Music Business Management MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific 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.
If English is your second language you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with 6.5 in each element.
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.
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.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
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.
- Sally-Anne Gross, Programme Director, Course leader
- Graham Bell, Senior Lecturer
- Dr George Musgrave, Senior Lecturer - Research
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.
Length of course
One-year full-time or two-year part-time
Central London (Cavendish)
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Today's music industry organisations need graduates with both strong degrees and skills relevant to the workplace. The MA Music Business Management course is committed to developing employable graduates by ensuring that:
- Career development skills are embedded in the course
- Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are available to students
- Our staff links with employers in all areas of the music industry and their willingness to come to the university and give guest talks, enables students to network with potential employers in class and in social situations to make important contacts and strengthen their employability skills.
Alumni are working across the international music industry on all continents, in areas of the industry ranging from record labels and music publishing to the live industry and related creative industries such as advertising.
Our alumni are placed with a wide variety of companies and organisations, large and small, including:
- Disney Music,
- Universal Music Group (and its labels such as Mercury and Polydor),
- Ministry of Sound,
- Once Upon A Time Music,
- Octagon Music,
- Universal Music Publishing,
- Global Management,
- Modest! Management,
- IE Management,
- Platinum Rye,
- British Council
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
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Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
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Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
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With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
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