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Music Business Management (MA)

Course Description

This course is recognised highly in music business management education and will prepare you to become one of the next generation of music industry leaders and entrepreneurs. All teaching staff on the course are currently working in the music industry, and every week there are a number of high-level industry guests. You will need to be a self-motivated and open-minded student, as this is an intense course, but one which can help you to progress your career across a wide range of music business disciplines.

Course content

Working with music industry leaders and organisations, the course has developed a unique curriculum. You will be able to combine a strong underpinning of key business skills (finance, leadership, organisational management, marketing and entrepreneurialism), with essential music industry management knowledge (strategic innovation and technology, intellectual property and copyright, and a focus on the live industry and digital content exploitation).

Teaching is mainly through lectures In each module there is a minimum of two assignments. The final project is a report of a minimum of 12,000 words.

Core modules

- A&R Music Development
This module will critically explore this primary relationship within the music industry that of artist and repertoire development, commonly referred to as A&R. The A&R department of any music company is where the process of music creativity and production start; it is the research and development department. The Understanding of how a musical product weather it be a production duo, a solo artist and rock band or any of form of musical production will at some point be part of an A&R process even if that is a process of self evaluation and critical reflection. This module seeks to critically evaluate the evolution of A&R within the music industry by examining contemporary artist case studies within each session from both a local domestic and international music industry perspective. You will be expected to contribute and practice your contemporary musical knowledge in each session and develop an A&R strategy for act you have identified as having commercial or cultural significance.

- Entrepreneurship and Finance for Creative Industries
This module is concerned with the critical evaluation of entrepreneurial business structures and finance in the creative industries. Entrepreneurial business and finance for creative industries increasingly has a significant effect on the development and promotion of new talent and is particularly relevant to students from both a creative and entrepreneurial background. This module is designed to provide you with a solid introduction to media economics, financial management and entrepreneurship in the creative industries. It will equip you with the tools to analyse financial documents and analyse business finances. It will provide insights into traditional accounting practices, as well as providing you with the knowledge to produce industry standard business and marketing plans based on industry financial practices. It will examine entrepreneurial issues facing creative industry firms and small businesses and will provide an overview of the activities required in starting and managing a business.

- Music Industry Structure, Roles and Development
This module aims to equip you with a systematic understanding of the relevant knowledge of music industry organisations and their labour relations with an emphasis on preparing you for work within the wider music industry. It will contextualise organisational structures and working relationships within the music industry and critically evaluate the development of current issues in business and management theory and practice informed by leading research and professional practice. You will be involved in critically mapping creative networks and the interplay of wider media and creative industries in the development of leadership roles as they apply in both theory and practice in the music business. You will also examine the different roles and skill sets at work in the wider music industry. This module will be industry facing and supported by theoretical study alongside guided independent study (GIS) in which you will learn to evaluate and explore your own skill sets in order to develop an understanding of career development within the music industry and wider creative industries.

- Intellectual Property and Copyright Management
Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright are central to the music industry, where successful management of a firm's IP and copyrights can provide a powerful competitive advantage. IP and copyright can cover works as diverse as songs, master recordings, videos, knowledge, ideas and more. You will gain a firm understanding of the various dimensions of IP and copyright, and the tools and strategies to identify, protect and manage them. You will also explore the international perspective of ownership issues, contracts, licensing and the commercialising of IP, including business and legal issues, domestic and international copyright law, and music industry agreements.

- Live Music Management
The module will critically examine the development of the internal live music market, which is now the largest source of revenue in the commercial music market. This module will critically evaluate the historical development of the live music sector from the perspective of the key stakeholders, from artist and bands to record companies and live agents.

- Music Business Management Project
The Music Business Management Project is recognised by graduates as one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences of the course. You will be supervised by a member of the University faculty, and possibly supported by a music industry representative, to carry out research in an area agreed between yourself and the module leaders and/ or industry professional. The subject must address current music business issues and concerns and should incorporate relevant music business theories, academic research design and critical analysis. The Project builds on the skills and experience you have gained in previous modules, and gives you the opportunity to apply programme knowledge to a major project, adding to the body of professional practice and theoretical literature.

- Music Marketing Management
Marketing and promotion is essential to the music industry; it sells tickets, recorded music services and products and is a fundamental tool for developing talent. Through this module you will explore a variety of perspectives on marketing management issues including the challenges of developing the artist and their music, identifying potential consumers and fans and marketing and promoting music-related services and products through various media channels including social media. You will focus on expanding an understanding of how music marketing and promotion fits into the contemporary music industry through studying both "best practice" and the concepts and theories inform how industry professional operate.

Associated careers

Graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of creative industries, from mobile marketing through to the Arts Council. Many of our graduates are working in the music industry, with companies such as Universal Music Group, iTunes and Spotify. Our international students are working around the globe in music companies, including EMI Holland and PIAS European office, and MTV Brazil.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Music Business Management (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Student Profiles

Music Entrepreneur Award - Single Award

The Music Business Management Music Entrepreneur Award is a new initiative launched by Twin Music Inc. and the University of Westminster. It is designed to identify and nurture the next generation of music industry leaders and innovators.The award will go to a UK/EU student on the MA in Music Business Management programme at the University of Westminster, who will be expected to develop a new business model over the duration of their studies with the aim of building an active, viable business upon graduation.

Value of Scholarship(s)

: £4,250 tuition fee award and £5,000 seed fund for your idea.


You must either hold an offer or intend to apply for a Masters degree in Music Business Management at the University. You must have an innovative music business idea that you wish to develop.Criteria: Applicants will need to submit a detailed summary outlining their business proposition highlighting the market opportunity and uniqueness of the business (maximum 500 words). Applicants will also need to include in this summary a detailed description of how the initial funding of £5,000 would be spent and the expected Key Performance Indicators

Application Procedure

You can download our application forms and find out more about the application process on our website.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applications are considered on the basis of either a combination of formal qualifications and experience, or significant industry experience. Applicants should be able to demonstrate experience working in the music industry, an aptitude for music business management and an enthusiasm for learning more about music and related industries. Applicants with formal qualifications should have a minimum of an Upper Second Class undergraduate degree.

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Recipient: University of Westminster

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