Our Music Industries course is tailor-made for anyone who wants to develop a career in the music industry as a promoter or within music PR, running a record label, or producing music videos and websites.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
On this course you will develop real life commercial projects with clients, enabling you to add professional jobs to your portfolio.
Helped by strong links with many influential media organisations, the course offers an industry relevant blend of production, theory and professional studies on each pathway available.
Teaching takes place in environments where you gain most, such as radio, TV and photography studios, editing suites, a new media production suite and a newsroom, as well as lecture theatres, seminar rooms, social learning spaces and online. You use blogs, create wikis, and employ social media channels and other interactive media to support your work and self-development.
The course is ideal if you want to look in depth at promotion, music PR and music media, running a record label or producing music videos and websites, or be at the forefront of creating and developing innovative ideas and exploring niche markets within the music industry.
You have the opportunity to set up a record label, promote artists or organise a music event for a paying audience. You develop practical business know-how and you can apply your skills to a creative music enterprise project, explore music entrepreneurship, music online, music promotion and PR, music video, and television and music programming.
Our students have worked with regional companies such as the Shambala Festival, Birmingham International Jazz Festival, Supersonic Festival, National Indoor Arena, Big Bear Music Group, Levitate Festival, Birmingham St Patrick's Day Parade, Birmingham City Council, Wireless Festival, as well as national and international companies such as O2 Academy, Genting Arena (formerly LG Arena), EMI Publishing and the British Phonographic Industry.
In your final year of study you will work towards a music industry-based dissertation and a final major portfolio which is showcased in our graduate show, where you have the opportunity to be nominated for a Music Industries Graduate Award.
“I chose to study at BCU as, although every other University I viewed offered a Media degree, BCU was the only one to offer Music Industries as specialism. The course was structured in a way that helped me to learn various new skills and to also improve on existing skills. The way my course was set up and managed couldn't have been any better; I had enough of a free reign in my choice when it came to projects and essays that it never felt like a chore, quite the opposite in fact” Lee Davies, graduate and Director of Andromeda Records
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Actor, writer, comedian and charitable campaigner Sir Lenny Henry is our new Chancellor.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
Applicants will also need a good portfolio to bring to interview at an Applicant Visit Day. See Portfolio Guidance on the 'How to apply' tab.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
280 UCAS tariff points from A Level
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (280 UCAS points) - does not accept points from A/S Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 18 credits at Level 3|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or can be combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM (280 UCAS points)|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 140 UCAS points|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||28 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 points, including 4 higher level passes|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 points, including 3 higher level passes|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.5 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A Level, not including A/S Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
We would like you to bring along some of your work which demonstrates your abilities and interest in the media. This will provide valuable support for your application and enable tutors to make a prompt decision. However, do not worry if the work you bring is not media-related as we are also looking for potential, creativity and enthusiasm.
We require you to bring the following:
(e.g. an academic essay or report. This does not have to be media-related)
(e.g. details of any work experience you have undertaken in the media industry or a media-related hobby)
(e.g. a video, website, article, some design work, radio work, photography or scripts you have produced)
Please ensure that any work you bring along is clearly labelled with your name and UCAS number.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Your first year introduces you to the key concepts in music industry practice.
As a music industry specialist, you will study modules such as music industry skills and new media platforms. Working in groups you will set up a record label, scout for artists to sign to your label, and promote them by organising and implementing an event. This will be supported by developing important skills in web development and social media application.
These three core modules are compulsory for all students:
Theory Option Modules
You will need to choose one of the following:
Production Option Modules
You will need to select four from the following:
Building on the skills you developed in year one, you will select a number of music industry-focused modules to help you start developing your career portfolio, in readiness for your graduation.
Throughout your second year you will explore modules which include music promotion and PR, the music business, music TV and promo production, music programming, music journalism and media innovation.
You will choose three modules from the music industries list, and then choose a fourth option from a different area of production (some modules are in more than one specialist area).
Event and Exhibition Industries
Web and New Media
You will also choose two or three options from the following list. The Music Business module is core for this course.
In your final year, you will work towards a music industry-based dissertation and a final major portfolio which is showcased in our graduate show, providing you with the opportunity to be nominated for a Music Industries Graduate Award.
You will explore modules which include music industry innovation, popular music culture as well as a music industry-based thesis and final year project.
You will combine all the skills and knowledge you've gained and developed over the course into an innovative and creative music enterprise project. You'll be placed into music businesses from across the region to carry out a practical analysis of the workplace, and offer new ideas and solutions to areas the firm might not be exploiting. From this you set up and develop your own music enterprise. Theoretical studies specifically look at popular music culture and how it interacts with and develops our understanding of popular music's place within society and culture.
You will choose three options (two production and one theory or vice versa). Music Industry Enterprise is a core module for this course. Other production modules include:
You will choose three options (two production and one theory or vice versa). The popular music culture module is core for this course. You can then choose from:
This pathway is focused on music enterprise and entrepreneurship where you are encouraged to be creative and innovative.
Whilst developing skills to enable you to work in a number of areas of the music industry, the focus on entrepreneurship reflects the current landscape where the music industry is looking towards music Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to provide niche products and services.
Across each of the undergraduate degree routes there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional studies.
|38||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|57||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|5||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
The Creative Skillset Tick is the quality mark for excellence in training courses and education in the Creative Industries. It identifies the UK’s most industry-focused courses and apprenticeships enabling universities, colleges and employers to recruit the brightest talent.
Our Creative Skillset accreditation shows that we will provide you with industry-relevant skills and good links with companies and potential employers.
The accreditation also assures employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
By 2022 it is estimated that one in seven jobs will require postgraduate qualifications (UK Commission for Employment and Skills 2014).
As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry.
You have the opportunity to further develop your specialism through our postgraduate courses that are currently offered:
As a BA (Hons) Media and Communications student you will have the opportunity to take part in various trips and visits.
Each year we offer the George Jackson Travel Bursary to an outstanding graduate from across our courses that puts forward an interesting proposal to travel. Past winners include Laura Stubbs – a graduate with a passion for Eastern European puppetry, film-making and animation – who visited the Czech Republic to help gain an understanding of the surroundings that have influenced some of the country's greatest animators.
When you study with us, you will benefit from the best teaching staff who are not only academic experts but also experienced business leaders or industry-acclaimed professionals. All our lecturers are keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge, and have industry contacts that bring a three-dimensional perspective to your learning experience.
We have an innovative approach to employability, providing you with an equal balance of academic and theoretical study of the media and the specialist and transferable skills needed to perform as professionals within the industry. It is part of our vision to make sure you leave us as a highly employable graduate with the knowledge, attributes and practice skills to successfully progress in your career.
You will work on live music industry projects such as setting up a record label, signing /managing artists and setting up promotional and PR agencies. You will work with musicians and local and national music businesses by developing marketing, social media and promotional strategies for them, as well as helping music entrepreneurs to develop their innovative and creative business ideas.
You'll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you'll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Birmingham School of Media music industries is working with over 20 music and media businesses partners in the Midlands region alone, where it has managed more than 100 internships for students across a number of music and media-related businesses.
These partnerships and student internships are, and have been, very useful in enabling students to set up and run 'mini businesses' run to provide niche services to the regional music and media industries. In doing so, this helps develop students' business, managerial, communication, organisational and problem-solving skills, while encouraging creativity and innovation.
Our third year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.
The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and has very strong links with employers and the media industry. On placement you will get to see the industry in action, with past students gaining experience and paid employment at EMI Publishing, NEC Group, Sony Records, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), IFPI (The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the O2 Academy Birmingham, the Barclay Card and Genting arenas (formerly the NIA and LG arenas), The Institute and various local/regional music businesses.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Nick also graduated in 2010 and is now Co-Director of Brave Or Invincible Records, an independent record label he and another student set up during their degree course. Nick has now returned to the School where he lectures on the New Media specialist pathway.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Many of our graduates are working with commercial record labels, publishers, venues and the independent music sector. They have gone on to set up their own niche music enterprises.
Charlotte Smith graduated in 2010 and was immediately offered an internship at The NEC Group through the School's ongoing relationship with them. She has since risen through the ranks and is a Sales Executive at the NEC Group working for the Genting Arena and the Barclaycard Arena, where she is responsible for coordinating their live stages.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our media and communication course is most popular with international students from:
Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.
Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.
Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.
You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).
All staff at the School are established media professionals who bring with them a range of expertise. They provide students with practical and relevant insight with real-life experience of business and industry, and are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media.
Our staff continue to work with industry consulting for music SMEs, and a number of visiting lecturers come from the industry to share their knowledge and skills with the students. Our research staff also work on a number of music industry related projects helping music businesses develop new ways of thinking and working.
Matt worked in the music industries for a number of years and later ran a media company that enabled access to media for marginalised social and community groups and young people in rural areas. By linking them up with SMEs in the region, Matt's students learn that there is hard graft in this glamorous-sounding industry. He is developing the course to make it as relevant as possible to the working world, to ensure the students are equipped with the skills needed to make it in this competitive industry.