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Department Media & Design

Sound Design

My Studies

Key subject areas

Designing of and with sound

Designing of and with sound is the core of this interuniversity Master’s degree programme. You will develop detailed knowledge of the artistic design, media preparation and editing of sound as well as semantic and psychoacoustic perception. The focus of the degree programme is on areas such as product sound design, sonification and acoustic data displays, sound for moving images and sound and interfaces. In the fields of acoustic environment, soundscapes and sound ecology we demonstrate the significance of hearing in a visually oriented society. The curriculum is rounded off by courses in business skills, soft skills, lectures and workshops on current trends in sound design held by international lecturers.

Interuniversity and interdisciplinary education

Students benefit from the collaboration between FH JOANNEUM and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, which enables them to work in interdisciplinary and international teams. The course also promotes the combination of sound design with interaction and visual design in the media sector. The students acquire design skills in these areas as well, and receive a degree certificate from both universities.

What specialisations are available?

Sound Design is a very specialist area of application. During the course, you will work on audio and post-production for video design, game design and mobile apps as well as audio branding, including sound logos and corporate sound design and product sound design for the industry. Other key focal points of the training include sonic interaction design which is at the interface of interaction design and music computing as well as sonification, the presentation of data through sound. The potential contribution of sound to interaction design and the design of interaction using sound are highlighted in particular.

Elective subjects on topics such as interfaces, screen design or sound and communication also offer the chance to acquire additional qualifications.

From experimental research to prototypes

There are no fixed specialisations, so you have a high degree of freedom in selecting your own areas of interest, especially in your projects. Students carry out various projects to implement production processes in practice. Experimental research into current scenarios or products is followed by the design of a prototype, where a visionary and innovative idea is transformed into a marketable product or scenario. We also include students in research projects at the Institute of Design & Communication at FH JOANNEUM and the Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.

Study mode, self-study and attendance

Study mode

The Master’s course in Sound Design is organised to fit in with part-time work commitments with lessons taking place between Tuesday and Friday. The average required attendance during the first three semesters is 19 hours per week. It is therefore possible to combine your studies with a part-time job. The fourth semester is dedicated to writing the Master’s thesis.
During the semester, classes take place from 9:00 to 18:30 from Tuesday to Friday. E-learning sessions are not available.


The workload is based on the following ECTS credits: each semester, students are credited with 30 ECTS points for a workload of approx. 750 hours. Around 20 units of attendance are deducted from this during the first three semesters and the supervision of the Master’s thesis in the fourth semester. This results in a workload of approx. 520 hours during the first three semesters, or 34 hours per week. The Master’s thesis should correspond to a workload of 750 to 800 hours.


There is compulsory attendance in all courses of FH JOANNEUM. You may be excused if you present a doctor’s certificate to show that you were ill. Students require a minimum 80% attendance level. If you miss more than 20%, you will fail the course and won’t be able to sit the first examination. The head of degree programme has the final decision about the consequences of absence as well as exceptions to compulsory attendance. We try to accommodate any extra-curricular design-related activities our students may wish to pursue.

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