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About the course

Would you like to understand music contracts, manage artists, plan events or create your own music company? Maybe you are an aspiring artist who would like to know more about making money from your music? If so, this course is ideal for you.

Studying at Solent offers a unique experience for music business students, combining the excitement of real-world practice alongside in-depth, thought-provoking academic research on a wide range of music business issues. In addition to our own vibrant industry events and conferences, you can also get involved in Southampton’s music scene, with a wide range of venues across the city catering for all musical tastes. Our graduates have provided excellent feedback on their experience at Solent, with former Music Management students giving us a satisfaction rating of over 90% in both 2018, 2019 and 2020 (NSS).

This innovative music business degree will provide you with a thorough understanding of the industry, covering artist development, live events, festivals, project management, finance, marketing, legal contracts and copyright. We will support you to develop the entrepreneurial skills to succeed in this exciting industry, in addition to essential digital training on podcasting, web development, social media and video production.

As part of the course, you will promote your own live event(s), work with artists and launch a new music business project. Our collaborative culture also encourages you to work on projects with students from other courses, reflecting the working practices of the industry. The course also has a strong emphasis on gaining hands-on work experience, which we encourage at local businesses, venues and festivals.

The course is led by an experienced, well-connected team of lecturers who regularly publish academic research and also maintain excellent links with industry professionals and employers. At our conference events, you will have the chance to talk with industry experts. Previous guests have included staff from Domino Records, Latitude Festival, BBC Radio 1 and Universal Music Publishing Group. 

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree.
Professional memberships
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

Teaching is delivered by an academic team of music business professionals and researchers who have extensive experience of the industry.

What does this course lead to?

Throughout the course you will be provided with real-world learning opportunities and essential skills for a wide range of music business careers after graduation, including; record companies, publishing companies, artist management, live music management, marketing, digital roles, public relations (PR) and the creation of independent music companies.

Graduates of our previous courses have gone on to work with leading music companies including; Sony, Universal, Warner, Live Nation, Spotify, The O2, PRS for Music, Dirty Hit, William Morris Endeavor and YMU Group. Others manage their own record labels, artist agencies and live promotion businesses.

Who is this course for?

Our degree course is ideal for students who want to build a career within the music business. Our students include aspiring musicians and managers from a wide range of backgrounds, having previously studied varied subjects such as art, science, photography, English, business studies, media studies and economics.

The unifying theme amongst our students is a passion for music, regardless of previous experience or study. We also support mature students who may have previously worked in music and now wish to formalise their experience with a degree qualification.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact student.funding@solent.ac.uk.

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs

Year 2: Events Management and Marketing Module - There may be initial set-up costs to be recouped from ticket sales. Any profits made are yours to keep. 

Year 3: Managing and Developing a Business Module - There may be initial set-up expenses relating to your business project. Any profits made are yours to keep.

Optional costs

Optional overseas trips may be available, with the cost based on current air fares and hotel prices.

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

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 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • 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.

Pre-Sessional English programme

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


Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact admissions@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact admissions.international@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 5066

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: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 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 the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time 3 year Apply
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Understanding the Music Industries
    This module offers an introduction to key elements of the music business ecology, including the many job roles and businesses that exist within the contemporary music industries.
  • Music Business Strategy and Planning
    This module considers the strategies of music businesses such as artist management companies and streaming platforms. It explores these strategies in the context of the wider global business environment. 
  • Digital Marketing and PR
    In the contemporary music industries, it is vital to understand how you, your artists and your business projects can stand out from the crowd in the online marketing environment. In this module you will devise an integrated digital media PR and marketing campaign, and create user-centred content that is presented through an online platform.  
  • Music, Society and Culture
    You will explore a range of research skills and learn how to analyse subjects from a range of different approaches. Drawing on a variety of topics, such as those outlined below, you will develop the ability to explain, interpret, summarise and classify ideas and ideologies. 
  • Making Money from Music
    This module aims to increase your confidence in understanding, and working with, financial data within the music industries. Financial literacy is a key skill which can boost your career by creating new paths to employment or entrepreneurship. 
  • Artist and Business Branding
    The module integrates two main areas of theory and practice. One focuses on the business of artist and project branding, while the other allows you to further explore branding as a topic through the creation of a podcast. 

Year two

Core modules
  • Global Music Industries: Trends and Issues
    In this module you will explore the changing patterns of globalisation that influence how we consume and experience music. From local DIY scenes with global virtual networks, to the changing consumption habits created by the major streaming platforms, this module will support your knowledge and understanding of global music industries and cultures.
  • Live Music and Festivals
    This module examines the main business roles and companies involved in the sector, considers how live promoters operate, and explores a range of contemporary social, ethical and business issues.  
  • Audio-Visual PR
    This module will equip you both with technical knowledge and the art of PR storytelling to help you analyse PR campaigns and to create effective audio-visual content for promotional purposes.
  • Music Law: Contracts and Controversies
    This module provides you with a vital understanding of key legal issues by exploring music contracts, legal cases and the role of lawyers. The module content will therefore provide you with the knowledge and confidence to understand and question music contracts that you may encounter in real-world situations.
  • Events Management and Marketing
    This module shows you how to create, manage and promote gigs, club nights, festivals and music industry conferences. These events are the life-blood of the music industry - where fans come together with artists, managers with record companies and PRs with journalists.
  • Professional Development
    This module gives you the opportunity to explore the music industry job role(s) that you are most interested in pursuing in the future, and asks you to consider the best ways to achieve your career goals.

     

Year three

Core modules
  • Individual Research Project
    In this module you will investigate and research a specific topic of your choice – from music history to music media to music business and beyond. You gain an in-depth understanding of that topic which may be presented as a dissertation or a practice-based project.
  • Pitching and Planning a Business
    This module draws together all of the business and practice-based learning that you have gained over the previous two years. It allows you to create, launch or expand a public-facing music business concept or project to a professional standard that will act as a calling card for future employment or kick-start your own entrepreneurial career.
  • Managing and Developing a Business
    In this module you will manage and develop the public-facing music business concept or project that you pitched and planned in the first semester, and demonstrate your ability to deal with issues as they arise.
  • Copyright, Publishing and Sync
    This module gives you an up-to-date understanding of how copyright, publishing and sync operate, and of the challenges faced by music businesses and artists in the ever-developing digital environment. 

     

Options

  • Festival Cultures
    This optional module focuses on the culture of music festivals, drawing attention to the historical development of different forms of outdoor event and the stereotypes and expectations that we associate with them. 
  • Pop, Politics & Protest
    This optional module focuses on musicians and events whose interests, activities and music intersect with political, social and protest movements. It introduces you to new ways of looking at music as a cultural form, and to important issues regarding censorship, freedom of speech and the ethics of popular music.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Support

Web-based learning

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

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

James Hannam academic profile James Hannam Course Leader View profile
Martin James academic profile Martin James Professor View profile
Johnny Hopkins academic profile Johnny Hopkins Senior Lecturer View profile
Louise Morrell academic profile Louise Morrell Senior Lecturer View profile
Chris Anderton academic profile Chris Anderton Associate Professor View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

The University provides excellent learning resources and facilities to its students, from campus-wide wireless to extensive library services and dedicated student working spaces with plenty of laptop points. The course uses industry-standard Adobe applications such as Photoshop and Audition, with access to a wide range of other programs in addition to sound and camera equipment.

The teaching team have excellent music business links which allow students to benefit from guest lectures, conference events, and work experience opportunities.  

The curriculum is built around a mix of practical insights and research perspectives into music business and management.

Your future

Following the successful completion of the course, graduates can go on to study at postgraduate level, including master’s degrees or industry-accredited qualifications.

Suitable career paths for music business graduates include:

  • Artist management
  • Record companies
  • Publishing companies
  • Music agencies
  • Digital roles (including social media, content creation and editing)
  • Radio
  • Live events management
  • Venue management
  • Event and conference management
  • Tour management
  • PR
  • Music marketing
  • Social media management
  • Brand management
  • Arts administration and management

Industry links

We have strong links with music industry employers. 

Our guest lecturers have included:

  • Marcus Russell (manager of Oasis and Noel Gallagher)
  • Lucy Wood (Latitude Festival)
  • Gillian Fleet (Domino Records)
  • Dani Sawyerr (Universal Music Publishing Group)
  • Joel De’Ath (Sony Music)
  • Laura Barton (The Guardian)
  • Fabio (drum and bass DJ)
  • Glenn Matlock (The Sex Pistols)
  • Gary Powell (The Libertines)
  • Anabella Coldrick (CEO, Music Managers Forum)
  • Annie Nightingale (BBC Radio 1)
  • Danny Howard (BBC Radio 1)
  • Mandy Wickham (Live Nation)
  • Niko Michault (manager of Jack Savoretti)
  • Jenny Carroll (manager of Jamie Cullum)
  • Speech Debelle (Mercury Prize-winning rapper)
  • Colin Lester (manager of Craig David)
  • Nick Halkes (Co-Founder, XL Recordings)
  • Kate Head (PR for Taylor Swift, Tinchy Stryder and many others)
  • Rob Da Bank (Camp Bestival)
  • Amanda Maxwell (Boiler Room)
  • Sarah Robertson (Bristol Music Trust)

We regularly seek advice from both our guest speakers and our many professional contacts. We also maintain good relationships with our past graduates who have gone on to work in a variety of music businesses and now share their experiences with current students.

There are opportunities to work on a variety of projects through our in-house Solent Music initiative which works with a range of local and national music businesses. It is also instrumental in supporting guest speaker conferences and events, such as Southampton’s SO: Music City festival – an annual collaboration with local industry partners.

Placements

Through your coursework assessments, you will engage with the music business via the creation of professional public-facing projects, building both your own contacts and your own portfolio. You will also be encouraged and supported in undertaking work experience, but this is not a compulsory element of the course.

There are opportunities to work on artist management and development, live gigs, club nights and more through our in-house Solent Music initiative, which works with a range of local and national music businesses, including Southampton’s vibrant live music scene. Local venues and events have provided past students with fantastic opportunities to perform, promote, manage and engage with the local industry. Solent Music is also proactive in bringing music to a wider audience and recently extended our long-running SMILEfest brand to launch the SO: Music City Festival alongside local industry partners.

Our involvement with the world of music festivals stretches back over ten years through our work at Glastonbury festival where, through Solent Productions, we are one of the major broadcast media producers – giving students the opportunity for a range of professional and practical opportunities to build experience in a range of festival roles. 

There is also an opportunity to undertake a work placement at an approved European company via the University’s Erasmus programme.

 

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day