Music Journalism

BA (Hons)

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 BA (Hons) Music Journalism at BIMM Manchester 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 but 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. You will also undertake modules distinctly relevant to the music industry, such as the nature of music journalism, PR, music history, digital literacy, the structure and working practice of the music business, music entrepreneurship, 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. You’ll have 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:

2018/2019 Fees

 

Student Loan Finance Available

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

    Like any good journalist, you’ll arrive at BIMM full of questions – and this introductory module has the answers. Get ready to explore the structure of the modern industry, discovering how journalists interact with artists, PRs, record labels, managers and promoters. Then drill into the different career paths in music journalism – and start developing the skills and experience you’ll need to get employed.

  • Music Journalism Techniques

    Great writing will only get you so far. This module looks at the vital skills that every serious music journalist needs in their toolbox. You’ll learn how to prepare, research, interview and report, whether you’re working for a national broadsheet or a youth-oriented blog. Plus, in an age when diversification is more important than ever, you’ll learn the skill-sets you need to write and produce for radio, TV and the web.

  • Music Business

    An overarching knowledge of the modern music industry is invaluable to upcoming journalists, helping you knock on the right doors, pitch articles to the most receptive markets and produce writing that is insightful and in tune with the times. This module demystifies the music business, introducing students to the structure, principles and practices that underpin its day-to-day operation.

  • Journalism in Context

    From the trailblazers of the early 20th century, through ’70s anarchists like Lester Bangs, to the superstar bloggers of here-and-now, the backstory of music journalism is almost as colourful and controversial as its subjects. This module leads you into the discipline’s rich history – exploring the culture and socio-political conditions that gave birth to key writing movements – and inspires you to add your own thumbprint.

  • Writing for the Music Industry

    The music industry needs words – and is ready to pay the top journalists well for them. This module makes you the best writer you can be, teaching the specialist skills you’ll need to break into print media, online, TV and radio, while tightening your style and helping you find your voice. You’ll learn the right way to write news, features, reviews, interviews and scripts, alongside associated skills like subbing, editing, audio-visual techniques and photography.

  • Music and Digital Media

    This module introduces you to the world of online public relations, revealing how to create the reports, stories and news content that will press your audience’s buttons. You’ll also focus on how music and sound are used online, and the techniques and technology that keep your work fresh in the fast-moving modern industry.

Year 2

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

  • Research Methods

    Information is everywhere – but faced with the web’s overwhelming and often-dubious sources, serious journalists need a rigorous approach to research and a mastery of social data. This module introduces the tools of analytical journalism and the research methods you’ll be expected to follow as you launch your media career.

  • Cultural Perspectives

    To know where music is headed, you need to understand where it’s been. This dynamic module leads you through the unfolding history of popular music and the industry, showing how art and business have been shaped by society, economics and technology. You’ll not only gain a watertight knowledge of the pivotal events, releases, labels and artists – but a clear vision of how you’ll write the next chapter.

  • Engaging With Industry

    BIMM’s media contacts mean your course will take you far beyond the teaching room. Get ready to flex your developing skills in the industry, as you collaborate with local employers, develop real-work business chops, make contacts in the corridors of power and boost your future employability. Keep your eyes and ears open, and take your journalism skills from theory to practice.

  • Artist Development and PR

    For the modern music writer, the traditional rock press is just the start. On this module, you’ll discover how your words can play an integral part in artist promotion, marketing and PR – and the art of writing biographies, press releases and campaign materials that break an artist and make you money. As you start to understand the symbiotic relationship between journalists and PRs, you’ll develop transferable skills that will let you thrive in both industries.

  • Music Journalism Principles, Ethics and Law

    BIMM graduates hit the ground running with the skills they learn on this in-depth module. Drawing on your learning from the course so far, you’ll write, design and produce a print and digital BIMM music magazine in an authentic publishing house environment, shifting between writing and production roles as you sharpen essential techniques like pitching, flatplanning, scheduling and media law.

  • Digital Media Production

    You’ll start to think a little bigger on this eye-opening module, as you look beyond the traditional print industry at multi-media avenues and modern PR methods including electronic press kits. As you investigate these different possibilities, we’ll teach you how to keep your work clear, dynamic and relevant for the audience.

Year 3

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

  • Global Communication

    Modern journalists operate in a connected world where the old rules of information transfer no longer apply. On this module, you’ll grasp the Internet’s seismic impact on globalisation and understand what this means for you as a journalist, learning how to write for a world audience, tailor your tone for specific territories and understand the transnational context of your work.

  • Creative Entrepreneurship

    Forging a career as a freelance music journalist can be fast-paced, varied and lucrative – if you can meet the challenges. Whether you’re hoping to infiltrate the print, online or PR sectors, this is where you’ll learn the skills that keep the phone ringing, as we guide you through the freelancing process from initiating and pitching feature ideas to nailing a publication’s house style and delivering copy to deadline.

  • Professional Project

    The Professional Project is the culmination of your three years at BIMM and your chance to prove you can apply the skills from your course to a project rooted firmly in the professional world. We’ll expect you to demonstrate everything from smart research to keen planning skills – and show the flash of imagination that’s essential when it comes to standing out in the competitive media landscape.

  • Professional Development

    As a music journalist, you’ll be responsible for steering your own career – so it’s vital to become self-sufficient and address areas of weakness. On this module, you’ll build your own tailored programme of professional development, targeting anything from stress control to goal-setting and time management. Using self-assessment and peer feedback, you’ll identify your personal and business needs, set goals to achieve them, and finally analyse how successful you’ve been.

  • Analytical Perspectives

    Music doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and to be an effective journalist, it pays to sharpen your knowledge of popular culture and business developments. This module shows you how to look critically at the culture and industry unfolding around you, take the pulse of the evolving music scene, then fuse what you’ve learnt into your own writing projects.

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Minimum requirements

Minimum of 96 UCAS points to include 2 A levels at grade A-C or BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM. Plus 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:

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 can continue their studies with a BIMM Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching or a Masters Degree elsewhere.

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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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We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of course:
3 years
Awarding institution:
University of Sussex
Teaching institution:
BIMM Manchester
UCAS code:
P500
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
BA (Hons)
Admissions criteria:
Minimum of 96 UCAS points to include 2 A levels at grade A-C or BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM. Plus 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.

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BIMM Tutors

From being signed to Fatboy Slim’s Southern Fried record label and touring the world with Abba tribute band Bjorn Again, to winning the Burghausen European Young Jazz Award and interviewing Jay-Z for BBC Radio 1, our BIMM Manchester 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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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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