SSR - Music Business and Creative Industries BSc (Hons) - Music Business & Creative Industries

Music Business and Creative Industries BSc (Hons)


Working in the music business and creative industries is the ultimate goal for those of us who hate the idea of the 9 to 5. Whether you see your future as a digital entrepreneur, artist manager, label boss, promoter, tour manager or marketeer, this course covers all aspects of the creative industries. We give you a 360° view.

This is a rewarding, challenging, dynamic and ever changing industry. It's also big business and a constantly evolving sector with a myriad of career opportunities. And you'll be working with, and for, the people who make the music; gigs, events, TV, radio, press, promotions.

On this course, you will attend industry events and conferences and deliver on real time industry briefs (our tutors source real projects, with real-world goals and deadlines); whether that’s producing a cover mount CD compilation for Music Week, creating band and brand associations or managing the finances of a tour. And with two opportunities for work-based learning in 2nd and 3rd year, you might be working in the industry before you even graduate, with a wealth of real and relevant experience in your chosen career.

Our tutors and guest lecturers actually work in the music and creative industries, for clients including Reverb XL publishing, Manchester International Festival, Parklife, Ear to the Ground Events, BBC, Granada, Accessories4technology, Ubisoft, Visible Noise, Whizz Kid TV, Bloodstock, Greenbelt Festival, PIAS and MMF. They have worked with artists such as 2manyDJ's, Madness, Massive Attack, Katie Melua, Andy Burrows, Cattle and Cane, 808 State, Shades of Rhythm, Genesis, Bob Marley, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Hall & Oates.

You are in expert hands.

Course Content
The course is split into modules over three levels (years):

Year 1 (HE4 modules):

Music, Digital & Creative Industries
This module aims to investigate and understand the structures of the music, digital and creative industries, and apply the theory and knowledge gained to real industry briefs and projects through practical work. It will explain the function and interaction between the music, creative and digital industries, and enable understanding of how individuals and businesses operate within each of these industries. It also aims to develop presentation skills and use of ICT in effective communication.

The module will explore certain concepts and theories that will underpin and support study such as job specifications, the process of A&R (Artists and Repertoire), the importance and role of PR, artist management, artist promotion and brand awareness, tour management, finance and logistics, the roles of TV, radio and digital channels, marketing and the role of guerrilla and stealth marketeers, and social networking and the role of the Internet.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify and assess the structures of the media, creative and digital industries.
2. Explain how music, digital and creative businesses work and interact together to form a successful industry.
3. Develop a client brief to industry standards.

Assessment: An individual in-class presentation, and a report.

Marketing for the Music & Creative Industries
This module aims to introduce marketing theory and practice, and develop understanding of the role of marketing as a business orientation and a practical function. You will develop skills and knowledge necessary to deal with a range of marketing issues and problems, and examine basic concepts and principles and apply them to a Marketing Campaign. You will improve skills in the collection, preparation and presentation of marketing data taken from a range of varied and specific contexts, and determine solutions to a variety of marketing problems working with a range of music and creative businesses. The course will cover market segmentation, targeting, & positioning; behavioural aspects of marketing; product planning, design and development; marketing communications mix; social media; experiential marketing; guerrilla marketing; viral marketing; digital marketing; and stealth marketing.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge and understanding of marketing concepts.
2. Identify and discuss models, concepts, and tools of marketing.
3. Assess marketing strategies and their integration with other functional disciplines.
4. Apply basic marketing concepts to a range of problems and situations.

Assessment: A portfolio of work for two marketing campaigns, and a group presentation.

Group Project and Pitching
This module aims to create student ‘companies’ and plan for an event. You will develop interpersonal skills while you gain practical experience of group dynamics within the workplace when managing a project, and you’ll be expected to identify important elements of event planning, such as Health & Safety, licensing and budgeting.

Study will focus on pitching techniques, event planning, financial and legal constraints, team roles, communication theories and effective pitching techniques. Your group will be tasked with planning for an event, and as a group you’ll decide what the event will be and plan towards it. You will pitch ideas to a panel, both as a group and individually, as if pitching to a potential stakeholder.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Plan an event within a group, and reflect upon individual contribution.
2. Effectively pitch ideas to potential stakeholders or partners.
3. Communicate ideas effectively in a range of methods.
4. Identify and discuss efficiency of roles within a team.

Assessment: A portfolio of work, an individual presentation and a group presentation.

Introduction to Musicology
This module will introduce you to the history and background of the study of music, and will examine the concept of musicology and the effect on current music industries. It aims to explain basic aspects of musicology, such as historical musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies and socio-musicology, while discussing current topics within music and the creative sector.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Summarise the history, development and creation of music from a musicological perspective.
2. Discuss how historical, social and technological factors have influenced the development and creation of music.
3. Analyse different aspects of musicology within the context of era.

Assessment: An essay and an in-class presentation.

Study Skills and Professional Development
This module aims to introduce you to academic conventions, study skills and professional development, as well as preparing you for the requirements of studying at HE level. You will develop ICT skills (e.g. presentation skills, retrieving and referencing information) and self-management skills while being able to discuss subject relevant knowledge and skills in the music and creative industries. The module will explore certain concepts and theories that will underpin and support learning on the course such as academic conventions (referencing; basics of research (including ethical aspects – unfair means, etc.; literature searches; using databases), presentation skills, networking, social media, self-management skills and personal development, PDP (professional development planning), and time-management, communication skills, and learning styles.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Appraise relevant concepts and ideas obtained from a variety of sources.
2. Apply appropriate research techniques and employ academic conventions.
3. Assess personal skills and develop short/medium and long term aims for self-management.
4. Present information effectively using ICT.

Assessment: A report, and an in-class group presentation.

Year 2 (HE5 modules):

Synchronisation and Branding
Synchronisation and Brand association are now essential additional income streams for the music, digital and creative industries. This module aims to identify the various techniques and processes used by the industry to bring together additional income, marketing and brand awareness. It will discuss strategy and principles of project planning, while examining the importance of branding. Sessions will focus on publishing and synchronisation in the music, digital and creative industries; importance of branding; product placement; strategy and principles of project planning; importance of demographics, ethical considerations professional ethics. In this module, you will work to a live brief to source opportunities and create scenarios for a business.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify and justify brand and synchronisation opportunities for a business.
2. Evaluate personal performance and the outcome of the project.
3. Work collaboratively and independently in the execution of a project.
4. Employ effective techniques in project planning related to brand awareness.

Assessment: A portfolio of work to be negotiated with your tutor.

Live Events
The aim of this module is to help you acquire and demonstrate skills to standards required to work in the live industry. You will work within a permanent or temporary venue site and plan towards a live event, interacting with external businesses and stakeholders to plan, manage, promote and deliver a live event. Study will focus on key aspects of live events management and organisation, such as: licensing operations, tour budgeting, negotiation skills and contracts, marketing through traditional media and as a stealth Guerrilla marketing, basic profit and loss spreadsheets, raising invoices, venue management including Health & Safety, legal regulations, tour management, and the role of agents and promoters.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Plan, organise and manage a live event.
2. Assess procedures for an efficient and safe approach to operating in the live events environment.
3. Apply knowledge of the financial, legal, marketing, and contractual issues, and stakeholder expectations, in planning a live event.
4. Communicate effectively with artists and other professionals.

Assessment: A portfolio/report, and a live event.

Entrepreneurial Skills
Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting a new business or reviving an existing business, in order to capitalise on new-found opportunities. You will go out into the music and creative industries to research and source a project, and develop this scenario into an opportunity. This module aims to examine various techniques and processes used by entrepreneurs, and to discuss scenarios and opportunities in entrepreneurship, both nationally and globally. You will develop further research techniques into the creative industries, and analyse and develop networking skills. The nature of this module will require you to propose an entrepreneurial business idea which will require you to make informed decisions. You will present to a panel of tutors and industry experts in a Dragon’s Den type scenario.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Propose an entrepreneurial project and argue for its feasibility in the market place.
2. Justify decisions and evaluate the outcome of the project.
3. Work collaboratively with others while planning a project.

Assessment: A presentation to a panel, and a report.

IPR and Legal Issues
This module aims to introduce you to IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), and to explore legislation and rights relating to content creation, industry contracts, collection societies, ownership and exploitation. It will discuss copyright, patents, trademarks and design. Content within the module will focus on: IPR roles and responsibilities in business; confidentiality; historical court cases and disputes; publishing; contract law; new legislation, and professional ethics.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Discuss the importance of IPR, Music law and Ethics in the music, creative and digital industries.
2. Appraise IPR principles, practices and legal issues relevant to the music, creative and digital industries.
3. Examine and assess the current and future impact of IPR and legal issues on practices within music, creative and digital industries.

Assessment: An in-class presentation, and a report.

Preparation for Industry Work
This module aims to prepare you for a period of work experience in the music and creative industries, and to facilitate analysis of management, business operations and practice in a work context. You will be involved in studying various fields in the industry and proposing a work placement in a chosen field, while identifying potential management issue/s, areas for development/ improvement and possibly additional income streams for the business. Lesson delivery will focus on Personal Development Planning (PDP), CV creation, interview skills, employment application, and how to make a success of the work placement.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Analyse and evaluate personal development needs.
2. Investigate work placement opportunities and propose strategies for securing a placement within a chosen field.
3. Discuss and appraise current business practices.

Assessment: A report, and an in-class presentation.

Work Based Learning
Following on from the Preparation module, this module aims to provide you with experience of working in the music and creative industries, and to facilitate opportunities for reflective analysis of management, business operations and practice in a work context. You will undertake a period of work placement where you will be expected to observe, evaluate and contribute to management and business practices. The period of work based learning (minimum 60 hours) will be negotiated with and agreed by the tutor.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Undertake a period of work placement.
2. Evaluate personal performance during a period of work placement.
3. Analyse management or business issues and offer recommendations for improvement.

Assessment: A proposal document, a period of work placement, and a portfolio presented within the class.

Year 3 (HE6 modules):

People and Project Management
In this module you will be asked to form working groups to manage a project set by industry, and undertake the management of your team on a rotation scenario. You will be encouraged to work in a real life environment while working to a real-time brief. You will pitch your management and project skills either obtained whilst at University or externally on work placement to tutors in an interview type environment, and then also plan, direct, manage delivery, close and evaluate the project. A contract/project plan agreed by both you and your tutor will be signed to meet essential milestones towards successfully completing the project. This module aims to further develop you into an independent thinker and problem solver, while you identify and perform a management role for a specific part of the project. The module will also encourage you to examine appropriate management plans, and how to manage and motivate others during the development of a project.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Critically analyse and evaluate your role and personal development throughout the project.
2. Implement effective management skills and techniques.
3. Design and evaluate solutions to resolve technical, creative and personal issues.
4. Manage and administrate a given project to an appropriate level for the area of study.

Assessment: A portfolio/report.

Self-Employment in Music and Creative Industries
This module aims to examine viable business ideas in the music and creative industries, and how to set oneself up as self-employed, either as a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited company. The module will also encourage you to investigate company scenarios for your business ideas, while examining business plans and cash flow forecasts. You will be asked to reflect on a sustainable career that could be developed upon graduation. A business plan and portfolio are developed over the course of the semester and are independently researched, but agreed with the tutor that they are informed and sustainable. Taught sessions will cover key aspects such as: business planning, business structures, business names, tax, national insurance, payroll and company information, and VAT.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Critically evaluate company structures and business start-ups.
2. Articulate and justify decisions for successful business planning.
3. Prepare sustainable financial projections.

Assessment: A portfolio/report.

Advanced Work Based Learning
This module aims to provide you with a final year experience of work experience in the Music and Creative Industries. During a period of work placement, you should take on a role within the company and work on a project set by the employer which contributes to the business. This can be on-site with the employer, or remotely with contact via email and Skype. The module aims to provide opportunities for you to become invaluable to the employer and to gain employment after graduation. You will discuss and agree with the tutor the nature of work based learning undertaken, but you will be responsible for finding and applying for a work placement, and for creating a role and project suitable to employer and employee (supervised by your tutor).

Learning Outcomes:
1. Investigate and evaluate working practices in a real working environment.
2. Demonstrate appropriate competencies and skills required for the successful completion of work-related tasks and project activities.
3. Work collaboratively with an employer to define and manage a project.
4. Critically evaluate personal experience and performance, and identify points of personal development.

Assessment: A period of work placement and a portfolio/report.

Major Project
The Major Project module is a substantial piece of work that will enable you to demonstrate the extent of your achievement on the degree as a whole. This module will be entirely student-centred, and aims to promote independent study and research, building on previous experience, skills and knowledge. You will be expected to apply professional values to all aspects of the development and presentation of the project, and to employ strategies to enable critical evaluation of effective working processes, the effect of the final product, and personal strengths, while you build and contribute to a personal portfolio.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify an appropriate topic area, and define and justify the nature, scope, and structure of the project.
2. Produce a portfolio of work which demonstrates an understanding of the specialist field of study.
3. Integrate knowledge gained in a range of areas (e.g. social, legal, commercial, creative aspects).
4. Analyse and evaluate personal performance and the final project output.
5. Articulate arguments to an appropriate standard for the level of study.

Assessment: A major project (if a dissertation, around 10,000 words), and a viva voce.
Key Information
Qualification – BSc (Hons) Music Business and Creative Industries (awarding body: University of Central Lancashire).

Tuition Fees – £6165 per year (full time), and £1028 per 20 credit module (part time). Total costs for the course are £18,495 (full time), and £18,504 (part time).

Funding – Information on funding for this course can be found here.

Duration –3 years full time, or 5 years part time

Start Date – September 2017

Entry Requirements – A minimum of 96 UCAS points at A2 or equivalent. You should also have achieved Grade C or above in GCSE Maths and English, or an equivalent (UK equivalents include key skills level 3 or functional skills level 2). You will also be invited to an interview, with subject experience and enthusiasm the primary basis on which you will be selected. Once your application has been processed you will be sent a letter stating the date you that you are required to attend, and what will be required of you. If it is not possible for you to attend on the
date proposed, please contact us to rearrange a date or agree alternative arrangements.

European applicants may not be able to attend an interview in the UK; once your application has been processed, you should submit an e-portfolio, CD or DVD of your recent work by arrangement with us; this will be followed by a telephone interview. If English is not your first language, English at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) will be required. Please ask for details.

This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because SSR does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we will be unable to consider your application for this course.

Contact Hours – Generally, for each 20 credit module you undertake, you will be required to spend 200 studying; these hours will be divided between contact hours (time spent at SSR with staff) and independent study hours. On average, 60-70 hours of contact time is timetabled per module and each module might be split like this:

Associated costs
– We will not charge you any additional fees or ask you to pay any additional costs that are mandatory for the completion of your course. In addition to the course fees, there are some further costs which you may incur as a student on this course. These costs are optional and are not mandatory to your studies. These might involve buying for example:
  • An external hard drive for backing up your work (a 1TB drive might cost around £40)
  • USB/flash/pen drives; some submissions will require work to be submitted on these, and while you will have them returned to you eventually this may take some time (buying in bulk will save money and an 8GB might be as little as £2-£3)
  • Conference pass to the Great Escape (Brighton), including travel, approximately £230 (not including accommodation)
Contact details - For an informal discussion and further details about the course please contact the course leader: Jo Hilditch -
Tel: +44 (0)161 276 2100
If you already have a UCAS account for 2017, please log-in and add the course via the clearing option.

If you have not already started a UCAS application this year, please contact SSR directly to request an application form.

You will need this information for your application:
UCAS Code: W390
UCAS Institution: C30
Manchester Campus code: Z
London Campus code: G

If you need any further help or advice on the application process, please contact or, or call us on 0161 276 2100.

Qualification – BSc (Hons) Music Business and Creative Industries (awarding body: University of Central Lancashire).
Academic Partner – University of Central Lancashire
Duration – 3 years full-time, or 5 years part-time
Mode of Study – Part Time & Full Time
Time of Study – Daytime
Available atManchester | London

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Course Information

Subject Area
Music Business
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Course Modules –