UWTSD Home  -  Study With Us  -  Postgraduate Courses  -  Commercial Music Producer (MA)

Commercial Music Producer (MA)

The MA Commercial Music Producer is a one year, full time practical and industry-focused MA for the aspiring or established commercial producer.

You'll be taught by professional writer-producers, engineers and industry executives. The MA Commercial Music Producer is a unique opportunity for you to harness the latest technical and creative production skills whilst learning from and collaborating with the extensive professional network based at Tileyard London, the largest independent music community in Europe.

As students, you will also work on live commercial briefs throughout your studies and the programme includes the opportunity to pitch your Creative Production Project to the Tileyard investment fund. 

Producers and technical companies located at Tileyard include Martyn Ware, Goetz Botzenhardt, Nikolaj Bjerre, Jon Kelly, Ciaran Robinson, Sean Hargreaves, Phelan Kane, Dov Waterman, Paul Whalley, Tom Fuller, Dru Masters, YK Koi, Lorenzo Cosi, Spitfire Audio, Focusrite, PLATOON, Breaking Fourth, The Script, The Narrative and many more.

Course Location

Tileyard Education, UWTSD Oval.


Book an Open Day Request Information
Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£10,900 (Home/EU)
Do not accept (Overseas)

Why choose this course

  • Learn in the largest professional music community in Europe
  • Receive an industry mentor through terms 2 and 3
  • Invites to additional music industry masterclasses and networking events
  • Study in the heart of London’s new creative quarter
  • Study among 1200 creative professionals

What you will learn

Course Overview

The MA Commercial Music Producer is delivered by Tileyard Education is a one year, full time practical and industry-focused MA for the technically proficient, aspiring or established commercial producer. 

You'll be taught at Tileyard Education by professional writer-producers, engineers and industry executives, as well as at validating partner UWTSD Oval Campus. The MA Commercial Music Producer is a unique opportunity for you to harness the latest technical and creative production skills whilst learning from and collaborating with the extensive professional network based at Tileyard London, the largest independent music community in Europe.

As students, you will also work on live commercial briefs throughout your studies and the programme includes the opportunity to pitch your Creative Production Project to the Tileyard investment fund.

Producers and technical companies located at Tileyard include Martyn Ware, Goetz Botzenhardt, Nikolaj Bjerre, Jon Kelly, Ciaran Robinson, Sean Hargreaves, Phelan Kane, Dov Waterman, Paul Whalley, Tom Fuller, Dru Masters, YK Koi, Lorenzo Cosi, Spitfire Audio, Focusrite, PLATOON, Breaking Fourth, The Script, The Narrative and many more.

"Be inspired and connect with international hitmakers, artists and businesses"
Nick Keynes, Managing Director, Tileyard London

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 learn the essential tools and techniques associated within modern production environments, exploring the approaches typically deployed within pre-production and recording environments during the creative production process.

Study of relevant tools within the software landscape (i.e. Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton and other emerging DAW technologies), alongside recording techniques and microphone deployment plays a large part of this module. Activities will be conducted within relevant onsite Mac Suites and professional recording facilities at Tileyard Education.

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. Relevant software notation tools will be regularly utilised during the study.

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.

Cases studies used will be based in the UK and the wider international music scene, and will include both major labels and independents.

Students have an opportunity to work in groups to formulate and execute a professional commercial strategy and content for an independent music artist of your choosing, competing to win a small promotional budget supplied by Tileyard. Groups present analysis and feedback to invited guest speakers, tutors and contemporaries.

 

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 & Sound Design.

This discipline explores the attributes and protocols associated with the application and deployment of mixing, synthesis, sampling and sound design techniques within the hardware and software landscape. Activities will be conducted within relevant onsite Mac Suites and professional recording facilities at Tileyard Education.

Creative Media Technology

The Creative Media Technology discipline delivers study of the burgeoning maker and hacker landscape. Analysis of instrument creation, physical computing, micro controllers and creative coding for musical professionals is undertaken, alongside study of new ways of manufacture, crowdfunding, batch production and real world applications.


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, which you will formally present to a panel of industry experts curated by Tileyard Music.

The nature and scope of the project you undertake are 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.

Assessment

Foundation:

Element 1 – Portfolio (40%)

20 to 30 minutes (Equivalent to 3000 words)

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%)

3000 words

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 (40%)

15 minutes (Equivalent to 3000 words)

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).

Development:

Element 1 – Pre-production Portfolio (20%)

30 minutes (Equivalent to 3000 words)

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 2 – Instrument (40%)

Element 2a – Instrument Artefact (60% of 40%)

You are to create a software instrument.

Element 2b – Instrument Essay (30% of 40%)

You are to submit a 4000 word Essay that details the research, discussion, work and feedback conducted to create the instrument

Element 2c – Instrument Presentation (10% of 40%)

You are to give a 10 minute online presentation that demonstrates the capabilities of your instrument.

Element 3 – Portfolio (40%)

30 minutes (Equivalent to 3000 words)

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.

Creation:

Element 1 – Written Proposal (15%)

(2500 words)

Conduct a range of research from both academic industry sources to deliver a 2500 word final project report that focuses on the theory underpinning your final project.

Element 2 – Original Music Work (85%)

Element 2a – Portfolio (80% of 85%)

(30-45 minutes)

You must submit a portfolio of work that is produced, recorded, mixed and mastered to a “high quality” standard.

Element 2b – Reflective Commentary (20% of 85%)

(5000 words)

You are to submit a 5000 word Reflective Commentary that details and reflects upon the research, discussion, work and feedback conducted in the creation of the portfolio.

Tileyard Education Links

Key Information

Staff
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.

Currently, this course is open to UK and EU students, and any international students not on Tier 4 visas.

Additional Costs

Any additional software or hardware music equipment you might want to purchase, but all equipment is provided at Tileyard Education's facilities.