Music Business & Innovation Course - ACM College London

A three-year study option for aspiring Music and Creative Industry Executives and Entrepreneurs.

The BA (Hons) Music Business & Innovation degree provides its students with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to pursue a life-long, sustainable career within the music and creative industries as managers, industry executives and/or entrepreneurs. Covering a broad range of content, students will learn in the areas of Artist & Repertoire, Income Streams, Commercial Contracts, Artist Management, Marketing, Live Events and  Tour Management.

ACM London Degrees are validated and awarded by Falmouth University, which has been ranked gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, the new classification of degree teaching standards. Gold is reserved for institutions where teaching, retention and graduate outcomes are consistently outstanding and are of the highest quality found in the UK.

Falmouth University has a 115 year history at the leading edge of creativity and is now at the forefront of driving innovation and entrepreneurialism across the creative economy with its mission of “doing it for real”.


Course Overview

BA(Hons) Music Business & Innovation is a full-time course; typically, students should expect to spend 35 – 40 hours per week on a combination of taught and self-directed study. Each module is delivered over a 15-week Study Block, typically comprising of 12 weeks of learning and teaching and 3 weeks of assessment and feedback.

Students will engage in a variety of learning activities, including lectures, seminars, private and group tutorials and specialist workshops.

Assessment tasks include portfolios, written coursework (eg: essays, case studies, reports and dissertations), projects and live performances.

Music Business & Innovation Modules

In the first year of the programme, students will study the following compulsory modules.
All compulsory modules must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Commercial Contracts and Terms
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits Commercial Contracts and Terms examines the role of a manager, with specific focus on the current digital age, and the way in which managers negotiate different types of deals, which vary according to the act, territory and organisation. Through this module you will gain an understanding of the terms and variables of these deals, including record, publishing, sync, live show and tour, merchandising and sponsorship. Upon completion of the module you will be sufficiently equipped to speak confidently and knowledgeably with music lawyers and other third parties, and to take an active role in negotiating a deal. You will conduct research on the business structures surrounding established artists, leading to a thorough comprehension of the deals and operations that support the career of an international artist.
  • A&R Principles
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits The A&R Principles module focuses on the development of high-level A&R skills. Your study will comprise guidance on finding new acts, assessing their potential and forming a conceptual link between the musical product, associated branding and the paying audience. Key to this area of the music industry is the instinct to assess the size of a potential market, the commercial viability and longevity of an act, and the potential for brand loyalty; these themes form the core of this module. You will examine the negotiation of early-stage deals and strategies for grassroots approaches to building awareness of an act and creating a ‘buzz’. The module also examines quality control, leadership and people management; you will be encouraged to begin managing in a practical way as early as possible. Additionally, you will undertake critical reflection on your own brand and presentation style.
  • Music Income Streams
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits Essential to the role of a manager or self-managing artist is a clear understanding of where and how an act’s income streams are derived, and how to maximise income while minimising expenses. This forms the core of the Music Income Streams module. Your study will incorporate management ethics and the personal and commercial relationships between acts and managers, and will examine historic disputes between acts and managers as well as systems for resolving disagreement. The module also explores models for long term partnerships, financial modelling, forecasting and cash flow management. This module will equip you with the essential ability to communicate with financial professionals (such as accountants, banks or third-party investors) in an authoritative and knowledgeable manner.
  • The Global Music Industry
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits This module builds on your earlier study of the music industry and will cover the increasing diversity of income streams that has evolved as a result of interactions between new media and formats. Lectures will incorporate case studies of important artists, showing how they use digital formats to their advantage and the ways in which they organise their international commercial affairs. Upon completion of the module, you will be able to demonstrate your understanding of the online developments in the worldwide music industry, and apply this knowledge within the context of your practice. You will be required to develop a strategic approach to the required tasks and take responsibility for your own time management. The module comprises directed and self-directed study; lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Self Employment Opportunity
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits This module provides an overview of the responsibilities of any self-employed professional in the music industry. Your study will cover tax and National Insurance contributions for self-employed individuals, company start-ups, partnerships, employing others, time management, setting and achieving goals, and efficient work practices. You will research and identify self-employment opportunities and create a personal business plan to support your individual career aims. You will learn the necessary conventions and forms for creating a credible business case that is intelligible to third parties, such as private investors, banks and other lenders. A key focus of the module is cash flow management, recognising that the income of an artist manager is likely to be sporadic and how to handle this through lean and bountiful times. Additionally, you will examine personal and business investment options, along with tax management and VAT.
  • Music Industry Studies
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits The UK Music Business module provides a comprehensive overview of the UK music industry and its relationship with other major European markets. It explores the interaction between record companies, publishers, managers, agents, writers, artists and merchandising, with particular focus on how they operate in the digital age. Key to this module is sponsorship and product placement, and how artists and managers incorporate these revenue streams into a coherent business strategy. Lectures will include cases studies on the commercial affairs of important artists in the UK and Europe. The outcome of the module will be a demonstrable understanding of the UK/European music industry, and the practical application of this theory within the context of your own work.

In the second year of the programme students will be required to complete the following compulsory modules, together with two elective modules. All compulsory modules and the chosen electives must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Live Event Management
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits The purpose of this module is develop students’ in-depth understanding of: The landscape of the live music industry, Roles, responsibilities and structures within the sector, Common deals and contracts, Logistics and services, Building the show and staging, Relevant legislation pertaining to live music, Administration relating to rights management in live music, International touring, Large-scale outdoor events and festivals, Promoters and promotion, Live event marketing, Major players in live music events, marketing and promotion, Ticketing, Venues and branding, Cultural, Community relations, Charitable events, Event planning and management, Risks involved in live music.
  • Artist Management
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits In this module you will build on your learning of breaking an act and study the challenges involved in maintaining its success. You will learn from managers who have worked with acts over the course of many albums and through changing fashions and perceptions in the music industry, and examine how established artists find ways to continually grow their fan base while maintaining existing audiences. A central part of your study will be the utilisation of traditional marketing tools and social media strategies for raising brand awareness. Knowledge of what has worked in the past and the evolution of current management practices will enable you to make incisive choices in order to maximise the career opportunities available to your artist. Throughout the module, you will examine the key principles of these strategies and how they are implemented, including the process of re-establishing a familiar name with a definitive record, live show or press angle.
  • Marketing Strategies and Connected Communities
    Study Block 2 – 20 Credits The purpose of this module is to examine the following: Writing a marketing plan and defining what you want to achieve, Defining the marketing mix (or strategy) and defining how will you achieve it, Introducing relevant marketing framework, The value of market and consumer research, Messaging (including strap lines and language), calls to action and the marketing funnel, Digital channels and their supporting analytics, Search engine and content optimisation, Social media and managing negativity and viral escalations, Applying strategic marketing tools in building an artist campaign, Public relations and publicity, Print and broadcast media, advertising and creative channels, Creating and maintaining effective music and brand partnerships, Press releases and professional press packs, Providing marketing campaign feedback and evaluation to your team.
  • The Creative Industry Entrepreneur
    Study Block 1 – 20 Credits The Creative Music Entrepreneur aims to demonstrate that successful businesses require careful research, planning, management and monitoring in order to meet stakeholders’ expectations in a competitive business environment. It seeks to help learners to develop the entrepreneurial and management skills that will enable them to create and develop new music or creative industry related business entities. You will explore methods for converting ideas and concepts into creative and innovative practices for gaining a competitive advantage in an unpredictable marketplace.

Elective Modules:

  • Education and Training
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits This module aims to introduce students to theories, principles and models of education and training leading to the development of teaching skills relating to the delivery of private music lessons. Students will develop understanding of the broad principles of teaching, learning and assessment within a chosen specialism.
  • Music Journalism
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Music Journalism will explore the development, role and future of music journalism in music subcultures, taste making, promotion and distribution. In addition, it considers the varied critical perspectives of music journalists, publishers and publicists all of whom contribute to the varied roles in music journalism. Additionally, it is essential that you apply a critical approach to various scenarios related to music journalism, relating these to commercial objectives and how different content can be applied to varying platforms and publications. The module encourages self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Advanced Music Theory and Analysis
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Advanced Music Theory and Analysis aims to examine a broad range of advanced music theory topics that will form a basis for analysing creativity in the conception of contemporary music. In addition, learners will be required to understand and apply advanced music theory, and be encouraged to study in detail a range of concepts within a broad spectrum of musical genres and styles. The module predominantly comprises self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Audio Design for Video Games
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Through Audio Design for Video Games you will be exposed to the myriad of opportunities that the gaming industry offers to the contemporary music professional. You will learn to adopt a suitable and relevant writing style, and examine the various audio types that a gaming soundtrack requires, from basic sound effects to fully orchestral compositions. Further study will examine the role of online listings, agencies and networking in this competitive and exciting industry. The end goal of this module is to enable you to demonstrate your ability to create a complete song or composition to a specific brief within the context of the gaming industry. This will include critical reflection on your processes, methods and rationale.
  • Recorded Music Production
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Through Recorded Music Production you will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of record production. The module will focus on how a song (or collection of songs) evolves from a demo or rehearsal room arrangement to a master recording. Key areas of study include song selection and quality control, pre-production and arrangement, choosing a producer, goal setting, mixing, mastering and the psychology of recording. Your lessons will also explore the strategy of bypassing the demo stage and producing a fully finished master following the initial writing stage. You will examine the production of various recordings and assess how it has affected the record’s commercial success. Successful completion of the module will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of record production and how to apply this in your chosen career path. As the module is part directed and part self-directed, you will be expected to develop a strategic approach and effective time management to ensure you complete tasks as required. Tutorials and group work will supplement scheduled lectures.
  • Composition for Audio-Visual Media
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits This module aims to explore the use of music in a variety of audio-visual media, including film, television, radio and games, and to equip learners to compose music to a contemporary brief suitable to a given format. Learners will analyse classic media music forms and be stimulated to discuss and debate the nature of commercial success. They will apply the concept of commercial viability to musical works, mapping their own work against market-leading product. Writers will be encouraged to develop their understanding of the responsibilities of commercial writers, analyse the emotive qualities within music, and link musical content to audience reaction.
  • Tour Management
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits It is not uncommon for a manager to control the planning and execution of a tour in the early stages of a band or artist’s career and, to that end, the Tour Management module will equip you with a thorough understanding of touring logistics. In this module you will study budgets, processes and logistics and examine the roles of various crew members. You will learn which areas of a budget are most susceptible to variation as a result of the creative and practical decisions made by an artist, manager or tour manager. Key themes of the module are innovative thinking on budget management and the optimisation of commercial and creative outcomes. You will discuss the principles of effective promotion, including relationships with booking agents and promoters, and investigate the art of effective set list creation for a range of professional situations, from short support sets and small venue gigs to festival slots and arena headline shows.
  • Freelance and Musical Direction Skills
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Freelancing and Music Direction Skills aims to examine and develop the career strategies and professional skills of a freelance musician, including the essential skill of working with musical direction in the contemporary music environment. Additionally, it is essential that you apply a critical approach to the opportunities of freelance employment related to your specialism, justifying how these are part of your own career trajectory. The module predominantly comprises self-directed study and you will be expected to develop a strategic approach to practice and research. Effective time management is essential. Lectures will be supported by tutorials and group sessions.
  • Experimental Sound and Music
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits Exploring both an historical perspective and examples from more recent practitioners, this module aims to explore the creation of music and sound utilising a variety of experimental techniques. Interpretations of experimentalism will be discussed and demonstrated using a combination of software, hardware and performance techniques. Students will be encouraged to utilize a variety of these techniques to enhance and improve the originality of their compositions and productions.
  • IP Rights and Publishing
    Study Block 1 or 2 – 20 Credits IP Rights and Publishing takes a detailed look at the publishing industry, one of the major income streams available to songwriters, and will provide you with an understanding of the role of IP rights within this industry. In this module you will study the content and terms of different types of publishing contracts and the importance of copyright law in protecting your intellectual property rights and song rights. Additionally, you will explore scenarios such as songwriting splits, and how to agree on their terms to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. Successful completion of this module will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the publishing industry and related copyright law by applying this knowledge within the context of your own practice.

In the final year of the programme, students will study the following compulsory modules.
All compulsory modules must be passed in order to complete the award. Rules governing progression and degree classifications are explained in Falmouth University’s Academic Regulations.

  • Exit Project
    Study Block 2 – 30 Credits Exit Project aims to enable learners to consolidate the skills and experience gained during the course of their studies and deliver a substantial project associated with their chosen specialism. In addition to specialist skills and knowledge, project management will be required, requiring activities such as the choosing of personnel and repertoire, the organization of rehearsals and recordings, managing a budget, writing a proposal, compiling scores/charts and program notes or creating relevant multimedia presentations. Additionally, learners will also be required to submit a reflective essay that critically analyses and evaluates the processes involved in realising the project.
  • Entrepreneurship in Business
    Study Block 1 – 30 Credits The Entrepreneurship in Business module aims to provide learners with powerful strategic tools for observing the birth of new markets and the subsequent development of a unique operating space. Students will be provided with ways to broaden strategic thinking and analysis to enable the seeds of competitive advantage. The objective will be to develop strategic sense-making around market predictions and trends in order to make informed decisions.
  • Portfolio
    Study Block 2 – 30 Credits The Portfolio module is your opportunity to research and report on the full spectrum of career opportunities within your specialist area. You will be expected to identify and discuss available career pathways and explain how your craft can be applied within the context of professional opportunities and, if desired, lead to the monetisation of your skills through entrepreneurial practice and artistic excellence.
  • Dissertation
    Study Block 1 – 30 Credits The dissertation module provides an opportunity for you to carry out in-depth research and critical analysis of a topic relevant to the direction and development of your practice. The module also provides a further opportunity for you to gain and develop skills in the structuring, protocols and conventions associated with effective academic and discursive writing.

Our Students | James Corbitt


Music Business & Innovation
BA(Hons) Degree, 2016-17

» Campaign Manager
» Artist Manager

“ACM has provided me with a platform to learn about the music industry while allowing me to go out and apply my knowledge in real life situations. Over the past two years I have developed as both an academic student and an industry professional, with support from some great tutors and mentors. I strongly believe that the degree is only a part of what you are working towards at ACM, to make the most out of it I have kept active and taken any opportunity I have found or that ACM’s Industry Link Team has sent my way.”

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Jump over to our Apply Now page, select the relevant course and fill in our online form. Good luck!

Course Details

BA (Hons) Music Business & Innovation

Campus based, full-time.
London | 3 Years

Degree 360 Credits

Course code:
Music Business W37W
Artist Management W36W
Institution code: A48

Entry Requirements

All candidates will be required to attend an audition / interview.

London | 3 YEAR DEGREE

Minimum age 18

A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points for entry to undergraduate courses, primarily from Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as A levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. You can check how many points your qualifications are worth using the online UCAS Tariff Calculator.

We normally require Grade C/4 GCSE (or an equivalent qualification) in English. Candidates should be capable of using the English language fluently, and able to structure arguments and present evidence to a standard appropriate to study at Level ‘4’. Where the application materials appear insufficient to form a clear judgement on the candidate’s fluency, additional documentary evidence (e.g. recent essays) may be required.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to have achieved IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent qualification. For details regarding Falmouth University’s language requirements and accepted test certificates click here.

Please note that if you live outside of the EU or EFTA and require a Tier 4 VISA to study in the United Kingdom, we thank you for your interest in ACM but we are unable to accept your application at present for our full time Further Education and Higher Education programmes.

We welcome applications from those who might have completed alternative qualifications and/or have prior experience. In the instance of no Level 3 qualifications being held or the conditions not being met, we will ask for additional material to be submitted in support of your application. Details for this will be provided to you upon successful audition.

Awarding body
Falmouth University

£9,000 per year. Student loans are available.

Important Information

Important information pertaining to your studies and the regulations that govern your studentship can be found on Falmouth University’s website by following this link. In particular, you should note the ‘Student Terms & Conditions’, ‘Academic Regulations’, ‘ACM Student Code of Conduct’, and ‘Academic Integrity Policy’.

If you are dissatisfied with the level of service that you have received with ACM and wish to make a complaint, please read and follow ACM’s Complaints Policy and Procedure, which can be found on Falmouth University’s website at this link.