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Masters Degrees (Songwriting)

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ICMP’s MA in Songwriting is London’s first and only songwriting-specific postgraduate Masters programme. Highly creative and personalised, it’s designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both their practical songwriting and songwriting education. Read more

ICMP’s MA in Songwriting is London’s first and only songwriting-specific postgraduate Masters programme. Highly creative and personalised, it’s designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both their practical songwriting and songwriting education.

The course is a practice-based, industry-led programme, placing your development as a songwriter in a critical and contextual setting. Working in a peer community, with teaching and support from current industry songwriting practitioners and academics, you’ll explore and refine your creative output and goals, considering artist, commercial and intellectual outcomes.

Students complete a series of modules which focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice, before undertaking a final Masters project, choosing either the creation of a new Major Repertoire work (typically a debut album) or a Dissertation in the area of songwriting.

Classes explore the art and craft of contemporary songwriting, with students writing at least one song every week. You’ll collaborate with other ICMP students and will engage in small group ‘A&R-style’ feedback and critical discussion with your professional songwriting tutors and talented peers, regularly critiquing each other’s works-in-progress across the course of the year.

The highlight of this MA programme is the final module. You can choose between Major Repertoire or Dissertation projects, which allow students to progress specific songwriting interests in a distinctly personalised manner. The Major Repertoire Project allows you to develop a large-scale piece of repertoire work, which is typically a debut album. You’ll be allocated an expert, individual supervisor/ A&R to help guide your project with regular one-to-one support. This mentor will be hand-picked to suit your project from either within the ICMP Songwriting faculty or outside in the wider UK songwriting industry.

Become part of a strong, diverse and inclusive community

Songwriting students form a small but close-knit team, and you’ll immediately become part of the strong, diverse and inclusive community around the whole ICMP Songwriting department. As a special exclusive benefit, every ICMP MA Songwriting student receives a free yearly membership to the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) which includes regular industry news and advice, attendance at songwriting networking events throughout the year, legal advice, insurance and more.

As an MA Songwriting student, you’ll regularly network within the music industry thanks to monthly performance opportunities at our London songwriting industry event – Songwriters’ Circle – and events hosting MA-specific guest speakers from the worlds of songwriting and academia. You’ll also get the chance to attend occasions organised by the London chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which is run out of ICMP – a group with exclusive links to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriting venues: the Bluebird Cafe.

Access to facilities

MA students also undertake a large proportion of their classes on location at London’s Tileyard Studios – ICMP’s exclusive industry partner and home to the UK’s largest professional music community – with special use of the writing rooms at the complex and invitations to all their collaborative and networking events. The course’s international focus also allows for exciting exchange opportunities with songwriting partners based in Nashville and California.

As an MA student, you’ll have direct access to our amazing facilities with industry-standard hardware, software and instruments, including a 24-track recording studio, multiple Mac labs and dedicated performance spaces which can all be booked free-of-charge, outside of class hours, seven days a week. Postgraduate students also have access to studio and writing spaces at Tileyard Studios. You’ll also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries, with over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases.

As a graduate of the MA in Songwriting course, you’ll leave ICMP with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections required to succeed in whichever direction your songwriting path takes you, whether that’s within the worlds of the music business, the songwriting industry, education, academia or beyond.

Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of Master of Songwriting by the University of East London.

Module Overview

Students take all of the following 30 Credit modules:

• Creative Process

• Songwriting Musicology

• Musical Language in Songwriting

• The Writer’s Voice

Students choose one of the following 60 Credit modules:

• Major Repertoire Project

• Dissertation

Progression

This course will prepare you for a career in the music industry, in jobs such as performing songwriter, writer/producer, standalone songwriter, songwriting tutor, music business executive, writer or academic, or you can progress on to further postgraduate study in songwriting.

Further information and application details



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The MA Songwriting and Production course is delivered in the context of a dynamic contemporary music and cultural scene in Wales. Read more
The MA Songwriting and Production course is delivered in the context of a dynamic contemporary music and cultural scene in Wales. You will study close to a range of music venues, recording, radio, TV and film studios, as well as many music organisations, and with access to high profile, successful musicians and other industry professionals.

This innovative degree will enable you to make connections and collaborations within the world of both professional songwriting, and the wider music culture. Designed for those interested in lyrics, music and studio production, you’ll learn a range of creative techniques, as well as the history of popular song and the world of music publishing. For your final project, you will create an original portfolio of work to be showcased at the state-of-the art ATRiuM Building, situated in Cardiff – the vibrant capital city of Wales, a thriving international hub for music and the creative industries.

On completion, graduates will have the expertise and experience to work professionally within a range of different contexts. Taught by practising songwriters, producers, and published academics, the course is also delivered through a series of master classes from industry professionals.

If you choose to study on a creative postgraduate course at the University of South Wales, you will also benefit from being part of a vibrant international student community.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1558-ma-songwriting-and-production

What you will study

Selection of Modules include:
- Songwriting 1: Skills and Strategies
- Digital Music Production
- History, Analysis, Repertoire and Theory
- Research Paradigms
- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
- Songwriting 2: Creative Co-writing
- Recording
- Performance: Practice and Presentation
- Major Project Portfolio OR Research Project (Learning Through Employment)

Research methods, business practice, publishing and promotion are embedded in all modules.

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

PLEASE NOTE: Modules are subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

The course incorporates desktop and studio-based production processes, with key business skills such as publishing, promotion, distribution and session planning.

Emphasis is on practical activities and encouraging you to find your own voice when developing material. Teaching sessions take place in a supportive environment, where students provide feedback on each others work. Practical sessions are underpinned by skills development and an understanding of theories about best practice in songwriting and production.

The course embraces singer/performer songwriters, as well as those who do not wish to perform their own material; solo and group outputs; creative collaboration; and material produced in studio/digital environments. The degree can also be studied by distance learning; UK and international students may choose to study using their own studio base and equipment.

“In an ever-changing industry where listening formats, recording processes and budgets are constantly evolving, songwriting and production are still a good way for a musician to have a long, fulfilling and successful career. It is hugely encouraging to see the University of South Wales offering [songwriting and production] to masters degree level. Creative areas can often be solitary places, so the opportunity to learn from others and share ideas in a creative environment such as the ATRiuM should prove an invaluable experience.”
Greg Haver, Record Producer – The Manic Street Preachers

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

In addition to working professionally as a songwriter or in song production, potential careers for graduates of this course could include working as facilitators in community and arts outreach activities, as educators in formal teaching settings, and as practitioners
such as performers, producers and writers.

There are also opportunities as researchers, administrators/managers of organisations, festivals and music events, or within music journalism and publishing, A & R, radio, freelance production, music promotion, or as part of other media production teams such as advertising, event management and games.

Assessment methods

Learning activities focus on the needs of individual students and are designed to accommodate students with a range of ambitions in relation to different kinds of approaches to songwriting and song production. Emphasis is placed on practical activities and on encouraging students to find their own voice when developing their material.

Teaching sessions take place in a supportive environment, where students provide feedback on each others work. Practical sessions are underpinned by skills development and an understanding of theories about/best practices in songwriting and song production.

‘I’d like to support the MA Songwriting course. It being the only course of its kind in Wales it will be a hugely valuable addition to the ATRiuM choice of courses. The teaching staff’s experience with writing and the music industry will also be a valuable asset to the course … I often meet students who study at the Atrium and the breadth of courses, and the skills they are developing and injecting back into Welsh music should be applauded. I look forward to hearing more output from this course, and the songwriters of the future coming from it onto our airwaves.’
Bethan Elfyn, DJ BBC Radio Wales

Read less
Songwriting remains one of the UK’s biggest exports, with UK music stronger than ever. Popular song is the heart of the industry; global demand for new songs is high. Read more
Songwriting remains one of the UK’s biggest exports, with UK music stronger than ever. Popular song is the heart of the industry; global demand for new songs is high. Focusing your portfolio through research prepares you to contribute to this field.

The MA is for students with a thorough grounding in their own specialism who wish to extend and develop their songwriting knowledge and skills at advanced academic level, in a creative environment.

Therefore, the course is aimed at both unpublished songwriters wishing to develop their craft to professional level, and published songwriters wishing to achieve academic accreditation while exploring their creativity and formalising their prior experience.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

From day one you’ll write songs, using alternative strategies designed to work alongside your current creative approaches. Applying practice-based learning at our world-heritage research centres, through a range of creative strategies and critical perspective on your songs’ relationship with audience and industry, you’ll develop and focus your output.

Lyric-writing, and a fluent command of imagery, metaphor and narrative is nurtured as chords and melody take shape around language’s meaning, and vice versa. You’ll investigate the power and potential of song forms, modes of address, perspectives, time-frames and characters.

Having stretched the range of creative options available to you within your own artistic palette, you’ll turn your hand to research; this is your entry to the post-graduate world. You’ll identify the industrial context relevant to your songs; your knowledge of your field will become intensified through primary research, secondary research and contact with guest speakers from industry.

Collaborating with songwriters from near and far will increase your creative and networking range; ahead of your Major Project contextual and collaborative research perform the vital tasks of shaping your song outputs.

MODULES

There are a range of modules which include:
Songwriting Skills: a twelve-week process during which you’ll develop a feel for sensory imagery, metaphor and a facility for narrative tension.

Song Identity and Culture: here you investigate and unravel your personal songwriting ‘DNA’. You’ll look at your own work and that of others, in the context of artistic identity and culture.

Professional Collaboration: you’ll negotiate collaboration with other students within a professional context. For example, songwriters might collaborate in the traditional manner of successful and acclaimed songwriting teams, or may work with choreographers, film makers, poets, composers, arrangers or remixers.

Research Methodologies and Context: a ‘pathfinder’ contextual study into an economic/cultural context for your future song outputs. From folk to hip-hop, indie, metal, etc., each industrial context possesses a uniquely different set of venues, publishers, labels, agents, producers and performers.

Major Project: bring all your research and preparation into focus. You are asked to present a showcase artefact representing the songs developed during your time on the course. Usually this is an album. For some it will be several projects for differing contexts, like a writer’s showcase for a publisher.

For detailed information on the course modules, please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-songwriting/

TEACHING METHODS

There are regular taught sessions running across each of the three trimesters. Lectures, visiting speakers, seminars, workshops, tutorials, presentations and playback sessions work on song material and research outcomes. Students play their songs to one another in a supportive yet dynamic environment facilitating networking and analysis and developing the language of creative critique. This can be in a live capacity or via playback.

For information about resources and facilities, please visit our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-songwriting/

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Assessments range from simple audio sketches in the early stages to full album productions in the final stages; each of which is assessed for quality and market focus. On the research modules, formal, researched and referenced papers express your intellectual and analytical development, and presentation skills bring your work to life.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

There is a broad range of professional outcomes from this course and our graduates now work as:

• Signed artists
• Signed writers
• Lecturers
• Researchers
• Agents
• Performers
• Teachers
• Therapists
• Publishers

The course is also an excellent grounding if you’re interested in further study; a number of our alumni have progressed onto PhD study.

Read less
Songwriting remains one of the UK’s biggest exports, with UK music stronger than ever. Popular song is the heart of the industry; global demand for new songs is high. Read more
Songwriting remains one of the UK’s biggest exports, with UK music stronger than ever. Popular song is the heart of the industry; global demand for new songs is high. Focusing your portfolio through research prepares you to contribute to this field.

The MA is for students with a thorough grounding in their own specialism who wish to extend and develop their songwriting knowledge and skills at advanced academic level, in a creative environment.

Therefore, the course is aimed at both unpublished songwriters wishing to develop their craft to professional level, and published songwriters wishing to achieve academic accreditation while exploring their creativity and formalising their prior experience.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

From day one you’ll write songs, using alternative strategies designed to work alongside your current creative approaches. Applying practice-based learning at our world-heritage research centres, through a range of creative strategies and critical perspective on your songs’ relationship with audience and industry, you’ll develop and focus your output.

Lyric-writing, and a fluent command of imagery, metaphor and narrative is nurtured as chords and melody take shape around language’s meaning, and vice versa. You’ll investigate the power and potential of song forms, modes of address, perspectives, time-frames and characters.

Having stretched the range of creative options available to you within your own artistic palette, you’ll turn your hand to research; this is your entry to the post-graduate world. You’ll identify the industrial context relevant to your songs; your knowledge of your field will become intensified through primary research, secondary research and contact with guest speakers from industry.

Collaborating with songwriters from near and far will increase your creative and networking range; ahead of your Major Project contextual and collaborative research perform the vital tasks of shaping your song outputs.

MODULES

There are a range of modules which include:
Songwriting Skills: a twelve-week process during which you’ll develop a feel for sensory imagery, metaphor and a facility for narrative tension.

Song Identity and Culture: here you investigate and unravel your personal songwriting ‘DNA’. You’ll look at your own work and that of others, in the context of artistic identity and culture.

Professional Collaboration: you’ll negotiate collaboration with other students within a professional context. For example, songwriters might collaborate in the traditional manner of successful and acclaimed songwriting teams, or may work with choreographers, film makers, poets, composers, arrangers or remixers.

Research Methodologies and Context: a ‘pathfinder’ contextual study into an economic/cultural context for your future song outputs. From folk to hip-hop, indie, metal, etc., each industrial context possesses a uniquely different set of venues, publishers, labels, agents, producers and performers.

Major Project: bring all your research and preparation into focus. You are asked to present a showcase artefact representing the songs developed during your time on the course. Usually this is an album. For some it will be several projects for differing contexts, like a writer’s showcase for a publisher.

For detailed information on the course modules, please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/songwriting-distance/

TEACHING METHODS

The Distance Learning option is a blended learning design which combines formal online lectures with regular personal tutorials. Week to week you study a workbook of specific tasks which are reviewed and discussed with your tutor. Peer-based teaching and learning occurs in our regular Songwriter’s Circle webinars in which students from all over the world meet to share and critique their work.

For information about resources and facilities, please visit our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/songwriting-distance/

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Assessments range from simple audio sketches in the early stages to full album productions in the final stages; each of which is assessed for quality and market focus. On the research modules, formal, researched and referenced post-graduate papers express your intellectual and analytical development.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

There is a broad range of professional outcomes from this course and our graduates now work as:

• Signed artists
• Signed writers
• Lecturers
• Researchers
• Agents
• Performers
• Teachers
• Therapists
• Publishers

The course is also an excellent grounding if you’re interested in further study; a number of our alumni have progressed onto PhD study.

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Tileyard Education and CICT have developed an. MA Commercial Songwriting and Production. , for launch October 2017, delivered entirely at the Tileyard Education Centre, London. Read more

Tileyard Education and CICT have developed an MA Commercial Songwriting and Production, for launch October 2017, delivered entirely at the Tileyard Education Centre, London.

What makes studying at Tileyard unique is the ability to fully connect, collaborate and network with more than 1,200 commercial music and entertainment professionals. All our tutors, mentors, masterclasses and networking A&R opportunities draw from our rich seam of commercial creative partners. This thriving ecosystem of business, music and media ensures you will develop an invaluable professional network while studying on the frontline of independent industry conversation and new technology.

Modules in Commercial Songwriting, Developing Voice and Style, Audio Production, Writing to Commercial Brief, Creative Music Management, Commercial Music Perspectives and Creative Music Project combine latest industry practice with a specialized focus on independent commercial songwriting tools, techniques and real-world industry insight.

This practical, industry-centric course also includes the opportunity to present your creative music project to an A&R investment panel curated by Tileyard Music, regular, large-scale industry networking events, exceptional professional masterclasses, one-to-one electronic mentoring, work-based learning opportunities and access to the unrivalled social network of Tileyard Studios.


What you'll study

Commercial Songwriting

Developing Voice and Style

Creative Music Management

Audio Production

Writing to Commercial Brief

Commercial Music Perspective

Creative Music Project

Facilities

This programme is delivered entirely at Tileyard Studios, London.

Tileyard is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring:

  • 82 recording studios
  • 120 music and entertainment businesses
  • 1200 creative industry professionals
  • the Tileyard Education Centre, putting you right at the heart of the industry.

Teaching & Learning

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, team working, independent learning and industry talks.



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Our MA provides a broad range of personalised learning experiences underpinned by professionally relevant research, knowledge exchange and enterprise that is strongly aligned to. Read more

Our MA provides a broad range of personalised learning experiences underpinned by professionally relevant research, knowledge exchange and enterprise that is strongly aligned to:

  • Songwriting 
  • Production 
  • Music industries

Upon successful completion of the MA, amongst other valuable skills and experience, you will have:

  • Developed a wide range of advanced skills on a professional level 
  • Used the structures of the course to support professional development planning and career building 
  • Built extensive, detailed knowledge and understanding of a number of music specialisms 
  • Be able to work independently, demonstrate initiative, self-organisation and time-management, progressing through the degree course to become an independent learner at the forefront of professional practice

Placement Opportunities

There will be an opportunity for you to engage in live community music projects – a growing employment sector within the music industries – and other live events. Our existing music MA courses already have a significant track record in accessing live, high profile projects for students and graduates, some examples of which are below:

  • Digital Commonwealth 2014 
  • Pits, Ponies, People & Stories research project 
  • The Falkirk Music Pot via Creative Scotland

Course Details

There are four options on our MA course:

  • MA Music
  • MA Music (Songwriting)
  • MA Music (Sound Production)
  • MA Music (Industries)

Options

The four options on our MA course are:

MA Music (Songwriting) is for students interested in the practice of songwriting and composition, with a focus on practice-based / inquiry-based research, collaboration and the cultural contexts within which songwriters work. You will work towards the release of an album or equivalent professionally focused output.

MA Music (Sound Production) is for students with an interest in the technical aspects of music production. Working in our professional-quality studios, you will develop skills and competencies intended for work in environments including:

  • Studios 
  • Production houses 
  • Live music venues 
  • New media enterprises

MA Music (Industries) is for students with an interest in the businesses, processes and developments that underpin work within the music industries as well as the creative and cultural industries more broadly.

MA Music is our bespoke degree and for those that have a broad interest in the creative, technical and industrial elements of music. You will be able to design your own flexible and personalised curriculum, drawing from modules across the three specialised fields of: 

  • Songwriting 
  • Sound production
  • Industries

Teaching & Assessment

Our MA Music course is delivered across a range of methods. Some of these methods include: 

  • Intensive workshops 
  • Classroom and studio delivery 
  • Online delivery
  • Range of self-directed professional briefs

You will reflect on your learning using a combination of tutor and peer feedback.



Read less
All great songs start with a great story, and this course will build on your storytelling and songwriting techniques and performance skills. Read more

All great songs start with a great story, and this course will build on your storytelling and songwriting techniques and performance skills. It will also help you develop the strong networks needed to drive your career forward in the modern music industry.

You will study traditional creative songwriting alongside modern music production practice. You will analyse case studies across all genres to find your inspiration and create your own musical voice.

Working with experienced industry professionals, you will explore the technical and creative aspects of writing, recording and arranging, including storytelling techniques, the crafting of effective melodies and where best to place the hooks in a song, in order to develop a wide range of musical scores. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with peers across our suite of music courses to compose and produce songs in our industry-standard studios.

This course will give you the confidence to develop your musical portfolio to enhance your career as an established artist.

Course Benefits

As a student of the School of Film, Music & Peforming Arts, you will join our vibrant community of producers, giving you access to expertise from top industry professionals. The team includes Ken Scott, who has worked with The Beatles and David Bowie, and Phil Harding, Chief Engineer for Pete Waterman Limited.

You will also have the opportunity to be inspired by studio owners, songwriters, professional musicians, arrangers and composers, such as our recent visiting artists in residence Tom Williams, Utah Saint and Chris TT.

A wealth of volunteering opportunities will be available to you, including the chance to work with University partners Festival Republic, in roles such as sound assistant, production manager and stage crew at Leeds and Latitude festivals, all of which will expand your networks and give you additional hands-on experience.

You will have the chance to participate in The Unconference, part of Live at Leeds and Leeds International Film Festival, which hosts a day of panels, workshops, presentations and networking for those working in, or aspiring to work in the music industry. The event has previously attracted speakers such as Tom Robinson, Simon Rix (Kaiser Chiefs) and James McMahon (Kerrang! Editor). 

On campus you will have access to a suite of professional music studios, including recording rooms, audio booths, instruments, portable audio recorders and fully equipped computer workstations.

Core Modules

  • Songwriting & Co-writing
  • Studio Production Skills
  • Music Industries Context
  • Negotiated Skills Development
  • Professional Songwriting
  • Music Industries Practice
  • Research Practice
  • Final Individual Project

Job prospects

The professional networks you will build throughout your course will open up a range of routes into the music industry. You will be an entrepreneurial musician, with the confidence and skills to produce your own material or write songs for others to perform. You could also pursue a career in festivals, music events or the arts, or you could write scores for film, TV and games.

  • Songwriter
  • Music Producer
  • Sound Designer
  • Composer


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This is a modular course leading to the award of MA in Popular Music. The course will be of interest to those concerned with the exploration of all aspects of performance, songwriting and composition or popular music studies. Read more

This is a modular course leading to the award of MA in Popular Music. The course will be of interest to those concerned with the exploration of all aspects of performance, songwriting and composition or popular music studies.

Course overview

Our course is designed to develop your creative skills and theoretical understanding to an advanced level.

Why Study Popular Music with us?

Our MA in Popular Music has pathways in: performance; songwriting and composition; and music studies.

Initially, you will follow a core curriculum that seeks to contextualise your own practice and start an engagement with the general field of study.

Our course offers you the opportunity to shape your learning through a series of modules that will enable you to integrate scholarly work with your own practice as a musician, composer or musicologist. Our modules consider current theoretical and practical debates in the subject area, and will guide you through the kind of research methodologies required at Master's level. You will be given the opportunity to negotiate the most effective means of approaching your subject, with a view to producing an intensive study of your specialism.

What will I learn?

Our modules cover areas of research strategy, analysis, documentation and management, and will require you to engage with and develop your skills to an advanced level. The final phase of the MA will result in the production of a substantial piece of work – for example a large-scale performance, a portfolio of original music, or a written dissertation.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is by lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops.

Contact time is 3-4 hours (full-time) or 1.5-2 hours (part-time) per week. Workload is 40 hours (full-time) or 20 hours (part-time) per week.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment can take the form of:

  • performances
  • essays
  • practical presentations
  • lecture demonstrations
  • oral assessments
  • the submission of portfolios of original music.

Postgraduate Visit Opportunities

If you are interested in this courses we have a number of opportunities to visit us and our campuses. To find out more about these options and to book a visit, please go to: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-visit-opportunities

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to know more about the University please request a prospectus at: http://prospectus.chester.ac.uk/form.php



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The Popular Music Performance course is designed to address the practical, academic and professional needs of contemporary musicians, and welcomes students from all genres. Read more

The Popular Music Performance course is designed to address the practical, academic and professional needs of contemporary musicians, and welcomes students from all genres.

Our postgraduate music performance courses offer substantial one-to-one instrumental tuition, with recitalists of international renown. They comprise fascinating and engaging modules that support and extend your practical musicianship and academic skills.

London College of Music's (LCM) regular Composition Workshops and Masterclasses offer great opportunities to learn new skills and network with students from other postgraduate courses. You can also benefit from being part of the vibrant LCM community with regular performance opportunities at LCM Sessions gigs, hosted by Popular Music students, and are encouraged to join in with musical activities throughout the LCM. The college runs several large ensembles including Pop and Gospel Choir, LCM Sinfonia, LCM Big Band, LCM Choir, and LCM Glee Choir, which students are able to participate in.

Course detail

This course provides specialist training for drummers, vocalists, guitarists, bassists and keyboard players that reflects the needs of today’s music industry.

The course is taught by postgraduate tutors from the London College of Music, all of whom are active professional musicians of the highest standard.

It combines technical and stylistic performance tuition through one-to-one lessons, as well as group sessions with other students from across the postgraduate community, to ensure an enhanced learning experience and the opportunity to network with like-minded artists.

The course runs throughout each calendar year.

Modules

  • Performance Portfolio 1
  • Ensemble and Music Direction Skills
  • Research Methods
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Performance Portfolio 2
  • Master Level Project

Plus one option from:

  • Studio Recording
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Songwriting

Format

You will have the opportunity to develop your technical and creative performance skills through a programme of one-to-one tuition supported by group-based lectures, seminars and workshops.

There is also an exciting masterclass programme which provides students with the opportunity to engage with leading practitioners from across all areas of the music industry - performance, production and songwriting.

Career and study progression

Graduates will likely pursue a career as a professional performing musician.

The degree might lead to further academic study, including DMus or MPhil/ PhD.

How to apply

Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.

Scholarships and bursaries

Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.



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Be part of a lively popular-music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores and work alongside performers, composers and studio producers. Read more

Be part of a lively popular-music research community that embraces everything from metal music to film scores and work alongside performers, composers and studio producers.

You will join peers with backgrounds in cultural studies, sociology, music and the creative arts to explore today's local live music scene and its connection to the wider industry. From researching gigs and events to composing scores for film and television, you will discover how a variety of communities fuse together to create this vibrant and expanding scene.

Whether developing your songwriting and music editing techniques in our studios or organising events and liaising with artists at Leeds Festival, you will gain the hands-on experience employers are looking for while gathering evidence to carry through into your major research project.

With its combination of research and practice, your course will provide the perfect springboard to discover the interconnectivity of popular music and culture and engage with the vibrant and varied music scene in Leeds.

Course Benefits

As well as having access to modern, professional music studios, you will benefit from being taught by a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team, including Professor Karl Spracklen who is Secretary of the International Society for Metal Music Studies and the Editor of Metal Music Studies.

You will also have the chance to network with industry professionals during our guest lecture series. Previous speakers have included Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn and chart-toppers Rudimental. We also have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which help ensure you get the most from your course.

Artist in Residence Programme

The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.

Core modules

  • Popular Music as Leisure & Culture
  • Researching Popular Music & Culture
  • Popular Music Analysis
  • Popular Music in Contemporary Culture
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Studio Production Skills
  • Creative Music Production
  • Music Industries in Context
  • Music Industries in Practice

Job prospects

With more festivals and independent production companies than ever before, understanding the links between popular music, culture and the rapidly changing music industry is increasingly important, whether you are a researcher or practitioner. You could use the course to further your research interests by studying for a PhD or take up employment opportunities in sound engineering, performance, teaching, songwriting, production, music for film and television, music journalism, marketing and PR or events organisation.

  • Performer
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Technician
  • Events Organiser


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This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. Read more
This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. For your final major project you will focus on composition and production within the popular music genre, producing an extended professional-quality album of your popular music compositions/covers.

Key features
-The wide selection of option modules allows you to tailor the course to your interests.
-Several members of staff are engaged practically with the professional production of popular music. You will also have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international producers, performers and composers - such as Youth, Gavin Greenaway, Rick Astley and Steve Martland.
-We have five, state-of-the-art recording studios, including one with a large live room used for professional recordings. We also have two computer laboratories containing iMacs with full music software for sequencing and processing.
-Lunchtime concerts, involving students or visiting artists, take place throughout the year.

What will you study?

You will focus on the production of current popular music, creating and recording tracks using the University's high-quality recording facilities.

You will also explore the composition of popular music, recording techniques and the marketing of popular music. In addition, you will widen your musical knowledge and experience by choosing one option module from an extensive range, including those covering sound design, ensemble performance and composing for film and TV.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, compositions, productions, and major recording project.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Major Project
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-Performance Studies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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This MMus builds on our international reputation in the popular music field, as seen in the success of our BMus graduates. Read more

This MMus builds on our international reputation in the popular music field, as seen in the success of our BMus graduates.

The programme offers you the opportunity to reflect critically upon your own creative practice – whether that consists of performance, songwriting, arranging, production, or collaboration – and to integrate theoretical perspectives from contemporary popular music studies.

You’ll also be able to extend your own practice through options in sonic and studio art, advanced music technology, exploration in audiovisual media, and ethnomusicology.

The MMus in Popular Music is intended for music creators who integrate these elements in the compositional, recording and performance work.

You’ll acquire graduate-level training in creative practice and subject-specific skills that could set you up for a career as a composer-performer or studio practitioner/producer, as well as other employment within the popular music sector.

This programme is distinguished by:

  • Quality - We have an international reputation and proven leadership in the field, evidenced in the success of our BMus Popular Music alumni
  • Innovation - The unique combination of theory and practice allows for forward-thinking, innovative practice-as-research through popular music
  • Industry links - You can benefit from our proximity to central London, our links with music industry professionals, and our record label, NX Records, run in collaboration with Matthew Herbert and Accidental Records.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Elective modules

You choose two modules from a list that currently includes: 

Skills & careers

Employability and cultural entrepreneurship is in our DNA

Graduates may progress to be composer-performers, studio practitioners/producers and music industry employees within the popular music sector. Older students who have returned to advance their knowledge and practice base will be better positioned in the job market. 

We are also able to offer a series of employability/placement/internship style opportunities to include:

  • the Music Professional Practice scheme - a departmental scheme supporting final year undergraduate and MMus/MA students with employability concerns
  • Music Management Course - specifically assesses students on cultural entrepreneurship and their own real world music projects
  • NX records - the departmental record label in association with Matthew Herbert and Accidental Records
  • PureGold festival - the annual departmental festival launched at the Southbank centre
  • Simon Says - showcase events in collaboration with Goldsmiths Students' Union
  • Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble - recent performances at Glastonbury, the Southbank Centre and Shepherds Bush Empire

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries. Read more
The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries.

Modules in Creative Music Management, Economics, Lean Business Planning, Marketing, Legal and Business Affairs, Live Event Management and New Media Technology combine generic industry practice with a specialised focus on the music and entertainment industries.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists and is jointly delivered by UWTSD and Tileyard Studios. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios and 110 entertainment businesses, based in King’s Cross, London.‌‌‌

Course Overview

The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship is delivered on the UWTSD London campus and at Tileyard Studios, King’s Cross, London. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios, 110 entertainment businesses and the new Tileyard Education Centre.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists. In addition to the UWTSD London Campus facilities and resources, Tileyard Studios provides students with direct access to more than 1000 creative industry entrepreneurs, while developing cutting edge thinking and insight into the management and growth of independent record labels, music publishing, artist management, promotion, marketing and new technology entrepreneurship.

The course provides a critical understanding of music and entertainment management and organisations in a global context both on and offline. The core of the programme focuses on digital and independent entrepreneurial skillsets and practice as well as more traditional business methods within the context of the new mixed media economy. The course consist of six taught modules in Part I and an industry-related major business project in Part II.

Alongside specialised modules in Creative Music Management, Marketing, Live Event Management and New Media Technology, MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship students will develop a major business plan project for presentation to a panel of seed and incubation investors and business angels, curated by Tileyard Studios, seeking to invest in new creative business opportunities and IP.

Students will have access to the new Tileyard Education Centre featuring a professional recording studio, audio-visual tech lab and writing production rooms where they can collaborate with other creative MA students such as Commercial Songwriting and Production.

This industry-centric course also includes regular, large-scale industry networking events, held at Tileyard Studios in partnership with Notting Hill Music and sponsors, an unrivalled masterclass series, a one-to-one electronic mentoring program, work-based learning projects and access to the annual calendar of industry-centric events held on site at Tileyard Studios.

Modules

-Creative Music Management
-Economics, Planning and Finance
-Legal and Business Affairs
-Entertainment Marketing
-New Technology in Music and Creative Entertainment
-Live Music and Event Management
-Creative Business Project

Key Features

-Industry-led, academically robust programme
-Direct involvement and access to industry networks
-One-to-one contact mentoring and supervision
-Co-learning opportunities with other students and creative practitioners to support discussion, sharing of ideas, innovation and practice
-Access to academic and professional facilities and resources

Assessment

The course assessment consist of a range of coursework including portfolios, essay, reports and presentations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship can expect to find employment with or set up in business as:
-An independent (or major) record label
-A music publisher
-An artist / composer / songwriter producer manager
-A live agent or agency
-A live music or entertainment promoter
-A live events venue, company, promoter or music / cultural festival organiser
-A creative designer for music and entertainment
-A music marketing consultant or agency
-A music PR consultant or agency
-A new media creative entertainment business, platform, application or online community
-An independent or national TV broadcaster
-An independent or studio film production company
-A games development company
-A music synchronization business
-A creative songwriter / producer / artist brand / entrepreneur
-A lifestyle, entertainment or youth focused brand or agency
-A music and entertainment education practitioner or business
-A music legal, licensing and/or music accounting business
-A music product and merchandise creator, licensor or platform

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