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MA Music Industries

Course Description

Course Duration

Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years
Distance Learning full-time 1 year
Distance Learning part-time 2 years


This course provides an opportunity for students to become adept at understanding and critiquing, as well as facing the challenges and demands of, a constantly changing business.

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of music as both a commercial and cultural activity, as well as learning how to analyse the contemporary music industry ecology and how to develop entrepreneurial approaches to music in the digital age.


Popular Music as Culture
This theory module explores the debates within the music and media industries that inform our understanding of music as a cultural practice. We play particular attention to conflicts between the idea of music as culture and music as commerce. You will produce some original research on popular music culture and its social role.

This production module explores entrepreneurial techniques, processes and practices. You will be putting ideas into practice, develop a strong sense of your professional development needs, be involved in creating networks (in and outside the university) and refine an action orientated approach. By focusing on a spirit of entrepreneurship we will encourage you to take ownership of your own personal professional development. You will identify industry challenges appropriate to your award, and turn them into opportunities for you to enhance your independence, confidence, networking capacity and strategic thinking. This will encourage you to become a self-reflexive creative worker.

Popular Music as Commerce
This theory into practice module explores the changing nature of the music industries and the implications of those changes for the commercial activities that are built around musical expression, performance, composition, distribution and promotion. You will investigate practical ideas for music enterprises based upon an understanding of how music creates economic value and the commercial opportunities in developing technology.

Production Lab or Research Methods
These modules prepare you for MA by Practice or MA by Dissertation, depending upon the focus of your studies. Both draw upon other taught modules which either mapped out the current state of academic knowledge in the field, or established professional conventions and explored current industry challenges. You will be provided with the opportunity to apply, experiment and innovate in a range of production skills and intellectual ideas appropriate to your award, supported by a systematic exploration of methods for research or production development.

MA by Practice or MA by Dissertation
Depending upon the focus of your studies you will complete your award with either an original contribution to scholarship in the MA by Dissertation or originate, execute and deliver an individual and extended practice-based professional project at the forefront of your field. You will develop and consolidate your mastery of key skills, knowledge of and engagement with current opportunities in the field of production or academic enquiry. These modules encourage and test skills of initiative and independent practice and are conducted largely outside of the classroom with support from a tutor.

Visit the MA Music Industries page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Candidates need to have a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant subject area and normally evidence of work in, or a familiarity with, the radio or audio production. We welcome non-traditional applications, particularly from applicants with substantial professional or production experience. Prior experiential learning is an acceptable route to the course.

Course Fees

Please visit the Birmingham School of Media website for up to date tuition fee information

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Birmingham City University
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