Commercial Music BA Honours
Our 2016 undergraduate courses feature some exciting new changes based on student feedback, which include providing more opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills while here. See full details about the changes to our undergraduate courses.
View course-specific entry requirements
TYPICAL OFFER FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
|International Baccalaureate||26 points (minimum)|
|Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||MPP|
|Access to HE Diploma||Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 30 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction.|
We require evidence of a high level of ability in performance, composition, studio production or business, assessed by interview and audition.
The Commercial Music degree has been designed both to reflect the changing demands of global music industries, and to produce graduates who can shape those industries going forward. The degree offers you the opportunity to learn, practice and experiment with the artistic and business strategies in today’s music industry. The development and delivery of the course is guided by advice from leading music industry figures, and draws on producers, musicians and business people for its teaching staff.
The University of Westminster has a strong reputation and links with leading popular music centres around the world, and the amazing success of our staff and alumni networks remains one of the core strengths in our provision of opportunities for our graduates.
The course prepares you to take on leading roles in the development of the music industries, and encourages you to focus all your energies into understanding the music industries from every angle, maximising your career potential. It also equips you with the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.
Our music courses are based at our state-of-the-art Harrow Campus, one of the main media education campuses in Europe, where facilities include 12 professional recording studios, a new teaching recording studio, and an array of television, post-production, radio, film, video and multimedia facilities.
Since its inception in 1993, the course has developed with engagement and input from industry, and our main aims are to nurture your practical and theoretical understanding of the business of commercial music, prepare you for entrepreneurial participation in commercial music markets at home and abroad, and develop your ability to use production processes to create musical works.
We will develop your critical understanding of the relationships between the music industry and the broader social and cultural environment, and encourage you to be an agent of change in the creative industry and society.
Learning and teaching is delivered in a variety of ways: as well as set-piece lectures, we make innovative use of technology and blended learning through blogs, discussion boards, skype-based tutorials, online tests, and student-generated conferences. Assessments are equally wide ranging, and may include live debates, reflective journals, rough mixes, public rehearsals and comprehension exercises.
Subjects of study
The following subjects 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.
Year 1 (Credit Level 4)
Subjects of study include:
- Business Negotiation
- Composing for Musicians
- Creative Vision and Local Markets
- Live Technologies
- Music Business
- Performance and Stagecraft
- Production Techniques – Development
- Reading Audiences
Year 2 (Credit Level 5)
Subjects of study include:
- Conference Paper
- Creative Synthesis and Sound Designs
- Creative Vision and Global Markets
- Music Business Game
- Performing Identity
- Production Techniques – Specialisation
Year 3 (Credit Level 6)
Subjects of study include:
- Bridging Into Work
- Final Major Project
- Producing Content to a Brief
- Publishing Research
- Pushing Musical Boundaries
As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.
- Chris Kennett, Course Leader
- Mike Exarchos, Course Lecturer
- Steve Beresford, Course Lecturer
- Simon Goffe, Course Lecturer
- Stu Lambert, Course Lecturer
- Mykaell Riley, Course Lecturer
- Jacqueline Springer, Course Lecturer
- Anthony Farsides, Course Lecturer
Additional costs information
Download course fee information to check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately on this course.
Many students on the course already work in the music industry in a variety of roles. Whilst the majority of these positions are paid, some are not. The course has benefited from having a very successful and influential alumnus, many of whom come back to us looking for existing students to take up work experience positions.
As part of the course, students undertake work placements in the second and third years of the degree. These placements form an important part of the Personal and Professional Development modules. The course is constantly offered opportunities by industry organisations to involve students in work-based activities.
Some of the companies where students regularly find work experience opportunities include:
- Universal Music Group
- Sony ATV
- Warner/Chappell Music
- Live Nation
- Mute Records
- Beggars Banquet
- XL Records
- Proud organisation
- London City Showcase
The successful record of accomplishment of the alumni has demonstrated the achievements of the students and the staff who teach on the course, in being the first course of its kind.
Alumni are now working in every area of the music industry across the globe. Our business students are not only some of the new entrepreneurs of the digital age but they are also executives in major and independent music companies. Many of our alumni are successful artists and record producers who have already enjoyed chart topping success.
The percentage of students who graduate and enter an area of work related to commercial music has remained steady at an impressive 75%. Maintaining this high level of employability over the years since the course was founded in 1993 has set us apart from other institutions.
Typical areas of employment for our graduates include, but are not limited to the following:
- Record company executive
- Music entrepreneur
- Music producer
- Music director
- Sound design coordinator
- Music Industry journalist
- Venue and live management
- Artist management
- Music lawyer
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
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
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.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
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
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
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.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Alex Shuckburgh "AL SHUX": double Grammy Award winning songwriter of "Empire State of Mind" featuring Jay Z and Alicia Keys - watch the video
Amir Amor (songwriter) and Beanie Bhebhe (drummer) of Rudimental:Mercury Music winners Best Single
Crispin Parry: GM, British Underground, advisor to the BPI
Jack Horner: co-founder of Frukt
Kevin Mark Trail: vocalist with The Streets and solo artist on EMI
Owen Farrington: Independiente
Stephanie Horak: ex-Warner Classics & Jazz, artist
Hugo Ramos: Senior manager of the Proud organisation
Jamie Woon: BBC voice of 2011