Sound Design Master's Program

Sound Designer: A Profession that Marries Creation and Industrial Projects

The term "sound design" designates sound creation applied to any domain that necessitates sound. Sound design can be applied to any environment where sound can be imagined, created, and incorporated such as manufacturing, urbanism, architecture, multimedia, marketing, or the arts (e.g. film, performances, installations). The variety of domains where sound design is used raises a certain number of questions and defines the skills that the sound designer must master to perform their profession.

How can performance, ease of use, accessibility of a manufactured object, or a man-machine interface be improved with sound? How can the space of a building or an urban complex be facilitated? How can a sound be designed taking into account its quality, function, and how it is perceived in an environment already saturated with information and communication media? What should the artistic dimension and role of sound be in different situations such as theater, public space, advertisement, artistic installations, and events? How can we compose a better sound environment in an age where the presence of physical objects is diminishing?

These are just some of the challenges facing sound designers. Like other realms of design, sound design must take into consideration aspects of two processes: an artistic process with its demanding set of criteria regarding aesthetics and concepts and a more industrial process that brings together numerous difficulties related to function, techniques, budgets, the shape of objects, or the space or the service being considered. The designer uses a specific methodology for each project and is involved in constant dialogues with other professionals in businesses or public institutions that have commissioned the project and with specialists in other related disciplines (e.g. designers, engineers, acousticians, specialists in ergonomics, cognitive scientists).

The École supérieure d'art et de design Tours Angers Le Mans has joined forces with IRCAM, ENSCI-les Ateliers (École nationale supérieure de création industrielle), and LAUM (Laboratoire d'acoustique de l'université du Maine) to create a two-year sound design degree program in Le Mans. Admittance to this new sound design program takes place through a competitive entry exam. Successful applicants integrate the 4th year of the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts' program and stay for two years. Upon completion of the program, students obtain a Master's level sound design diploma (Diplôme national supérieur expression plastique), accredited by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The training covers a range of scientific, methodological, and cultural domains necessary for sound designers. Students improve their artistic skills and learn to work as part of a team as well as autonomously on the creation of an industrial project. Over half of the program is dedicated to studio work, to personal projects, and professional meetings through project-classes, encounters with professional sound designers, and internships in companies or research labs.

This program is open to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree holders in Fine Arts from a university (or students enrolled in their last year of such a program at the time of the entrance exam)
  • Students who hold a Bachelor's degree level degree from an art school (e.g. Licence, DNAP, DNAT, or foreign equivalent)
  • Students who hold a Bachelor's degree level degree from a music school (e.g. Licence, DNSPM, or foreign equivalent)
  • Students who hold a high-school level diploma (e.g. D.E.M.) in composition or electro-acoustics from specialized musical schools with the condition that they also hold a Bachelor's level degree in science or the humanities.

Information École supérieure d'art et de design Tours Angers Le Mans
Applications for 2021-2022 from January-February 2021, preselection, and exam in May 2021
Secretary: 02 72 16 48 78 | contact-lemans (at)
Detailed presentation of the course DNSEP's presentation

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