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Commercial Music Producer (Online Blended) (MA)

The MA Commercial Music Producer (Online Blended) has taken me to the next level. The the tutors really want the best out of you and are so supportive. It has helped me highlight the skills I needed to improve on and made me a much better music producer. Amit

The MA Commercial Music Producer (Online Blended) is a one year, industry-focused Master of Arts Degree, delivered via a combination of online interactive media and face-to-face delivery, and is designed for the technically proficient, aspiring or established commercial producer seeking a more flexible approach to a work-study balance.

The online blended programme features:

  • Live classes that are recorded for access at any time
  • 1-2-1 academic and pastoral tutorials
  • 1-2-1 industry mentoring sessions
  • Online songwriting camps with live commercial briefs
  • Regular online playbacks and A&R surgeries
  • An optional 10-day songwriting camp at Tileyard London

Artists producers and companies located at Tileyard include Martyn Ware, Goetz Botzenhardt, Nikolaj Bjerre, Jon Kelly, Dru Masters, Sean Hargreaves, Paul Whalley, Tom Fuller, Spitfire Audio, Apple Music, PLATOON, Beats One, Focusrite, Pioneer DJ and many more.

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Why choose this course

  • Balance your professional and work commitments while studying for a masters
  • Receive online tutorials and mentoring
  • Exclusive access to online materials
  • Access to Tileyard’s professional networks
  • Opportunity to join a 10 day songwriting, production and business camp at Tileyard London.

What you will learn

Course Overview

“Study this MA while you keep your job going and still connect to our world class professional community!"
Harry Leckstein

The MA Commercial Music Producer (Online Blended) is a one year, industry-focused Master of Arts Degree, delivered via a combination of online interactive media and face-to-face delivery and is designed for the technically proficient, aspiring or established commercial producer seeking a more flexible approach to a work study balance.

All students and are matched with a professional songwriter producer for 1-2-1 mentoring, ensuring continued professional feedback and a strengthening of pathways to employment. Students are also invited to attend International Songwriting Camps alongside on-campus students, providing further opportunities to meet and collaborate with other songwriters and producers.

Online Blended Programme students working from home studios can balance their studies with other commitments. Our bespoke delivery platform empowers collaboration without having to be based on campus. Alumni also receive regular live commercial briefs, discounts on products and events and can annually pitch any commercial projects to the Tileyard Investment Fund.

Module Topics

Term 1: Foundation (60 credits)

Contemporary Production Techniques

The Contemporary Production Techniques discipline is designed to provide you with the necessary skills to be able to manage, execute and deliver the practical production aspects of the course. You will explore the essential tools and techniques associated within modern production environments, as we analyse the approaches deployed within the production process of several creative recording sessions.

Study of relevant tools within the software landscape, alongside recording techniques and microphone deployment, plays a large part of this module.

Composing and Arranging

The Composing & Arranging discipline focuses on the use and application of musical concepts and techniques. Designed to embed music composition skills for technical professionals from the production idiom, the study includes critical analysis of commercial composition techniques, case studies, genres and the practical evaluation of your own original works.

Alongside this, you will begin to examine the theoretical framework of composition and explore its relationship to practice, including; chords, melody, harmony, countermelodies, musical hooks, harmonic and melodic rhythm and other rhythmic structures and arranging.

The Music Industry: Landscape

The module focuses on the interconnected and collaborative stakeholders and activities undertaken in the production, distribution and marketing of commercially released music. It begins with a mapping and critical evaluation of label, publisher and creative artist management in its historical context along with an analysis of how that landscape is evolving and adapting to competitive dynamics.

The module continues with an audit of those key creative management entities, roles functions, budget and timeline variables. It also details all of the music and entertainment industry legal and contractual points covering recording, publishing, management, live, digital, synchronisation and brand licensing, new tools, techniques and case studies in the physical and digital worlds. Case studies used will be based in the UK and the wider international music scene, and will include both major labels and independents. 

Students are assessed on the formulation of a professional campaign for an independent music artist of your choosing, presenting a detailed analysis of key stakeholders, campaign timelines, budgets and marketing strategy


Term 2: Development (60 credits)

Mixing Techniques and Sound Design

You will continue to extend your knowledge and theoretical understanding of commercial music production through the study of Mixing Techniques.

You will be guided through the process of mixing a track and experiment with signal processing techniques to adapt and incorporate these methods in your own work.

Sound Design and Creative Media Technology

This discipline explores the attributes and protocols associated with the application and deployment of synthesis, sampling and sound design techniques within the hardware and software landscape.

This discipline includes analysis of instrument creation, physical computing, micro controllers and creative coding for musical professionals.

Writing to Brief

You will extend your knowledge and theoretical understanding of commercial composition through the study of writing to a commercial brief. This discipline explores the nature of, and routes to, delivering commercial briefs from record labels, music publishers, film and TV productions, advertising agencies, games developers, corporate audio branding, multi-media convergence events and large scale government or local authority projects.

The Music Industry: Marketing

A conclusion of The Music Industry discipline, Marketing provides a critical evaluation and analysis of the principals and practices of marketing, both physical and digital, with specific reference to entertainment, youth, media and campaign driven marketing case studies.

Term 3: Creation (60 credits)

Creative Production Project

This module is the culmination of your Masters level studies and an opportunity for you to plan, research and ultimately create a major creative production project. The nature and scope of the project you undertake is entirely at your discretion and is an opportunity for you to combine theory and practice into a single portfolio of work.

Throughout the module, you will enhance your skills as both a researcher and music producer practitioner, through the design of a body of work that is based on a sound theoretical framework and linked to your main areas of production interests.

The module is supported by an initial series of classes in academic research methods, critical and reflective analysis and project management techniques. You will also be allocated an industry mentor for the duration of the module who will help guide the development of your work. Meetings with your mentor will take place through a balance of regular Skype meetings.


Element 1 – Portfolio (40%)

Students are required to analyse three contemporary commercial music tracks, in three different musical genres/styles.

They are then to produce and create three tracks of their own that match the genre, production style and arrangement of the analysed tracks.

Element 2 – Essay (40%)
The portfolio is supported by a 3000 word essay, that should aim to provide insight into the production process, outlining key aspects of your methodology that are underpinned by research.

Element 3 – Presentation (20%)
You are allocated a small (virtual) working budget of £500 and tasked to develop an original artist campaign to include the recording, planning for digital release and promotion of a single (this can be one of the tracks created for the Portfolio element).

Element 1 – Pre-production Portfolio (20%)
You are to compose, produce and submit musical artefacts that demonstrate your ability to interpret the specifications of a commercial brief.

For this assignment element, you are to submit pre-production standard tracks, that demonstrate your approach and interpretation of the briefs.

Element 2a – Instrument (20%)
You are to create a software instrument.

Element 2b – Essay (10%)
You are to submit a 4000 word Essay that details the research, discussion, work and feedback conducted to create the instrument

Element 2c – Presentation (10%)
You are to give a 10 minute online presentation, that demonstrates the capabilities of your instrument.

Element 3 – Portfolio (40%)
This element builds upon the work and feedback given from your Pre-Production Portfolio.

You are to compose, produce and submit musical artefacts that demonstrate your ability to interpret the specifications of a commercial brief.

Element 1 – Written Proposal (15%)
Conduct a range of research from both academic industry sources to deliver a 2500 word proposal that focuses on the theory underpinning your final project

Element 2 – Portfolio and Commentary
Element 2a – Portfolio (60%)
30-45 minutes of original music, the focus of which is determined by the student in the Written Proposal (Element 1)

Element 2b – Reflective Commentary (20%)
A Reflective Commentary, that explores and expands upon the process of creating the Portfolio (Element 2a).

Tileyard Education Links

Key Information

Entry Criteria

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or an appropriate equivalent, i.e. a professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution. Mature students with at least 3 years industry experience are also welcome to apply.

Applicants who do not fully satisfy the general criteria will be considered if they are able to demonstrate that they are capable of successfully undertaking and completing the programme at the required standard. Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview.

Applicants who have been taught and assessed in languages other than English should have the English language equivalent to IELTS 6.0

UK/EU and some other nationalities accepted on to the MA Commercial Music Producer (Online Blended) can apply for a UK Government Postgraduate Master’s Loan. READ MORE

Career Opportunities
  • Studio engineer
  • Record producer
  • Commercial producer
  • Live engineer
  • Songwriter
Additional Costs

Additional costs for purchasing of equipment required.