Our music business and arts management course is designed to give you the tools to succeed in the field of music business and arts management. It covers everything from entrepreneurship and project management to live music, copyright law and much more.
You’ll be taught by staff who are all active practitioners or researchers in music, the arts or business. We’re particularly proud of our links with industry including prominent industry speakers who will help open doors to the professional world and help you build key contacts. Previous guests include Gillian Moore CBE (Southbank Centre); Mark Lawrence (PRS for Music), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), James Gillespie (Sony Music), Tom Robinson (BBC 6Music), Dave Tomberlin (Interscope-Geffen-A&M), Sumit Bothra (ATC Management), Jayne Stynes (Music Managers Forum), and Vick Bain (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors).
Heavily focused on enhancing your employability skills, you’ll follow in the footsteps of graduates who have gone on to work for the likes of MTV, Kobalt, Help Musicians UK, Universal, PRS for Music, Columbia Records, TripAdvisor, Boosey & Hawkes, and PPL, among many others.
Learn more about the course and last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 exhibition site.
While learning, you’ll be matched with an Academic Advisor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.
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The BA Music Business and Arts Management degree combines a rich selection of areas over its three years of studies. Modules such as Managing Arts Projects, Introduction the Music Industries, and Music Contracts & Copyrights help lay the foundations, while more specialised aspects of the course develop the knowledge and skills you'll need to deal with the business and legal implications of the music and arts industries.
This module provides an overview of the music industries, principally the sectors of recording, publishing, and live music.
You will develop an understanding of related music industry roles (e.g. managers, publishers, A&R, agents, promoters, and administrators), and of the ways that music industry sectors interact with one another, as well as with creators.
This module will address contextual issues, including the music industry’s policies for diversity and sustainability.
This module encourages you to think critically about music and the arts by introducing you to key concepts that influence and contextualise their practices and relationship.
A blend of social, aesthetic, historical, political, and analytical approaches is used to broaden your understanding of music, the arts, and their thinkers and practitioners.
The module also teaches academic research and writing skills and aims to provide sufficient evaluative knowledge and skills to enable you to respond confidently to a range of musical and artistic practices.
This module encourages you to develop your own entrepreneurial ideas.
It follows a process from ideation to realisation, resulting in a viable product or service that could be pitched, and proceeds to explore how to bring that product/service to market.
Understanding will be constructed around core principles of marketing, branding, and the forms of media through which marketing is disseminated.
This module introduces you to the planning and management of small-scale music and arts projects.
Drawing on event and project management studies, the module uses a range of practical and theoretical approaches to build up the knowledge and skills required to conceptualise, plan, market, manage and evaluate such projects.
This module aims to enable you to gain a detailed understanding of how music and art events are brought to market, from conceptualisation to experience management.
It develops a critical understanding of the impact of music and arts events in local and international arenas, from small events to international tours and festivals, and examines the interplay of managers, agents, promoters, and salient organisations in music and the arts.
This module aims to develop your knowledge of A&R, recording, and distribution strategies by introducing you to key theories and practices that govern their relationship.
You will also develop a detailed understanding of the key roles, operations, and organisations involved in these activities.
This module aims to develop a critical understanding of how musical practices intersect with cultural domains by examining the role of music in the production and transmission of identities, knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, and understandings, and how, in turn, these shape music and its interpretation.
This module examines copyright by offering a nuanced view of copyright law across different territories and in different situations.
It explores the role of collecting societies in collecting and distributing royalties and considers the philosophical underpinning that informs both the history and contemporary realities of copyright, i.e. how copyright impacts creative and administrative practices.
These issues are exemplified in part by the discussion of key debates, for example about who holds the balance of power in copyright legislation and enactment.
Key concepts are developed further in the specific context of publishing, for example by considering how this sector engages with writers and “users” via copyright and licensing and by drawing on literature about the value of publishing rights.
This module prepares you for musical and artistic professions by developing your understanding of issues and theories that influence professional practice.
Drawing a direct line between academic research and industry practices, the module also encourages you to develop independent analytical skills and to consider how critical thinking can instigate sectoral changes across music and the arts.
This module enables you to develop knowledge and expertise in the domains of artist promotion and management, evaluating and reflecting upon its varying models across different music and art genres.
It develops the skills and competencies appropriate to these professional practices, ranging from marketing and publicity to negotiation skills, legal and financial considerations, and all areas of management relevant to this specialism.
This module aims to conduct an advanced engagement and critique of public and private financing of the arts and the motivations behind them.
The module connects practical financial management to policies that directly impact budgets and financial status. Practical financial management will cover the key tools required to successfully manage arts organisations.
Examination of policy will focus on the foundation of publicly funded art, from the historical emergence of public funding to more contemporary developments in policy.
It will consider key policy debates, including the “arm’s length” principle of arts funding, funding commercial arts, and other contemporary challenges that influence public spending in and for the arts.
This module aims to provide the structure and framework to develop knowledge, skills, and personal attributes via a particular and specific area of academic interest and/or vocational/professional practice.
The module will provide a platform for the development of placement-related employability skills, or for the exploration and mapping of a specialised academic project that may potentially provide the basis for further studies.
The nature and aims of each project will be negotiated in formal proposal submission, to be approved by the Module Leader with due consideration of the university ethics procedures and other relevant compliance matters, e.g. DBS checks for school-placement activity.
This module develops the organisational knowledge, understanding, and practical skills required to plan, finance, and deliver music and/or arts-related projects to a professional standard.
Projects are self-governed and carried out either for an external organisation or as part of your own ventures. The module requires you to collaborate with external partners and audiences/customers.
Knowledge and practical skills acquired through this module are directly linked to employability.
See the course specification for more information about typical course content:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year.
Throughout this course, you will have opportunities to work with real world companies and events, helping to plan, organise and deliver a major music or arts-related project.
Our partnership with London’s biggest community music festival, the Hanwell Hootie, continues to thrive, with students carrying out Major Projects on behalf the festival from running the festival’s second largest outdoor site, organising the PR and press liaison to writing funding applications and acting as artist liaisons.
Our students have been organising a variety of events and exhibitions for their second year Live Music Industry module. Here is just a taster of what they get up to:
LGBT+ Charity Showcase
Students Haniss Nguyenova, Aidan Hepworth and Lily Ferreira organised a concert in aid of Amnesty International and their work to stop the persecution of LGBT+ people in Chechnya, Russia. Taking place in the intimate and historic Hope & Anchor, Islington, they gathered performers from the community and its allies to showcase their talent in support of a meaningful cause.
All Dogs Matter
All Dogs Matter rescue and rehome dogs in and around London, and also find homes for dogs in need from overseas. Katerina Jelinkova and Viktorie Saviova, second year students organised a concert for the charity which featured great music from talented new artists based in London.
HINDSIGHT offered a unique live music experience in cooperation with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) showcasing young talented musicians based in London. This immersive event was organised by Lucia Legáthová, James Davenport, Ana Silva and Michaela Donnerova
Young Artists for Youth Music
Emilija Kazlauskaite, Eva Svedova, and Anu Suthakaran created a day event at the Music and Beans coffee shop in Camden, featuring young musicians from Middlesex University and from Youth Music schemes. The event celebrated the Youth Music charity which aims to help young musicians and artists find their bright future.
Sunday Sessions Live
Shanice Edwards and Emma Trail worked with the Youth Music Charity to present Sunday Sessions Live. Youth Music works with young people in music-making projects, uniting diverse backgrounds, as well as deprived and divided communities by bringing them together through music. Artists included BaggE, Danny Sanchez, Eden Tikare, Jessie Park, Lucy Wroe and Tascha Jerawan, whose performances featured songs in neo-soul, R&B pop, and urban.
Have a look at some of the events previous students have been involved in.
Once you graduate, you will leave fully equipped with the music business and management skills needed to secure employment in this vibrant sector. Event management, arts administration, the record industry or artist development are just some of the areas you might expect to work in. Opportunities in venue management, arts outreach, and education are other thriving areas, as demonstrated by the success of our graduates in recent years, who have been recruited by the likes of MTV, Help Musicians UK, Universal, PRS for Music, Columbia Records, and PPL, among other organisations.
Similarly, our students have secured, and continue to secure, internships and placements with the likes of the NME, Bath International Music Festival, Sound Diplomacy, HarrisonParrott, EMI, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Barbican.
The field trips, practical work embedded modules, our Concerts & Colloquia series, and a Professional Development Tutorial scheme also actively support both your scholarly development and your collaboration with industry, supporting your ambitions and preparing you for your career.
Music Business and Arts Management BA graduate
Before joining BA Music Business and Arts Management, I was eager to learn about and gain experience of events management. The course certainly equipped me to do this, giving me the technical know-how to face such challenges in the music and wider arts industries, and providing the invaluable hands-on experience I needed. By the end of my second year of study at Middlesex I’d already organised and managed three live music projects and fundraising events: a Tribute Night in support of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, where I was fortunate to meet and liaise with Amy’s parents; a further evening dedicated to George Michael, in support of the Terrence Higgins Trust; and Autumn Sharif’s album showcase. Since graduating, I’ve remained in the field of music events, joining the Kings Place Music Foundation, where I work in the Front of House Team and liaise with visiting artists, clients, and, of course, the public. Concerts, international conferences, and events planning more generally are the areas in which I'll continue to specialise in the future.
Music Business and Arts Management BA graduate
When I joined BA Music Business and Arts Management I had quite a reserved personality but within the first few weeks I was given confidence to draw on my previous experience and to "come out of my shell". For example, I joined a student-run management group to oversee Music's Concerts and Colloquia series. That's something I'd strongly advise future students to get involved with - it really helps bonds to be made and event management skills to be honed. Also, the relationships I was able to form with my lecturers during my time at Middlesex really allowed me to learn from their knowledge and experience. That process peaked in my third and final year of study, when I chose to specialise in music copyright. It's something that's also stayed with me since I graduated, helping me secure a job with Audio Network, a global music library.
Åse Kristine Moe
Music Business and Arts Management BA graduate
Today, I work as an Associate Product Manager with Ticketmaster, which involves attending lots of exciting events and striving to maintain the company’s user experience. Music has always been a great passion of mine, particularly as a singer and songwriter, but I knew before coming to Middlesex that these career paths weren’t the most secure, and when I started my BA Music Business and Arts Management degree it became more and more clear that I’d made the right choice. During my time at Middlesex I learned what was required to put on a great live show and got to know my way around the music industry’s various copyright laws—all while still being able to record my own music. I travelled with the University to music conferences, such as MIDEM, where I made contacts that helped me become the artist and businesswoman I am today.
Dr Dromey is the author of The Pierrot Ensembles (2013) and co-editor of The Classical Music Industry (2018). He teaches musicology and copyright. For several years Chris worked with PRS for Music. An active organist and pianist, he also organises Music’s Concerts and Colloquia, a Tuesday evening series open to the public featuring musicologists, figures from the music industry, performers, and composers.
Dr Beaven teaches Managing Arts and Music Project, Music Entrepreneurship and Critical Studies on the BA Music Business and Arts Management programme, and is involved in the teaching of live events management. She has an interest in the role of disruptors such as technology on music careers, conducted an EPSRC-funded case study on crowdfunding and was a co-author of the report Music on the Blockchain.
Mario Anastasiades teaches on several modules, including Introduction to the Music Industries, Live Music Industry, and Music Funding and Finance. He has further industry expertise in music contracts, copyrights and publishing, having managed his own company, Rise International Music, since 1995. Mario is also a successful songwriter and artist manager.
Dr Inglis teaches primarily on the BA Music Business and Arts Management and the BA Music programmes. His background is in composition, musicology and the music industry (authors' rights and publishing), and his teaching centres on creative and analytical topics, including copyright. Current research, in the broad area of genre and identity, includes publications with Routledge and Cambridge Scholars. An album of his piano music was released on the Sargasso label in 2017.
Dr Osborne is the author of Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record (Ashgate, 2012). Prior to becoming a lecturer he worked in record shops, held various posts at PRS for Music and co-managed a pub. He has performed in bands based in Evesham, Cheltenham and London.
Pop Bothering Me - blog
Dr Palermo studied sonic art with the composer, performer, instrument inventor and musicologist Hugh Davies. After obtaining an MA in sonic art researching on concrete and sound poetry, he catalogued the Hugh Davies Collection at the British Library with the support of the Saga Trust. He was awarded a PhD on Davies's work in 2015, supervised by Dr. John Dack. Dr Palermo has presented his research internationally and has been invited by a number of institutions such as the British Library and the V&A to discuss his research. In 2012 he co-curated the Sho-Zyg exhibition at Goldsmiths College, which saw some of Davies's instruments and archival items displayed, as well as the performance and presentation of some of his pieces.
Julia joined Middlesex University in 2014, after having worked in the music industry for 20 years. Initially at classical music publisher Peters Edition, she promoted the music of John Cage, Mauricio Kagel and Brian Ferneyhough. Julia founded the artist agency Haferkorn Associates Ltd (1998) and, with Ed McKeon, the production company Third Ear Music Ltd (2010).
Peter Fribbins is a composer, artistic director and academic in music. His compositions are performed, broadcast and recorded internationally and include two string quartets (recorded by the Allegri and Chilingirian Quartets), two piano trios, various sonatas (including the Cello Sonata recorded by Raphael Wallfisch & John York), the Piano Concerto (recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), and the Violin Concerto (recorded by Philippe Graffin and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra). Peter studied with the German composer Hans Werner Henze in London and Italy, and at the Royal Academy, Royal Holloway and Nottingham universities. He is also the Artistic Director of the London Chamber Music Society, a weekly series of concerts that traces its history back to the South Place Sunday Concerts in the 1880s. This celebrated concerts series has been resident at Kings Place in London since 2008, during which time Peter has curated more than 250 concerts with a range of famous artists, ensembles, choirs and chamber orchestras.
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.
Start: September 2023, EU/International induction: September 2023
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time