The Masters in Songwriting course is a practice-based, industry-led programme, placing your development as a songwriter in a critical and contextual setting. Working in a peer community, with teaching and support from current industry songwriting practitioners and academics, you’ll explore and refine your creative output and goals, considering artist, commercial and intellectual outcomes.

Students complete a series of modules which focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice, before undertaking a final Masters project, choosing either the creation of a new major repertoire work (typically a debut album) or a dissertation in the area of songwriting.

ICMP's Songwriting masters classes explore the art and craft of contemporary songwriting, with students writing at least one song every week. You’ll collaborate with other ICMP students and will engage in small group ‘A&R-style’ feedback and critical discussion with your professional songwriting tutors and talented peers, regularly critiquing each other’s works-in-progress across the course of the year.

The highlight of the Masters in Songwriting course is the final module. Students get to choose between Major Repertoire or Dissertation projects, which allow students to progress specific songwriting interests in a distinctly personalised manner. The Major Repertoire Project allows you to develop a large-scale piece of repertoire work, which is typically a debut album. You’ll be allocated an expert, individual supervisor/A&R to help guide your project with regular one-to-one support. This mentor will be hand-picked to suit your project from either within the ICMP Songwriting faculty or outside in the wider UK songwriting industry.

Songwriting masters students form a small but close-knit team, and you’ll immediately become part of the strong, diverse and inclusive community around the whole ICMP Songwriting department.

As an MA Songwriting student, you’ll regularly network within the music industry thanks to monthly performance opportunities at our London songwriting industry event – Songwriters’ Circle and MA-specific guest speakers from the worlds of songwriting and academia. You’ll also get the chance to attend occasions organised by the London chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which is run out of ICMP – a group with exclusive links to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriting venues: the Bluebird Café.

As a graduate of the Masters in Songwriting course, you’ll leave ICMP London school of music with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections required to succeed in whichever direction your songwriting path takes you, whether that’s within the worlds of the music business, the songwriting industry, education, academia or beyond.

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.

Financial Support

Student support for postgraduate music masters courses is available to students studying at ICMP.

Eligible students on designated masters courses at ICMP will be able to access the postgraduate Master's loan in the same way, and at the same value, as they could at a publicly funded provider. Individuals will be able to borrow up to £11,222. If you opt to study part-time, your loan would be split into two instalments over the two years of study.

Full Fees Information | Full Programme Specification 



Successful completion of the programme Masters in Songwriting at ICMP  Music College leads to the award of MA by the University of East London.


Key facts

  • September 2021: Your learning experience will be primarily onsite, with some non-practical classes taking place online.
  • A personalised learning experience which equips you with the knowledge, understanding and skills for successful employment in the music industry.
  • Enhances your creativity and confidence as a songwriter and academic.
  • High-quality teaching by groundbreaking songwriters and producers who are all still active and successful in today’s modern music business.
  • Major Repertoire Project and Dissertation optional modules allow for choice between advanced songwriting and rigorous scholarship routes.
  • Focuses on realising your unique identity as a songwriter.
  • Offered as one year full-time or two years part-time study.
  • The London location provides opportunities to showcase your songwriting at top London events, such as Songwriters’ Circle, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
  • Connections with the wider London music industry enables you to build an impressive musical network.
  • Opportunities for international collaboration and engagement make for a truly international postgraduate course.
  • Face-to-Face Tour


Corrina Taylor

Corrina discusses how the course has been a life-changing experience for her.


Creative Process (30 credits)

Songwriting Musicology (30 credits)

Musical Language in Songwriting (30 credits)

The Writer’s Voice (30 credits)

Optional 60 Credit Modules:

For a songwriter, identifying the conditions that encourage your best work is crucial. In this module, you’ll learn how to examine and evaluate your creative process and will determine ways in which to further develop your songwriting. Through research, discussion and self-directed writing exercises, you’ll explore subjects such as idea generation and organisation, song drafting and development, and explorative writing techniques.

This module will provide context for your own songwriting practice with analysis of popular musicology perspectives, reflecting upon the societal role and cultural identity of the songwriter. Your viewpoints will be broadened through the study of songwriting ideology and criticism, and with guidance you’ll develop skills in forming and expressing critical arguments, particularly through essay writing and debate.

To be a successful songwriter, you need a versatile toolbox of musical techniques and the confidence to fittingly apply them in a wide range of contexts. This module will equip you with those skills, helping you to develop a deeper musical proficiency, greater understanding of approaches and a clearer standpoint when selecting appropriate methodologies. You’ll cover subjects including song analysis, alternative approaches to fulfilling ideas, and musical meaning and ideology.

Your writer’s voice is key to defining your identity as a songwriter. This module is designed to help you develop and refine this unique voice, through a detailed exploration of the discipline of lyric writing. With support, you’ll partake in discussion seminars and practical workshops, evaluate a variety of creative approaches for their influence upon lyrical content and apply your learning to your own lyric writing. This empirical approach will support you in achieving professional expertise in your writing.

*Students will choose one of the optional 60 credit modules:

Major Repertoire Project* (60 credits)

This module provides an opportunity to create a major new songwriting project, during which you’ll receive individual supervision by a dedicated tutor. Your project will typically take the shape of an artist album, song cycle, comprehensive collaboration or a similar body of work. You’ll apply your skills in planning, creating and evaluating material for your project, while also developing a delivery strategy for the particular context of your project. The Major Repertoire Project is designed for those wishing to pursue a career as a professional songwriter and/or performing songwriter.

Dissertation* (60 credits)

The Dissertation is a perfect option for the songwriter who wishes to develop an extended research project. This investigatory module may lead you towards consideration of one or more of the complex contexts, histories, themes or technical aspects of songwriting. You’ll produce a research proposal, detailed research plan and a final extended written work, supervised by a dedicated tutor with specialist knowledge of your area of research. The Dissertation is designed for those wishing to pursue further study at Doctoral level and/or a career in academia or as a songwriter.


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.  

Postgraduate students will experience onsite face-to-face classes as the default position. These will be supported by online supervisions/classes on the modules where this works effectively and with no detriment to the student experience.

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 MA Songwriting programme you will be taught by lecture, seminar discussion, and practical workshops as appropriate.

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, concert venues, rehearsal facilities 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: 336 hours

Self-study hours per year: 1464 hours


All modules are individually assessed through a variety of means, including: performances, recording portfolios, practical exams, paper exams, presentations, essays, reflective commentaries, workbooks and projects.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

50% Coursework

50% Practical


Applicants will normally have a good Honours degree (upper second or first) or equivalent, or comparable professional or research experience. We welcome applicants from non-music-related academic backgrounds who are actively writing and involved in music, please read our additional guidance here.

ICMP London school of music also welcomes applications from established practitioners who are keen to undertake study at the postgraduate level but may not possess the required qualifications. These students may be given credit for their prior study or experience.

International: English language requirement – minimum level B2 of the CEFR – for more information visit this website.

When completing the full application form for the Masters in Songwriting course, please be aware that you will be required to submit a personal statement.

Additionally, you’ll be asked to complete an audition/interview. Further documentation or evidence in support of your application may be required in certain cases.


 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: