This degree will put you at the heart of music in the UK, with coursework designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and experience, not just to work in, but to shape the music industries.
Music is one of the UK’s biggest cultural exports. It’s worth an estimated £4.4bn to the UK economy, and sustains almost 120,000 jobs.
The programme is tailor made for anyone seeking to develop a career in music, or with an interest in music as relating to wider creative and cultural industries.
Studying in our industry-standard media centre in the heart of Birmingham, you’ll develop skills through a combination of hands-on learning, supported by critical investigation into the creative cultures, fans, and practices that make the UK music industries world-leading. You will have the opportunity to apply these skills and knowledge through work placements with key organisations within the UK music industries.
You will develop and work on real-world music industries projects with clients, enabling you to add professional jobs to your portfolio. Our learning and teaching is informed by the changing demands of a vibrant and dynamic music industries, to make sure that you are industry ready.
If you want to take an in-depth look at promotion, music PR and music media, running a record label or producing music videos and websites, then this is the ideal course for you. It will help you to position yourself at the forefront of creating and developing innovative ideas, and exploring niche markets within the music industry.
While studying with us, you’ll have the opportunity to set up a record label, promote artists or organise a music event for a paying audience. You will develop practical business know how, applying your skills to a creative music enterprise project, as well as exploring music entrepreneurship, music online, music promotion and PR, music video, and television and music programming.
In your final year of study you will complete a final major project, drawing together the strands of knowledge, skills, and experience that you gained during your time with us. You will also have the opportunity to be nominated for one of our two Music Industries awards, sponsored by two of the musical icons of the West Midlands - Brian Travers of UB40 and Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 28 September 2019. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
We're offering new Home and EU undergraduate degree students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year £150 credit to spend, giving you the best possible start to life at BCU. It can can be spent on a wide range of items from an online shop stocking books, clothes, art supplies, medical/nursing equipment and more.
*Term and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students are shaping the future of the music industries through careers with organisations such as
Many others have gone on to set up their own independent music enterprises and projects, based on the work that they completed in their time at university.
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points.
|Typical Offers (UK students)|
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (112 UCAS points) - does not accept points from AS 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 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM (112 UCAS points)|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate||Points will be accepted but must be along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core||
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Core with grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications).
Must be offered along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination to achieve a minimum total of 112 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.
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in all bands.
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via Clearing|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||£12,300 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.
International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.
Want to start in September 2020?
You can apply via UCAS from September 2019.
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:
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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 your course. 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.
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.
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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Live Production 1
You will get the chance to take part in multiplatform production days, delivering content for our in-house music media outlet, Eastside Sounds. There will also be a compulsory work placement in this module.
Creating Music Media Content
The music industries are increasingly driven not just by songs, but by content – videos, images, and other texts which frame the music that we love. This module allows you to start to develop practical skills in content creation –including film editing, photography, PR, and a range of other skills – from our expert colleagues in Birmingham School of Media.
At a moment in time where revenues from traditional areas such as recorded music are falling, this module invites you to think about how the value of music might be reconsidered, and the problems and opportunities that this creates for aspiring music industries professionals.
Global and Community Impact
This module allows you to start collaborating with music industries organisations and communities, exploring issues and challenges they face on a local and global scale.
Music Industries Landscapes
This module will introduce you to the key sectors and revenue streams of the contemporary music industries. You will learn about how money is generated through music, and use this knowledge to learn-by-doing, establishing your own micro-label, events company, or other music-based project.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):
Live Production 2
You will get the chance to take part in multiplatform production days, delivering content for our in-house music media outlet Eastside Sounds. There will also be a compulsory work placement in this module.
Music Industries Ecologies
This module invites you to think about the relationship between the music industries and a wider system of media production and consumption. You will be required to carry out research into the interrelated nature of music and media, and to consider how your developing media skills can help you to present this information in an engaging and professional manner.
Popular Music Narratives
Building upon the skills, knowledge, and experience from Level 4, this module invites you to examine the current state and changing nature of the field of popular music studies. You will learn about a range of critical perspectives and positions on popular music from the standpoint of both popular music culture and music business/ industries.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.
Faculty optional module
The programme structure allows you to choose an option from modules that are operated on a faculty-wide basis. This option is taken in semester two of year two:
School of Media optional module
The programme structure allows you to choose an option from modules that are offered within the School of Media across other programmes. Some options are closely aligned with your area of study but you may choose to take an option from any in the following list (note that not all options may be offered each year). This option is taken in semester two of year two:
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, theoretically and professionally-informed project, exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. This is your chance to align your practice with your specific career aspirations in the music industries. You will have the option to choose between undertaking an extended piece of academic research or an extended professional project.
Professional Media Contexts and Practice
This core Level 6 module is delivered in Semester 1, over 10 taught weeks, and comprises parallel specialist media production workshops.
The workshops will include both practical and theoretical elements, and will build on the technical, editorial and critical skills you learnt earlier in the course, taking them to a more professional level. The approach is practice-led, with theoretical knowledge applied. Depending on the specialism, you may further develop skills in operating particular technical equipment and specialist software, as well as developing your editorial ideas, and ability to develop, plan and organise activities. Each workshop will be situated in its media industry context, both nationally and internationally, and will help improve your employability, as potential creative industry workers. You will identify a target audience for your work, and create a cross-media/multi-media product/s in order to help engage your audience.
Critical Music Futures
This research-intensive module provides a space for you to think critically about key issues and cutting-edge developments in the contemporary music industries. Working collaboratively with the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies (BCMCR), BCMCR staff and leading external researchers/academics will present and discuss their current research projects, to help inform your knowledge of issues and debates within the music industries.
Professional Academic Development
This module prepares you for your transition from academia to the professional music industries. Through a series of lectures, workshops and masterclasses you will develop practical employability skills such as CV and professional profile building and interview preparation. You will critically reflect on how the previous three years of skills, knowledge and experience gained on the programme, have developed your professionalism.
This pathway is focused on music enterprise and entrepreneurship, encouraging you to be creative and innovative.
While developing skills to enable you to work in a number of areas of the music industries, the focus on entrepreneurship reflects the current industries landscape where the music industries is looking towards Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to provide niche products and services to the wider music industries.
Across each of the undergraduate degree routes there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional studies.
During your studies you will have opportunities to undertake a range of learning activities that include producing music media content and writing reports and essays that are informed by research. These include such activities as setting up a record label, putting on live music events, developing and delivering a music industries conference. Working collaboratively with local and international industry and academic partners. Conducting academic and industry facing research into the contemporary music industries and their cultures.
Birmingham School of Media also has an established and inclusive research culture that promotes dialogue and collaboration between staff and students. The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) in the School of Media welcomes visiting researchers from across the world and holds regular research seminars which mix presentations from staff, PG students and speakers from a range of our collaborative partnerships. BCMCR welcomes all students to research seminars, which are free to attend.
Over the course of your studies you will have the opportunity to attend a range of music industries conferences and events. In recent years music industries students have had the chance to attend Liverpool Sound City – one of the UK’s biggest music industries professional conferences – We Are Robots – a conference and festival based in London’s Brick Lane which discusses and explores the increasing influence of digital technologies on music, and Off the Record – a multi-venue live music event and conference in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
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.
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.
Take a look at our blog to see the latest news and events from the School and get an insight into life as a student at Birmingham School of Media.
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:
DHLE data indicates that the average rate for those studying Music Industries in the Birmingham School of Media in employment or further study was 90% between 2011/12 and 2015/16.
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:
As a BA (Hons) Music Industries 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.
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 and work-experience are a core part of BA (Hons) Music Industries, 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:
As well as innovative and exciting local businesses such as:
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.
"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.”
"My time on the Music Industries 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."
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.
After graduating Charlotte Smith 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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
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:
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses.
With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
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.
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.
Dr Asya Draganova is a Lecturer in Media and Communications as well as an active researcher within the fields of media and cultural studies, popular music, and cultural sociology.
Asya’s academic background is in Media and Cultural Studies, with a First Class BA (Hons) awarded in 2011 and a PhD obtained in 2016.
Asya’s doctoral research, awarded by Canterbury Christ Church University, was an ethnographic study into the creation and articulation of popular music within the social and political contexts of contemporary Bulgaria. Since completing her PhD, Asya has been involved with research dedicated to the value of popular music for the heritage and contemporary identity of places and their communities. Currently, Asya is working on developing a study in collaboration with Professor Paul Long, focusing on the local and international significance of heavy metal for the cultural identity of cities, including Birmingham, which is associated with the emergence and formulation of heavy metal. Working with Professor Shane Blackman (Canterbury Christ Church University), Asya is also part of a research on the value of popular music scenes, especially the phenomenon of the so-called ‘Canterbury Sound’, within the heritage and university city of Canterbury.
Alongside teaching and research, Asya also reviews for the Journal of Youth Studies (Taylor and Francis) and Young: The Nordic Journal of Youth Research (Sage). She is a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Academic roles that Asya has held in the past include Programme Director for Researcher Development Programme and Research Fellow for Impact in Preparation for REF 2021.