The CertHE Songwriting is a practical real-world course designed for those looking to begin their career as a professional songwriter. Across one-year of learning, we guide you through a fun and personalised journey where you’ll explore the world of songwriting while building your repertoire and experimenting with your own individual writing style.

Every week, you’ll study the craft of modern songwriting, and will write at least two songs to brief across a variety of subjects, genres, styles and approaches. You’ll regularly team up with other ICMP students to perform your work and will take part in critical discussion and ‘A&R-style’ feedback in small groups consisting of both your peers and our professional songwriting tutors. Constant writing and collaboration across the course of the year will see you quickly build your showreel and really broaden your songwriting influences.

We aim to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to establish a songwriting career, while we foster your individuality and creativity. You’ll receive personalised professional advice from our expert tutors, who are all hugely successful songwriters and producers with active careers in the music industry and music education sector.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll have gained a solid foundation of songwriting knowledge and practice, including an understanding of the history and culture of songwriting, experience in live performance, impressive production and recording skills and a firm idea of how the music business operates.

I really enjoyed my time at ICMP and all the amazing classes and opportunities to collaborate and network with other musicians and industry professionals, both in-person and online. It has really changed my life, setting me on my musical path. I am extremely grateful for the knowledge and experience I have gained and the progress I have made!” – Jasmina, CertHE Songwriting student

September 2021: What you can expect...

In September 2021, we will be returning to a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience. All subjects and classes that are best suited to face-to-face delivery – such as performance activity, studio classes and other practical workshops – will be timetabled into the appropriate teaching spaces at our campuses. All of these sessions will be socially-distanced and properly ventilated. In order to facilitate socially-distanced learning, we have reduced our group sizes to a maximum of 13 and, because of the consequent need to run more sessions, some learning activity will take place online. We have listened to student feedback and only planned online delivery for those subjects and classes that work well in this mode, such as lectures and discussion seminars. This blend of onsite and online education will ensure we can facilitate the highest quality of learning and teaching, whilst ensuring the ongoing safety of all students and staff.


Studying music at ICMP in London is great value, as well as great fun, with fees for our music courses the same as those at many traditional universities.

2021/22 Course Fees: UK Students | EU/EEA/International Students

Please visit our Fees pages for information on access to Student Loans, students eligible for Loans are able to borrow the full course fee for ICMP programmes.

Full Programme Specification


Successful completion of programme Cert HE Songwriting at ICMP leads to the award of Certificate of Higher Education by the University of East London.

Redesigned for 2021
Please note, this page contains a description of the course as currently delivered, and aspects will change before the start of the 2021 academic year. The course has recently gone through a redesign process with our validating partner UEL. Please visit for further detail on why we periodically redesign our courses and the benefits this has to you as an ICMP student. The information on this page will be updated in due course to reflect the changes that have occurred, all students and applicants will be notified of these changes.



Key facts

  • September 2021: Your learning experience will be primarily onsite, with some non-practical classes taking place online.
  • A practical exploration of the craft of contemporary songwriting.
  • Equips you with a solid foundation and the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to build a successful career in songwriting.
  • Develops your unique creative ‘voice’ through structured weekly songwriting activities.
  • Challenges you to write songs using new methods and approaches, exploring beyond your usual stylistic territory.
  • Professionalises your writing ability through entrepreneurial business practice, helping you to understand how the modern music business operates.
  • High-quality teaching in an inspiring learning environment by songwriting and production experts.
  • A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
  • The London location sees you showcase your songwriting skills at top London events, such as Songwriters’ Circle, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • Global songwriting opportunities in Nashville, California, Malmö and Paris make for a truly international course.
  • 121 with tutor


Course Modules

Throughout the one-year CertHE Songwriting course, you’ll expand your knowledge of the discipline of songwriting, will explore different songwriting approaches, genres, methods and styles, and will develop your creative and technical skills. You’ll also grow your songwriting repertoire through regular and collaborative writing, performing and producing, and will begin to think critically about songwriting thanks to our weekly tutor and peer feedback sessions.


To be a successful songwriter, you’ll need the skills to write and perform a repertoire of original songs across a range of thematic, structural and stylistic briefs. This module will enable you to develop those skills, as well as to develop co-writing techniques and experience, a practical research-based approach to exploring your creativity, and a deeper understanding of the cultural, historical, social and political contexts of your songwriting. Our personalised approach will guide you through a variety of styles, genres and forms, and provide opportunity to explore different approaches to writing.


For a songwriter, the ability to produce live and recorded demonstrations of your repertoire is critical. In this module, you’ll begin developing the skills and knowledge required for both performance and production. You’ll learn to create collaboratively with other performers, produce arrangements of the original repertoire of others, acquire the knowledge and skills to enable a creative and stylistically relevant approach to song production, learn how to prepare suitable charts for use in showcase workshops, and develop the necessary introductory instrumental skills.


Theory is an essential component of any songwriter’s skillset. This module will equip you with the core skills to read, write, play and sing music to a standard suitable for writing original songs in a variety of musical genres. You’ll cover such subjects as music harmony and theory, aural and transcribing, and rhythm studies.

Music Culture, Context and Criticism I

There are many ways of recognising and interpreting the development of popular music genres, and this module will help you develop the skills necessary to justify intellectual positions, and describe and explain popular music as a cultural phenomenon. It’s delivered using a structured approach to investigating, analysing and critiquing current debates and theories relating to the context within which popular music is produced, performed and consumed.


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, music technology workshops tutorials and one to one instrumental tuition. 

In September students will experience a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience, with some non-practical classes delivered online. Onsite lessons will be taught at our Kilburn campus , utilising our live performance rooms and extensive range of music equipment/instruments. Online lessons will be taught via Microsoft Teams.  

You can expect to experience two days per week (approximately 11 hours) of onsite, face-to-face teaching. The remainder of your timetable (typically 3-4 hours each week) will be delivered online through a combination of Canvas (our online central learning environment) and Microsoft Teams. 

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. 

Read more about our blended-delivery model for September 2021.

Teaching and Learning

On the Cert HE Songwriting programme your learning will be in small mixed groups for seminars and writing classes and small workshop groups for practical skills. Some lectures are in larger groups.

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: 448hrs

Self-study hours per year: 752hrs


Modules are assessed through a variety of means, including practical exams and performance, submission of course work, projects, examination and essays.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

18% Written
51% Practical
31% Coursework


Applicants will typically have A Levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, or 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.

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 audition.

UCAS code WW38Uni code i25


 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: