our students about her career journey, starting as one of the first ever ‘moving light’ technicians at Vari-Lite before becoming an operator, then a designer for some of the biggest acts in the world. She also came up with the signature lighting look for the TV programme Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Liz is now the Managing Director of Hologramica which recently designed and provided the technology for An Evening with Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Concert Tour. Liz also shared some great stories of her years working for Robbie Williams

    Many of our students also take on casual work with production and hire companies in the area, adding a new dimension to their real-world learning experiences.

    How you are assessed

    You will be assessed through laboratory and practical exercises, written reports and exams. You will also work on group projects, including venue and event evaluations, and will be assessed on the concerts and productions you manage and create. 

    Personal academic tutoring

    Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

    Find out more about personal academic tutoring

    Who will teach you

    Kit Lane
    Programme leader

    Performing Arts and Theatre

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2022 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points112-120
    A LevelBBB-BBC (At least a grade C in either a Science or Technology related subject (or equivalent qualification))
    BTECDDM-DMM
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)

     Full-timePart-time
    UK

    £9,250 per year

    £1,155 per 20 credit module

    International

    £14,045 per year

    N/A

    Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email askadmissions@derby.ac.uk.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

    Careers

    We have an excellent employment track record and our graduates work in all areas of the entertainment industry. You could work as an engineer at a hire or production company - specifying, designing and operating sound, lighting, staging and video systems - or as a theatre technical manager. Many of our graduates work as freelance engineers or set up their own businesses.

    Some graduates also progress to roles in design and manufacturing, media, broadcasting, acoustics, technical sales and support, education and event technology. There are opportunities to advance to postgraduate studies too

    Graduate Tom Bland playing bass guitar

    Thanks to this course, I’ve put sound systems into some of the biggest venues in the UK, I’ve flown thousands of miles around the world, and I’m now a technical lead on one of the most technologically advanced attractions ever to be designed.

    Tom Bland
    BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology graduate
    A turtle swimming in the sea surrounded by plastic.

    Environment and Sustainability News

    We're in the fortunate position of having a wealth of expertise and knowledge to help tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Take a look at examples of how we are responding to the climate emergency.

    Read our news storiesRead our news stories

    Contact us

    If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

    Contact us Contact us

    † Additional information about your studies

    5 Years Minimum 

    Teaching hours

    Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

    Included in your fees
    • Time in our dedicated specialist labs
    • Basic starter kit
    • Use of resources
    • Extra-curricular activities

    Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

    Discover Uni

    Other courses you might like

    Top 20in Electrical and Electronic Engineering**The Guardian University Guide 2023 - Electrical and Electronic Engineering subject area