COURSE OVERVIEW

The BA (Hons) Creative Music Production course is a thorough, well-rounded exploration of both the practical and theoretical aspects of music production, and has been specifically designed for those looking to launch a career as a professional creative music producer. 

Across three years, our expert tutors – who are all successful music producers and musicians in their own right – will guide you through the exciting world of music production in the studio, live and digital music making settings.  

You’ll begin in our newly launched project studio – for dedicated use by first-year Creative Music Production students – where you’ll become familiar with industry-standard hardware in a modern studio set up, plus in-the-box (ITB) software and digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live. You’ll create your own individual production style as you learn to record, mix and master your own creative music production compositions. In years 2 and 3, you’ll access ICMP’s larger state-of-the-art recording studios, getting to know a range of more advanced professional high-tech hardware and software.  

Across each year of the course, you’ll learn to create, produce, launch and promote market-ready original music, while developing industry-relevant technical, music business, marketing and entrepreneurial skills, essential for today’s music producer.  

Creatively, you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone as you regularly compose and produce to brief, explore new styles and genres, and collaborate with the wider ICMP community – made up of both fellow music production students, and vocalists, guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboard players and songwriters also studying at ICMP.  

You’ll cover basic music theory and develop the ability to analyse and critique music from an academic perspective, while providing constructive feedback to your classmates. All areas of contemporary music will be explored, as you look at different cultures and evaluate how the music of the past continues to influence us today.  

There will be plenty of chances to immerse yourself in the music industry via a series of real-world music business events, guest lectures, masterclasses and more, so you’ll leave ICMP with a solid understanding of how the music industry works and exactly what you need to do to progress your career in music production.  

One significant benefit of being an ICMP student is that you can book our cutting-edge facilities for personal use free of charge outside of class hours, seven days a week, meaning you’ll have ongoing access to the very best music production kit. This includes ribbon, modelling and valve microphones, synthesisers, drum machines, controllers and loop stations, vocal processors and effects pedals, instruments, PAs, mobile recording rigs, writing rooms, studios and more.   

A highly personalised course, you can tailor your studies and practical assessments to suit your interests and future career goals. With an ongoing focus on real-world activities, Creative Music Production degree students also have the opportunity to fulfil the role of Assistant Engineer in recording sessions at ICMP’s in-house studios and other external studio spaces.   

Throughout your time with us, you’ll develop an impressive professional network thanks to our extensive London music industry connections. Our dedicated music careers team will offer you a range of personalised opportunities and training, so you’ll graduate ‘career ready’ and be eager to prove yourself as a talented and highly knowledgeable creative music producer. 

Fees & Funding

Taking a music production degree course at ICMP makes financial sense too, with the fees for ICMP music degrees the same as those at many traditional universities - making studying music at ICMP in London great value as well as great fun. 

Course Fees: UK Students | EU/EEA/International Students

Please visit our Fees pages for information on access to Student Loans. Please note, students eligible for loans are able to borrow the full course fee for ICMP degrees, unlike some other UK music schools where students are required to pay additional top-up fees themselves. 

Full Fees Information | Full Programme Specification

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Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Creative Music Production programme at ICMP leads to the award of Bachelor of Arts by the University of East London.

Redesigned for 2021
This course has recently gone through a redesign process with our validating partner UEL, making it one of the most current Music Production degree courses in the UK. Please visit https://www.icmp.ac.uk/study-at-icmp/2021-course-redesign for further detail on why we periodically redesign our courses and the benefits this has to you as an ICMP student.
 

 

UCAS CODES

Key facts

  • Learn to create, produce, launch and promote market-ready original music using DAWs such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live.
  • Develop artistically in music production, music technology, composition and song creation.
  • Master recording in a professional music production environment using high-tech industry-standard equipment.
  • Acquire the business, entrepreneurial, networking and life skills to build and maintain a career in music production.
  • Get creative each week through regular collaboration with fellow student artists from ICMP’s rich talent pool.
  • Opportunities to assist in sessions at ICMP’s in-house recording studio.
  • Develop your creativity with an analytical, critical and contextual understanding of music production.
  • Access career-focused artist development resources, designed to make you business ready as a music producer.
  • Connect with the wider London music industry to build an impressive musical network.
  • Apply Now

COURSE DETAILS

Year 1 (Level 4)

Year 2 (Level 5)

Year 3 ( Level 6)

In your first year, you’ll gain a good understanding of everything you need for a career as a producer. You’ll learn how to work a streamlined studio, operating industry-standard gear and focusing on mics and vocal recording. You’ll explore the history of music production, specifically appreciating how it influences us today. You’ll also cover the commercial aspects of the music business and the revenue streams available to you as a creative music producer.  

Project Studio Recording

In this module, you’ll explore the fundamentals of audio theory whether you’re recording at home or in a professional studio. In our dedicated Creative Music Production course studio, designed specifically to replicate a high-end project studio set-up, you’ll learn to use the best industry-standard gear available as you become proficient at recording and engineering practices. The module is geared towards learning the fundamentals of recording to a high standard, with a strong focus on recording vocals using various mic types for different voices. Afterwards, you’ll be able to apply these concepts to your own personal projects.  

  • Audio theory fundamentals 
  • How to use an SSL SiX mixing desk 
  • Using industry-standard production equipment 
  • Recording processes 
  • Engineering processes 
  • Flexible professional recording practices 
  • Home studio recording techniques
  • Full professional studio methods 

Digital Music Production

By exploring the wide range of techniques and methodologies used by different artists, in this module, you’ll consider how computer technology is used to produce contemporary music. Using industry-standard digital audio workstations (DAWs) such as Pro Tools and Logic Pro, you’ll develop music programming and production techniques, including synthesis and sampling, alongside the development of critical listening skills. As you learn to produce ‘in the box’, you’ll investigate the range of choices and solutions available to you to enhance your creative music production. 

  • MIDI programming  
  • Understanding virtual instruments (synths and samplers)  
  • Sound sources  
  • Envelopes and modulations
  • Subtractive synthesis 
  • FM synthesis 
  • Sample layering 
  • Frequency processing  
  • Dynamic processing 
  • The creative use of audio effects
  • Audio and editing 
  • Automation and modulations 

Production in Context

In this module, you’ll be introduced to effective ways of recognising and interpreting the development of popular music genres, while gaining the skills necessary to justify your intellectual position using critical texts and resources. As you explore music production within the context of popular music, you’ll research key events within its history – such as the evolution of hip hop and the rise of acid house – and the cultures that helped bring these new musical genres to the fore.  

  • Investigating, analysing and critiquing popular music 
  • Styles and genres in music production 
  • Popular culture and subcultures 
  • Popular music and political events 
  • Influencing technologies in music production  
  • Non-musical influencing technologies 
  • The historical role of the music producer

Music Business for Creative Producers

In this module, you’ll be introduced to the core structures and functions of the modern music industry. You’ll examine current industry models, processes and practices and look at how the creative and business worlds interact. You’ll investigate music copyright and the roles played by collection societies, professionals and organisations. You’ll also gain an insight into the revenue streams available to you, and the inter-relationships between each area of the industry – recorded music, live music and music publishing.

  • The role of music collection societies 
  • Music industry membership organisations and trade bodies  
  • The role of artist management 
  • The A&R process 
  • Music marketing and promotion 
  • Music sales and distribution 
  • Music rights and royalties
  • The future of the music business

Creative Mixing Techniques

Building on the proficiencies learned in the Project Studio Recording module, in Creative Mixing Techniques you’ll return to the studio to explore digital audio workstation (DAW) in-the-box (ITB) mixing techniques and become proficient at using a range of professional music production hardware. Upon completion of this module, you’ll have developed the skills needed to take your ideas from an initial demo stage to a fully presentable and professional-sounding mix.  

  • Introduction to DAW mixing channel layouts 
  • EQ introduction 
  • Compression introduction  
  • Gates and other insert effects
  • Timed, delay and reverb effects 
  • The effects bus 
  • The mix bus 
  • The relationship between bass and drums 
  • Mix automation 

Creative Composition

Gain the skills required to write an impressive repertoire of original compositions and remixes. To do this, you’ll study fundamental musical elements within a diverse variety of styles so you can explore different approaches to composition. Through an analysis of popular works, you’ll develop an understanding of core theory and compositional practice and its relationship with creative production. You’ll explore, experiment and push boundaries with regular composition briefs; the results of which encourage the exploration of different creative processes.  

  • Fundamental musical elements of styles and genres 
  • An analysis of popular compositions
  • Writing to composition briefs 
  • Experimental composition 
  • Compositional peer analysis 
  • Constructive feedback on compositions 
  • How to receive constructive feedback 
  • Creative production approaches to composition 

Year 2 will see you build upon your first-year knowledge to progress more advanced music production concepts, as you experiment artistically with new recording techniques in the studio. You’ll work across a range of innovative industry-standard software, applying appropriate tools and techniques to your own creative work. You’ll examine how music from the past has influenced your own style, and continually make comparisons between what you’re creating and commercial mixes. Across your assessments, you’ll be encouraged to tailor your study by exploring the areas of music you’re most interested in.

Studio Recording

In this module, which will largely take place in ICMP’s high-tech recording studios, you’ll further develop your recording and production skills, while exploring the fundamentals of audio recording theory within a studio environment context. You’ll learn advanced music production techniques for recording and mixing music to a professional standard, including file delivery, the audio mastering chain, recording core instruments like vocals, keyboards and drums, and advanced mic’ing techniques. You’ll also examine the producer’s role in key musical decision making, such as efforts to create a specific desired sound. By the end of the module, you’ll have covered a range of recording and engineering processes, such as editing and sound production, and will be confident at using a selection of industry-standard studio recording equipment. 

  • Stereo recording 
  • Preamps
  • Multi-microphone recording 
  • Drum recording
  • Microphone polar patterns
  • Gain structure  
  • Alternative recording techniques 
  • Signal-to-noise ratio in recording  
  • Boundary microphones 
  • Historical recording techniques 
  • Critical listening and analysing recordings 

Advanced Digital Music Production

In this module, you’ll expand upon your learnings from first-year digital music production classes as you further develop the skills required to work with industry-standard DAWs such as Ableton Live. Along the way, you’ll study a variety of advanced techniques and methodologies used by a range of established producers; essentially learning how to use software as an instrument. By the end of the module, you’ll know how to develop, mix and deliver original, digitally produced musical material using modern digital music production techniques – selecting and applying appropriate tools and techniques in the context of your own work. 

  • Rewire systems 
  • MIDI and audio connection with external gear 
  • Pitch correction 
  • Bus processing 
  • Advanced audio editing 
  • Audio restoration 
  • Aggregate devices 
  • Advanced sampling and synthesis techniques

Applied Production

Prepare to deep dive into the analysis and application of a range of production techniques. In this module, you’ll look at music production practices from a cultural, societal and contextual perspective and explore the relationship between these influences and your own music-making. You’ll learn about practice as research, and look at definitions of what this is and how it relates to contemporary musical practices. In the process, you’ll undertake a project which will see you develop a creative body of work to help launch yourself as a creative producer in the music industry.

  • Creative process in music production 
  • Analyse production techniques
  • How to use effects creatively  
  • Professional working practices
  • Audience engagement analysis 
  • Compositional approaches 
  • Weekly feedback and creative tasks  
  • Critical listening and production justification 
  • Research work in relation to existing material 

Marketing for Creative Producers

Get ready to explore the fundamental principles and tools of marketing and branding, while creating a marketing plan for yourself as a creative music producer or another relevant project. You’ll examine traditional theories and contemporary approaches, such as how today’s environment presents new challenges and opportunities, and how marketing is evolving to meet the needs of creative professionals. You’ll develop an understanding of consumer behaviour and learn how consumer-driven strategies can be used to solve real-world problems. Finally, you’ll explore the concept of ‘creatives’ as a brand, considering areas like brand partnerships and commerce versus credibility.   

  • Environment and competitor analysis 
  • The different methods of marketing research 
  • The product development lifecycle  
  • The 4Ps and 7Ps of the marketing mix 
  • The difference between products and brands 
  • How to build an online presence 
  • Digital marketing, social media and PR 
  • Viral marketing 

Advanced Mixing Technologies

Prepare to delve into the mixing process and improve your knowledge of music production mixing techniques in this module. Building on from Year 1’s Creative Mixing Techniques module and successfully linking with Year 2’s Studio Recording module, you’ll investigate mixing as a separate entity with an artistic and aesthetic foundation. Comparisons to commercial mixes will be at the heart of everything you do, and you’ll be encouraged to develop methods to help you realise your final creative product. 

  • Mixing arrangements 
  • The mixing environment 
  • Multi-track recording sessions 
  • Listening skills
  • Reverb techniques
  • Serial and parallel compression
  • EQ techniques 
  • Space, depth and width in mixing 
  • Delay techniques 
  • Objectivity in mixing
  • Subgroup and mix bus processing  

Experimental Composition (Optional)

For decades, developments in avant-garde and experimental spheres have had a profound influence on popular music production. In this hugely creative optional module, you’ll push the boundaries of your own artistic practice as you explore groundbreaking historical and contemporary sonic practices from around the world. You’ll experiment with innovative composition techniques, features and effects in your own work while creating pioneering music soundscapes, beautifully distanced from the music mainstream. 

  • Soundscape composition and acoustic ecology 
  • Musique concrète and electroacoustic music 
  • Noise and experimental electronics 
  • Audio–visual composition
  • Phonography 
  • Sound art  
  • Generative composition 

Creative Live Technologies (Optional)

If you want to perform your creative productions and compositions live, this optional module will give you the knowledge and skills to make it happen. Using ICMP’s high-tech live sound desk, you’ll develop your understanding of the role of technology in creative live production, as you explore MIDI controllers and pioneering creative hardware and software options like Ableton Live and Ableton Push. Furthering your sound engineering and mixing skills in the context of live performance, you’ll apply your working knowledge of core production techniques and methodology principles in the field of live production.

  • MIDI controllers and mapping 
  • MIDI sync and external hardware 
  • Live beat-making and input looping 
  • Live performance effects
  • Groups and routing techniques
  • Backing tracks, metronomes and audio interface set-ups 
  • Microphones for live sound  
  • Live mixing techniques 
  • Stage monitoring
  • EQ for live sound
  • Digitally controlled amplifiers (DCAs)  

Year 3 will see you complete your final project – an album or major creative piece that challenges you both technically and artistically. You’ll advance your production practices in the studio and build your business skills to uncover the many ways you could promote your work as you move into your future music production career.  

Advanced Studio Production

This module will see you bridge the gap between making a recording and making a record. You’ll build upon the recording knowledge you’ve gained across previous modules, as you combine it with newly acquired techniques. Recording bigger ensembles, such as string quartets and brass sections, you’ll raise the level of the new collaborative projects you take on. As you continually reference successful commercial tracks, you’ll strive to attain the extremely high level of competencies required for a professional career in audio engineering and studio production.  

  • Recording session preparation 
  • Pre-production  
  • Recording session set-up 
  • Musicians’ choices in studio production
  • Recording with processing
  • Time management  
  • Microphone experimentation  
  • Multi-micing techniques  
  • Advanced DAW techniques  
  • Recording in context  
  • Whole ensemble recording  
  • Recording strings and brass  

Critical Analysis of Music Production

To help you define your own individual sound, it’s valuable to explore musical creativity in all its forms. In this module, you’ll examine key music producers from a range of artistic disciplines and analyse how artistry can manifest in music production work. You’ll build upon your experience as a music producer and the work you’ve undertaken in previous modules to explore a range of creative production practices and techniques.  

  • Artistic approach analysis 
  • Record production analysis 
  • Critical listening 
  • Artistic approaches relevant to your work  
  • The role of the modern music producer 
  • How to facilitate artistry in yourself and others   
  • Creative approaches to your chosen field  

Creative Business Practice for Producers

In this module, you’ll gain a detailed understanding of the entrepreneurial pursuits within modern music and the broader global creative industries. In particular, you’ll focus on creative problem solving and be encouraged to think laterally about business issues that are relevant to creative producers working in the live, recorded and project-based sectors. You’ll explore business models in the profit and non-profit sectors, and non-Western industries too, such as sub-Saharan business practices. An extensive range of areas will be addressed, including fundraising and sustainability, team building, brand awareness and governance.  

  • Grassroots approaches to tackling sector problems 
  • Funding, subsidy and sustainability 
  • Style, genre and approach in non-Western creative industries   
  • Establishing an organisation, building teams, growing project support 
  • Audience development and engagement  
  • Profit vs non-profit pursuits   
  • ‘Community’ music and articulating value 

Mastering Techniques

In recent years, mastering has undergone seismic changes and it’s become increasingly important for music production professionals to understand how to work in this arena. This module links well with the Year 3 Advanced Studio Production programme to improve your ability to produce a fully polished piece of creative work. Upon completion of this module, you’ll be adept in mixing and mastering both single tracks and longer album projects. 

  • Listening skills and mastering 
  • Using appropriate referencing material 
  • Working with stereo    
  • Signal processing and techniques for EQ and dynamic processing
  • Loudness using clippers and limiters 
  • Advanced metering 
  • Working with long-form projects    
  • Metadata and International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs)
  • Delivering diverse mastering formats 

Creative Production Project

Everything you’ve learned during your degree now comes to fruition in this final double module. With support from your tutors, you’ll undertake a major creative project of your own choice, employing a combination of research methods, practice as research, project planning and management. Your work should explore a range of creative production methods and make use of advanced, contemporary and experimental music production techniques. Your major work could be an album, live production performance, multi-media composition, installation or more. Whichever creative medium you decide on, you’ll graduate with a substantial piece to help launch your future music production portfolio career.   

  • Creative music production techniques 
  • Artistic research methods 
  • Development of personalised production identity      
  • Research-as-practice methods 
  • Audiovisual composition workshop    
  • Presentation of work and ideas 

TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

At ICMP, you’ll be taught at our campus in Kilburn in London and will regularly use our live rooms, in-house music studio facilities, tech suites, classrooms and lecture rooms. While you’re a student with us, you’ll have access to these facilities outside of class hours so you can rehearse and record your own music whenever it suits. 

You’ll learn via a range of teaching and learning methods, including small group tutorials, performance workshops, lectures, music technology tutorials and one-to-one instrumental tuition sessions. 

You’ll also have access to ICMP’s Student Services department for support and advice if you have any questions about welfare, safeguarding, finance, personal development, or more. You can also connect with our Professional Development team – known as ‘The Hub’ – who offer you unique industry opportunities and provide bespoke music industry careers advice. 

As a University of East London (UEL) student, you’ll enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries which contain over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 25,000 electronic journals and databases, and 500 electronic books. 

Teaching and Learning

On the BA Creative Music Production programme, your learning is in small mixed groups for classes and seminars, small workshop groups for practical skills, and larger groups for lectures. 
 
When not attending seminars, lectures and other timetabled sessions, you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on individual and group projects, and preparing coursework assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including ICMP’s Learning Resource Centre, well-equipped tech suites and many performance and practice rooms. 

Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching hours per week
Semester A • Year 1: 12hrs | Year 2: 10hrs | Year 3: 8hrs
Semester B • Year 1: 11hrs | Year 2:  9hrs  | Year 3: 8hrs

Total Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year
Year 1: 276hrs | Year 2: 228hrs | Year 3: 192hrs

Total self-study hours per year
Year 1: 924hrs | Year 2: 972hrs | Year 3: 1008hrs

Assessment

Your knowledge and thinking will be assessed through reports, workbooks, presentations, essays, examinations and recordings. Your practical skills will be assessed through recordings, performance, composition and practical examinations, and your skills for life and work will be assessed through project pitches, coursework and presentations.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

Year 1: 17% Written | 17% Practical | 66% Coursework
Year 2: 100% Coursework
Year 3: 17% Practical | 83% Coursework

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants will typically have A Levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, or International Baccalaureate equivalent to 80 UCAS points, or an ICMP Higher Diploma.

In addition, you should hold a GCSE Grade C or 4 or above in English, or suitable equivalent, such as Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

International students will typically hold a relevant equivalent qualification –please check your qualification with our Admissions Team. In addition, you should hold a relevant English language qualification equivalent to CEFR  Level B2.

We also welcome applications from mature applicants who may have no formal qualifications but can demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

All applicants will be invited to attend an audition/interview.

This course is also available as a one-year Cert HE.

UCAS code W100Uni code i25

HOW TO APPLY

 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 



By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email:
enquiries@icmp.ac.uk

or

Tutors

Jason O'BryanMusic Production

Jason O’Bryan is one of our Creative Music Production tutors. As a producer and bassist with the UK band, Dub Pistols, Jason has released several successful albums and remixed a string of world-famous artists including Bono (U2), Lily Allen, Scissor Sisters, Moby, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Rob Zombie, Ian Brown, Bush, Natalie Imbruglia and Robbie Williams.
Jason O'Bryan | Music Production | ICMP London

Bill BorezMusic Production

As an accomplished artist, producer, writer, guitarist, keyboard player and remixer Bill Borez has recorded several top 40 hits and numerous dance chart hits and dance chart No.1 records. Bill has worked under various aliases including the seminal rave act Zero B, named by DJ and Musician Goldie as one of his top ten all-time influential British dance music artists.
bill-borez-music-production-tutor

Steve TurnerMusic Production

As a live programmer, Steve has performed with The Sugababes, All Saints, Anastacia, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, as well as working on four world tours with Kylie Minogue, where his skills as a synth programmer have really come into their own. He also composes string arrangements, recently featuring on 4 tracks from Jocelyn Brown's amazing album True Praises.
Steve Turner | Music Production Tutor | ICMP London

Paul StanboroughMusic Production

As a multi-instrumentalist with a training in creative music technology, Paul’s understanding and awareness of the craft and sensibility needed to shape and form a song ultimately led him to a position as the in-house producer, programmer, and engineer for renowned songwriter and producer, Guy Chambers. Alongside Chambers, Paul worked with artists as diverse as Kelis, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Janet Jackson, Mark Ronson, The Scissor Sisters, Britney Spears, Jamie Cullum, and Tinie Tempah, to name a few.
paul-stanborough-icmp-tutor