Commercial Music

Commercial Music

Music is one of the UK’s largest industries by export alone and the professionally accredited Commerical Music course at University of the West of Scotland aims to enable those with talent, drive and ability to forge a varied, lifelong career incorporating performance, business, composition, production and sociology elements, in areas such as music promotion, tour management, sound engineering and production.


CCI Student Showcase 2013 CCI Student Showcase 2010 
Click to view the video of student work in 2013.Click to view the video of student work in 2010.


Developed in response to industry, the focus is on a rapidly developing modern music business and the exciting opportunities brought about by new media. The course is structured around key skills and business modules and allows you to select modules suited to your own interests and career aspirations.

Lecturers are practising music industry professionals and high profile guest speakers regularly bring their expertise to the course, most recently including Shirley Manson and Ricky Ross.

Entry Requirements

  • SQA Highers: BBBC including.
  • GCE A-Levels: CCC plus GCSE English.
  • International Baccalaureate IB Diploma: 24 points
    Standard Entry Criteria
    All applicants are expected to meet, as a minimum, our standard entry criteria available:
  • 5 subject passes to include 2 at GCE A Level, or an appropriate award of AQA, EdExcel, OCR or 5 subject passes to include 3 at Higher (C or above) for Irish Leaving Certificate or SQA. We will accept Welsh Baccalaureate qualification as being equivalent to 1 A Level.
  • evidence of proficiency in Mathematics and English, usually at least at SQA Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3 or GCSE Grade A, B, or C, or equivalent
  • In addition to standard qualifications, we will also consider other combinations of qualifications and experience such as BTEC National diploma.
  • We welcome applications from mature students and will take into account any relevant work experience and professional training when making a decision on your application.
NB: All applicants will be expected to submit a strong personal statement and reference. Applicants may be invited for interview and/or audition.
  • SQA Advanced Highers: BBC plus SQA Higher English and SQA Standard GradeMaths.
  • GCE A Levels: BBC plus GCSE English.
Entry may be possible with:
  • SQA HNC : Communication, Media, Music, Performance, Music Technology or Music Business.
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM.
  • BTEC Level 4 HNC : Communication, Media or related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points.
NB: All applicants will be expected to submit a strong personal statement and reference. Applicants may be invited for interview and/or audition.
  • Relevant SQA HND /BTEC Level 5 HND /Foundation Degree/Advanced Diploma: Music, Performance, Music Technology or Music Business.
NB: All applicants will be expected to submit a strong personal statement and reference. Applicants may be invited for interview and/or audition.

Entry Requirements

Course content

Open to those with an interest in music such as songwriters, producers, DJs, re-mixers, those wishing to run small record companies, develop artists or stage live events, the course will encourage you to develop a variety of specialisms, making you sufficiently versatile to sustain not one but several serial careers in the music industry.

Year 1

You will be introduced to performance, production and sociology/industry environment; and will complete modules to develop transferable skills.

Year 2

Core classes range from analysis of media sources and intellectual property to professional practice. Performance options include songwriting and instrumental/group skills. Production elements include digital music production, new media and website design and additional options include events production and investigation of the international music markets.

Year 3

You will undertake a major self directed project and further explore options including songwriting and production modules. Work-related learning is also offered as an option. These modules are underpinned by research-focused study

Year 4 (Honours)

You will undertake a major research project (dissertation), a creative project based in performance, technology or events, studies in entrepreneurship and the construction of a business plan. You will also choose from a range of exciting options including film music/foley and a music project requiring you to release a single on a variety of platforms. You will work towards the prestigious Showcase Event and Awards Ceremony at Glasgow’s CCA.

Career prospects

Graduates are likely to have employment opportunities in scouting for record companies, music promotion, tour management, sound engineering, producing and becoming recording artists. There is also the opportunity for graduates to go on to further study on the MA Songwriting and Performance or the MA Music Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Placement/Work-based learning

A work-related learning module offers you an opportunity to gain experience in a relevant organisation or company. Project work including record releases and performance events will be staged regularly.

Professional recognition


creative-skillset-logo_Original BA (Hons) Commercial Music is part of the UWS Skillset Media Academy and is an Avid Authorised Training Partner.
 james_accredlogo_opt_Original This course has been accredited by JAMES, the educational arm of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS).




  • Ayr
  • Off Campus

Start date(s)

  • September

Qualifications and durations

Commercial Music
  • BA - 3 years
  • BA (Hons) - 4 years
How to apply

UCAS codes

  • W340 A BA/CM - Commercial Music - Ayr

Course contact

Allan Dumbreck
+44 (0)141 849 4101

Useful Information

  • For course availability, check UCAS 

    UWS is an academic supporter of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).

Music Showcase Videos

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