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Songwriting & Performance (MA)

Course Description

Learn from industry professionals on Scotland’s only songwriting Masters programme. Ideal for graduates from a range of music/ performance disciplines and professional writers/performers, there is a strong focus on live projects to develop your professional career alongside your studies.

About the programme

The programme provides an exciting, transformative creative environment for the development of songwriting skills. Explore your creative identity through a series of structured collaborative projects interwoven with individual music briefs, with feedback from renowned industry practitioners. The programme provides a broad range of demanding content, strongly reflective of the creative industries but with an academic focus, to offer opportunities to conduct research and analysis, undertake critical reflection, and develop a major creative project.

Our Ayr Campus features state-of-the-art recording/television studios and performance spaces suitable for the development and completion of course work.

Practical experience

The modules and assessments are built on professional models. The Songwriting Workshop includes a five day co-writing residency, and a short work placement to develop and run a small-scale project within the community. The Creative Skills 2 module requires the completion of a professional project (e.g. record release). The Collaborative Project is an interdisciplinary module culminating in a music performance.

Your learning

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
Awarded on successful completion of:
• Songwriting Workshop (40 credits)
• Analysing Songwriting (20 credits)

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
Core modules (20 credits each at SCQF 11 unless otherwise noted) include:
• Songwriting Workshop (40 credits)
• Analysing Songwriting
• Collaborative Project
• Creative Skills 2 (NB you may opt for the Music Film and Sound Aesthetics module instead with the consent of the Programme Leader)
• Research: Critical Development

Masters Creative Project (60 credits)
A substantial practice-led research project, e.g. recording an album, the creation of a performance or series of performances with written contextualisation.

Our Careers Adviser says

UWS graduates enjoy recording and touring careers, writing and producing for other artists, developing and managing large-scale research/ knowledge exchange projects and teaching/supervising at school, undergraduate and MA level. Graduates are accomplished, reflective arts practitioners with a set of excellent creative tools and the ability to thrive autonomously in a range of professions.

Great facilities

Accreditation by Creative Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, has led to the creation of the UWS Creative Media Academy. Operating across our campuses and through the UWS Glasgow Creative Enterprise Cluster, the Academy offers:
• A wide range of practice-led programmes

• First-rate facilities including an £81million investment in our new campus at Ayr

• Teaching in skills which are in demand by the creative industries

Research excellence

Our vibrant research culture spans a wide range of areas, including:
• providing advice on the cultural and educational aspects of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games

• student and industry collaboration on the creation of transmedia projects that offer real research and development potential and generate new online experiences for mobile and tablet users

• practice-led research in popular music, theatre, broadcasting and the visual arts

• new media art, ethics and emerging media technologies

• collaboration with leading arts festivals and venues including CCA Glasgow and Film City Glasgow

• creative writing for fiction, film, theatre and TV, working with leading broadcasters and arts companies

• cultural policy, cultural practice and cultural economy in Scotland and Europe, from small island communities to large urban areas

• participatory arts and media practice, community regeneration and public art

• journalism, politics and media representation

• the future of journalism and social media

• independent film and new media

Visit the Songwriting & Performance (MA) page on the University of the West of Scotland website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Robert Maitland

This course was life-changing. It gave me the skills and confidence to take my songwriting to a professional level along with the practical and transferable knowledge to showcase and sell them. It has already helped me to create a portfolio of songs and compositions, connecting and collaborating with artistes and other music industry professionals.


Entry Requirements

Entry to the MA is open to Honours graduates (minimum 2:2). Students possessing an Ordinary degree (with a mark average of 50%) can apply to enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma and, on successful completion, transfer to the MA programme. Applicants with relevant equivalent qualifications and/or professional experience will also be considered. Overseas students must also meetUWS English language requirements.

Course Fees

Scottish/EU Students £3,400, Rest of UK Students £3,400, International Students £11,000

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Recipient: University of the West of Scotland
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