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Music Business with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 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 Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Media
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

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.

About the foundation year

This four year programme has been specifically designed to allow students who do not initially meet the entry requirements for a three year degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate Media degree programmes.

Why study a degree with a foundation year?

Foundation years are a great option if you have the talent, ambition and potential to thrive at Birmingham City University, but do not meet the entry requirements for your preferred course. It’s ideal if:

  • You want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out the best degree choice for you.
  • You have changed your mind about your career since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
  • You would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree.
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 also have the opportunity to be nominated for the annual UK Music Outstanding Music Graduate award.

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 - Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath and Brian Travers of UB40.

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.
  • 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 Business 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 Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £340m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

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.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

80 UCAS tariff points.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • CDD / 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 80 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
MMP
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Pass
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 11 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 pts
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 24 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) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma MMP
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
T-Levels
  • Pass overall (C or above in the core) in Digital Production, Design and Development or Media, Broadcast and Production
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Pass overall
Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

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
IELTS

6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

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.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

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 2024

  • 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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

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.

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.

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

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

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

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 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.

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

Download now

How you will 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

More about our placement opportunities

Our Graduates

Tanyel Gumushan- Music Industries graduate

Tanyel Gumushan, graduated in 2018

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.”


Stephanie Evans- Music Industries employability tab

Stephanie Evans, graduated in 2019

Marketing Intern at Music For Nations, Sony Music UK


"My role involves working with other departments within the label to keep up-to-date on current signings and releases within music. I also help with compiling digital assets and digital marketing initiatives, and suggesting creative content and ideas for artist campaigns, as well as general administrative tasks. I love getting to be involved with alternative music, which was already my passion, and being part of the creative team that works closely with artists I love. My degree gave me so much experience in how the media industry works and taught me how to approach and interact with media professionals, which was a huge benefit when looking for work post-graduation."

Find out more about Stephanie's 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

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses.

With an investment of over £400 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

State-of-the-art facilities

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 staff

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

Ellie Tomsett

Senior Lecturer

Dr Ellie Tomsett is a Senior Lecturer in media and film. Before teaching in Higher Education, Ellie worked in the UK film education sector. During this time she delivered training to teachers, youth workers and professional filmmakers across the country and organised filmmaking and theory activities for large organisations such as The BFI, The...

More about Ellie

Julian Kilsby

Senior Lecturer in Photography

Julian Kilsby is Senior Lecturer in Photography for the Birmingham School of Media. He has a professional background in a variety of photographic fields including fashion photography, social documentary, travel photography and product photography.

More about Julian