Photomontage of people using music technology equipment

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Information at a Glance

  • Evening Class
  • Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 20 weeks: October to March
  • 2 hours taught time per week
  • Tutor: Karina Townsend
  • Fees from £210 to £395
  • Location: Imperial College, South Kensington Campus

This lively music technology course for beginners aims to introduce you to new technologies for music making including music programming and sound recording.

Topics of study will include:

  • music programming in the Steinberg Cubase 7.5;
  • basic audio recording and editing;
  • sampling and sound synthesis;
  • songwriting tips;
  • mixing down and mastering.

In your studies you will be supported in producing music of you own, but you do not need to be able to read music in order to take this course. The ability to play a musical instrument is also not required, although a basic understanding of music and some keyboard skills would be an advantage.

Sessions will generally be comprised of a whole class taught component followed by an assisted practical activity with additional time for students’ own composition work.

All lessons take place in the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication’s Music Technology Lab (Room 318) on Level 3 of the Sherfield Building.

The course is aimed at beginners, so you do not need a musical background to take part, although we also welcome students who do have a background in music.

Course Information

Course Programme

Study topics will include:

  • Music programming in the Steinberg Cubase 7.5;
  • Basic audio recording and editing;
  • Sampling and sound synthesis;
  • Songwriting tips;
  • Mixing down and mastering

Students will be supported in producing music of their own throughout the course.

Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.

However, in order to do this course you will need to purchase headphones for the start of the course. We don’t recommend in-ear headphones. The following are options from (but feel free to use any vendor you wish).

Product code/Description/Estimated price (with VAT) (from

  • 424-010 Sony MDR7509 £109
  • 452-620 Sennheiser HD270 £75.49
  • 450-130 Audio Technica ATH-M30 £53.10
  • 410-860 Beyer Dynamic 231 £33.66
  • 453-600 Sennheiser HD202 £29.99
  • 419-450 AKG K55 £20.79

We do emphasise that these headphones are just suggestions and might not match the preferences or requirements of each individual student. you are advised to seek further advice before making a purchase.

Your Tutor

Photograph of Karina TownsendKarina Townsend is a highly experienced musician, composer and tutor. Karina studied first at the University of Edinburgh, went on to become head of music at Hammersmith and West London College, and later Music Technology Coordinator at the City Lit.

As well as working in the music industry and teaching at Imperial College, Karina also teaches at the University of East London, specialising in sound design and music technology and teaching diverse groups and individuals.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 40  20  £395    (Early Bird Rate: £360*) £230    (Early Bird Rate: £210*)
£305    (Early Bird Rate: £280*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October   |   All fee rates quoted are for the whole course.
Term dates 1

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening before completing the online enrolment form.

Associate Rate

  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started, subject entirely to agreement by the tutor delivering the course. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the  before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 40  20 14 Oct - 12 Dec 2019 (9 weeks)* 6 Jan - 19 Mar 2020 (11 weeks) n/a
* Followed by the Christmas break

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August

Enrolment & payment are through the Imperial College eStore. Please use above booking link noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on this page and your applicable category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details before your course choice and applicant details are queried on an in-built questionnnaire which completes the process
  • The following email notifications will be sent
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • Confirms your payment, date of payment and order number
  • Should not be treated as a course-enrolment receipt and therefore does not show your course however these details are sent to us via the system
2. Enrolment confirmation Sent in due course but likely not before the end of September. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Confirms your course choice
  • Shows the programme your course is part of as well as the term dates
  • Confirms your course' day of the week & time
3. Programme information Usually sent Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains further course details incl. classroom location and teacher contact information
  • Provides further general programme details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Certificate of Attendance

Our adult education evening and daytime classes do not offer academic credits, but we do offer an attendance certificate to those learners who attend at least 80% (16) of the taught classroom sessions. Eligible learners receive their certificate by email after the end of the course.

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the course tutor, Karina Townsend,

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.