BA (Hons) Songwriting with Foundation Year

UCAS CODE: SON4
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2021

You can also study this course:

Interested in songwriting, but not sure how to make a go of it as a career? Like the idea of getting some expert guidance and the space to focus on, and hone, your craft?
This degree lets you 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. 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.
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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.

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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.   

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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?

Interested in a career in song writing, but not sure how to get started? This course will provide you with expert guidance and the space to focus on developing your craft, as well as the solid business skills needed to find success in the music industry.

This industry presents boundless opportunities so in addition to becoming a professional songwriter you could also work in related areas of the music industry like music production, music publishing or artist management.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

BNU pioneered Music Business and Management degrees over 20 years ago. Studying with us means you'll be associated with our highly regarded teaching programme whilst benefiting from a leading team of expert lecturers. Our teaching staff have a wealth of professional and academic experience, with many still actively working in the music industry.

During your three years with us, we’ll guide you through the art of song writing and give you plenty of opportunity to develop your skills in our state-of-the-art studios. You’ll work on material with our experienced tutors and explore a variety of techniques for writing songs to maximise your creative potential. As an integral part of that, you’ll learn about audio production and recording, so you become confident in producing recordings of your own and other people’s work.

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.

What facilities can I use?

In several modules you’ll get to use our industry-standard recording studios, which include both individual edit rooms and large Pro Tools HD studios with attached live rooms and vocal booths. Our main studio has been fully equipped by our partners, Sennheiser, a world leading production supplier. We have other top-quality partners too, including Midas, Focusrite, Novation and AC Lighting, so you can get your hands on some of the best tools in the business.

 

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. You need all three to make a go of this professionally and 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 (the business of making songs) 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?

This course is 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 degree.

Our tutors have all worked in the industry and many are involved in research, so you’ll be supported by people with a wealth of expertise to share, in fields such as music publishing and A&R ('artist & repertoire').

We invite visiting specialist tutors to keep you updated on the latest developments in songwriting and run masterclasses to teach you about things like the latest recording techniques, to boost your skills to the next level.

A variety of assessment formats will be used, including in-class assignments, workshops and presentations. Assessments will always be vocationally focused, 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?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.

This module map provides a list 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 Music Management, Production and Performance

Preparing for Success: Knowledge & Creativity

Preparing for Success: Self Development & Responsibility

Inquiry Based Learning

Year 2 Modules

Introduction to Recording

Songwriting Principles

Songwriting Practice

The DIY Musician

Music Composition

Introduction to Pro Tools

Entertainment Industry Framework

Performance Development

Year 3 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 4 Modules

Professional Skills Audit

Composition for Film

Lyrical Analysis

Industry Issues

Sonic Installation

Professional Production Project

Placement Plus (optional)

Dissertation (optional)

How much does it cost

Home and EU

Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022

£9,250 per year

International

International, Academic Year 2021-2022

£13,750 per year

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.

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.

Course leader

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Paul Fields
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