VPA115 Sound Design and the Soundtrack (8)

This subject investigates the role of the soundtrack and sound design in terms of both theory and practice. Students will explore the role of sound on contemporary screen works, and also be required to create their own practice-led work. The work will be underpinned by screen sound theory.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to apply the fundamental concepts of sound design;
  • be able to capture unique sounds through various recording techniques;
  • be able to create unique sounds through various production processes;
  • know the defined boundaries of sound and musical composition, and how these boundaries may blur;
  • be able to critique sound design from both a creative and technical perspective;
  • be able to demonstrate the narrative affect sound design has on a soundtrack; and
  • be able to apply screen sound theory to practical applications.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to sound design and the soundtrack
  • Screen sound theory
  • Soundtrack analysis of linear screen media (Film and Television)
  • Soundtrack analysis of interactive media (Games and Interactive Media)
  • Non traditional sound capture
  • Sound design narrative
  • Sound editing techniques
  • Sound creation - synthesis
  • Sound manipulation - time and space
  • Sound design mixing

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of VPA115 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
1) soundscape - script interpretation
Soundscape - image interpretation
Critique of sound design

Special Resources

It is expected that students have access to:

  • Avid Pro Tools;
  • MIDI Controller keyboard;
  • Headphones;
  • A device capable of recording sound and video; and
  • A soldering iron and the ability to purchase electronic components.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.