COURSE OVERVIEW

The BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship degree helps you identify exactly who you are as an artist, develops your creativity while expressing your own unique ‘creative voice’, and guides you towards your own definition of career success.

It’s a fun and diverse course with the aim of producing competent self-producing artists and creative musicians who want to create and perform their own music. The degree is suitable for all musicians and caters for a range of different instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboards, saxophones, harps, and many more options.

Over the course, you’ll develop expertise in your principal instrument, through group instrumental tuition across all three years, and collectively within a group workshop environment. In the business and entrepreneurship modules, you’ll gain an understanding of marketing, branding, social networking and successful new business models, while developing broader communication, management and interpersonal skills. Using the latest technology, you’ll be given the opportunity to build a portfolio of your own original music, working in collaboration with other disciplines and media, such as film, dance, games and fashion.

The learning style on the BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship degree is student-led and highly personalised. You’ll be encouraged to explore a variety of different directions as a creative artist, and will be making your own decisions about what’s best for your future career, with guidance and mentorship provided by your exceptionally experienced tutors.

You’ll also gain a working knowledge of the way the music business operates, thanks to regular industry events, masterclasses, visits by special guest musicians, and ICMP’s connection with London’s Tileyard Studios – our exclusive industry partner and home to the UK’s largest professional music community.

By the time you graduate from ICMP, you’ll be a confident and versatile creative artist with the ability to compose and produce your own work, and the drive, marketing skills and networking contacts to take your professional career to the next level.

Fees & Funding

Taking a music degree course at ICMP makes financial sense too, with the fees for ICMP music degrees significantly less than those at many traditional universities, and, also much lower than other UK music education providers - making studying music at ICMP in London great value as well as great fun.

2019/20 Course Fees: £7,500 (UK & EU Students) | £9,700 (Non-EU Students)

Please visit our Fees page for information on access to Student Loans.

EU Students, applying to start their course in 2019, will continue to be eligible for both home fee status and have access to student finance. This entitlement will remain in place for the duration of the course. Read more

Full Fees Information | Full Programme Specification  

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

"The BACM course sums up all I have wished. Creativity, diversity, production, marketing - all the tools I need to start my career in the music industry."

Victor Pascal
BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship

UCAS CODES

Key facts

  • Develops your creative skills and unique identity as a musician through structured weekly individual and collaborative performance activities
  • Expert tuition in your principal discipline and opportunities to explore other instruments.
  • A personalised learning experience which prepares you for a portfolio career within music and the wider creative industries.
  • Develops your entrepreneurial, business and networking skills to maximise your creative ability
  • The London location provides opportunities to perform in gigs at top London venues, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • High-quality teaching by music industry practitioners in a creative and inspiring learning environment.
  • A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
  • Connection with Tileyard Studios and wider music industry enables you to build an impressive musical network.
  • A creative and inspiring learning environment

COURSE DETAILS

Year 1 (Level 4)

Year 2 (Level 5)

Year 3 (Level 6)

During your first year on the course, you’ll develop and enhance your technical and creative skills thanks to one-to-one and group tuition on your principal study instrument. As well as this, you’ll begin to develop your compositional ‘voice’, while gaining an in-depth understanding of contemporary and traditional music production processes. The first year of the programme is also intended to build your critical awareness with regards to the wider arts, creative industries and music business sectors.

Performance and Context I

During this module you’ll develop your performance skills through the study of a range of performance traditions, genre conventions and idiosyncrasies, and will begin to identify your unique artist ‘voice’ through first and/or second instrument study. You’ll receive one-to-one instrumental tuition, allowing you to focus intently on your technical proficiency, self-expression and study of your first and/or second instrument. You’ll also develop the ability to compose, arrange and perform original music, while generating an understanding of genre conventions and how these can be manipulated or re-presented for a contemporary audience.

Core Principles of Music Making

On this module you’ll develop an understanding of established methodologies and models for composition, songwriting and creative practices, while creating of a portfolio of original material. You’ll study the core principles surrounding melody, harmony and rhythm, and how these are applied in the context of composing or arranging. You’ll also acquire an advanced awareness of musical structures and the use of music technology, while developing basic keyboard skills to support your learning and enhance your skill base.

Popular Music Debates

During this module you’ll be introduced to effective ways of recognising and interpreting the development of popular music genres and will develop the skills necessary to justify intellectual positions using critical texts and resources. The module utilises the University of East London’s ‘Skills Curriculum’ as a core framework for investigating, analysing and critiquing current debates and theories surrounding the context in which popular music is produced, performed and consumed.

Music, New Media and the Arts

On this module you’ll develop an understanding of how music works in the context of new and emerging media channels and the wider arts sector, largely through a portfolio of work created collaboratively with ICMP students from other course disciplines. You’ll also study and practise both established and more recent forms of music composition for new and emerging media, and will consider the underlying philosophical and aesthetic connections that link and contextualise music within the wider arts sector.
In Year 2, you’ll continue to develop and specialise in your principal study instrument through one-to-one tuition, and building on from Level 4, you’ll also progress your portfolio of original compositions. Considerable focus will be placed on exploring contemporary concepts and current practice relating to 21st century entrepreneurship, such as online marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and convergence theory. The second year of the programme has been designed to encourage you to begin forming artist brand concepts, ideas and projects for your final year of study.

Performance and Context II

This module is an extension of your studies in performance and context from Year 1. You’ll continue to explore your technical skills and unique voice as a creative artist via one-to-one tuition on your first and/or secondary instrument. You’ll also explore your compositional, arrangement and performance talents further and will continue to explore the concept of genre.

Exploring Music Making

This module will see you pick up where you left off on your ‘music making’ studies from Year 1. You’ll continue to explore composition, arranging, production, songwriting, melody, harmony and rhythm, and will further develop your keyboard skills and knowledge of music technology.

Writing about Music

To be a successful musician it’s extremely helpful to be able to explore the relationships between popular music genres and experiment with a range of analytical approaches. This module builds on prior foundational work from Year 1, further developing your capacity for intellectual engagement with popular music through analysis and critique, and involving you in the current debates and theories relating to the context within which popular music is produced, performed and consumed.

Marketing and Monetising Your Music

In order to build successful careers, it’s essential that all musicians develop an awareness of the various facets of today’s rapidly evolving music industry and their inter-relationship. This module will enable you to explore and develop a professional approach to the three main industry sectors: recorded music, live music and publishing. Crucially, it will also enable you to develop an understanding of current monetisation models, how to develop successful marketing and promotion strategies, the role of management, and how to take advantage of changes in practice brought about by the impact of the internet and new technologies.

Composition for Film and Media (option)

The main aim of this module is to help you develop an understanding of the core concepts, principles and models within the field of composition for film and media. While studying, you’ll generate a portfolio of original, personalised material that will be an invaluable resource as you develop your career in the music industry.

Entrepreneurial Practice (option)

This module will enable you to develop an understanding of core entrepreneurship concepts, principles and models in the creative industries – skills crucial to the development of a successful and rewarding career in music. Specifically, you’ll study marketing, advertising, public relations, branding and business models, both in digital and non-digital realms, using the analysis of current case studies.

Live and Studio Recording Techniques (option)

This module will enable you to develop an understanding of the core concepts, principles and recording methodologies used in a conventional non-home recording studio environment. It specifically covers the skills and knowledge needed to operate the equipment used to record live instruments and vocals in a medium to large scale professional recording studio.

Live Performance Technology (option)

On this module you’ll develop a practical working knowledge of the hardware and software used in creative live performances. An indepth study of the topic ‘Live Music Technology’ will see you gain the music technology skills required for use in both solo and ensemble performance contexts.
In your third year, you’ll devise a final performance project that showcases your original work. Coupled with this is your final creative project, in which you can either choose to align your work with your final performance project or deviate completely and explore new territory. Complementing these two modules is the Dissertation, which offers you a space to research and investigate concepts related to your own practice and areas of interest. Across both semesters you’ll receive one-to-one tuition and mentorship, with the aim of refining your performance practice, and informing and guiding your major projects.

Dissertation

On the dissertation module, you will plan, develop and realise an appropriate, independent research project under relevant subject-specialist supervision. This will enable you to develop the skills of critical and/ or historical analysis acquired in the programme so far, and to apply them to a question of your own devising; offer a critical analysis of a wide range source material; demonstrate evidence of independent thought; write lucidly; and complete an extended piece of writing which draws upon the above skills. The structure of the module aims to offer support in research skills and project development, as well as dedicated subject support, and topic specialism. Part One (lecture and seminar series) consists of a review of the field/subject discipline; a review of the conventions of scholarly writing and citation; the theories and methods comprising the area of study; identifying and selecting a suitable object of inquiry; primary and secondary sources (and how to use them); dissertation framework and structure; dialogic scrutiny of key texts and debates in subject area (including ethical implications); the formulation of an agreed project, to include presentations by you to the wider student group on the progress of your proposal; and the production of drafts and revisions in relation to structured feedback and according to agreed schedule of submission Part Two (supervision sessions and write-up), consists of a revisit of conventions of scholarly writing and citation; a revisit of theories and methods comprising the area of study; a review of the framework and structure of the dissertation; a refinement and development of your agreed dissertation project; regular supervision (as agreed with the supervisor); and the production of drafts and revisions in relation to structured feedback and according to agreed schedule of submission.

Recorded Project

Throughout this module, you’ll synthesise the skills developed during previous modules to produce a recorded project, such as an EP or album. You’ll conceptualise, plan, produce, present, analyse and evaluate a final recorded project, and will develop the advanced production and arranging skills necessary to support the project’s implementation.

Performance Project

On the Performance Project module, you’ll use expertise gained in earlier course modules to produce a showcase performance of your own original repertoire. You’ll benefit from one-to-one instrumental tuition across your first and/or second study instrument, focusing on self-reflective practice, an advanced level of self-expression and an improvement of your technical ability. In the ‘Performance Workshops’, you’ll plan, arrange and perform music to a high level, while further developing your rehearsal techniques, leadership/MD talents and reflective practitioner skills.

Business Project (option)

On the Business Project module in year three, you will develop a personalised, professional business plan for your own artistic or creative project. You will also study advanced principles pertaining to marketing, advertising, public relations, branding and business models both in digital and non-digital realms, primarily through the analysis of current artist and start-up case studies.

Professional Project (option)

The aim of this module is to support you in using the skills you’ve developed throughout the programme to identify, plan and complete a project to a professional standard. You’ll be empowered to decide the form of your venture, but it could take the form of a music-based community project, a live performance, the production of an EP, music for media, or something entirely different. Main topics of study include the artist and collaborative practice, and an interdisciplinary project seminar, where you’ll discuss and analyse project management best practice and methodologies prevalent in artistic projects.

TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

You will be taught at our campus in Kilburn, utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music.

Your learning will be in small mixed groups for seminars and small workshop groups for practical skills. Some lectures are in larger groups.

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding etc. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

As a student of UEL you will also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries, with over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases.

Teaching and Learning

On the BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship you will be taught through a variety of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. The programme has a particular focus on project work, both collaborative and individual, centred around creating and performing music.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.
Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year
Year 1: 392hrs | Year 2: 350hrs | Year 3: 252hrs

Self-study hours per year
Year 1: 808hrs | Year 2: 850hrs | Year 3: 948hrs

Assessment

Your knowledge and thinking will be assessed through coursework, presentations and demonstrations. Your practical skills will be assessed through performances and coursework, and your skills for life and work will be assessed through coursework and presentations.
The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

Year 1: 100% Coursework
Year 2: 100% Coursework
Year 3: 100% 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 who can nevertheless demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

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

UCAS code W3C5Uni code i25

HOW TO APPLY

 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during the 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

Tim ElsenburgSongwriting

Tim Elsenburg is a producer, songwriter, and musician, currently working on projects in all those fields. His band, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, was nominated for a Mercury Music award in 2009, getting lots of national coverage as the “band who made an album in their garden shed”. Sweet Billy Pilgrim have released three critically acclaimed albums, toured with artists as diverse as Jamie Cullum, Portico Quartet and Field Music, Malian singer Rokia Traoré, The Futureheads, and performed with The Who at the Royal Albert Hall.
Tim Elsenburg | Songwriting Tutor | ICMP London

Lisa CannySongwriting

Lisa Canny is an award-winning songwriter, a Top Ten recording artist, and a first class Ethnomusicology Masters graduate. Hailing from County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland, she has been obsessed with traditional Irish music since early childhood. Dubbed “Ireland’s next big female artist” by Miles Copeland of The Police, she has performed live in front of thousands-strong crowds and worked with some of the biggest songwriters in the business.
Lisa Canny | Songwriting Tutor | ICMP London

Jason BavanandanSongwriting

Jason Bavanandan is a songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with over a decade’s experience working with major record labels. As the singer and songwriter in the band Battle, he released two albums, enjoyed chart success and touring throughout Europe and America. Jason is now a professional songwriter, signed to Sony/ATV, the world’s largest publishing company. His 2015 album, Whiplash, became ‘the first cinematically-released album in history’. Composed, performed, and orchestrally scored entirely by Jason himself.
Jason Bavanandan | Songwriting Tutor | ICMP London

Lorenzo De Feo Music Production

A musician by trade, Lorenzo De Feo plays guitar, bass, and drums. Lorenzo started work in the music industry as a session musician for pop acts including Mel C, X Factor’s Matt Cardle and Andrea Begley, touring throughout the UK and Europe. Swapping the stage for the studio, he now spends the majority of his time writing, composing, and recording. Lorenzo runs a busy studio in the Hertfordshire countryside where he is the resident producer, working with a range of acts, from solo artists to bands, spanning a broad spectrum of genres.
Lorenzo De Feo | Music Production | ICMP London

Luke TomsSongwriting

Luke is a singer-songwriter, producer, and composer with over ten years of industry experience. He's signed major deals with Island Records and EMI Music publishing, and also toured extensively – both independently and with such artists as Mika, The Feeling, The Zutons, Nerina Pallot, and many more. As a producer and composer, Luke has written extensively for TV and film, with many works published through Sony ATV.
Luke Toms | Songwriting Tutor | ICMP London

Erika FootmanVocal

Erika Footman is a highly experienced songwriter and performer. When she is not on the road singing and playing with world famous pop/rock groups, she runs her own record label, working with renowned writing and production teams. Erika has toured the world as backing vocalist to chart-topping British pop sensation, Mika, appearing at numerous international festivals, and performing on TV shows such as Jools Holland, Letterman, and the X-Factor. She has also toured with indie rock group Skunk Anansie, singing guest vocals on their 2012 album Black Traffic, and has appeared as a guest vocalist on the Bastille album Mix Tape.
Erika Footman | Vocal Tutor | ICMP London

Nathan WilliamsBass

Having worked with the likes of Gruff Rhys, Joss Stone, Huw Warren and Herbie Flowers, Nathan is comfortable working in all contemporary genres and performance situations on bass, drums, keys, guitar and voice. He is an accomplished composer and arranger of both commissioned work and original repertoire. His unique approach to bass playing has earned him endorsements with Cort basses and Ampeg amplification. In 2017, Nathan joined the touring band of the internationally renowned Jamiroquai.
Nathan Williams

Mark RobertsDrums

Drumming professionally since the age of 18, Mark Roberts is a highly respected drummer and educator, known for seamlessly merging technical ability with musicality. Mark has over 25 years teaching experience and has taught many of the UK’s current most prominent drummers, placing particular emphasis on technique, individual musicality and personal playing style.
Mark Roberts | Drum Tutor | ICMP London

Audrey RileyOther instrument

Audrey Riley is a composer, cellist, arranger, and conductor with close to 200 album credits to her name. For over two decades, she has worked at the very highest levels of the music industry producing an exceedingly diverse body of work, from conducting the orchestra of La Scala in Milan to playing cello with Blur, Nick Cave, and the Foo Fighters. Early recording credits include stints with industrial music legends Test Dept., Paul Weller’s The Style Council, and film soundtrack composer Simon Fisher Turner.
Audrey Riley | Arranging Tutor | ICMP London