Songwriting Diploma

Start your journey as a professional songwriter here with us.

ACM’s Level 3 course in Songwriting is designed to give its students a focused learning experience, providing the skills and knowledge necessary for continuing study at Higher Education level or building a career as a Songwriter.

This course focuses on the creativity needed to become a professional songwriter including lessons on the tools used by modern songwriters, straight from industry professional with years of experience to build from.

Students are given access to a host of lectures, tutorials, workshops and masterclasses led by the same world-class music industry professionals that teach on our Higher Education programme offerings. An abundance of solo and ensemble performance opportunities for students to showcase their compositions are embedded into the course, delivered from our Roger Taylor Demo Theatre and Electric Theatre auditoriums.

Songwriting Diploma Units

  • Music Culture (COR-311)
    Music Culture will provide learners with knowledge and insight into historical and contemporary contexts and perspectives that have influenced the development of music performance and production. It will discuss how music functions within society and encourage critical commentary on the influences that technology, politics, business, history and geography have had on the development and production of music and wider popular culture.
  • Professional Industry Practice (COR-312)
    These sessions aim to promote learners’ personal, academic and professional development through self-assessment, target-setting and preparation for Higher Education and future career paths. It will investigate the workings of the music industry, where it fits within the creative industries, synergies, collaborations, partnerships, how the industry maps together, who the industry represents, why it’s so important and the mechanics of how it works in terms of income streams, money generation and flow, the rise of the DIY artist and new business models in creative projects coming to market within the creative industries.
  • Event Management (COR-313)
    Through a practical and contextual approach, this module will discuss the planning of events – music, corporate, fashion, product launches, festivals – clarifying their purpose, the people, stage management, sound, backline, equipment, logistics, strategy, planning and execution, venue hire, health and safety principles, roles and all venue considerations when the public come together.
  • Technical Development (PRF-311)
    In these classes students will learn and develop compositional techniques, skills and confidence through practical activities and apply these in stylistically accurate ways. They will also learn to develop their individual sound and creative expression.
  • Band Skills (PRF-312)
    These ensemble classes will introduce the basic elements of music performance, production and technology and impart an understanding of performance as a collaborative activity. Through practical workshops students will gather and develop musical material, take part in observed rehearsal and self-reflect and evaluate the process of rehearsal through to performance.
  • Composition (PRF-313)
    This module will provide the student with the opportunity to expand and develop composition skills to help inform musical performance and production ideas and communicate clearly using music terminology. Students will learn the principles of music theory and how these relate to composition and the generation and  presentation thereof. .
  • Critical Listening (PRF-314)
    Critical Listening will provide the student with the opportunity to expand and develop listening skills to help inform musical performance and production ideas. They will learn to interpret and analyse musical material and communicate clearly using music terminology. It should provide the all-important link between the concepts of aural perception and music theory enabling students to appreciate its value and become conversant in the language of music.
  • Stylistic Awareness (PRF-315)
    This module will provide the student with an introduction to the investigation of both historical and contemporary contexts and perspectives that influence the development of ideas within the music performance and production industry. It should provide a practical environment within which to experiment with and develop ideas influenced and inspired by key points in the development of popular music. Through practical workshops, students will learn to interpret ideas in stylistically appropriate contexts and present these in performance situations.

As well as developing their general musicality and technological competencies, students will also develop the analytical, time management, presentational and interpersonal skills necessary to become a well-rounded and employable music professional. After all, studying Songwriting at ACM is not just about learning how to produce music, it’s about learning how to make your love, your profession.

Our Students | Darcy J Cole, 16


Music Production
Diploma 2015-16

» To become a successful music producer and songwriter.

“Going to ACM has been something I’ve very much enjoyed and learnt a lot from when doing their part time courses, so I’m really excited and can’t wait to see what’s to come from starting a full time course! “

Course Details

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production


CAMPUS DELIVERY Guildford / Birmingham

UCAS Points Up to 168 (equivalent to three A-Levels at A*)

Progression routes on completion
Students can enrol directly onto a two year Degree programme.

Entry Requirements

Minimum age 16

You will be expected to have at least 4 GCSEs (A* – C or 9 – 4 grade) or equivalent level 2 qualification. This should include English and Maths GCSE (A* – C or 9 – 4 grade). Suitability for the programme will also be assessed through interview/audition.

English and Maths
If you do not have a pass in either English or Maths GCSE then we will provide you with the opportunity to complete this alongside your course. Students needing to resit both English and Maths will normally be required to first complete the UAL Level 2 Diploma in Music Performance and Production programme. Your ability will be assessed and where appropriate you may be required to first complete a Functional Skills level award.

EU applicants who have completed non-UK English and Maths qualifications will be required to provide evidence of exemption though the NARIC service ( If you are unable to provide suitable evidence then you will be required to retake Maths and English GCSE alongside your core programme.

Fees & financing information can be found here.

Ready for ACM?

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