BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism

Put music into words with our popular journalism course

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

2015 entry


Do you dream of interviewing musicians for leading music magazines, radio stations and record companies? Want to get backstage and Tweet about it to a global audience? Then this is the course for you.

Created in consultation with top music magazine editors, this innovative course delivers a multi-platform approach to music journalism. You’ll learn magazine design; digital and social media management; radio, film and photography skills; and how to research and write great copy.

You’ll study the music and media industries and popular music cultures, and have the opportunity to work on unique initiatives such as Audio Addict, our hugely successful on- and offline multimedia magazine; SMILEfest, Solent’s annual live music and industry conference; and much more.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry P592


  • 6 Years Standard entry

Typical entry requirements

240 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:

  • Understanding the Music Industries
  • Popular Music in Context
  • Interactive Music Media Production
  • Popular Music Journalism Practice
  • Popular Music Press: Histories
  • Writing for the Music Industries.

Year two:

  • Mediating Music
  • Audio-Visual Music Journalism
  • Music Journalism and Production for the Internet
  • Music Journalism and Production for Print Magazines
  • Music Journalism in Context
  • Options, including:
    • Noise Annoys:Experiments and Alternatives in Popular Music
    • Songwriting Techniques
    • Popular Music on Film
    • Pop, Politics and Protest
    • Fanzines to Facebook
    • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
    • Model Your Business
    • Curriculum Plus.

Year three:

  • Individual Project
  • Collaborative Project
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Freelancing and Professional Development
  • Options, including:
    • Festival Cultures
    • Film Music
    • Consuming Music
    • Songwriting Portfolio
    • Experimental Music Production
    • Advanced Live Music Production
    • Music and Audio Post-Production
    • Popular Music: Technology and Production
    • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
    • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice
    • Curriculum Plus.

(Our courses are regularly reviewed so the final module list may be slightly different from the one shown here.)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Lecture, classroom and IT sessions, supporting individual and group project study.

Work experience

Our students have gained placement and freelance work experience at magazines and websites including NME, Q, Mojo, Kerrang!, Mixmag, Loaded, The Fly, Drowned in Sound, The Quietus and Art Rocker, and newspapers including The Sun and The Independent. They have also found placements at Radio 1 and Radio NRJ (France).

Students with an interest in PR have enjoyed internships at Division PR, Freeman PR and Purple PR, among others. Students on this course have also worked closely with music festivals like Isle of Wight, Sonisphere, Bestival, Blissfields and Pulse, producing magazines, documentaries, blogs and daily news-sheets.

In 2014 students ran the Twitter feed for Glastonbury, wrote articles for Glastonbury Press and produced Isla, the official Isle of Wight Festival magazine.


Essays, practical production projects, group and individual projects, seminar presentations, portfolios and reflective writing projects.

Our facilities

We have cutting-edge IT facilities and an industry-standard newsroom.

Study abroad

The Erasmus+ programme may give you the opportunity to spend between a term and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities, or undertaking a work placement for a company in Europe.
For more information visit

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study music journalism units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe, then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme. 

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry P592


  • 6 Years Standard entry
  • SMILEfest – an annual city-wide music festival, managed by Southampton Solent University students.
  • Opportunity to write for Audio Addict, our dedicated course magazine with a readership of over 40,000 people.
  • Unique work placements with music festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, Camp Bestival, Blissfields and Isle of Wight.
  • Word Up music journalism conference with leading industry figures.
  • Solent Music – our in-house, industry-focused organisation enhancing music student creativity, experience and employability.
Which Creative University Award 2014

Studying this course can lead to a career in music journalism as well as a number of other potential fields, such as in magazine production, copywriting, social media management, web designing, music PR and education.

  • Arts
  • Entertainment
  • Celebrity and lifestyle journalism
  • Website design and management
  • Television and radio research
  • Scripting and production
  • Music PR
  • Music biography
  • Academic research. 

Links with industry

The teaching staff includes internationally renowned music journalists, authors, magazine editors and designers with unparalleled links with the music and media industries. The course is supported by regular guest speakers from industry, live briefs and industry mentoring. There are regular lectures by visiting teaching fellows, including James McMahon (editor of Kerrang!).

Transferable skills

Writing for a variety of outlets, print and web design, film production, audio editing, photography, social media activities, blogging, magazine production, IT, presentation, teamwork, creative thinking and analytical skills.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Course graduates have found positions in prominent music journalism magazines and websites, including DJ, Drowned in Sound, Art Rocker and Loaded.

Other graduates have found roles such as: junior music campaign officer, radio presenter, music producer or online marketing assistant and content creator at organisations like Sunday Best Records, Wilful Publicity, Reprezent Radio, Vanilla Underground and D&G Media.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time, Part-time

Entry requirements

  • 240 UCAS tariff points to come from A-levels, or equivalent.
  • UK applicants will be invited to attend an interview.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be interviewed by video call or telephone. 
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.

Portfolio interview requirements

Before attending your interview or sending us your portfolio, please read the following: Portfolio interview information

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 (5.5 in writing)
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 (19 in writing) - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme and an international foundation programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2015/2016 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £10,930 per year

UK and EU part-time fees: £4,500 per year

International part-time fees: Please contact us for information

Other costs

Compulsory band booking, guest speaker, printing, word press and travel costs in year three: £200
Optional UK study trip in year one: £350
Optional European study trip in year two: £650
Optional USA study trip in year three: £1,000

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Part-time and distance learning courses

Applications for part-time and distance learning courses are made directly to the University and can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. Please contact the main office of the faculty that runs the course you are interested in for further details, contact details are at the top of the page. Print the application form below, complete and return to the faculty office running the course, addresses are given on the form.

Part-time undergraduate study application form

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry P592


  • 6 Years Standard entry



Cookies and Southampton Solent University

We need to place cookies on your computer to ensure your browsing experience with us is enhanced. Please continue browsing as normal if you are happy for cookies to be placed on your computer. However, you can change your settings at any time.
Find out how these cookies are used and how to change your settings

Hide this message