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Overview

The course is designed for anyone with a passion for music and who wishes to forge a lifelong and varied career in the industry.

The degree is aimed at songwriters, producers and DJs, and those wishing to run small record companies or to stage live events.

You will work with UWS staff and visiting lecturers, who are themselves practising music industry professionals, and make key contacts across the music industry. Whether you are interested in a career in music promotion, tour management, sound engineering and production or performance, this degree will prepare you for success in the fast-changing modern music business.

Music is one of the UK's largest industries by export alone and this programme aims to help those with talent, drive and ability to forge a varied career. Developed in response to industry requirements, the focus is on a rapidly developing modern music business and the exciting opportunities brought about by new media.

Guest speakers have included Shirley Manson and Ricky Ross.

Professional Approval and Accreditation 

BA Commercial Music is part of the UWS Creative Skillset Media Academy, is an Avid Authorised Training Partner and has JAMES accreditation.

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need? 

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.  

If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications. 

Year 1

  • Scottish HighersBBBC or 102 UCAS Tariff points
  • A levels: CCC or 96 UCAS Tariff points
  • Irish Leaving CertificateH3 H3 H3 H4
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (4, 4 at HL)
  • Scottish Wider Accesss Programme: Access to Humanities BBB with Higher English or equivalent or Comm4 and Literature 1

Year 2

  • Scottish Advanced Highers: BBC including English
  • A levels: BBC including English
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points
  • SQA HNC /BTEC Level 4 HNC: Music or Music Performance or Music Technology or Music Production or Music Business or Sound Production

Year 3

  • SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Music or Performance or Music Technology or Music Business or Modern Musicianship

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests

 

IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5

 

Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

The degree is aimed at songwriters, producers and DJs, and those wishing to run small record companies or to stage live events. You will work with UWS staff and visiting lecturers, who are themselves practising music industry professionals, and you'll make key contacts across the music industry. 

Whether you are interested in a career in music promotion, tour management, sound engineering and production or performance, this degree will prepare you for success in the fast-changing modern music business.

Year 1

Introduction to the theory and practice of music performance and production.

Year 2

Focus on your chosen specialism of performance or production, while developing your understanding of media theory and intellectual property.

Year 3

Deepen your engagement with your specialist area of study, completing a major self-directed project. You may also undertake work-related learning.

Year 4 (Honours)

Complete a major research dissertation and undertake a music project where you release a piece of music on a variety of platforms.

Learn a language (Optional)

This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. View the language modules on offer.

Teaching and Assessment

BA (Hons) Commercial Music is designed for student success by promoting creativity, autonomy and employability both in terms of module content and course structure. We offer inspirational and transformative learning within a flexible and personalised curriculum. This is based on a model of inquiry-based learning, with a mix of practical, project-based work and critical analysis of contemporary popular music culture and the global music industries.


Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Course Structure (17/18)

Career prospects

Jobs 

Graduates work as record company scouts, promoters, tour managers, sound engineers, producers and performing and recording artists.

 

Further Study

Some graduates choose further study, leading to an MSc, PhD or teaching qualification. See list of courses available.

Undergraduate Tuition Fees

Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2017/18

Scottish & EU

£1,820 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£9,250 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£9,250 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,300 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees to bursaries to help towards living expenses.

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as an undergraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at undergraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

HOW TO APPLY

All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, must apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS codes for UWS

  • Institution name: UWS
  • Institution code: U40

GO TO UCAS


If you are applying from a non-EU/EEA country for entry to one of our Bachelor’s degree courses in September, and have not applied already via UCAS, or have not applied to another UK university, then you may apply via our dedicated online application system.

For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our Undergraduate Application Guide.


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

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Course Leader

Allan Dumbreck

Media, Culture & Society

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

UWS Undergraduate students studying at Ayr Campus

Life at UWS

Going to university is about much more than getting a qualification, it’s also the chance to enjoy an exciting social life, gain some independence and make the most of the new opportunities available.

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We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.