Key information

Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and Tileyard Education.

One year full-time

Tileyard Education Centre, London

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
  • This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants. We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Fees & funding
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.

Tileyard Education and CICT's MA Commercial Songwriting and Production is delivered at the heart of Europe’s largest professional music community offering unrivalled opportunities to network and connect with the music industry as you study.

What makes studying at Tileyard unique is the ability to fully connect, collaborate and network with more than 1,200 commercial music and entertainment professionals. All our tutors, mentors, masterclasses and networking A&R opportunities draw from our rich seam of commercial creative partners. This thriving ecosystem of business, music and media ensures you will develop an invaluable professional network while studying on the frontline of independent industry conversation and new technology.

Modules in Commercial Songwriting, Developing Voice and Style, Audio Production, Writing to Commercial Brief, Creative Music Management, Commercial Music Perspectives and Creative Music Project combine latest industry practice with a specialized focus on independent commercial songwriting tools, techniques and real-world industry insight.

There are 3 extra-curricular writing camps in each term where students get the opportunity to write to live commercial briefs. Songwriting camps are a place to hone your songwriting skills under the close mentorship of professional songwriters, who will share their experience and knowledge first hand. Each songwriting camp culminates in a live playback session where all songs are played to industry experts who work in publishing, management, A&R and music labels.

This practical, industry-centric course also includes the opportunity to present your creative music project to an A&R investment panel curated by Tileyard Music, regular, large-scale industry networking events, exceptional professional masterclasses, one-to-one electronic mentoring, work-based learning opportunities and access to the unrivalled social network of Tileyard Studios.

What you'll study

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This 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
  • the Tileyard Education Centre, putting you right at the heart of the industry.

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, team working, independent learning and industry talks.

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