UCAS code


Start date

16th September 2024

Course length

1 Year


ICMP’s one-year CertHE Creative Musicianship is a programme which will help you explore your unique artistic identity, provide you with an extensive introduction to how the music industry operates, and guide you on your first steps towards success as a highly skilled creative artist.

Suitable for all artists, vocalists and instrumentalists, the programme is ideal for those looking to eventually become entrepreneurial and creative music professionals with varied and enduring portfolio careers.

Through a practical and theoretical examination of performance, composition and music business, you’ll improve your technical understanding of musical language and begin to explore your potential for a career in music and the creative industries.

The modules address a variety of specialisms within creative music practice, ensuring you acquire skills in creative collaboration, songwriting, recording, entrepreneurship and career development.

The programme also lets you progress an individual learning path relevant to your preferred way of learning, interests and ultimate career journey, and there are ongoing opportunities to explore the areas you feel support your personal artistic goals. You’ll be encouraged to consider a variety of different directions as a creative artist, but will make your own decisions about what’s best for your future career.​

You’ll be supported and mentored by exceptionally experienced tutors – all experts in the creative industries – while also learning how to work autonomously.

With a strong focus on entrepreneurship, the course introduces you to tried-and-tested approaches to building yourself as a successful brand and business. Tailored to reflect the realities of the modern music industry, it gives you access to regular masterclasses, industry events and visits by special guest musicians. Within ICMP's truly collaborative environment, you'll benefit from unrivalled access to incredible music facilities for rehearsal, performance and recording.

At the conclusion of your year of study with ICMP, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a versatile and confident self-producing creative artist, with the entrepreneurial skills, networking contacts and drive to succeed, and an artistic uniqueness to stand out from the crowd. Successful completion allows direct progression into the second year of the BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship course if you wish to continue your journey with ICMP.


Course Fees: UK Students 

Programme Specification | Programme Handbook

Click to view the full terms and conditions of applying to study at ICMP.

ICMP Music School Logo

Successful completion of the Cert HE Creative Musicianship course leads to the award of Certificate of Higher Education by The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.


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Key facts

  • Develops your creative skills and identity through creative collaboration.
  • A comprehensive one-year introduction to the music business.
  • Tailored to reflect the modern music and wider creative industries.
  • Offers a personalised learning experience with a high degree of choice and self-direction, preparing you for a varied portfolio career.
  • Develops your entrepreneurial, business and networking skills to maximise your creative ability.
  • The London location provides top performance opportunities, while you immerse yourself in the global music scene.
  • High-quality teaching by expert 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 the wider music industry enables you to build an impressive musical network.
  • Apply Now


Course Ambassador

Nova Twins

Brit Award and MOBO nominated rock band Nova Twins’s Amy Love and Georgia South are the ambassadors for the Creative Musicianship Course.


Nova Twins are one of the UK’s most exciting new rock bands, having formed back in 2014 and released two albums to date with the latest, 2022’s ‘Supernova’, earning them two Brit Award nominations and a Mercury Prize nomination.


The pair’s fusion of punk and grime has been critically acclaimed, earned them plaudits from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello among others and see the band successfully advocate for a new Alternative category to be created at the MOBO Awards. 


Photo by Frederica Burelli


Course modules

The CertHE Creative Musicianship offers an excellent introduction to life as a creative artist. Benefiting from opportunities to collaborate with your fellow student musicians and exceptional group tuition, you’ll begin to develop your compositional ‘voice’, grow your technical and creative skills, and build your critical awareness of the wider arts, creative industries and music business sectors you’ll one day be a part of.

Performance Practice (40 credits)

You’ll work to industry-relevant stylistic briefs during this module, composing and performing collaboratively with other musicians. This will develop your ability to compose and arrange original music, perform in a live professional environment, collaborate, understand genre conventions and how they can be manipulated/reimagined for contemporary audiences. You’ll also be able to apply the skills gained from your other modules, thus reinforcing and expanding your skillset.

Exploring Creativity (20 credits)

This module explores a range of creative processes, both collaborative and independent. You’ll learn how to develop and articulate your creative consciousness, understand how your own creativity fits into a wider intellectual, academic, and music industry context, and create ongoing works in progress. As there are no “mistakes” in creativity, you’ll be free to push beyond your comfort zone and learn from your experiments. You’ll also be able to share your works with peers and tutors, and reflect upon your discoveries.

Exploring Creative Technology (20 credits)

In conjunction with Exploring Creativity, this module will show you how to capture and develop creative ideas using a range of professional tools and methods. You’ll also learn how to construct melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic patterns while exploring structural forms, considering how those forms relate to the content of musical works, and producing your own portfolio of original material.

Musical Language & Technique (20 credits)

This module will cover theoretical and practical approaches and strategies you can use when making music. You’ll look at compositional components, technical and creative writing methods, technique (and how it informs your creative practice), and the application of theoretical concepts within a practical context. By learning to integrate musical language and technique into your own creative process, you’ll become a highly effective and authoritative musician.

The Music Industry (20 credits)

The music industry contains three main interconnected sectors (recorded music, live music, and publishing). This module explores the above in detail, including revenue streams, artist management, A&R, marketing, promotion, sales, distribution, copyright, royalties, collection societies, membership organisations and trade bodies. By understanding these key areas alongside current industry practices, the evolution of the music business, and predicted future developments, you will be able to develop a durable, long-term portfolio career.


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. 

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops and music technology workshops. 

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding and more. 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.

Teaching and Learning

On the Cert HE Creative Musicianship programme 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 your year of study, you'll be in timetabled teaching activities, such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, for typically 10-12 hours a week. You’ll also have personalised one-to-one tutorials scheduled throughout the year.


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:

100% Coursework


Applicants will typically have A levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, International Baccalaureate equivalent to 48 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.

Please note: International students, who require a visa to study in the UK, are not eligible to study on this course, instead we encourage you to apply for either our three-year BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship degree.

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.

UCAS code W35CUni code i25


 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. 

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020 7328 0222

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