BA (Hons) Music Business


This course aims to nurture your creative flair while developing core skills as a music business entrepreneur across a wide range of subject areas. You’ll be offered opportunities to build your knowledge of the industry while developing innovative ideas in the context of our city’s uniquely pro-active and inspiring music business culture.

Our well-connected tutors will guide and support you through the teaching of professional development, project-management and business skills across areas such as artist management, marketing, music publishing, copyright legislation, the internet and social media, the live industry, music recording and distribution. You’ll also have the opportunity to access to work experience opportunities that will develop your ‘hands-on’ industry knowledge through placements and internships with a wide range of music-focused employers, or be supported in entrepreneurial ventures of your own design.

Bristol’s best gigs, musicians and venues will be right on your doorstep to help enhance your understanding of what the music business is all about. You’ll also be a part of our thriving BIMM community mixing with gifted writers, performers, alumni and music industry professionals. And you never know – with all this talent, you could discover the next big thing right here!

So, what are you waiting for? To make your way in the music business, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Click here to find this course on UCAS.

We recommend that BA (Hons) Music Business students bring a laptop or iPad device with wireless capabilities in with them to lessons for in-class research and other tasks.

Validated by:

2018/2019 Fees

Student Loan Finance Available

Year 1

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


    This module introduces students to the skills needed in a professional live arena for touring and one-off productions. These include event and concert promotion, project management, budgeting, liaison with artist management, personnel and roles, tour routing, staging, logistics and managing the environment to ensure the safety of the audience, performers and crew.


    This module covers the fundamental physics of sound and electrical signals, practical work with real world sound reinforcement (PA) systems, and the ability to communicate effectively with live musicians and audio technicians. It is designed to provide an all round knowledge of how sound reinforcement works, and aims to provide entrepreneurs and music business professionals with confidence to ensure the best audience experience across a variety of live sound situations.


    This module offers an introduction to the key skills and knowledge areas in music business administration and entrepreneurship. It considers these elements in the context of the financial and legislative framework of the industry with reference to a wide variety of organisations and practitioners: from multinational corporations to solo entrepreneurs. It also considers more complex topics such as intellectual property, funding, budgeting, human resources, tax, insurance and business planning.


    This module is designed to give students a practical introduction to the complex relationship between the internet and the music industry, including up-to-date knowledge of key contemporary issues. Topics include online investment and crowd funding, digital rights management and piracy, big data and cloud computing, social media and social networking, digital distribution and streaming.


    This module introduces the knowledge and skills required to work with musicians, producers and songwriters in creative artist development. Students learn employ critical listening skills to discern the commercial viability of a songwriter or performer, develop an awareness of gatekeepers in the contemporary music industry, and become familiar with the role and responsibilities of a professional artist manager.


    This module is designed to introduce a comprehensive picture of the workings of the contemporary music business. Topics include such areas as digital music companies, new opportunities online, music distribution, royalty collection, music publishing, artist management, recording contracts, music law, synchronisation, and all the latest developments in this fast moving industry. A section on study skills also introduces the academic element of Higher Education.

Year 2

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


    This module helps music business entrepreneurs and project managers understand research using a variety of different methods. The skills and data generated can be used to plan and prepare for their BA Year 3 Professional Project the following year. The ability to carry out research is an invaluable resource to entrepreneurs who wish to develop informed ideas, viable music projects and realistic business plans.


    Modern recorded music comes from a wide range of sources: home project studios, commercial studios, live event recordings, or entirely computer-based digital productions. Each offers a different audio experience, requires different skills, and is either sold, streamed and given away in an increasing variety of formats. This module is designed to help music entrepreneurs develop their knowledge of engineering practice, recording technology and distribution mechanisms in this fast moving area of the industry.


    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.


    This module encourages students to develop a strong Work Based Learning (WBL) portfolio by engaging with career focussed music business work experience. Candidates undertake a real world work experience project to develop key skills and enhance their suitability for employment across this sector of the creative industries. The module also aims to further strengthen each candidate’s potential as an independent entrepreneur, and encourages an organised and systematic approach to personal career development.


    This module provides an introduction to marketing and communications, examining the formation and development of key marketing principals. It offers students the opportunity to explore traditional marketing theories alongside contemporary music industry marketing approaches, and combine them to create effective strategies for their own professional marketing plan.


    This module introduces students to the principles and practice of copyright, the business and mechanics of music publishing, and the roles and structure of the collection societies. The module goes on to examine the diverse applications of this important revenue stream; such as music and media, film, television, radio and the internet.

Year 3

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


    Three years of hard work come together in a final year project of your choice. This module provides students with a unique opportunity to explore their own ambitions and implement their ideas in a practical and supportive setting - then graduate with a road-tested entrepreneurial project or a piece of commercial research to enhance their employability prospects. The options are almost limitless here, but might include: starting an online record company, targeting that dream job in the industry, a debut album release and press campaign, launching a web site, podcast or YouTube channel, crowd-funded projects, your own artist management company, market research for music festivals, promoting gigs at a local venue, taking a band on the road, pursuing further study and/or working in Higher Education, fundraising events for good causes or charities. It’s entirely up to you!


    Students are encouraged to consider and facilitate their own personal and business development - an essential activity for entrepreneurs and professionals across the industry. This module aims to support students in identifying their professional development needs, covering areas such as career planning, effective team working, stress management, time management and goal setting.


    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.


    Designed to give students advanced knowledge in the distribution and promotion of music on the internet, this module offers a detailed exploration of the future of music in the digital realm. While focussing on the current main players in distribution and streaming, additional topics may include social media, data collection, online promotion, international e-commerce, convergence and analytics.


    This module expands on the skills and competencies gained in Concert / Event Promotion and Tour Management with a practical exploration of music-related events and music festival management. It aims to ensure a broad knowledge of this important sector of the industry and helps to support any live music elements in your final Professional Project.

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Minimum requirements

Minimum of 2 A Levels at grade C or above (64 points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:


Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry in entrepreneurial areas such as artist management, A&R, events, marketing, media law, merchandising, music publishing, journalism and tour management. Alternatively, they can continue their study with a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching at BIMM Brighton or a Masters Degree.

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How to apply

All degree applications must be made by UCAS. You will be required to attend an interview to discuss your application. Alternatively, a phone interview can be arranged. To request an interview, please call 08442 646 666.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Length of course:
3 years
Awarding institution:
University of Sussex
Teaching institution:
BIMM Bristol
UCAS code:
Language of study:
Final award:
Certificate of Higher Education (exit award only at level 4), Diploma of Higher Education (exit award only at level 5), Bachelors Degree with Honours.
Admissions criteria:
Minimum of 2 A Levels at grade C or above (64 points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From being named as Guitarist magazine’s ‘Acoustic Guitarist of the Year’ and being Robbie Williams’s personal manager, to writing six books on the bass guitar and drumming for Siouxsie Sioux, our BIMM Bristol tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Making it in music:

Success Stories

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with many forging a career in the music industry as performers and music industry professionals.

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