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Course
Overview

BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting & Production) Course Overview BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting & Production)  Course Overview

Our practice-based, industry-focused course is designed to give you the skills and experience needed to make a living as a songwriter or producer, or a combination of both. 

We develop your musicianship in popular, contemporary and commercial music, which complements and enhances the skills you learn as a songwriter and producer. Underpinned by a thorough understanding of music theory; you leave as an educated songwriter and producer able to make decisions to take control of your career.

 

This course can be studied as a four-year or three-year course. The four-year course includes a foundation year which can enable you to develop skills in areas you may be weaker in. During that year, you develop a complete understanding of popular music theory and enhance your music performance, songwriting and production skills. Your learning and development in this year helps prepare you for Years 1 – 3. The entry requirements are lower for entry onto this year and achieving a pass mark of 40% in all modules means you automatically progress onto the first year of the degree.

What You Will

Study

  • Foundation Year (optional)
  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Student

    stories

    "I started co-writing with producers from the Sound Technology course and with people in my class during my time there. It helped me build a catalogue and develop as a writer."

    Caroline Ailin - Songwriter who co-wrote Dua Lipa’s New Rules. Has also written for Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding and Clean Bandit (Graduated 2012)

    Caroline Ailin Quote Icon
  • Student

    stories

    "LIPA was a great platform to meet like-minded people and we still regularly work with people we met there."

    Paul Burton - Hot City Horns (pictured far left), who performed with Paul McCartney on his Freshen Up and Got Back tours (Graduated 2008)

    Paul Burton Quote Icon
  • Student

    stories

    "Many of the contacts I made at LIPA I’m still working with now, those connections have proven to be a very important source of work"

    Louis Querrelle - Keyboard player with Niall Horan, 2017/18 World Tour (Graduated 2010)

    Louis Querrelle Quote Icon

How You Will

Study

  • Workshops
    Workshops
  • Practical Projects
    Practical Projects
  • Lectures
    Lectures
  • Seminars
    Seminars
  • Productions
    Productions
  • Group Work
    Group Work
  • Independent Study
    Independent Study
  • Masterclasses
    Masterclasses

How You Will Be

Assessed

You will be required to submit songs and productions for assessment. You also produce a final research paper which is relevant to your interest and career.

Practical/written work ratio

80% practical work / 20% written assignments

Validated By:

Liverpool John Moores University

What Our

Graduates Do

Our Music (Songwriting & Production) course is still relatively new. Songwriting and/or production achievements of graduates from our Music degree have included:

Katya Edwards (2016)

Co-wrote About You by Tyron Hapi & Laurell which went Gold in Australia. Other credits include My Way with One Bit featuring Noah Cyrus.

Eline Brun (2016)

Member of the band I See Rivers. They released their debut album, Deep and Rolling Green, to critical acclaim in 2020.

Gøril Nilsen (2016)

Member of the band I See Rivers. They released their debut album, Deep and Rolling Green, to critical acclaim in 2020.

Lill Scheie (2017)

Member of the band I See Rivers. They released their debut album, Deep and Rolling Green, to critical acclaim in 2020.

Katie Tarrant (2016)

Composer and audio designer for games company Rare. Credits include Sea of Thieves.

Sophie Cooke (2015)

Her songwriting credits include co-writing Jess Glynne’s hit All I Am, Dua Lipa’s Hallucinate and Katy Perry’s Only Love. Performing as Frances, she was nominated for a BRITS Critics’ Choice Award and her second album, Wonder, was released in 2021.

Gemma Dunleavy (2014)

Her song Up De Flats was nominated for RTE (Irish national broadcaster) Song of the Year 2020. Recent collaborations include DJ Simon Raymonde and a Dr Martens campaign.

Caroline Ailin (2012)

Songwriter who co-wrote Dua Lipa’s New Rules. Has also written for Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding and Clean Bandit

Stephanie Taylor (2012)

Composer and multi-instrumentalist. Her work has featured extensively on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. Other credits include Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals (ITV) and the film The Creeping.

Dan Croll (2011)

Singer-songwriter who released his third album Grand Plan in 2020. His music’s been used on ads for iPhone and FIFA and Grand Theft Auto games.

Jessica Staveley-Taylor (2010)

Makes up one third of The Staves, along with her sisters. Their 2021 album Good Woman entered the UK charts at number 13.

Hannah Peel (2004)

Artist, producer and BBC Radio Three presenter. Her album Fir Wave was nominated for a 2021 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize. Wrote the soundtrack for Game of Thrones: The Last Watch and orchestrated and conducted on three Paul Weller albums.

Liam Lynch (1998)

Musician, songwriter, filmmaker. Co-wrote music for School of Rock, co-wrote and produced soundtrack for Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. Directed videos for Foo Fighters, They Might Be Giants and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.

Entry

Requirements

96 3-years, 48 4-years.

UCAS tariff points required from level 3 qualifications

For example:

Three-year course

  • Three A Levels at grade C or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM  
  • BTEC Diploma: DD
  • T Level: P (C+) 
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: Pass including 96 points from Higher Level subjects

Four-year course

  • Two A Levels at grade D or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: PPP
  • BTEC Diploma: MP 
  • T Level: P (C+) 
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: Pass including 48 points from Higher Level subjects

You also need 5 GCSEs grade 4/C or above including English and Maths or Level 2 equivalents. We prefer it, if one of your Level 3 qualifications is a Music or Music Production qualification.

Mature applicants (aged 21+): if you do not hold the qualifications listed but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

5.5

IELTS or above

You need to meet our English language requirement - a minimum of IELTS 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening). We also accept other English language examination equivalents. You can find out more about English Language requirements here 

You also need academic qualifications at the same level as UK applicants. You can find out more about qualifications from specific countries here

Mature applicants (aged 21+). If you do not hold the academic qualifications but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply.

Educational qualifications are important but limited in what they can tell us about you.

Your natural ability, your fit with what and how we teach, your growth and your potential are also key factors in our admission process. We can’t evaluate these solely on your educational achievements, so no matter which course you are applying for, we look for the following attributes on your application and at the interview stage.

Key

Attributes

1

Knowledge, Ability and Experience

We want to know about your relevant music experience. Please tell us about any writing you’ve done, whether it’s songs, compositions or other music arrangements. Please also let us know about any experience you’ve had in music recording. Don’t worry if so far this has mostly been limited to computer-based systems at home, but please tell us the software and hardware tools you’ve used. Finally, please let us know about your experiences of playing music which might include gigs you’ve played as a solo artist or in a band, or performances as part of a choir or orchestra. Our expectations for the four-year course in terms of your knowledge, ability and experience are lower than for the three year degree course.

2

Commitment

We want to find out how you’re seeking your own opportunities to develop your skills outside of your school or college environment. However, we understand that distance or cost may have made this difficult. We’re also interested to see how much you read about music and have tried to experience other peoples’ music.

3

Ability To Work Effectively with Others

While you’re with us (and in your professional work) you’ll work with a range of people – students, teachers and industry professionals, so it’s essential that you can work well with others. We’d like to see that you can take direction and feedback well, listen to others and offer support and constructive feedback.

4

Broad Interest and Engagement

We look for evidence that you are curious about the world around you and want to engage with all aspects of the course you’re applying for and the wide range of opportunities we offer.

5

Self-Awareness

We’d like to know why you’re applying to us and how you think the course you’re applying for will help you to grow and achieve your career aspirations. We’d like to see that you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how we can support you.

6

A Spirit of Enterprise

We want you to be able to work on your own initiative and see that you’re interested in creating your own opportunities. You may have been involved in creative projects which weren’t part of your regular school/college curriculum, or if you haven’t had the chance to do this, you might have ideas and ambitions which you can tell us about.

  • "There’s absolutely nothing like LIPA in this country. It’s a genuine incubator of creativity for future players of the music industry because graduates leave with instantly applicable and viable skill sets."

    Mark Ronson
    Grammy Award-winning producer, DJ and musician

    Mark Ronson Quote Icon
  • "When I came and spoke at LIPA, it was one of the greatest days of my life. The feeling in the room was incredible. I love this institution."

    Nile Rodgers
    Award-winning composer, producer, guitarist and arranger. Co-founded pioneering disco band Chic. Production credits include David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran and Mick Jagger.

    Nile Rodgers Quote Icon
  • "LIPA students are the most intelligent people I have ever met or taught. They taught me so much about life."

    Toyah Willcox
    Musician, actor and writer. She’s co-written 28 albums and appeared in more than 40 plays and 20 feature films.

    Toyah Willcox Quote Icon
  • "LIPA is the most wonderful place to learn. When I came here to give a talk, I was struck by how focused everybody was."

    Chris Difford
    Co-founder of Squeeze and Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter

    Chris Difford Quote Icon

Statement

This course will be subject to revalidation for 2023 entry

For information on possible changes to course information, see our course changes information