BA (Hons) Songwriting

UCAS CODE: SON1
TARIFF: 88 - 112
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Do you have a passion for songwriting? Do you want to make a career out of it? Our BA (Hons) Songwriting course gives the opportunity to access expert guidance and the space to focus on, and hone, your craft. Develop your songwriting skills to a professional standard, whilst learning about the process behind the art form. From recording and music promotion to making money from your songs.
Award of 11th place overall University of the Year - Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022
Top 5 for Student Satisfaction - NSS 2022 infographic
95% of our graduates in work or study after 15 months after graduation, HESA 2022
Two students standing next to each other talking

Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

aerial view of a woman sat at a table making notes next to her laptop

Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

Large group of students dancing in a nightclub at students' union

Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience.

Why study this subject?

If you’re got a flair for writing and love music, this is the ideal way to get a step up into this exciting, competitive industry. Discover boundless opportunities that the music business offers and become a professional songwriter. You could also work in related areas of the music industry like music production, music publishing or artist management.

Stay updated with all our latest BNU Audio and Music news by following us on Instagram @bnu_music

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

BNU has been delivering courses in the music industry for over 25 years, we have a wealth of expertise from within our network of lecturing staff, guest speakers, and alumni, all with a track record of success in a wide variety of roles in the music business internationally.

Like the industry, we put collaboration at the centre of what we do. You will get the chance to work with other BNU courses, such as the Film and TV students. You’ll record sound and work on post-production which will give you experience of working with a wide variety of genres to help you perfect your production skills.

During your time with us you’ll learn hands-on practical skills to help you stand out to potential employers. You’ll get to grips with industry-standard equipment including in our Sennheiser Sound Lab, ensuring upon graduation you are prepared for your first role.

You’ll also benefit from our work-opportunities. Previous students have worked with companies such as Sony, Sennheiser and Universal Music. As well as this our industry advisory group, BIGMusic, regularly reviews our courses which means you'll graduate with up to date skills and knowledge relevant for today’s industry demands.

All our music degrees at Buckinghamshire New University come with membership of UK Music’s Music Academic Partnership (MAP).

UK Music is the collective voice of the UK’s world-leading music industry. We represent all sectors of our industry – bringing them together to collaborate, campaign, and champion music. The members of UK Music are: AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music. UK Music also has an informal association with LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment).

MAP is a ground-breaking collaboration between educational institutions and UK Music, and is designed to maximise the relationship between the industry and educational institutions in order to inform the next generation of industry professionals.

MAP does this by nurturing collaborative projects, such as research and careers events, panel events, various education and skills work, policy work, and career opportunities. Fundamentally MAP provides extra opportunities to individuals who want to build careers out of their passion for music. This helps to future-proof the music industry by ensuring new entrants have the right mix of experience and skills.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have the ability to project manage yourself and a portfolio crammed with real life experience. Our Careers and Employability team will also help to find you work placements in and around the area.

What facilities can I use?

Our state-of-the-art recording studios and Dolby Atmos certified sound lab, give you access to the space and technology you need. From individual edit rooms up to large Pro Tools Ultimate studios with attached live rooms and vocal booths, we have it all to help you gain hands-on experience.

  • Studio 1 boasts a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 speaker system and an Avid S6 console. We are one of the first Universities in the UK to adopt Dolby Atmos into a music environment.
  • Studio 2 boasts an Avid D-Command control surface and 24 channels of Focusrite ISA828 microphone preamps.
  • Studio three and the Electronic Music Studio are based around Avid S3/S4 control surfaces and UAD Apollo x8 audio interfaces.
  • The edit booths are equipped with microphone preamps from Avid.

What will I study?                             

This degree covers the main areas essential to building a career in this competitive field: songwriting ability, recording knowledge, and business know-how. Each area is key to helping you turn songwriting into a profession. We’ll ensure you have the tools, experience and industry awareness to get your career off to the strongest possible start.

Songwriting isn’t just a creative pursuit, it’s a business. We’ll make sure you understand how to promote and monetise your creativity, alongside developing your talents. You’ll study music publishing and learn how to protect your work with legal copyright, as well as covering areas such as marketing, a vital aspect of building your brand as a professional songwriter.

You’ll learn about a number of DIY approaches to the music business, and explore other areas of music entrepreneurship too, such as sources of funding and how to set yourself up as a business.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Our teaching staff have a wealth of professional and academic experience, with many still actively working in the music industry. You’ll also engage with our dynamic programme of visiting lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities. You’ll also benefit from our expert-lecturers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the industry in fields such as music publishing and A&R ('artist & repertoire').

You’ll study in a close-knit tutor group where everyone’s input is recognised and valued. Not only will you make friends for life, you’ll also make important connections that will last through your career, and you’ll form a network, just like you’d find in the working-world.

A variety of assessment vehicles will be used as appropriate to the modules you take, including assignments carried out in your own time, in-class assignments, workshops and presentations. Assessments will be appropriate to the task, achievable, motivating and vocationally focussed, forming a constructive part of your learning process.

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Useful Information

BA (Hons) Songwriting Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

Modules

This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Introduction to Recording

Songwriting Principles

Songwriting Practice

The DIY Musician

Music Composition

Introduction to Pro Tools

Entertainment Industry Framework

Performance Development

Year 2 Modules

Creative Audio Production

Commercial Songwriting Principles

Commercial Songwriting Practice

Music Publishing

Industry Experience

Intellectual Property & the Music Industry

Research Methods

Recording & Mixing Techniques

Year 3 Modules

Professional Skills Audit

Composition for Film

Lyrical Analysis

Industry Issues

Sonic Installation

Professional Production Project

Placement Plus (optional)

Dissertation (optional)

What are the tuition fees

Home

Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year

International

Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

advice@bucks.ac.uk

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

As well as helping you establish yourself as a professional songwriter, our BA (Hons) Songwriting course is a great preparation for working in other related areas of the music industry, such as music production, music publishing or artist management. The solid business skills you gain are widely transferable to other areas as well, both within and outside music, including fields such as music synchronisation.

To help you prepare for your chosen career, we invite experts from industry to come and talk to you at our High Wycombe campus.

Previous guests speakers include:

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course, such as MA Music Business or MA Music and Audio Production.

Course leader

Head and shoulders photo of a smiling Paul Fields wearing glasses with a coat and scarf on
Paul Fields
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Head shot of a smiling Beth Claridge looking up towards the camera
Beth Claridge
  • Lecturer
Read full profile
Head and shoulders shot of a smiling Gerard Gormley stood face on looking directly into the camera
Dr Gerard Gormley
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Head and shoulders shot of a smiling Paul Martin wearing a cap with a blue t shirt on stood in front of a white wall
Paul Martin
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Head shot of Alan Green wearing glasses stood against a light brown wall looking directly into the camera and stood face on
Alan Green
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Headshot of a smiling Claire Rose
Claire Rose
  • Associate Lecturer
Read full profile
Dave Cronen Staff Profile Photo
Dave Cronen
  • Associate Lecturer
Read full profile
Sean J Vincent staff profile photo
Sean J Vincent
  • Associate Lecturer
Read full profile