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Music Business - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2025/26 Entry. Switch to 2024/25 Entry

If you are interested in a career promoting and managing live music events, creating music media content and want to understand the wider creative and cultural industry of music, then our BA (Hons) in Music Business is the ideal course for you....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

[00:00:07] Speaker 1 It's a really exciting time to study Media in Birmingham. Firstly, the BBC is coming to Birmingham in 2026 and here we have a multi-million pound campus right in the heart of this city. As a media student, you'll have access to all of these amazing facilities and your tutors will be able to teach you how to use them in line with industry best practices.

[00:00:31] Speaker 2 My favourite facility personally is Hires and Loans because I can just hire equipment, whatever camera I need, whatever lights I need. Literally everything that relates to media is there.

[00:00:43] Speaker 3 We have four professional studios campus. Spaces like these normally cost thousands of pounds a day to rent. So it's perfect that we have them right on our doorstep.

[00:00:52] Speaker 1 The campus is located right in the heart of Birmingham's Creative Quarter, which means that there are lots of opportunities for students to take up work in creative sectors after graduation.

[00:01:04] Speaker 3 You should definitely study Media because it offers you so much new opportunities to learn new skills. It's been perfect to have lecturers with industry experience as they give us the confidence and the knowledge we need to go into our careers. BCU gave me so much confidence, which I didn't have before.

[00:01:22] Speaker 2 I was a presenter. I also worked as a camera operator just to feel how it feels to be in that specific role. And what kind of responsibilities do you have on you.

[00:01:34] Speaker 1 Studying media at BCU is a really exciting prospect because you will be joining a really diverse and creative community with a support network of staff who are totally committed to ensuring that your learning needs are met at university.

If you are interested in a career promoting and managing live music events, creating music media content and want to understand the wider creative and cultural industry of music, then our BA (Hons) in Music Business is the ideal course for you. We will support you in developing innovative and creative entrepreneurial skills and approaches needed not just to work in, but to shape the exciting and dynamic, multi-platform music industries.

Studying in our industry-standard media centre in the heart of Birmingham, you will be taught in a friendly, supportive learning community by academics with industry experience to use state-of the-art facilities and software. You will benefit from cutting-edge knowledge and research from our active popular music and music industries research community, who not only produce internationally recognised research and publications, but also contribute their expertise to the course.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The ways in which we consume, conceptualise, and interact with music is being constantly redefined in the face of rapid technological change. Driving this transformation is the demand for music media content, as evolving services and features that allow fans and audiences to interact and play with music rather than just play music. On this course, you will develop music business and music media content production skills through a combination of hands-on learning, supported by critical investigation into the national and international music industries, creative music cultures and their practices, and music business issues.

Using Birmingham’s vibrant and dynamic music scenes and cultures as our learning ‘laboratory’, you will have the opportunity to apply these skills and knowledge by designing and developing your own projects that speak to your interests, strengths, and future career aspirations in the music industries. The course provides opportunities to collaborate with local and national music businesses and stakeholders, alongside work placements with key organisations within the UK music industries.

We are part of the Music Academic Partnership (MAP), a cutting-edge collaboration between an exclusive group of educational institutions and UK Music, whose aim is to prepare students for successful careers in the music industries. Being a MAP member will give you access to research data and reports, industry networks, careers advice and work experience opportunities with a variety of organisations, including the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the Music Managers Forum (MMF), and PRS for Music. You could be nominated for the annual UK Music Outstanding Music Graduate award.

You could also be nominated for one of our two Music Industries awards, sponsored by two of the musical icons of the West Midlands - Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath and Brian Travers of UB40.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

The lecturers provided opportunities to meet those in the industry, gave support in and outside of the lecture theatre, and helped me build a professional portfolio.

Tanyel Gumushan

Why Choose Us?

  • As a BA (Hons) Music Business student you will benefit from our membership of UK Music’s Music Academic Partnership.
  • Top 15 for Communication and Media Studies graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2024).
  • You will be taught by staff with extensive experience of both industry and education. You will also have access to a well-established research culture based around music industries and popular music. The Popular Music Studies research group within the School of Media promotes new and innovative approaches to the study of popular music that are relevant to academics and practitioners, as well as anyone interested in popular music.
  • We provide specialised, sophisticated equipment for every area in our £62 million home, The Parkside Building, including six radio studios, four TV studios, one of the largest free-standing green screens in Europe, editing suites, music production studios, a new media suite, a newsroom and photography studios (including a half and a full infinity cove).
  • You will have the opportunity to expand your professional network through a range of relevant field trips and industry conferences. In recent years our students have attended We Are Robots in London, Liverpool Sound City, and Off the Record Manchester.
  • You will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience and develop industry contacts and experience through work placements and collaborative projects with our industry partners in Birmingham’s expanding music sector.
  • The BA (Hons) Music Industries course is really proud to be a signatory of Keychange, an international gender equality movement advocating for equal representation in the music industries. Our course is committed to 50% women and gender minorities in our student cohort, guest speakers, industry mentors and course content.  

Open Day

Join us on campus where you'll be able to explore our facilities and accommodation in person, and chat to staff and students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Booking isn't open yet for our next event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: 5 December 2024

Register Interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2025/26.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential requirements

112 UCAS tariff points

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Production costs (optional)

For some production work you may wish to hire venues, equipment or performers which will have associated professional fees.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

For this course it would be useful to have an SD card, a USB stick (minimum 16GB) and external hard drive (minimum 40gb), as well as over the ear headphones. Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

First Year

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Second Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of CORE Faculty modules.

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Professional Placement Year (optional)

In order to qualify for the Professional Placement Year, you must successfully complete the following Level 5 module:

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits):

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete one module from the following list of CORE-OPTION modules (worth 40 credits)

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Download course specification

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How you'll learn

Your learning will be through a mixture of lectures, practical workshops and seminars. Your course also provides an opportunity to undertake work-based learning through a placement. We embed flexible opportunities for you to access your curriculum including recorded lectures, blended learning, on-campus delivery and intensive delivery of some modules. We recognise that students progress to higher education from a variety of educational experiences and that university is a completely new educational environment for most of you. For that reason, you will find that in your first year with us there is a focus on supporting your transition which places an emphasis on developing both the confidence and the competencies required for being successful at your university assignments. Where appropriate, we will bring in external speakers or arrange visits relevant to your specialism. These may be from industry or be focused on a particular specialist academic interest. We have excellent links with industry, community and scholarly partners which we draw on to enhance your learning experience. 

How you will be assessed

All our assessments are designed to ensure that you meet the learning outcomes of your modules and thus of the course overall. Assessment types may include written research reports, essays, case studies, practical work, portfolios and presentations. There are no formal examinations on your course, but short classroom tests may be included within an element of assessment. You will be assessed as an individual but there may be times when you will be asked to work within teams and submit assessments as groups. All modules offer chances for formative assessment, that is, informal assessments that are used to assess your understanding before the final submission of your work. Formative assessments also help inform the teaching strategy within a module, identifying areas where we can offer extra help and guidance. We will offer tutorials and a chance for you to discuss your draft assessments before you submit them. Once marked, we will give formal feedback and ‘feed forward’ on all work submitted, aimed at helping you improve future submissions.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Previous students have gone on to a number of roles within the music industry including work with music collection agencies, industry support bodies, live music promoters, record labels, and within music journalism and music media broadcasting. 

Organisations include: NEC group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group, Nuclear Blast Records, Punch Records, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham Symphony Hall, O2 Arena, Birmingham International Jazz festival, Shambala Festival, Supersonic Festival, Swingamajig, British Phonograph Industry, Sony Music, PPL PRS Ltd, Radio 1, Radio 1 Xtra.

As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience.

Allied with these course-specific experiences, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:

  • Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
  • Career planning and decision making
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
  • Developing portfolios
  • Networking with employers
  • Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship

Links to Industry

UK Music logoAs a BA (Hons) Music Business student you will benefit from our membership of UK Music’s Music Academic Partnership. As one of only 17 institutions nationally, our MAP status is designed to maximise the employability of students; and future-proof the music industry by ensuring new entrants have the right mix of experience and skills most needed. As a MAP member, our curriculum is shaped and informed by the needs and wants of the industry itself, to ensure that you are developing the right skills, knowledge, and experience for a career in music.Through our membership, you will gain access to masterclasses from leading industry professionals, opportunities to get involved in industry research, networking and information events and input and support into your future career.

Birmingham Music Coalition

We play a key role within the Birmingham Music Coalition (BMC), a music industries lobbying group made up of, and linked to, a number of influential local, regional and national music industries organisations. We also have an industry advisory panel whose membership includes international music industries professionals from Warner Music UK and Kobalt Music Group. They advise and inform us of current music industries developments and practices, to ensure our students are developing the skills, knowledge and experiences that are sought by industry employers.

Placements

Placements and work-experience are a core part of BA (Hons) Music Business, and the ethos of the Birmingham School of Media more broadly. As a student on the course you will be required to source and undertake relevant placements (supported and guided by our tutors and professional networks), and to draw upon these experiences in the work that you are producing within your taught modules.

In recent years our students have secured work placements with a range of key music industries organisations including:

  • Sony Music Group
  • Universal Music Group
  • Warner Music UK
  • O2 Academy
  • BPI
  • Ticketmaster
  • Association of Independent Festivals
  • NEC

As well as innovative and exciting local businesses such as:

  • Punch Records
  • Supersonic Festival
  • Birmingham International Jazz
  • Blues Festival
  • Birmingham Music Archive
  • Home of Metal

Our Graduates

Tanyel Gumushan- Music Industries graduate

Tanyel Gumushan

Live Music Adviser, PPL PRS Ltd and winner of the UK Music Outstanding Graduate of the Year Award 2019


"Since graduating I’ve continued my freelance writing and have been contributing to Clash and tmrw magazine, where I secured cover interviews/photo shoots with Niall Horan and Little Mix whist working as Music Editor.  

I now work at PPL PRS Ltd as a Live Music Adviser, ensuring venues are correctly licensed. This involves collecting royalties for events that they host by conducting research, collecting setlists, and cracking down on secondary ticketing by auditing online. Though I work full-time I still make time to freelance for the PR team at Universal Music and create press releases and biographies for new artists. A recent example is Ramz, whose single topped the Spotify new release charts off the back of the campaign.”


Sebastian Simone

Vice President of Audience and Strategy, Warner Bros Records


"My time on the Music Business course at Birmingham City University equipped me with the skills needed to get a job at a major record label. A balanced mix of essential theory and tangible practical assignments set me up with the perspective and knowledge sought after by employers within the industry. The staff on the course are seasoned professionals with years of experience, spanning multi-disciplines within the music business. Most notably for me, the practical project in the third year gave me the opportunity to build something that I was able to demonstrate within the interview process for a graduate job, giving me the standout quality needed to succeed in securing the role."

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

RBC concert hall

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million music building opened in September 2017, and is located on Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus in the Eastside ‘learning quarter’ of the city.

This state-of-the-art music facility includes five public performance venues – a 440-seat Concert Hall, 150-seat Recital Hall, Organ Studio, Eastside Jazz Club and the experimental black box performance venue known as The Lab. As well as these stunning performance venues, we have nearly 100 practice spaces, including 70 small practice rooms and larger ensemble rooms and workshops.

Our home is the first conservatoire built in the digital age, and as such it has been vital to ensure that the technical infrastructure installed is on par with any advanced commercial facility. We have seven recording studios, a mastering suite, a distance learning hub, and all of our performance venues feature high specification audio-visual equipment that enables interconnectivity and advanced functionality throughout the building.

These impressive modern facilities guarantee that we are able to excel in our unique dual purpose of providing the highest standard of music education deserved by our students, as well as meeting our role as a concert and performance venue for the people of Birmingham, taking our place in the vibrant cultural landscape of the UK’s second city.

Our staff

Dr Matt Grimes

Course Director BA (Hons) Music Business; Senior Lecturer in Music Industries and Radio

Dr Matt Grimes is the course director for the BA (Hons) Music Business course and a Senior Lecturer in Music Industries and Radio, with over 15 years experience in higher education. In 2020, he received his PhD exploring ageing and identity in British anarcho-punks.

More about Matt

Dr Asya Draganova

Lecturer in Media and Communication

Asya Draganova is a Media and Popular Music Culture lecturer. In her research and publications, Asya uses an ethnographic approach to explore topics including contemporary East European subcultural scenes, popular music heritage, and the relationships between identity, place, and myth in styles like heavy metal and the Canterbury Sound. Asya...

More about Asya

Robin Kay

Lecturer

Robin is a Lecturer in Media and Communication with a New Media specialism. He has a background within the music industry having worked for several notable record labels and industry organisations including: Ministry of Sound Recordings, Defected Records, Sanctuary Records and PRS. He has extensive experience within education and teaches creative...

More about Robin

Dr Simon Barber

Research Fellow

Dr Simon Barber researches, writes and lectures about popular music, the music industries, digital culture and jazz. As a member of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Simon is particularly interested in the study of songwriting, and relationships between creative workers and industry. He convenes the Songwriting Studies Research...

More about Simon