Theatre Sound, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: WW34

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

BA Theatre Sound - Sound studio.

Develop the art of creating and controlling the total sonic environment of live performance - one of the most rapidly evolving of the theatre disciplines. This practical course focuses on theatre sound and music, and sees students learn through working on realised projects.

About the course

Students work with state-of-the-art equipment and software, acquiring core technical and theoretical understandings that will carry forward into their career. Performance technologies, including computer-based show control, audio recording, waveform editing, digital mixing and audio networking, are used throughout the course.

For students interested in composition, Central’s Sound Design Laboratories will allow experimentation with a variety of sound generation and sequencing software. Students will also be able to work with machine interoperability and the aesthetic relationships between sound and light design.

Throughout the course students learn technical, communication, group-work and problem solving skills by working as part of a collaborative company of performance-makers.

Course Detail

Year 1

Students begin to develop or extend their skill base, examining core technical and aesthetic understandings to inform practice in theatre sound, including production sound and content design. They are encouraged to understand current professional practice and to develop their own design aesthetic. Students engage in practical exercises, including speculative projects, looking at the link between theory and practice while expanding their understanding of working collaboratively in cross disciplinary groups.

Year 2

Key areas of practice are identified within the industry to inform an individualised career path. Working ‘in role’ across a variety of productions, under the guidance of tutors, support staff and outside professionals, students take full responsibility for design and production elements, working collaboratively. They will enhance their technical and design skill set, and ability to work as a valuable team member.

Year 3

Students undertake key sound production and design roles across a variety of public productions at Central, including the management of sound teams and budgets. They continue to research industry practitioners and practice, and seek to begin integration with the professional industry outside Central through placements and off-site projects. There is the opportunity to participate in an exhibition to present a portfolio of best work to the industry.

Download BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Course Specification 2016-2017 (1.24 MB)

Professional Focus

Central is placed at the heart of the performance and arts industries and students will have many opportunities to meet key industry practitioners and to develop their own unique career profile based on their talents and interests.

The Theatre Sound programme is generously supported by major industry partners, including d&b audiotechnik, Autograph Sound, Yamaha Commercial Audio, DiGiCo, Autograph Sound, Orbital Sound, Blitz Communications, HaVE Sound, Out Board Electronics, Delta Sound, Capital Sound, and a variety of other companies and individuals.

Central played a major role in the establishment of the Association of Sound Designers (ASD), which provides a platform for continuing professional development and community support. Many exciting opportunities for sound students come through the network of graduates already well-placed in the industry.

Recent Visiting Staff

Gareth Fry, John Leonard, Donato Wharton, Tom Gibbons, Tom Lishman, Peter Malkin, David Swallow, James Flockton, Tom Hackley, Peter Eltringham.

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

3 A Levels at BBC, BTEC ND: DDM.

Offers may vary from this, depending upon expected grades and performance at interview. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement but demonstrate appropriate potential at interview and via their portfolio may be accepted. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio.

Admission with Academic Credit

For information on alternative entry requirements please see

Application Details

This programme is still accepting applications for 2017 entry, and you are likely to be offered an interview (although UCAS will mark your application as ‘late’).

See How to Apply section for Undergraduate courses.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Interviews in London

Find out more about the interview process for this course.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.


Notable Graduates

Gareth Fry (1996) is the Chair of the Association of South Designers and was the Sound Designer for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. He has also been announced as the Sound Designer for J.K Rowling’s upcoming West End play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Carolyn Downing (2002) won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Sound Design for Chimerica. Other Sound Design credits include, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (The National Theatre), Teddy Ferrara (Donmar Warehouse) and King John (The Royal Shakespeare Company).

Recent Graduate Employment

Freelance Sound Designer: Robert Lepage, Royal Shakespeare Company, Complicite, Katie Mitchell, Propeller, Delta Sound, Capital Sound.

Production Sound: National Theatre, Stereophonics European Tour, Winter Olympics, Disney International.

Freelance and staff design and production positions: Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, and numerous West End and professional touring productions.


View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to see their CV.

Donato Wharton, BA, MSc

Lecturer, Sound for Theatre and Performance

Current Students

View profiles of the Class of 2017 for this course. Click on each student to see to their CV.

Related Courses


Laura Gingell

Graduating 2016

For me Central stood out from all the other drama schools I looked at because I knew I could specifically study in my field and I didn’t need to worry about getting involved in areas I wasn’t that interested in. Since joining I have found that to be completely true, as I’ve been able to be take part in major productions, taking on roles I really wanted. I have also made so many amazing friends and industry contacts that will definitely benefit me in the rest of my career.

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