Songwriting and Performance

UCAS codes

Course contact

David Scott
+44 (0)1292 886481 / +44 (0)1292 886426 or 0800 027 1000 (+44 141 849 4101 outwith UK)

Qualifications and durations

MA (full-time/part-time) 12–16 months/2–3 years


Start date(s)

  • February and September
Learn from industry professionals on Scotland’s only songwriting Masters programme. Ideal for graduates from a range of music/ performance disciplines and professional writers/performers, there is a strong focus on live projects to develop your professional career alongside your studies.
Entry to the MA is open to Honours graduates (minimum 2:2). Students possessing an Ordinary degree (with a mark average of 50%) can apply to enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma and, on successful completion, transfer to the MA programme.

Applicants with relevant equivalent qualifications and/or professional experience will also be considered.

Overseas students must also meet UWS English language requirements.

The programme provides an exciting, transformative creative environment for the development of songwriting skills. Explore your creative identity through a series of structured collaborative projects interwoven with individual music briefs, with feedback from renowned industry practitioners. The programme provides a broad range of demanding content, strongly reflective of the creative industries but with an academic focus, to offer opportunities to conduct research and analysis, undertake critical reflection, and develop a major creative project.

Our Ayr Campus features state-of-the-art recording/television studios and performance spaces suitable for the development and completion of course work.

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Awarded on successful completion of: 

  • Songwriting Workshop (40 credits)
  • Analysing Songwriting (20 credits)

Postgraduate Diploma (120 Credits)

Core modules (20 credits each at SCQF 11 unless otherwise noted) include: 
  • Songwriting Workshop (40 credits) 
  • Analysing Songwriting 
  • Collaborative Project 
  • Creative Skills 2 (NB you may opt for the Music Film and Sound Aesthetics module instead with the consent of the Programme Leader) 
  • Research: Critical Development 

Masters Creative Project (60 credits)

A substantial practice-led research project, e.g. recording an album, the creation of a performance or series of performances with written contextualisation.
UWS graduates enjoy recording and touring careers, writing and producing for other artists, developing and managing large-scale research/ knowledge exchange projects and teaching/supervising at school, undergraduate and MA level. Graduates are accomplished, reflective arts practitioners with a set of excellent creative tools and the ability to thrive autonomously in a range of professions.

The modules and assessments are built on professional models. The Songwriting Workshop includes a five day co-writing residency, and a short work placement to develop and run a small-scale project within the community. The Creative Skills 2 module requires the completion of a professional project (e.g. record release). The Collaborative Project is an interdisciplinary module culminating in a music performance.
This course was life-changing. It gave me the skills and confidence to take my songwriting to a professional level along with the practical and transferable knowledge to showcase and sell them. It has already helped me to create a portfolio of songs and compositions, connecting and collaborating with artistes and other music industry professionals.
Robert Maitland, Songwriting and Performance graduate

Useful Information

  • The programme is based at Ayr Campus, some classes may be delivered off-campus, at the School of Media, Culture and Society’s Creative Hub in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and Film City. Other deliveries of the programme are scheduled to take place at UWS London Campus, subject to approval. Please note: double diploma students studying at the Harris Institute, Toronto may be able to enrol at the preferred partner rate for this course

    Songwriting & Performance Scholarships

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