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What is Sound Studies?

Sound Studies is a degree program offered to all persons interested in sound. Sound Studies are about modern auditory culture. Sound Studies are combined courses of studies: students can put the main emphasis on theoretical-scientific and artistic-conceptual approaches. The main topics are: theory and history of auditory culture, auditory competence, experimental sound design, auditory media design, auditory design, and auditory architecture. Sound Studies impart the necessary theoretical and practical methods, tools, and capabilities: projects, seminars, and workshops are part of our teaching methods.

Many exciting subjects constitute borderline between the art of sound and music, the interference zone between order, randomness and chaos. We explore all these boundaries in theory and practice. The subject of "sampling" should be mentioned here - a procedure that originated a new cultural experience of quoting and remixing. We also investigate sounds and the various ways in which they are generated, their organization and structure in space and time. We explore the artistic possibilities of modern technology in regard to the modification, transmittance and performance of sounds. We discuss concepts such as soundscape, ambiance, and sonic experience. We conceptualize and design sound in urban spaces, develop sonic brandings of industrial products, and implement installations. We scrutinize the reciprocal effects of sound and visual stimuli, we examine the practical side of performance and reception of auditory and audiovisual art. We are curious about the various forms of sonic expression.

How do I apply?

The application for the master program Sound Studies is no longer possible due to the fact, that we will be discontinuing this program.

We are introducing a new master program - Sound Studies and Sonic Arts - for the winter semester of 2017/18. This program will replace the current Sound Studies program. Applications for the new program will be accepted from 01.02.2017-14.02.2017 for the first term starting in October 2017.

What fields of activity do sound studies prepare for?

Sound art and cultural science of sound (installations, interventions, exhibitions, historic-phenomenological studies)
Audiovisual applications (media, product design, corporate design, public space)
Corporate communications and marketing (e.g. sonic brand communication)
Architecture (Exploring and realization of auditive architectural design opportunities)
production, editing, direction and consulting in the field of sound (film, television, video, theatre, radio, dvd, internet)

Entrance requirements

  • Diploma, Bachelor or equivalent higher-education qualification and/ or
  • Relevant professional experience in the field of sound
  • Artistic and creative talent
  • Sufficient knowledge of German

Does Sound Studies offer the possibility to attend a course as a guest student?

Sound Studies do not offer the possibility to attend a course as a guest student. Instead you have the opportunity to take selected courses as an external participant. For that you need the approval of the instructor of the course. 

As an external participant, you must pay a tuition fee for your participation in the course. The fee for one course with evidence of achievement is 800 €, without evidence of achievement 600 €.

External participants may also earn a confirmation of participation.

Ph.D./ Doctoral degree

Sound Studies do not offer any Ph.D opportunities. There is a possibility for obtaining a Ph.D. in cooperation with for example the College of Music of the UdK. In this case, the first supervisor has to be someone from the College for Music e.g. and the second supervisor could be a professor from Sound Studies. If you intend to obtain a Ph.D. in Sound Studies you have to contact our head of department Prof. Volker Straebel (straebel_ and send him an outline of your dissertation project. We cannot guarantee that all applicants will be admitted to our Ph.D.-program. This depends on the research project and the availability of competent professors.

Further information

For questions about administrative issues please contact our course coordinator Regula Corsten (corsten_ For questions about the content of the program please contact our head of department Prof. Volker Straebel (straebel_

The Foreign Student Office at the Universität der Künste Berlin offers support and advice on a range of issues such as:

  • Study and research opportunities at UdK Berlin
  • Application requirements and admissions procedures
  • Visa regulations and financing
  • Accommodation, health and welfare
  • Scholarship programs of DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the Fulbright-Commission and government grants
  • Study abroad

Open Day

Every year in mid-October Sound Studies organises an open day. During this day you have the possibility to visit the institute, get in touch with the students, attend lectures about the different fields of study, explore installations of the students and discuss open questions with our tutors or professors. More details will be posted on our website every beginning of July.

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