BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism

Put music into words with our popular journalism course.

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

2015 entry


This course was created in consultation with music magazine editors and will develop your skills and understanding of contemporary music journalism.

Your studies will focus on music journalism practices, magazine design and production, radio and audio-visual approaches, digital media, popular music and the music industries, and the music media industries.

You will gain practical experience of sourcing, researching and writing features, and develop skills in interactive magazine production, radio and video documentary-making, and webzine building and management. Alongside this, you’ll investigate popular music histories, genres and cultures and have the opportunity to work on interviews and reviews with internationally known artists through our course magazine, Audio Addict.


UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry P592


  • 6 Years Standard entry

Typical entry requirements

240 UCAS Tariff points

Year 1

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

Year 2

  • Audio Visual Music Journalism
  • Mediating Music
  • Music Journalism and Production for Print Magazines
  • Music Journalism and Production for the Internet
  • Music Journalism in Context
  • Options
    • Advanced Live Music Production
    • Copyright, Piracy and the Music Industries
    • Experimental Music Production
    • Fanzines to Facebook
    • Freelancing at Solent Creatives (FSC4)
    • Model Your Business (MYB4)
    • Music and Audio Post Production
    • Noise Annoys: Experiments and Alternatives in Popular Music
    • Pop - The Invisible Mainstream
    • Pop, Politics and Protest
    • Popular Music on Film
    • Songwriting Techniques
    • Urban & Electronic Music: Genre Studies

Year 3

  • Collaborative Project
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Individual Project
  • Options
    • Advanced Live Music Production
    • Consuming Music
    • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice (CFP1)
    • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice (CFP2)
    • Experimental Music Production
    • Festival Cultures
    • Film Music
    • Freelancing at Solent Creatives (FSC7)
    • Freelancing at Solent Creatives (FSC8)
    • Music & Audio Post Production
    • Popular Music: Technology and Production
    • Songwriting Portfolio

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

Teaching, learning and assessment

This course is taught through lectures, classroom and IT sessions, supporting individual and group project study.

Work experience

Our students have gained work experience at magazines and websites including NME, Q, Mojo, Kerrang!, Mixmag, Loaded, The Fly, Drowned in Sound, The Quietus and Art Rocker. They have also found placements at Radio 1 and Radio NRJ (France). Students with an interest in PR have enjoyed work experience placements at Division PR, Freeman PR and Loudmouth PR among others. Students on this course have also worked closely with music festivals like Bestival, Blissfields and Pulse, producing programmes, documentaries and daily news-sheets. From 2014 our students will be producing the Isle of Wight programme.


This course is assessed using 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.

Web-based learning

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


Meet the Team


UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry P592


  • 6 Years Standard entry
  • SMILEfest - an annual student-managed city festival featuring live performances, guest speakers and industry workshops
  • With a readership of over 40,000 people, dedicated course print- and web-based magazine Audio Addict provides opportunities to interview well-known musicians in a professional environment.
  • Unique work placements with music festivals including Bestival, Camp Bestival, Wilderness, Blissfields and Isle of Wight.
  • Music journalism mentorship programme and music media partnerships are being developed.
Which Creative University Award 2014|

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

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

Links with industry

The teaching staff includes internationally renowned music journalists, authors and magazine editors 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!). Students have secured work placements with music magazines and radio stations including NME, Kerrang!, DJ and Radio NRJ (France).

Transferable skills

IT, presentation, teamwork, creative thinking, analytical skills.


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 Skype 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.

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)
  • TOEF IBT 80 (19 in writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 56 (51 in writing) 
  • 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 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

accommodation  |

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