Our music business 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 everything in between.
As part of our vibrant performing arts department, you’ll study a mix of compulsory and elective modules that will allow you to gain expertise in music business and arts management.
You’ll get plenty of support from staff that are working or researching in the music business or arts sector. Guest lectures with industry professionals will also put you in touch with the professional world and help to build contacts.
Heavily focused on enhancing your employability skills, you’ll follow in the footsteps of former students who have secured internships and placements with the likes of NME, Bath International Music Festival, EMI and the Barbican.
Our Concerts and Colloquia series gives you access to some of the industry’s most influential guest speakers, with previous guests including Mark Lawrence (PRS for Music), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Tom Robinson (BBC and singer-songwriter), Dave Tomberlin (Interscope-Geffen-A&M), and Dr Shruti Jauhari (KM Music Conservatory, India).
While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor 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.
You’ll gain the music business and arts management skills needed to launch your career. With opportunities in event management, arts administration, the record industry and artist development, former students have secured roles with the likes of MTV, Help Musicians UK, Universal, PRS for Music, Columbia Records, and PPL.
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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 industries’ policies for diversity and sustainability.
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 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 are 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 students to develop their 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 aims to develop critical understanding of how musical practices intersect with cultural domains by examining the role of music in the production and transmission of identities, knowledge's, beliefs, values, attitudes and understandings, and how, in turn, these shape music and its interpretation.
This module aims to enable you to gain a detailed understanding of how music and arts events are brought to market, from conceptualisation to experience management. It develops 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 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 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 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 develops the organisational knowledge, understanding, and practical skills required to plan, finance and deliver a music- and/or arts-related project to a professional standard. Projects are self-governed and carried out either for an external organisation and as part of students’ own ventures. The module requires students to collaborate with external partners and audiences/customers. Knowledge and practical skills acquired through this module are directly linked to employability.
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 direct and 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 through 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 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 arts 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.
See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:
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. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
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.
Music Business and Arts Management BA graduate (2012)
I learnt quickly that the most important factor to making the most of your university experience is to create your own opportunities. By the end of my first year, I was already co-running a successful club night, was Course Representative for the degree, had a work placement at the NME, started up the Event Management society and was a Student Learner Assistant to other students on the course.
The biggest project I worked on for my studies was in the third year for the Event Management module. Working in a team of six, our group hosted a vintage Valentine's tea dance for the elderly community of Enfield. With over 100 guests, we had a 1950s swing band and a local dance duo, as well as copious amounts of tea, cakes and sandwiches.
After my studies, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job from an internship I worked at during my third year. I was employed as Operations Assistant at Concert Live, a company specialising in instant live music recordings. Since working here, I have worked alongside the Robbie Williams tour, Newton Faulkner, Ronan Keating and Thin Lizzy to name but a few and now I have been promoted to Operations Manager!
Music Business and Arts Management BA graduate (2008)
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 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.
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: October 2021, EU/International induction: September 2021
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time