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Creating sound for video

This course will teach you about the relationship between sound and vision and introduces you to the basics of sound editing for video. You'll learn about the history and theory of sound and video to help inform your creative decisions. By watching instructional videos, you'll also learn how to synchronise audio and video, layer and transform sounds and rearrange audio clips. You'll receive a temporary licence to install a copy of the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation editing software and be guided through the process of editing sound to accompany a short video project using the materials that the course provides.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.


Module code




Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Level of Study

Study method

Module cost

Entry requirements

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What you will study

This short course focuses on practical skills acquisition, specifically those skills needed to create and edit sound for video. Using Reaper, and a set of video templates, you'll progress through a range of situations that require the creative placement, layering and manipulation of sound to a provided video project. The learning is divided into six weeks of content focused on the following areas:

Week 1: What is sound for video?
You'll begin with an introduction to the basic principles and functioning of sound in video. You'll get acclimatised to handling audio-visual components within Reaper in order to understand basic audio post-production tasks.

Week 2: Audio-visual pairing
Week 2 focuses on effective pairing of sound with on-screen activity and explores the importance of synchronisation through a range of practical tasks. You'll also learn about practices, such as Foley, that are used by professionals working in audio post-production.

Week 3: Editing sound
In Week 3, you'll edit sounds with cut, paste and trim functions and consider the vital role volume adjustment plays when establishing and supporting the communication of on-screen actions. You'll also look at the different roles played by sound emerging from the scene and that added afterwards.

Week 4: Layers of sound
This week examines concepts and techniques of sound layering through a discussion of sound mixing and provides you with practical ways to manage multiple sound layers in the course project.

Week 5: Sound transformations
Week 5 is all about transforming and modifying audio to create new and exciting sound material to better support your audio-visual project. You will apply a range of transformations to sounds (reverse, pitch-shift and EQ) and explore the application of modified audio in a range of settings.

Week 6: Finalising your project
The final week of the course will guide you through applying finishing touches to your project. You'll be introduced to the concept of mastering, and you will bring together the learning from the past weeks to complete and render your audio-visual project.

You will learn

By the end of this course, you will have gained:

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • basic skills in audio postproduction.
  • sound’s role in audio-visual communication
  • basic theories of sound and its connection to visual action or events
  • how professionals use audio-postproduction software to creative effective audio-visual experiences.

Cognitive skills, with the ability to:

  • understand and use key concepts and vocabulary relevant to the course (including new sound editing terminology) to communicate your ideas
  • engage critically with a range of multimedia sources to use as examples such as illustrations, instructional videos and audio-visual resources.
  • reflect on your perspective and the perspectives of others in relation to the materials discussed on the course.

Key skills, with the ability to:

  • apply basic sound editing procedures to provided material (cut, copy, paste, duplicate, layering, rearranging).
  • follow along with instructional videos, which demonstrate sound editing in action
  • consider the implications of sound editing procedures and make choices about where to apply such procedures.
  • self-reflect and improve.

Practical and professional skills, with the ability to:

  • plan, study and manage a sequence of work that meets a deadline
  • apply acquired practical skills within and outside of set activities
  • engage with and evaluate multimedia sources
  • understand future study opportunities.

Vocational relevance

The course introduces students to techniques of sound editing for video that are used in a variety of vocational settings, from social media campaigns to more advanced commercial applications. It equips students with a basic understanding of a widely used Digital Audio Workstation, Reaper. An array of vocational roles are introduced within the course to demonstrate the breadth of jobs roles dedicated to sound in screen media productions.

Learner support

Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser, who will respond to you directly. Other support is available via the course forum, dedicated website and computing helpdesk.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

Teaching and assessment


There's no formal assessment, although there will be three ‘review and reflect’ points built into the course which you'll use to reflect on your understanding.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Course work includes:

No examination

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Course length

You’ll study for around 8 hours per week for 6 weeks. In total this course will require around 50 hours to complete.


Start End Fee
- - -

No current presentation - see Future availability

This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2028.

Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials, exercises, study support and work-based activity are delivered entirely online. You’ll be provided with a temporary licence for Reaper Digital Audio Workstation software that will last for at least the duration of the course.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS Ventura or higher.

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

You will need to download a copy of Reaper prior to starting the course. Reaper is a cross-platform software that works on PC, Mac and Linux operating systems. We recommend you use the free evaluation licence from Reaper which enables you to use a fully functional version of Reaper for 60 days. The computing system requirements for running Reaper can be found on the Reaper website