Music Business & Creative Industries Degree BSc (Hons)

Craig Gamblen

Managing, promoting, branding and publishing

Working in the music industry requires independent thinking, problem solving and creativity. Throughout our Music Business & Creative Industries degree, Spirit Studios will help you gain these skills and more, and help you make your first steps into the global music industry.

Throughout your time on the music business degree, you will be immersed in the modern Music Industry from attending key industry conferences, building an enviable professional network and undertaking two work-based learning modules where you will be thrust into the industry gaining on-the-job experience with companies internationally. Previous students have undertaken placements at Sony Canada, Stunt Company PR New York, Snowbombing and even on the Vans Warped Tour in the USA.

Designed by industry practitioners, the Music Business & Creative Industries degree will give you the opportunity to develop your skills, network, confidence and reputation within the industry enabling you to land your first Industry job role or even take your own projects forward with all the knowledge and support to set up a successful business or freelance across the industry.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about our Music Business & Creative Industries degree or if you would like more information on how to apply, please contact our admissions team on 0161 276 2100 or manchester@spiritstudios.ac.uk.

Our Open Days are a great opportunity to see our music studios and facilities, meet our tutors and get a feel for what life as a Spirit Studios student is like.

Course Content

Music, Digital and Creative Industries

This module lays the foundations to gain a real and in-depth understanding of the Music Business from rights ownership, job roles, industry bodies and the underlying structures of the music and creative industries. Working on real-world industry briefs you gain your first experiences in working within the music business and can apply this practical knowledge going forward.

Marketing for the Music and Creative Industries

Introducing you to a range of marketing theory and practices, you will learn to analyse and present marketing data and pitch creative data-driven solutions. Covering the basics of digital and traditional marketing, advertising and PR. Working on a real-world industry led brief, you will then identify appropriate marketing strategies, and apply these to multiple campaigns using skills in market segmentation, targeting, product planning and development, and creative marketing techniques that you have developed throughout your studies.

Project Pitching

Covering communication theories, project planning, licensing, budgeting and effective pitching techniques, this module will introduce you to project management in the workplace, as you take responsibility for one area of a group project. Working together to develop a detailed proposal, you will decide what the project will be and plan towards its delivery, before pitching it to a panel of stakeholders. Throughout this module you will learn how to approach decision makers and stake-holders across the industry and develop a clear-concise pitch, create an effective pitch deck and convey your ideas and strategies.

Introduction to Musicology

Throughout this module, you will identify how historical, social and technological factors have influenced the creation and development of music during different eras, while also considering current events affecting the industry. By introducing you to various aspects of musicology, you will gain a clear understanding of how the creative industries work in response to key influencing factors, which can then be used to inform your decisions during other professional projects.

Study Skills and Professional Development

Providing you with key professional skills, this module will require you to research, reference and present information relevant to the creative industries. By helping you to develop strong communication, self-management and networking skills, you will gain valuable knowledge and experience which you can apply throughout the rest of your course, as well as to a professional role when you graduate.

Synchronisation and Branding

Throughout this module, a wider knowledge of Music Publishing, Licensing and Synchronisation is learned. Additionally you will look at the importance of music to brands outside of a traditional licensing perspective. Working to a live, industry set brief – you will use your knowledge to identify new opportunities for a business and look at sourcing and working a catalogue of songs pitching for licensing opportunities.

Live Events

Working within a permanent or temporary live venue site, you will deal directly with external businesses to plan, manage, promote and deliver a live event. Study will focus on key aspects of live event management, including liaison with agents, offer sheets, tour budgeting, negotiation skills, contracts, raising invoices, venue management, health and safety and more, allowing you to build up a range of transferable skills to deliver a successful live event.

Entrepreneurial Skills

Throughout this project you will gain an understanding of company structures, business based analysis and research to propose and develop your own entrepreneurial business idea. You will use various techniques, processes, research, analysis and your creativity to assess the feasibility of the project from a commercial perspective. You will present your ideas to a panel of tutors and external industry guests justifying your business idea which you can then take forward into your third-year to develop further and set yourself on a self-employed path into the industry.

IPR and Legal Issues

Introducing you to intellectual property rights and professional ethics, this module will explore your legal rights in relation to content creation, contracts, collection societies, ownership and exploitation. You will gain an understanding of the application of the law with regards to traditional deals and explore key legislation in relation to rights ownership, distribution and alternative models being developed to manage and exploit rights and pay content creators more efficiently.

Preparation for Industry Work

Preparing you for a period of relevant work experience, you will carry out research into various industry fields, and propose a potential placement opportunity which will benefit your career development. Then through the analysis of industry management practices and operations, you will identify opportunities for the placement provider to create additional revenue streams or make operational improvements, while you gain key employability skills to help you successfully secure a practical work placement.

Work Based Learning

Using the knowledge and skills gained in proposing your work placement, you will now gain practical experience working within the music and creative industries. This module will be delivered mostly through a period of work placement, where you will undertake one or more placement opportunities throughout the industry analysing general management practices and recommend solutions to any key issues you have identified through a portfolio of work. This placement is the perfect opportunity for you to build up your professional network and give you real life context for your studies. Through undertaking this placement you are starting to put yourself in the shop window for future employment opportunities and learn the working processes of businesses within the music industry. Previously students have gained hands-on experience across the industry from heavy metal label Nuclear-Blast, Snowbombing and Stunt Company PR in New York as part of this period of work-based learning.

People and Project Management

You will propose and deliver a self-led industry focused project, you will work as part of a team to plan, direct, manage, deliver, close and evaluate an agreed project outcome. To reflect industry practice, you will develop a clear project plan to identify key deadlines, before selecting and performing a management role within a specific area of the project. Throughout this module, you will learn to implement effective management techniques, motivate your team, and resolve any issues that could arise. You will gain external mentorship across the industry within this module to help propel you in the successful execution of your project. Previous projects have been the creation of publishing companies, running and delivering a series of club-nights and even developing and securing funding to create tech-based solutions for current industry problems.

Self-employment in Music and Creative Industries

Starting by evaluating various start-ups and company structures, you will develop a business plan, working towards a sustainable business proposition. Through this module, you will learn everything that goes into setting up your own business, either as a sole-trader, partnership or a limited company, developing a business plan, cashflow forecast and sustainable and realistic financial projections which you can use to express your business idea to external bodies.

Advanced Work Based Learning

Sourcing and applying for a more proactive role within a company, you will work collaboratively with an employer to define and manage a project that contributes positively to the overall company. And to ensure you gain relevant project management experience during this placement, all aspects will first be agreed with your tutor, allowing you the opportunity to prove your abilities and become invaluable to your employer. This period of work experience is designed for you to really hone in on your chosen area within the industry and create a pathway to employment in a company where your passion lies, whilst gaining more relevant and direct experience in relation to your chosen field. Students have undertaken placements across the world working with major record companies including Sony Canada, working on the Vans Warped Tour in the United States across a 42 date festival tour and closer to home.

Advanced Music, Digital & Creative Industries

Providing you with an overview of current business models and practices, alongside emerging trends and developments in the creative industries, this module encourages you to analyse and interpret a range of data, allowing you to predict future changes and developments in relevant fields. New developments in the industry are researched, analysed and discussed with recent discussions regarding Blockchain based technology and its application within the music industry, NFT’s, Tout-Proof ticketing solutions, Low-Carbon festival advancements, the Music Modernisation Act in the USA and Articles 11 and 13 of the EU Copyright Directive and its potential impacts for creators and rights-holders.

Major Project

As your most substantial piece of work, this project is entirely devised and led by you, with support from your tutor. Through independent research and evaluation, you will have the freedom to identify an appropriate subject area, and apply your range of knowledge and professional values to produce a portfolio of work which demonstrates a thorough understanding of your field, and highlights the extent of your achievements throughout your course.