BA (Hons) Songwriting and Music Production
- Study Mode: Full Time
- Location: High Wycombe
- Duration: Three or Four Years
- Start Date: September 2023
Do you have a passion for song writing? Do you want to make a career out of it? Our BA (Hons) Songwriting and Music Production course gives you the opportunity to access expert guidance and the space to focus on, and hone, your craft. Develop your song writing 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.
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.
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.
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 song writer. 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
This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
As 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 Dolby Atmos accredited 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 BNU 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.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.
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. Find out more about Studio 1 in this tour.
- Studio 2 features an Audient ASP8024 Mixing desk, with outboard equipment by Neve, Universal Audio, Teletronix, Focusrite, Tegler, Maag, Manley and others. It also has monitoring by Genelec and Adam Audio.
- 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.
- Our microphone stock includes Sennheiser, Neumann, AKG, Shure, Rode and Electrovoice.
- Studio monitoring includes 5.1 systems by Genelec and stereo systems by KRK.
All studios feature a full range of plug-ins including RX3, Ozone6, Komplete and Speakerphone.
We have other top-quality suppliers, including Midas, Focusrite, Novation and AC Lighting, so you can get your hands on the same tools as the best in the business.
Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.
What will I study?
This degree covers the main areas essential to building a career in this competitive field: song writing ability, recording knowledge, and business know-how. Each area is key to helping you turn song writing into a profession. We’ll ensure you have the tools, experience and industry awareness to get your career off to the strongest possible start.
You’ll learn how to develop your song writing skills to a professional standard by working on your material with our experienced tutors. You’ll explore a variety of techniques for writing songs, to help you maximise your creative potential and find a method that works for you. You’ll study audio production and recording, so that you can become confident at producing recordings of your own work as well as other people’s.
Aside from these technical skills, you’ll also learn how to monetise and promote your creativity. As part of this, you’ll have the opportunity to study artist management, music publishing (with a placement option), music law, A&R (artist & repertoire), sociological issues related to music and the music industry, and how to build your brand as a professional song writer.
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.
Over the duration of the programme, you will be guided through the art of song writing, and given opportunities to develop your skills in our well-equipped music studios. You will take part in shared master classes and attend guest lectures with our industry partners and associates, including professional song writers and music publishers, who’ll share the latest insights and expert knowledge with you. Song writing is just one part of a bigger music production picture, so you will study modules, and collaborate with students, from our other well-established music courses, such as Music Production, Music Business, and Music Production and Performance, among others.
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.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
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.
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.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
You must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 4 Opportunity modules from the Opportunity module catalogue.
In addition, you must choose 2 x 10 credit Level 5 Opportunity modules from the Opportunity module catalogue.
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£15,000 per year
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 and Music Production 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.