Singing Songwriting Degree Courses - ACM Music College

The Creative Pathway with Real-World Practical Industry Connections.

The Creative Artist study-route provides its students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to discover and channel their inner-artist, covering a combination of songwriting, performance, production and business modules. Students of this route don’t just ride music waves, they make them, learning all about the music and creative industries they are about to walk into, as they do so.

This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.

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ACM Creative Artist Route UCAS Codes

BA(Hons) Music Industry Practice (MIP) – The Creative Artist Route (Guildford Campus)
UCAS Institution Code: A48

  • Music & Creative Artistry (Artist) 2 Years W315 | 3 Years W31M
  • Songwriting & Creative Artistry (Songwriting) 2 Years W381 | 3 Years W380

Creative Artist Modules

All students on the Creative Artist Study-Route must study the following modules in addition to the mandatory modules of the Music Industry Practice programme.

  • Songcraft: MIP-407 and Advanced Songcraft: MIP-504
    Songcraft gives you unique insight and perspective as to the nature of the creative songwriting process. Module credit value: 15 / 30
  • Technology and Performance: MIP-409
    This module will challenge your understanding of musical performance through exposure to novel creative ideas and work processes. Exploring the creative application of technology in musical performance, MIP-409 is an essential module for every budding Creative Artist. Module credit value: 15
  • Technical Studies: MIP-410
    This module provides you with the discipline, knowledge and technical skills required to master your chosen instrument, whether that be Bass, Drums, Guitar, Keys or Vocals. Whichever you choose, become the best. Module credit value: 15
  • Stagecraft and Presentation: MIP-411 and Advanced Stagecraft and Presentation: MIP-506
    Discover and develop your artistic persona in Stagecraft and Presentation, while remaining true to your ideas and vision. Module credit value: 15 / 30
  • Music Information Technology: MIP-412
    Become a consummate technician of sound. Music Information Technology enables you to develop your understanding and skill in using various music software packages covering MIDI sequencing, sound synthesis, recording and editing techniques. Module credit value: 15
  • Creative Audio Technology: MIP-505
    This module provides you with knowledge of advanced recording, mixing, and other creative production techniques used by world-famous producers, artists and sound engineers of the last 30 years. Module credit value: 30
  • Advanced Creative Artist Studies: MIP-605
    Turn your vision into reality. This module facilitates your transition from learner to professional, becoming the creative artist you aspire to be, properly equipped to enter the contemporary music and creative industries. Module credit value: 30
  • Intellectual Property Rights: MIP-421
    Protecting your art and helping to protect the art of others. This module explores the issues and challenges faced by owners of copyrighted works. You will study copyright and other intellectual property rights concentrating particularly on registering and asserting rights, commercial exploitation and infringement. Module credit value: 15

Over the last 20 years we’ve learnt that there are some things that every music industry professional needs to know about. Things such as copyright, the pseudo-currency of the music industry, who the key players are and how the various sectors of artist management, records, publishing and live work and are changing. That’s why our Music Industry Practice programme includes a small number mandatory modules that we believe everyone should study.

  • Cultural Perspectives: MIP-402
    Getting to the roots of music. This module helps you to understand the broader social context of music. Link happenings in the wider-world with the development of music and analyse the cultural associations of specific musical genres. Learn where the music came from. Module credit value: 15
  • Music Industry Studies: MIP-403
    This module gives you a thorough understanding of the music industry and its key players, as well as exploring our industry’s pseudo-currency; copyright in artistic works. Music Industry Studies gives you the best start imaginable for a career as a music industry professional. Module credit value: 15
  • Exit Specialism: MIP-601
    This module asks you to consolidate all the skills and experience gained during the course of your studies to deliver a substantial practical project associated with your chosen specialism. A songwriter might deliver an album and songbook. A sound designer may work on an interactive game soundtrack. Entrepreneurial students might launch a real business venture. There are so many options, and the choice is all yours! Module credit value: 30
  • Portfolio: MIP-602
    This module requires that you professionally present you and your work to the music marketplace, making you ready to compete successfully with other industry professionals upon graduation. Module credit value: 30
  • Research Project: MIP-603
    Deliver a research-based dissertation in a field related to the music or wider creative industries in order to drive understanding in a particular area, forward. Module credit value: 30

Credit-bearing elective modules are a requirement of your qualification. Students must choose from the indicative list below.

The final module selection will be available at course induction where you can select modules which will work in tandem with your core timetable.

  • Music Therapy: MIP-520
    Live a better life with music. This module delivers a detailed understanding of music therapy in health and education settings. Now you, too, can understand the importance of music, not only as art and entertainment, but as a positive force in the lives of others. Module credit value: 15
  • Mix Preparation and Mastering: MIP-521
    Gain a thorough understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin mix preparation and mastering, the final polishing exercises involved in a recorded product’s route to market. Module credit value: 15
  • Composition for Audiovisual Media: MIP-522
    Make music for all kinds of arts and entertainment platforms, from film and television to gaming. Learn the theory, psychology, commerce and practicalities of musical composition taking place outside of our home industry. Module credit value: 15
  • Music Journalism: MIP-523
    This explores the development, role and future of music journalism as a form of critique, commentary, tastemaking, and promotion. You will come to understand the role that writers have in shaping and appraising music culture, as well as learning about the key players and platforms involved in the commerce of journalism today. Pick up a pen and put your thoughts on paper. Module credit value: 15
  • Experimental Music and Sound: MIP-524
    Raise the bar of the avant-garde. This module explores the non-traditional creation of music and sound using a variety of experimental techniques. Challenge the norm and be at the cutting edge of music making. Module credit value: 15
  • Broadcast Studies: MIP-525
    Discover both medium and message. This module provides you with a core understanding of the fundamentals of television, radio and internet broadcasting technology, production, programming and presentation technique. Module credit value: 15
  • Education and Training: MIP-526
    Inform and inspire. This module introduces you to theories, principles and models of education necessary for you to impart your wisdom to others. Be the best music teacher you can be. Module credit value: 15
  • Interactive Audio: MIP-527
    Bring sound and story to life. This module teaches how music and sound can be integrated into all kinds of interactive media such as theatre, art-installations, e-books and computer games for the purpose of entertainment and education. Augmented Reality. The world as you might see and hear it. Module credit value: 15
  • Freelance and Music Direction Skills: MIP528
    This module 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. Module credit value: 15
  • Audience and Consumer Psychology: MIP-529
    Understand what moves a crowd and makes them spend their money. This module explores the relationship between music and psychology from commercial, emotional and academic perspectives. Module credit value: 15
  • Advanced Music Theory and Analysis: MIP-530
    This module provides you with an advanced understanding of music theory. Become a sensei in the science of music. Module credit value: 15
  • Music in the Community: MIP-531
    Learn the role of music in bringing communities together. This module explores the context and function of music in the community, covering historical, social and economical areas of study. Module credit value: 15

Zero-credit elective modules (subject to availability) have no bearing on or requirement in your qualification, they are purely optional. We recommend that students study 2 of these modules, but there is no minimum or maximum stipulation.

  • Second Instrument
    This module gives you the opportunity to learn and master a second instrument, thus improving your versatility, creativity and employability.
  • Keyboard Skills
    This module provides you with further technical proficiency in playing piano/keys, arguably the starting-point for so many of those who love music.
  • Web and App Design
    This module teaches you about web and app design – knowledge and skills that are very useful in a multitude of situations in today’s digital world, whether for building your own artistic presence online or building a presence for others.
  • Movement and Dance
    Learn how to enhance live performance with movement and dance. Whether choreographing your own movement or the movement of others, learn how to link music and body in this elective module.
  • Video Production
    This module prepares you for effectively presenting your talent to the wider world. Learn how to work the camera, from both behind and infront of the lens. Explore what to say to journalists, and also what not to say!
  • Self-Employment
    As you build towards the dream portfolio, where you yourself are in charge of your own career destiny, it is extremely likely that you will at some point find yourself working in a self-employed manner. This module teaches you how to manage your business affairs as a self-employed individual, including how to handle taxation and other finance-related necessities. It’ll help you work smarter and faster, saving you both time and money in the future.
  • Creative Writing
    Bring your ideas to life in writing. This module gives you the opportunity to become an accomplished storyteller, whether your intended output be media journalism or the lyrics of a song. Master the written word.
  • Ensemble Singing
    Discover the power of group singing, verse and chorus. This module introduces you to the essential techniques and skills required to arrange and perform in vocal ensembles. Whether you are a singer, bandleader, conductor or composer, learn how to bring together a group of voices together for maximum effect.
  • Radio Presentation & Production
    You’ll learn all about the technologies involved in the broadcast and programming industries and how some of your favourite radio programming is made in this elective module. Master the art of Radio Production. Speak to your audience. This module explores the art of voice presentation within the broadcast and programming industries. Whether you’d like to become a radio presenter or commercial voice artist, learn how to use your voice to maximum effect.
  • Remixing
    Turn tracks on their head. This module gives students the required skills and knowledge to understand the art of remixing.
  • Audio Technical Support
    Give good technical support. Enable production and performance sessions to run smoothly and professionally through study of this module.
  • Experimental Sound & Music
    Create in a different way. In this module, students are shown how to utilise a variety of software, hardware and performance techniques to enhance and improve originality in composition and production.
  • Pro Tools
    Master the de facto production package, Pro Tools. This module gives practitioners of audio production the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge of the world’s most favoured Digital Audio Workstation software.
  • Ableton
    As a sequencer, experimental sound creation tool and live performance device in one neat and intuitive package, Ableton is the choice of many top artists, record producers and remixers, particularly within the many Electronic music genres. Become an Ableton guru.
  • Sound to Picture
    Moving picture mediums such as Television, Video, Film and Games are commonly matched with sound, but the ability to match the medium, type and style of the moving picture with the right sound is not an easy task. This module shows students how to get it right every time.
  • Location & Live Recording
    Create viable and interesting sound designs. From equipment choice to capture technique, become proficient in Location Recording, Foley and ADR. Whether at Wembley Stadium or the local pub, equipment choice and capture technique in a live setting is very different to that in a studio environment. Learn the intricacies of a perfect live recording set-up in this module.

Our Foundation Year is for those people who haven’t taken a traditional route through education or the working world and, having spoken with our teams, determine that they would benefit from an additional year of study with us at the start of their programme.

In the Foundation year students will complete the eight modules below alongside academic skills training.

On successful completion of the Foundation Year students will progress onto the relevant route of the accelerated 2-year programme.

  • Songwriting: MIP-001
    From ballads to anthems, earworms to epics, learn how to craft the lyrics and melodies that will emote and captivate. This module introduces you to the essentials of successful songwriting.
  • Musical Improvisation: MIP-002
    Make music, in the moment. This module develops the art of musical improvisation, teaching you the necessary skills to perform solos and accompany other musicians freely and spontaneously.
  • Instrumental and Vocal Studies: MIP-004
    Express yourself. This module delivers the core skills required to master your instrument to a professional level. Through study, you will come to understand the common elements of every good vocal and instrumental technique.
  • Basic Sequencing and Software: MIP-005
    Realising the sounds you hear in your mind. This module gives you the knowledge and skills required to realise musical ideas using MIDI sequencing techniques. You can create incredible music at the click of a button.
  • Music Theory: MIP-006
    This module provides you with a solid foundation of music theory. Master the language and science of music.
  • Music Culture: MIP-007
    Music has always brought people together – and now you can understand why. This module gives you the opportunity to learn and discuss the ways in which contemporary music affects, reflects and entertains society.
  • Introduction to Band Skills: MIP-011
    There’s no I in band. This module shows you the techniques and methods that professional musicians use to create outstanding live performances. You will be able to identify, understand and discuss crucial elements of professional performance preparation and stagecraft.
  • Music Industry Overview: MIP-012
    The music industry is a wild and complex beast that you’ll never tame. And so knowing what keeps it happy and healthy is important. This module gives you a foundational understanding of the music industry and its key players, in turn giving you one of the best starts imaginable for a career as a music industry professional.

Our Students | Ollie Wade, 20

ollie-wade-300x300

Contemporary Songwriting & Artist Development
CertHE / Degree, 2015-17

ASPIRATIONS
» Release an album and tour the world
» Write a Top 40 hit single
» Make music a full-time career

“My ACM experience has been amazing. I have met so many talented like-minded people in every department. I have improved considerably in various aspects due to the amazing tutors and very practical based course. I can now call myself a musician, not just a singer.”

Destinations

  • Artist

    This bespoke study option has been created for those wishing to pursue a career as an Artist. Elective Modules in Stage Presence, Media Presence & Web Design, Experimental Music and Audience & Consumer Psychology make it particularly useful for this career destination.

    You will study towards a BA (Hons) in Music Industry Practice and join the Creative Artist Route of the programme. Other Modules you will study include Songcraft, Technology & Performance, Technical Studies, Stagecraft and Presentation, Music Information Technology and Creative Audio Technology.

    The programme is delivered in an accelerated fashion over two years (or available as a three year option for those who do not meet our standard entry requirements) and is validated by Middlesex University.

    UCAS Codes

    UCAS Institution Code – A48
    Two Year Course – W315
    Three Year Course – W31M

    View this destination on the UCAS site.

    ACM also offers a route to becoming an Songwriter as well as options to pursue a musician route.

    header_ucaslogo

    Continue reading →
  • Songwriter

    This bespoke study option has been created for those wishing to pursue a career as a Songwriter. Elective Modules in Keyboard Skills, Creative Writing, Composition for Audio-Visual Media and Music Direction make it particularly useful for this career destination.

    You will study towards a BA (Hons) in Music Industry Practice and join the Creative Artist Route of the programme. Other Modules you will study include Songcraft, Technology & Performance, Technical Studies, Stagecraft and Presentation, Music Information Technology and Creative Audio Technology.

    The programme is delivered in an accelerated fashion over two years (or available as a three year option for those who do not meet our standard entry requirements) and is validated by Middlesex University.

    UCAS Codes

    UCAS Institution Code – A48
    Two Year Course – W381
    Three Year Course – W380

    See this destination on the UCAS site

    ACM also offers a route to becoming an Artist as well as options to pursue a musician route.

    header_ucaslogo

    Continue reading →
VIEW ALL OUR DESTINATIONS

“This facility is amazing, if I was beginning my career I would definitely start here, if my children decide music is the path that they would like to take, then I want them to enrol in ACM.”

Lemar Singer / Songwriter

Ready for ACM?

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

Course Details

AWARD
BA (Hons) Music Industry Practice

DURATION
Full Time Study (Accelerated Programme)
2 Year (6 x 15 week Terms)
3 Year including Foundation Year

FHEQ CREDITS
Degree 360

UCAS CODES
Institution A48

Awarding body
Middlesex University

CAMPUS DELIVERY
Birmingham
Guildford

Entry Requirements

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

2 YEAR DEGREE

Minimum age 18

All candidates should hold at least two Cs at A-Level (or an equivalent Level 3 qualification), possessing a minimum of 64 UCAS points*.

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) will be called for. Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to have achieved IELTS level 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent qualification.

We welcome applications from those who might have completed alternative quali cations, and/or have prior experience. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

* New UCAS 2017 tariff system.

FOUNDATION LEVEL 0

Minimum age 17

All candidates should hold at least 18 tariff points* with a minimum of 12 points from one 6-unit award.

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 ‘0’. Where the application materials appear insufficient to form a clear judgement on the candidate’s fluency, additional documentary evidence (e.g. recent essays) will be called for. Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to have achieved IELTS level 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent qualification.

We welcome applications from those who might have completed alternative qualifications, and/or have prior experience. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

* New UCAS 2017 tariff system.

Details regarding the English Language requirements for Middlesex University programmes can be viewed here.