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The MA Commercial Songwriting and Production, validated by Nottingham Trent University, is an industry-driven 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.

Studying an online postgraduate degree is a great way of fitting your studies around your professional and personal life. You will get to not just study at your own pace and in your own time, but you will also be collaborating with a global community of postgraduate students. This is all underpinned by our relationship with Tileyard, which will also give you unparalleled access to leading music businesses, such as Apple Music 1, Ableton, Focusrite and Soundcloud.

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

This course is for you if:

  • you are a popular music performer, engaged in any genre within the field, from pop to country, and from hip-hop to metal, and you have a thirst to be engaged with the industry and surrounding cultures
  • you enjoy being open to new musical experiences
  • you’re excited by developing a clear and focused career path and creative identity

This programme is open to graduates with a degree from any discipline and does not require music songwriting study to be completed at undergraduate level, but you need previous related experience and a passion for putting together high quality compositions.

  • A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or an appropriate equivalent, i.e. a professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution, in a related subject, such as Music Performance, Music Production, Audio Production, Commercial Production, Composing for Media.
  • If you don’t hold a suitable degree, you should include a link to streamable recordings and/or compositions made with and state your role in their writing and production. Write a short statement on the techniques you used to create the songs that illustrate your suitability for the course along with any industry related experience
  • Non-standard applicants with at least three 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 may be determined by means of an interview for some applicants.
  • Applicants who have been taught and assessed in languages other than English should have an English language equivalent to IELTS 6.5.

  • A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or an appropriate equivalent, i.e. a professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution, in a related subject, such as Music Performance, Music Production, Audio Production, Commercial Production, Composing for Media.
  • If you don’t hold a suitable degree, you should include a link to streamable recordings and/or compositions made with and state your role in their writing and production. Write a short statement on the techniques you used to create the songs that illustrate your suitability for the course along with any industry related experience
  • Non-standard applicants with at least three 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 may be determined by means of an interview for some applicants.
  • 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 in the music business you are aiming for. Please also include:

  • Evidence of knowledge of the music industry
  • Any experience of management (of people or projects)
  • Any details of organisational skills (for example in modules or in your work)
  • Any experience of marketing skills (in your course or in your work)

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.

To apply for this course, you will need to complete an application through NTU’s Applicant Portal.

Your application will include a personal statement, and you’ll need to provide a reference.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

We offer a 20% discount to most current Confetti and Nottingham Trent University students, and recent alumni.

Commercial Songwriting 1

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 1

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.

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.

Commercial Songwriting 2

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 2

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.

Making Music Work

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.

Image & Brand

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.

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.

Studying at Confetti you’ll take part in Industry Week where you’ll be able to meet a range of professionals within your field of interest as well as other areas of the creative industries. 

Past guests include Sister Bliss (Faithless), Chase & Status, Michael Eavis CBE (Glastonbury) and Wolfgan Flur (Kraftwerk).

Studying an online course at Confetti means having full flexibility when it comes to your environment. The main delivery platforms you will be using are Microsoft Teams, Bebop and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) NOW.

Our online study community is very close-knit and we recommend that students who live in similar geographical areas organise meet ups regularly in order to support collaboration.

What roles do our graduates go on to?

  • Songwriter
  • Composer
  • Sync Writer/Gaming (Song/Music) 
  • Writer
  • Publisher
  • Manager
  • Educator
  • Producer
  • Performer

NTU Employability support

Our support doesn’t end when you graduate. As a Confetti and NTU student you will be entitled to dedicated graduate employability support for up to three years after you complete your studies. You’ll have access to exclusive events, initiatives and work experience opportunities to support you in the early stages of your graduate career.

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Saturday 19 October - London
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