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Music Business MA

Learn about the course below

Music Business MA

September 2023
18 months
£8,900 (UK) *
£11,500 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Richard Osborne

This flexible online distance learning MA is designed for professionals working in all areas of the music business. The course has been specially developed to allow you to continue working, as you integrate professional practice and expertise with academic learning. The programme will help you to reach your full potential by providing thinking space and critical tools that enable you to explore new ideas and enhance a sophisticated knowledge of the music industry. You will study alongside an international cohort of professionals with a wide range of expertise, gaining the skills and recognition of successful academic study.

Why study Music Business MA at Middlesex University?

This course allows you to contextualise your previous experience with academic rigour and to develop a sophisticated understanding of the music business that will enhance your career prospects. It is designed for music entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their practice, and for music business staff who are transitioning to senior roles and strategic positions. The recognition of prior learning provides formal recognition for non-traditional and work-based scholarship.

Course highlights

  • The programme has been co-created with a leading industry partner, the Association of Independent Music (AIM)
  • You have the flexibility to organise your studies around your work commitments, enabling you to pursue your ambitions with structured support from specialised staff
  • Your professional experience is used to claim 80 credits of the MA
  • You benefit from free subscriptions to music industry reports
  • You will receive a free electronic textbook for every module and will have access to Middlesex's extensive online library
  • You are part of a vibrant research culture, with access to influential and internationally respected work and workers in the field

What will you study on Music Business MA?

The course is rooted in reflective practice. You will be able to review your professional experience with academic rigour and gain a wide understanding of music business approaches and policies. Reflective practice and critical thinking are catalysts for ongoing professional development, transformation and contribution to the music business and wider creative industries. As a graduate, you will enjoy greater credibility of your practice within the work place, leading to opportunities for promotion or to a change of career direction.

  • Modules

    • Review of Professional Practice: Life Learning, Professional Learner (10 credits + 80 credit RPL claim) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to review your professional practice. You are introduced to theories of reflective practice, music business pedagogy, modes of learning, networking/connectivism and communication as a means of contextualising your work as a music professional.

      Alongside this module, you will be guided through making a claim of 80 additional credits that will be awarded to you as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

    • Music Policies in Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops a wide understanding of music business policies. You explore theories of decision-making and success; examine business theories relevant to the contemporary music industries; learn how to influence legislative and sectorial policies; and contextualise your work within ethical and ecological frameworks.

    • Independent Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to develop your career by undertaking a project of your own choosing. You will learn how to articulate a clear, reflexive analysis and methodological awareness relevant to the music business. In doing so, you will gain an advanced understanding of a specific area of music business theory and practice.

For more information, please look at the programme specification for further details.

How is the Music Business MA taught?

The course is taught through distance education. Some of the provision takes place through scheduled online lectures and tutorials; other provision is conducted in your own time through online forums. You are advised to set aside at least one day a week to complete the appropriate reading, research and assignments required at each level of the course. There are no taught elements requiring attendance at Middlesex University campuses but you will have full access to state-of-the-art learning resources and library facilities, on campus and online.


You will be assessed through essays, reports, presentations, case studies, oral examinations and portfolios of evidence.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional content

How can the MA Music Business support your career?

This programme’s policy of equity and inclusion provides career enhancement for students from diverse backgrounds. Successful graduates are facilitated in moving to positions of seniority in music companies, either with their current employers or by discovering new opportunities. Independent workers are able to rationalise their practice and explore new entrepreneurial avenues. Building on the international diversity of Middlesex University, the course provides a vibrant multi-national learning community that in turn fosters cross-border collaborations.

Dr Richard Osborne
Associate Professor in Music and Creative Industries

Dr Richard Osborne has a professional background in music copyright and retail. He has published widely on the music industries, including the books Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record (Ashgate 2012) and Music by Numbers (Intellect, 2021). He has worked with key trade bodies and the British government on projects relating to music revenues and music technologies, including the influential IPO report Music Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Era.

Dr Sam Murray
Lecturer in Music Business and Arts Management

Dr Sam Murray has a background in music policy and creative city research. He has worked on a variety of innovation knowledge exchange projects with Creative Fuse North East and Creative Cardiff, and previously worked as a policy and research officer for UK Music.

Julia Haferkorn
Senior Lecturer in Music Business and Arts Management

Julia Haferkorn worked as agent and event producer in the music sector for over 20 years before joining academia, where she has acted as Principal Investigator for an ESRC-funded research project into the livestreaming of musical performances and has co-edited The Classical Music Industry (Routledge, 2018). Previous roles include Artistic Director of the British Composer Awards and Stage Director of the Chinese New Year celebrations on Trafalgar Square.

Dr Zuleika Beaven
Senior Lecturer in Arts Management

Dr Zuleika Beaven has more than two decades of experience in the creative industries. Her arts management experience ranges across a variety of artforms and both larger organisations, such as the music venue Blackheath Halls, and many years as a freelancer, including events and projects with the Museum of London, Barbican, Common Ground and BBC Radio 4.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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