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Undergraduate Course

Music Production and Music Business BA (Hons)

Learn to produce music and gain business experience to build a successful music enterprise in an industry which is always changing.

Music Production student using sound desk

If you want to build a creative music business, this is the course for you. We will teach you to create, arrange and manipulate music and sound. You will also have opportunities to work with clients and artists so that you can build a professional network. Through this course you will gain the skills, experience and confidence you need to develop your own music production company.

  • Available in Clearing

100% of Music Production students thought that the course provided them opportunities to apply what they had learnt. (National Student Survey 2022)

100% of Music Production students thought that staff are good at explaining things.(National Student Survey 2022)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – J931
  • Duration – 3 years part time, 6 years full time
  • Start date – September 2022, September 2023
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2022 entry £13,000 per year full time

Discover Music Production at York St John University

Course overview

On this course you will learn music production techniques along with the business and marketing principles you need to succeed in the industry. You will develop your creative business ideas through planning and practice, helping you to become a confident producer and business owner. You will also learn about the mechanics of the music industry, and develop the business strategies needed to make a career from your passion for music.

During your time with us, you will:

  • Write and arrange tracks to develop your musical understanding
  • Capture and process sound using advanced production techniques
  • Learn advanced studio recording techniques with a developed understanding of acoustics
  • Sequence and synthesize sounds and beats using different digital technologies
  • Produce and apply business strategies and marketing plans for the music you produce
  • Gain an understanding of relevant legal frameworks such as contracts and copyright

Alongside the practical element of this degree, you will advance your theoretical understanding of music production and business creation. Through lectures you will contribute to current debates around production. This could involve examining modern distribution platforms, considering the evolution of digital technology, and more.

You will have opportunities to visit studios across the country and work on production projects with artists performing live in the studios. We also hold regular Industry Days throughout the year. These are a chance to meet and talk to successful entrepreneurs, music managers and business people from across the music industry.

Facilities

Our campus facilities can help you to extend your learning and explore your creativity. Our recording studios use large-format mixing consoles and there is a range of band instruments and amps in the live room. We also have various professional studio microphones for you to use in the studios or on location. The main teaching room contains iMacs, on which you will learn to use software including:

  • Logic Pro X
  • Pro Tools
  • Ableton Live
  • Native Instruments Komplete 12

Equipment

Equipment can be borrowed and used in your home or on location. We also have over 15 portable production packs you can borrow to continue working at home. Each includes a MacBook Pro, audio interface and microphone. Best of all, there are no weekly restrictions on how much time you can spend in the studio.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you study each semester will depend on whether you are a full time or part time student.

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study:  

  • 6 compulsory modules across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop the foundation of professional sound engineering skills. After learning the principles of sound and studio technology, you will practically explore them through taught studio sessions. These include:

  • Transducers
  • Signal routing and gain staging
  • Processing and recording principles
  • Recording studio operations
  • Summing and mixing theory
  • Using the mixing console

The objective of this module is for you to begin to understand the physical properties of sound and how it behaves in different environments.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

A fundamental understanding of how production technology works is key to a successful future in the work of audio media. On this module you will investigate the techniques to effectively use digital workstations. These methods include:

  • Audio recording, editing and mixing
  • Analogue and digital sequencing, synthesis and sampling
  • Operation of different software packages

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will gain a deeper understanding of studio technology, composition, and DAW practice, learning how to utilise them efficiently to produce professional sounding outcomes. You will build upon the previous introduction to the studio and enhance your experience of using the studio as a workplace. You will be challenged to create music productions as part of a team, collaborating and managing outcomes as required.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your musical understanding and ability to apply it creatively in composing music with meaning. Contemporary production methods have made it very simple to assemble a few pre-made loops into a listenable section of track. However a deeper understanding of music is required to create a dynamic composition that resonates meaning with the listener. You will explore the foundational elements of music by combining music theory with contemporary Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) based composition. You will study music theory concepts and ideas and will be required to apply them in communicating specific concepts in your compositions.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will explore the history of the music industry, from new technologies of the 20th century through to the early 90s. You will look at the relationship between mass consumption of media and the increased use of instruments at home for performances.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will explore the history of the music industry, from new technologies of the 20th century through to the early 90s. You will look at the relationship between mass consumption of media and the increased use of instruments at home for performances.

 

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 5 compulsory modules across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 1
  • 1 optional module in semester 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

In a series of recording technique and computer-based production workshops, you will build your sound engineering skills. You will study the design and operation of specialist studio recording equipment, hardware and software synthesisers and samplers. This will enable you to develop your skills and apply your technical understanding effectively in production scenarios.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will explore the legal side of the music industry and the individuals and organisations that work within it. These figures include:

  • Minor and independent labels
  • Publishers
  • Royalty collection agencies
  • Management companies

You will investigate areas such as litigation and copyright, the revival of vinyl and the increasing use of streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Amazon Music.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

As a music professional, it is important to know how music is presented and sold to the public. You will learn about the different marketing and publicity processes used in the music industry. PR techniques have developed through research into how people use music in their lives and the impact is had on their everyday activities. You will look at how this information is gathered and how it feeds into business plans and models.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

To find success in the music industry, professionals are becoming more reliant on their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. On this module, you will work on your own business idea using market research, customer analysis, business plan or business cases. You will look at existing case studies and work out the profitability of your idea and how it could impact the music industry. For assessment, you will produce business documents that are written to a professional standard.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

At this level you will be expected to engage with a greater range of research sources and demonstrate your increased ability when analysing recorded music. You will be encouraged to evaluate factors that have shaped the evolution of the Music Production Studies field, these include technological, economic, social and cultural influences. You will be supported throughout the module with class workshops and formative assessments primarily to build up your skills in this area.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop your skills in mixing music, as well as skills in critical listening and sonic evaluation. Using historical and current methods, you will find your own best practices for putting different audio tracks together.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This practical module will prepare you for your major project in your final year. In practical workshops you will design, assemble and operate live sound systems and evaluate their effectiveness. You will use your understanding in assessing an event’s requirements, designing a system for it, planning its operation and then performing the live sound duties. On this module, you will also study the technical gear that is used in small to medium PA systems.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop your skills in presenting songs in a recorded format. You will investigate the concepts and contexts of producing song recordings, from demos through to the final production.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will focus on the raw material of popular song: melody, harmony, structure and lyrics. Through workshops and practical exercises you will explore how to combine these elements to communicate complex concepts and emotions and write songs that listeners can relate to. You will study great songs and analyse what makes them so effective in order to enhance your own practice and better understand your art.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will research the roles of audio personnel in the film and television industries and gain an insight into their working practices. You will learn the conventions and technical operations of producing sound to synchronise with moving image and study the structures of media projects, along with how sound designers make their contribution. You will gain this understanding through analysis of example film clips, studying the work of seminal sound designers and undertaking a series of sound design tasks.

 

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop an understanding of the role of music in combination with the moving image. The theories explored will most likely focus on music for narrative film, but the module will also cover music in television, video game and web contexts. You will learn both the technical requirements of working with music and picture, and the theoretical discussions around the purpose and function of music and moving image.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Learn how historical developments in music technology have influenced Electronic Dance Music production styles and develop an understanding of the techniques used to employ the technology in the creation of a music product. You will begin this module with a guided tour through the genesis of electronic music and its evolution into EDM in the contemporary context. You will examine the instruments, composition and performance culture around these early systems. You will be introduced to key figures such as Pierre Schaeffer, Bob Moog, Don Buchla, Derick May, amongst many others.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop a methodology for recording music in live performance situations. These are defined as performances that happen outside of a recording studio where overdubbing is impractical or not desired, or where the presence of an audience places significant limitations on the recording process. For example, recording a classical ensemble in a concert hall; producing a live recording from a gig in a rock venue; or recording an acoustic ensemble for a live session on a radio programme.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

This module is your opportunity to showcase the knowledge and production skills gained during your time on the course. You will demonstrate your production practice and run a full recording project. You will produce a portfolio of commercial music. This could take the form of:

  • An album production for a local music group
  • A collection of tracks or E.P.s of music that you have written or recorded
  • A soundtrack for a film or other moving image product

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Using analysis, experiment, theory, practice and reflection, you will write and submit a written document on a topic you are passionate about. After negotiating the subject with your supervisor, you will write up to 6,000 words that function as a contribution to research in your chosen field.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

During your time on the course, you will have developed skills that can be transferred into a number of industries. On this module, you will work with a supervisor to develop a career plan, based upon individual research into an industry or enterprise you are interested in. As a future professional, you will benefit from learning about Continued Professional Development (CPD) and self-reflective exercises. These are tools with which you can continue to develop your professional practice.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will examine the challenges facing the future of the music industry. Collaboration is key and you will learn about associated industries that work with music professionals for success. Analysis of areas such as consumer trends, post-pandemic events and trends in politics, sustainability and blockchain technology will for a core part of your work on the module.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We keep our group sizes small so we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations. We deliver your modules through:

  • Workshops
  • Studio seminar groups
  • Technical skills training
  • Lectures

Each module has 1 to 4 hours of contact time a week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9.00am and 8.00pm, Monday to Friday.

You will also need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include studio work, reading, composition tasks, and research. You can also arrange academic tutorials with your module tutors throughout the year to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on our professional experience as music producers, and we bring in guests from the industry to work with you. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no exams on this course. Assessment methods are based on practical coursework projects and vary from module to module. We have designed them to reflect the work you will carry out in the industry. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Portfolios of production work
  • Portfolios of creative business documentation
  • Essays
  • Journal articles
  • Presentations
  • Practical skills tests

For each assessment you will have the chance to talk to a tutor about your work before submission. Each assessment will be marked and returned with feedback so you can improve your work.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Music Production and Music Business

On this course you will develop the specialist knowledge you need to enter the music production industry. You will also gain an understanding of business organisation and strategy. Transferrable skills in problem solving, communication and planning could be applied to many different careers.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Music Business Entrepreneur
  • Business development manager
  • Marketing executive
  • Music producer
  • Radio producer
  • Sound engineer
  • Studio manager

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Postgraduate degrees at York St John University

Music Production MA

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points 

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is:

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time

These prices apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page:

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2022 entry £13,000 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £13,000 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree:

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk.

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