Key information

Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and Tileyard Education.

Duration:
One year full-time

Location:
Tileyard Education Centre, London

Online course also available.

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.

The MA Commercial Songwriting and Production, validated by Nottingham Trent University, is an industry-driven practical MA Programme taught at Tileyard that strikes a necessary balance between traditional creative songwriting and production practice and a critical evaluation of specialised tools, techniques and case studies unique to the current music and entertainment industries.

The MA programme features:

  • Small class sizes
  • Year round access to studios and writing rooms
  • 1-2-1 academic and pastoral tutorials
  • 1-2-1 industry mentoring sessions
  • Termly songwriting camps with live commercial briefs
  • Live brief of the week, and
  • Regular playbacks and A&R surgeries

Our 1-2-1 industry mentoring sessions ensure continued professional feedback and a strengthening of pathways to employment while students also benefit from regular industry networking events, professional masterclasses, industry playbacks, work-based learning opportunities and the unrivalled social network at Tileyard.

Alumni receive regular live commercial briefs, discounts on products and events and can annually pitch any commercial projects to the Tileyard Investment Fund.

Artists producers and companies located at Tileyard include Martyn Ware, Goetz Botzenhardt, Nikolaj Bjerre, Jon Kelly, Dru Masters, Sean Hargreaves, Paul Whalley, Tom Fuller, Spitfire Audio, Apple Music, PLATOON, Beats One, Focusrite, Pioneer DJ and many more.

What you'll study

Term 1: Foundation (60 credits)

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.

Term 2: Development (60 credits)

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.

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.

This module looks at the principles and methods of creative process and visual identity in marketing practice. Students will learn the sociological and psychological aspects of visuals and their use in campaigns for marketing and promotion, practical shoot planning and management, creative marketing concepts and structured methodologies for idea generation.

Image Branding and the Creative Process will be delivered using real world cases studies, guest lectures, workshops and multimedia resources.

Term 3: Creation (60 credits)

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.

Open Days

Wednesday 23 November
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