Over the years we’ve taught many students who have transitioned from a wide range of academic areas.

Key to their success with ICMP is the fact that they’d been making music for some time and creating their own artistic projects prior to applying for the programme. Another essential attribute is their ‘drive’ for all things music (performance, production and people) and the motivation it takes to reorientate into musical study.

This drive and motivation has led many of the students we’ve taught, who’ve transitioned from other academic disciplines, to achieve some of the highest grades on our programmes.

If you are considering transitioning to a postgraduate music programme, here are some key attributes and considerations.

An appetite to learn

A highly creative and open mindset is a must for all of our programmes, alongside having a ‘self-starting’ or autonomous mentality. Whilst we are here to support you throughout your programme, taking responsibility for your own progression and learning journey is vital at postgraduate level.

Research skills

The research skills you have acquired, during your undergraduate studies, and a general open-mindedness, will establish a solid foundation for moving into a new discipline. We’ve found that this set of transferable skills, relating to curiosity and investigating practice, often underpins the success and engagement of students.

Actively making music

We would expect all applicants considering a postgraduate music programme to be actively involved in music. Whether playing, writing or producing, even if not fully-formed yet, a sense of your own artistic identity is essential to getting the most out of our programmes.

I completed my degree in English Literature but pretty much spent the whole time writing music and gigging. So ICMP just seemed the natural step for me. I’ve enjoyed this year so much, met so many incredible people and learned so much about my own creative process. ICMP has definitely helped me find my sound which has been exciting.”
Laura Goldthorp • MA Songwriting graduate (previously studied BA English Literature)

Knowledge gaps

Common knowledge gaps that students transitioning subjects often encounter are around harmony and music theory, which would normally be established within undergraduate music degrees. If this is an area where you lack confidence, we recommend that you consider focussing on building some foundational knowledge prior to starting your programme.

For students who are unfamiliar with basic music production methods, for example recording with Logic, we recommend spending some time learning the basics. You’ll find a wealth of material and resources available online. We also run short, six-week, introductory courses that cover the basics too.

Returning to study

For postgraduate applicants returning to academic life after a period away from studying, we recommend you re-familiarise yourself with musical and academic terminology.

The community is great. Having never been in an environment like ICMP before, with so many insanely talented people under one roof, I was worried before I started that it would feel really competitive - but my experience has been quite the opposite. I have felt that everyone - students and tutors alike -supports each other, both in navigating the music industry and in bringing their best songs to class each week."
Katherine Moynihan • MA Songwriting graduate (previously studied BSc Psychology)

Start your application today

If you're ready to start your application for our MA Songwriting programmme simply complete the form below and we'll be in touch to arrange your audition.

If you'd like to understand more about how your background and current skillset would fit with an ICMP postgraduate programme please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly Admissions team on 020 7328 0222 or at enquiries@icmp.ac.uk.