West Suffolk College
Three years full-time (or four years with Foundation Year 0)
112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
This course is delivered at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.
Please note, the foundation year option is next available in September 2020.
Creative and Commercial Music will forge the way for anyone with a desire to commence a career in the music industry. Whether as a performer, songwriter, singer, composer for game and media, live sound engineer, studio engineer, producer, studio manager, sound designer, the list is enormous!
This degree will provide the necessary skills required for a career in the music industry. With industry networking, practical and academic skills, you will just need the dedication and desire to succeed. We really can make dreams come true!
Foundation Year (Year 0)
We are pleased to offer a Foundation Year for Creative and Commercial Music.
The Foundation Year is designed for students who would like to study for a degree, but don't have the qualifications to enter directly onto an honours degree. The course runs along side the degree and continues in the second year to the full BA (Hons) Creative and Commercial Music Programme. The modules are a foundation to all requirements of the degree in Creative and Commercial Music. You can apply for Creative and Commercial Music (with Foundation Year) here.
Gain relevant, practical experience from networking opportunities within the music industry, across a plethora of industry projects.
The course will allow you to develop a portfolio of industry standard projects to enhance your employability, with the added benefit of Pro Tools certified training and certification, as well as a professional industry approved JAMES accreditation.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
This module will support and develop creative exploration of commercial song writing. Using the essentials of music theory tuition to aid full comprehension of the arrangement and form of commercial music.
The fundamentals of successful song form, rhythm, melody, chord progressions, bass and lyrics will be examined and synthesized.
This module introduces the principles of location recording, using portable recording devices and accessories. A range of recording scenarios will be covered, including rehearsals, live gigs and other public music events.
This module introduces the fundamental principles of multi-track recording and overdubbing using a range of recording devices and equipment. The scope will include traditional recording devices such as tape and hardware recorders, in addition to modern Digital Audio Workstations.
Music, though a creative discipline, can benefit greatly from exploration and experimentation. Through a chosen element of creative and commercial music the student will review literature linked to the subject field. A statement of exploration will permit a proposal of problem solving. The experimentation will be captured for evaluation to ascertain the findings and validate how the students' findings have informed professional practice.
This module is a substantial task, which provides learners with the opportunity to investigate a chosen area of music that interests them (e.g. performance, recording, production). Emphasis will be placed on the use of suitable resources and/or technologies to realise an independent creative work within a given timescale.
Double weighted module that lasts for a full year of the degree. This allows a plethora of hands on experience and teaching in different venues to gain a full grasp of industry live sound recording workflow. Concerts recorded will be with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a selection of commercial events.
This module will look at the methods of production workflow including working within a Digital Audio Workstation. Students will have the opportunity to take the Pro Tools 101 user exam will be available within this module.
Studying techniques and form to create a commercial song. The module will take the student through the workflow of song writing and aid them to discover which methods work for them. Full use of the analogue studio for recording and digital studio for editing in ProTools will enhance the professional product delivered. This module will also introduce the sample libraries available to write or replace audio in the song writing process.
Writing music and creating sound design for cinematic production or production libraries will be covered in this module. Following workflow with real world examples to learn from, will enhance your final portfolio. Using the digital studio, Pro Tools, Cinesamples and our Foley pit to create a professional result.
Whether the idea of being a producer, mix engineer, sound engineer or a composer who would like to record and produce their own album; this module will be the starting point to securing a sound understanding of the principles required to run a studio.
Research is an important academic element that all degree students need to embrace. Using a music production based theme (chosen by the student), a 5000 word research project is undertaken.
All music purchased and streamed needs to be mixed after the recording has taken place. This module studies the relationships of instrumental parts and the space that they occupy within the mix. Application of processing and automation and how to achieve a professional sound.
This module is designed to work closely with the Computer Games Technology BSc degree. Audio and games workflow integration, is essential to success for aspiring audio lead roles in professional games development companies. The creation of audio assets to professional standards with integration of a full industry workflow from concept to production fortify the learning experience. Skills will be transferable to real world roles within the computer games audio industry.
This module develops the skills and aptitude required to produce commercially targeted music in a variety of contemporary genres (e.g. house, rock, pop, hip-hop). The emphasis will be on advanced understanding and use of music production techniques and stem re-mixing, to produce original compositions.
Working within a chosen music production field, to a double weighted year-long project allows a portfolio of commercial work to be gradually built up. Within the music industry a portfolio is essential to demonstrate ability, with full access to all university resources this module aims to create a professional outcome for employability.
To achieve success in the music industry networking is an essential element. This is often the reason that many talented people don't succeed, we will show you how to network with leading industry companies and artists. The module allows you to create an industry network of contacts and introduces many exciting employment opportunities!
Following on from ‘The art and science of mixing’ at level five, a more in-depth exploration into post production with plenty of ‘hands-on’ training is undertaken. With mastering and a trip to Metropolis mastering studio to see Tim Young at work.
Bringing together the composition, scoring, mixing, production and mastering to create a fully professional product for your pathway to employment. This module is a year-long project to allow a high calibre extended audio project to be created with the option to take the Pro Tools 110 and 200 series exams in music or production.
A year-long exploration and research module. The dissertation can be chosen by the student in a field of music production they would like to explore in greater detail. Research and exploration of both primary and secondary sources with interaction from the industry is expected. Two options of a 10, 000 word or 7,500 word with practical portfolio dissertation project are available.
Graduates from this course will be equipped with a wide range of transferable skills which will enhance their employment prospects both within the music production sector (recording, mixing, producing), live sound field for all genres of music, project management, song writing, composing, arranging and orchestration for commercial music, game music and cinematic scoring.
Fees and finance
- Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
- Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
- International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.
- Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
- Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
- Also see Loans and Grants.
- At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for.
112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.
Also see How to Apply.
A portfolio of existing musical work would be expected from applicants. Additionally, an interview may be required.
Mature applicants would be considered if they are able to demonstrate suitable prior expertise or experience in a related subject area.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
Study is based at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College Bury St Edmunds.The degree studios consist of both an analogue tracking studio and a digital mixing suite.
The iMac suite is used for composition, sound design and editing workflow. The live rig is available to use on site and is deployed regularly for teaching at professional concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many contemporary concerts at venues including the Cadogan Hall London and the Cambridge Corn Exchange.
A large selection of industry software is available to use and Pro Tools is issued free to all students.