Music Business Management MA

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  • Course description
    Music Business Management MA.

    Course overview:

    This course is recognised highly in music business management education and will prepare you to become one of the next generation of music industry leaders and entrepreneurs. All teaching staff on the course are currently working in the music industry, and every week there are a number of high-level industry guests. You will need to be a self-motivated and open-minded student, as this is an intense course, but one which can help you to progress your career across a wide range of music business disciplines.

    Course content:

    Working with music industry leaders and organisations, the course has developed a unique curriculum. You will be able to combine a strong underpinning of key business skills (finance, leadership, organisational management, marketing and entrepreneurialism), with essential music industry management knowledge (strategic innovation and technology, intellectual property and copyright, and a focus on the live industry and digital content exploitation).

    Teaching is mainly through lectures In each module there is a minimum of two assignments. The final project is a report of a minimum of 12,000 words.


    The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

    Core modules:

    A&R Music Development

    This module will critically explore the primary relationship with the music industry of artist and repertoire development, commonly referred to as A&R. The A&R department of any music company is where the process of music creativity and production start; it is the research and development department. This module seeks to critically evaluate the evolution of A&R within the music industry by examining contemporary artists case studies within each session from both a local domestic and international music industry perspective. You will be expected to contribute and practise your contemporary musical knowledge in each session and develop an A&R strategy for an act you have identified as having commercial or cultural significance.

    Entrepreneurship and Finance for Creative Industries

    This module is concerned with the critical evaluation of entrepreneurial business structures and finance in the creative industries. Entrepreneurial business and finance for creative industries increasingly has a significant effect on the development and promotion of new talent and is particularly relevant to students from both a creative and entrepreneurial background. This module is designed to provide you with a solid introduction to media economics, financial management and entrepreneurship in the creative industries. It will equip you with the tools to analyse financial documents and analyse business finances. It will provide insights into traditional accounting practices, as well as providing you with the knowledge to produce industry standard business and marketing plans based on industry financial practices. It will examine entrepreneurial issues facing creative industry firms and small businesses and will provide an overview of the activities required in starting and managing a business.

    Intellectual Property and Copyright Management

    Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright are central to the music industry, where successful management of a firm’s IP and copyrights can provide a powerful competitive advantage. IP and copyright can cover works as diverse as songs, master recordings, videos, knowledge, ideas and more. You will gain a firm understanding of the various dimensions of IP and copyright, and the tools and strategies to identify, protect and manage them. You will also explore the international perspective of ownership issues, contracts, licensing and the commercialising of IP, including business and legal issues, domestic and international copyright law, and music industry agreements.

    Live Music Management

    The module will critically examine the development of the internal live music market, which is now the largest source of revenue in the commercial music market. This module will critically evaluate the historical development of the live music sector from the perspective of the key stakeholders, from artist and bands to record companies and live agents.

    Music Business Management Project

    The Music Business Management Project is recognised by graduates as one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences of the course. You will be supervised by a member of the University faculty, and possibly supported by a music industry representative, to carry out research in an area agreed between yourself and the module leaders and/or industry professional. The subject must address current music business issues and concerns and should incorporate relevant music business theories, academic research design and critical analysis. The Project builds on the skills and experience you have gained in previous modules, and gives you the opportunity to apply programme knowledge to a major project, adding to the body of professional practice and theoretical literature.

    Music Industry Structure, Role and Development

    This module provides you with a historical perspective on the development of the music industry and aims to help contextualise the current state of the industry and its place within it. Teaching is delivered in a weekly lecture and seminar session format. The first set of lectures is dedicated to investigating the histories of discrete areas of the music industry, such as copyright, piracy, music and media. The second half of the module provides a general history focused upon the development of the post-war British record industry from the 1940s to the present day. Along the way, the usefulness of analytical such as Peterson’s ‘production of culture approach’ are also considered. The seminar section of the teaching sessions develop on the lecture content and involve discussion, small group work and other learning activities aiming to build upon knowledge and skills. You are also introduced to appropriate research and study techniques.

    Music Marketing Management

    Marketing and promotion is essential to the music industry; it sells tickets, recorded music services and products and is a fundamental tool for developing talent. Through this module you will explore a variety of perspectives on marketing management issues including the challenges of developing the artist and their music, identifying potential consumers and fans and marketing and promoting music-related services and products through various media channels including social media. You will focus on expanding an understanding of how music marketing and promotion fits into the contemporary music industry through the study of best practice, concepts and theories that inform how industry professionals operate.

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