BA (Hons) in Music Journalism

Overview

If you’re looking to pursue a career in journalism, but would like to specialise in the discipline of music from the very start, then the BA (Hons) in Music Journalism at BIMM Brighton will give you the competitive edge you need to become a successful music journalist.

This highly vocational course will help you develop dedicated skills in journalism and public relations, all within the specific context of the music industry.

You’ll develop a solid base of wider journalistic skills, including the study of topics such as law and ethics, writing and academic skills, and research techniques, but will also undertake modules distinctly relevant to the music industry, such as the nature of music journalism and PR, music history, digital literacy, the structure and working practice of the music business, music entrepreneurship, and artist promotion and marketing.

The course is designed to act as a direct springboard into employment and you’ll have access to a whole range of unique opportunities allowing you to engage directly with the music industry in the form of work placements and professional projects.

You’ll be regularly encouraged to network, connect and collaborate with fellow BIMM students as part of the course, giving you unique access to a huge talent pool of performers, songwriters, producers and music business entrepreneurs to write about, interview and promote.

So to make your way as a music journalist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Click here to find this course on UCAS.

Validated by:

UK & EU Students £6,300 per year

Non EU Students £11,800 per year

This course is subject to validation by the University of Sussex and subject to specific course designation to enable students to access loans from the Student Loan Company.

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Year 1

All students take the following mandatory modules in their first year of study. Please note: module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Introduction to Music Journalism

    This module will introduce students to how music journalists work in the industry and develop the skills, information and experience necessary to gain employment in various roles. Students will look at how the music industry is structured and how journalists work with artists, PRs, record labels, management and promoters. We will also look at the various roles within music journalism, specifically in the areas of music journalism particular to the industry (e.g. trade magazines).

  • Music Journalism Techniques

    This module allows students to gain a basic understanding of journalism and journalistic practices by introducing and developing the various skills needed by a journalist on top of writing skills and styles (which are covered in the Writing for the Music Industry module). Here, students will learn how to prepare, research, interview and report for a variety of platforms. They’ll also learn the different skills required for writing and producing for radio, online and TV, enabling multi-disciplinary training.

  • Music Business

    To produce insightful, timely and relevant copy, music journalists require a practical working knowledge of the music industry. This module demystifies the business, introducing students to the structure, principles and practices that underpin its day-to-day operation.

  • Journalism in Context

    This module explores the history of popular music journalism as a distinct sub-genre of journalism from 1900 to the present day. The social and political conditions influencing the development of popular music culture are explored through the work of key writers, along with the cultural and critical response to their legacy.

  • Writing for the Music Industry

    This module will introduce and develop students’ writing skills for the various roles within music journalism. It will introduce and develop specialist skills and approaches in writing for print, online, TV and radio. Students will be introduced to news, features, review and script writing and the necessary extra skills like subbing, editing and supporting audio, video, visuals and photographs. This unit will further identify the students’ employability skills and develop specialist approaches.

  • Music and Digital Media

    This module will introduce students into the world of online public relation mediums and the development of key software and content development to successfully build reports, stories and news, which are clear and contextualised within the arena in which they situate themselves. Particular areas of specialism will reflect on the use of music and sound within the online world, and how the music industry incorporates various techniques, styles and technology to produce contemporary work.

Year 2

All students take the following mandatory modules in their second year of study. Please note: module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Research Methods

    In a world of varied and competing information sources, professional journalists need to adopt a rigorous approach to original research and the use of social data. This module introduces students to the tools of analytical journalism and the range of research methods used in the media, communications and across contemporary digital platforms and channels.

  • Cultural Perspectives

    This module aims to provide a comprehensive history of popular music and the music business. It encourages students to analyse the key economic, social and technological developments that shaped the growth and development of the industry, evaluate the impact of key releases from influential artists and labels, then apply this learning to their own creative practice.

  • Engaging With Industry

    This module is a collaborative effort between the course provider and local employers in which students are given an opportunity to integrate academic knowledge and understanding gleaned from Year 1 of the course, with vocational skills and competencies developed in their WBL experiences. It introduces students to the realities of life as a practitioner in the music industry and the context of a self-employed portfolio career.

  • Artist Development and PR

    Students will learn about the work of artist promotion, marketing and PR in this module and how a marketing campaign can break an artist or develop an existing one. They will learn about writing biographies, campaigns (online and off), writing press reports and the relationship between the journalist and the PR. On successful completion of the unit, students will have the necessary knowledge, understanding and transferable relevant skills to work successfully in a key area of the music industry.

  • Music Journalism Principles, Ethics and Law

    This module will further develop skills introduced in Year 1 in Writing for the Music Industry, but in more depth. Each student will work in various writing and publishing roles as if in a real office in print and online (including audio and video). Students will learn how to pitch, produce and design their own BIMM music magazine. They will start with research and understand why there is a need for a music magazine in their area, and will pitch and plan schedules to tie in with production and content timelines, before learning how to flat plan a magazine.

  • Digital Media Production

    This module will see students developing the language of print into multi-media facets as they enter the various avenues for delivering clear and dynamic work. New contemporary methods of PR (branding, electronic press kits, etc.) will be incorporated into the module and enable students to apply these skills to a range of services.

Year 3

All students take the following mandatory modules in their third year of study. Please note: module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Global Communication

    In a connected world, the way information is created, shared and consumed is changing rapidly. This module encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the impact of the internet on globalisation and shared culture. The specific themes of cultural reflexivity, territory-specific tone-of-voice, writing for a global audience and contemporary theories of media, culture and society in a transnational context are also covered.

  • Creative Entrepreneurship

    This unit prepares students for the challenge of being a freelance music journalist working in today’s print and online media and/or as a PR. From finding original news or features, and discovering and breaking into new markets, to writing for specialist music publications, this module covers the essential skills that every successful freelance music writer and editor needs. Students will learn the first steps in freelancing – everything from how to make initial contact with commissioning editors, and how to pitch, to the importance of lead times, writing to a deadline, and understanding different music magazine markets and their audiences.

  • Professional Project

    This module ensures that students confront their responsibilities as professionals and manage a project that is rooted firmly in the professional world. Jobs in the music industry vary enormously and most musicians need to be adaptable and flexible in order to carve their own niche in the industry. Final projects must be realistic and achievable, and are linked with the earlier Course Planning and Research Methods modules. During the unit, students will consolidate the skills and experience gained through the course of their studies. They will draw upon their research, project planning, managerial and team working skills.

  • Professional Development

    This module gives students the opportunity to develop their self-assessment and peer feedback skills while undertaking a significant programme of self-chosen and self-directed professional development. Students may choose to focus on professional development relating to their musicianship; their business aspirations; their personal development; or their efforts to develop the skills to undertake a successful Professional Project. The module will take them though the stages of identifying professional development needs, setting themselves effective output and outcome goals, developing an informed plan, putting the plan into action, reviewing progress and adapting plans and actions to improve them, and undertaking a final impact analysis to judge how effective their development has been.

  • Analytical Perspectives

    Most successful entrepreneurs, musicians and industry professionals are keenly aware of the traditions in which they perform and of current developments in popular culture. Creative artists and entrepreneurs employ such knowledge to produce innovative and potentially impactful material. This module casts a critical eye over contemporary popular culture, giving students indispensable tools to approach their own projects in creative and original ways.

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Minimum requirements

Minimum of 240 UCAS points to include 2 A-levels at grade C, or BTEC level 3 equivalent, and five GCSE qualifications at grade C and upwards, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:

Progression

Graduates can progress directly to a career as either a freelance or staff music journalist, working on newspapers, magazines, radio, TV or online, or they can continue their study with a BIMM Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching or a Masters Degree.

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How to apply

All degree applications must be made via UCAS. To request an assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students will be assessed on their Personal Statement within their UCAS application. International applicants will receive an application form and will be assessed based on their Personal Statement.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of Course:
3 years
Awarding Institution:
University of Sussex
Teaching Institution:
BIMM Brighton
UCAS code:
P500
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
BA (Hons)
Admissions criteria:
Minimum of 240 UCAS points to include 2 A-levels at grade C, or BTEC level 3 equivalent, and five GCSE qualifications at grade C and upwards, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band. An equivalent qualification or experiential learning is acceptable via our Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) processes.

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BIMM Tutors

From launching the career of Oasis and scoring nine Top 40 singles with the band Sleeper, to winning a Mercury Music Prize as part of Gomez and knocking Take That off the top spot, our BIMM Brighton tutors have done it all. One even has the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as her real life godfather! Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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