Key information

Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University powered by Tileyard Education.

Duration:
One year full-time

Location:
Confetti 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
  • Applicants should have a genuine interest in music business. Please use the personal statement to demonstrate your motivation and suitability for the course, including related skills.
  • Applicants who have been taught and assessed in languages other than English should have an English language equivalent to IELTS 6.5.

Personal statement:

You should include in your personal statement why you want to study this course and what career you are aiming for.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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 postgraduate degree taught in partnership with 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.

As part of our degree, you'll be working in the studio, collaborating with musicians, engineers and producers. And you're in for a treat, with world-class facilities...

We’ve worked closely with industry partner and leader, SSL, on creating a bespoke-built console. TriniTy is the first-of-its-kind system, delivering SSL’s SuperAnalogue sound, digital production power, and seamless integration.

Check out SSL’s announcement on their website.

You’ll find SSL ORIGIN consoles in all edit suites as standard. The studio mixing console has a traditional analogue studio workflow at its heart whilst providing the perfect partner for a modern DAW-driven ‘hybrid’ production studio.

Audio monitoring throughout the music facilities is provided by PMC and Focusrite Rednet interfaces throughout, allowing for audio recording to be captured remotely.

We're putting the final touches to a purpose-built multi-discipline events and production space with the versatility built-in to function as a 600-capacity live venue, or a virtual production studio complete with LED volume.

Similar to our Nottingham venue, Metronome, it's here where you'll gain valuable work experience and access world-class facilities.

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

Open Days

Wednesday 6 March - Nottingham
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Saturday 2 March - London
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