Tileyard MA

MA Commercial Songwriting and Production

Key information

Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and Tileyard Education

One year full-time

The programme is delivered entirely at Tileyard Studios, London. Tileyard is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios, 120 music and entertainment businesses, 1200 creative industry professionals and the Tileyard Education Centre, putting you right at the heart of the industry.

Entry & admission criteria:

  • A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or an appropriate equivalent, i.e. a professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution
  • Mature students with at least 3 years industry experience are also welcome to apply.
  • Applicants who do not fully satisfy the general criteria will be considered if they are able to demonstrate that they are capable of successfully undertaking and completing the programme at the required standard. Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview.
  • Applicants who have been taught and assessed in languages other than English should have an English language equivalent to IELTS 6.0

Fees & funding

Visit our fees & funding page for more information

How to Apply

For enquiries about this course email: admissions@tileyardeducation.co.uk

Upcoming HE Open Days

12 February
19 March
16 April
14 May
11 June
23 July
13 August
27 August
10 September
24 September
1 October
12 November
3 December

Email admissions@tileyardeducation.co.uk to book your place.

Contact us

Tileyard Education



Prospectus 2017/18

What you’ll study on our MA Commercial Songwriting and Production

Commercial Songwriting

This module provides students with a continuous weekly series of practical songwriting workshops that lie at the core of the programme. Layered over this practical foundation is a critical analysis of commercial songwriting techniques, case studies, genres and the practical evaluation of original works created by the students. It begins with a series of technical music and songwriting classes to bring everyone up to speed then delves into weekly analyses of differing songwriting examples coupled with the showcase and practical critique of original works created solo and in groups by the students.

Developing Voice and Style

A module that directly compliments Commercial Songwriting, that provides students with a range of theoretical and practical tools and techniques to develop a unique “voice” as a songwriter and / or an artist. Classes in vocal tuition, technique, range, style, power, dynamics for studio work, live performance, solo and group vocal work, confidence building and case studies of key works that highlight examples are designed to support the student’s abilities to write, record and perform original songs or to guide others to do so as a songwriter producer.

Creative Music Management

The module focuses on the interconnected and collaborative stakeholders and activities undertaken in the production, distribution and marketing of commercially released music. It begins with a mapping and critical evaluation of label, publisher and creative artist management in its historical context along with an analysis of how that landscape is evolving and adapting to Porter’s five forces of competitive dynamics. The module continues with an audit of those key creative management entities, roles functions, budget and timeline variables. It also details all of the music and entertainment industry legal and contractual points covering recording, publishing, management, live, digital, synchronisation and brand licensing. The module will also detail new tools, techniques and case studies for digital marketing and will require students to evaluate and analyse the similarities and differences between marketing techniques in the physical and digital worlds. Cases studies used will be based in the UK and the wider international music scene, and will include both major labels and independents Student groups are given a small production budget and are tasked with developing, recording and promoting an original artist under budget and time constraint. Interspersed between tutor led lectures and discussions, guest speaker companies, artists and industry entrepreneurs provide real world case studies of live and recent campaigns. The module concludes with the presentation, group analysis and feedback on the campaigns achieved to invited guest speakers, tutors and contemporaries.

Audio Production

A technical module, taught in front of a DAW, that provides students with the fundamental building blocks of Audio Production tools and techniques alongside first hand practical accounts of studio and session management. The module includes introductory tuition in the latest versions of Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton Live and Ableton Push.

Writing to Commercial Brief

A module of lectures, discussions, case studies and workshops exploring the creation and management of songwriting, compositions and productions to a commercial brief. Delivered by Tileyard Education Principal and founder of creative sound agency Illustrious, Martyn Ware, this module covers briefs from record labels, publishers, film and TV productions, advertising agencies, government and local authority major events, sporting events and corporate brand and event productions. Drawing on his own extensive international experience in the field alongside numerous guest lectures and case studies of commercially briefed productions the module is designed to offer students a varied and portfolio perspective on their commercial skill sets.

Commercial Music Perspectives

The module provides a critical evaluation and analysis of historical and contemporary commercial songs, styles, genres, techniques and their cultural, social and political impact, with specific reference to entertainment, youth, media and modern commercial music case studies.

It will focus on the sociological, psychological and consumer dynamics and the communication of perceived popular culture. The impact of culture, politics, commerce and technology on entertainment will be explored with cases being drawn from a range of national and international contexts. Guest lectures and case studies on live and recent music and entertainment campaigns support the module.

Creative Music Project

This cap-stone module provides the student with an opportunity to consolidate their learning, experience and original thought into a collection of original songs to be recorded and performed (playback and/or live) in front of an A&R panel curated by Tileyard Music.

Initial classes will outline the assessment brief, requirements, timelines, deadlines and presentation panel process. Deliverables include a collection of between 6-10 original songs, written and recorded by the student, and an associated presentation of those works in an audio playback and/or live performance environment.