MA Popular Music Practice

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A 1-year full-time or 2-year part-time postgraduate degree available at:

Research, collaboration, professional development, experimentation, 1-2-1 guidance and more. This is what our MA Popular Music Practice offers you. Over a full twelve-month period of study – or 24 months if you choose our part-time option – you’ll be pushed to expand upon everything you know, moving you away from the skills-based style of undergraduate learning and towards becoming an influential and unique voice in your industry.

Our clearly defined course structure is intelligently composed to cover theoretical, practical and collaborative elements. It culminates in a major project of your choice focusing on one of the following paths: performance, production, composition or entrepreneurship. The path that you choose for your major project will be the specialism stated on your final qualification.

BIMM Birmingham music production course facilities

“This MA course was enough of a reason to move all the way from California. The community and network of support have been amazing. I keep reflecting on how much I've grown, it's crazy! The tutors are awesome and they really care. I feel like I finally have answers to questions I didn't even know how to ask for the last 4 years of trying to learn this stuff on my own.”
Grace Fellows, MA Popular Music Practice (Performance)

Which specialism will you choose?

For your major project, you’ll focus on one of these specialisms in detail. This is a chance to tailor your studies to your passion whilst taking theory, practice and research to an advanced level.


Hone your instrumental technique, build on your performance experience and evolve your performance style. With performance, you’ll have the chance to develop your musicality and your capabilities to a highly advanced level. Set yourself up as the go-to musician on the national music scene – and beyond.


Thanks to our fantastic studio facilities and industry-leading lecturers, specialising in production will stretch your skills in recording, mixing, mastering and more. Get involved in extraordinary recording projects and build your portfolio for a sustainable career.


Whether you are a singer-songwriter, a sound artist or a composer interested in sync opportunities, this path will deepen your knowledge, understanding and ability to write music for a variety of situations, channels and outputs. Furthermore, it is often an excellent pathway of collaboration and will see you embark on exciting projects that span media and genre.


Specialising in entrepreneurship provides a huge range of opportunities such as starting a business, curating events or collaborating with your MA peers and industry organisations. There is huge scope here for you to develop yourself into a commercially minded, music business professional.

Course specification

Mode of attendance: Full-time (one year) or part-time (two years)

Awarding institution: BIMM University

Campus delivery: London, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin and Berlin

Language of study: English

Final award: MA Popular Music Practice

Admissions Criteria: A good degree (normally 2.2 or above) or significant experience in a relevant field. All applicants will be subject to interview and a portfolio may also be requested for Recognition of Prior Certified or Experiential Learning (RPCEL).

Minimum requirements

A good degree (normally 2.2 or above) or significant experience in a relevant field.

Overseas students where English is not their native language may be required to meet a minimum English language requirement of an Academic IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

Exceptions apply. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

All applicants will be subject to interview and a portfolio may also be requested for Recognition of Prior Certified or Experiential Learning (RPCEL).


You will be qualified to work as an advanced practitioner or educator/researcher within the field of popular music practice and related creative industries.

Course fees

Please visit our Fees page for information on access to student loans. Please note, UK students eligible for loans are able to borrow the full course fee for BIMM Music Institute degrees.

Our 12-month masters course is divided into a winter, spring and summer semester, each with a different focus. For part-time students, only one module is completed per semester.

Please note: module names and structure may be subject to change.

This module explores the intersection of theory and practice. It guides you through the process of applying a critical theoretical lens to your chosen area of popular music practice.

To make links between theory and practice, the module encompasses research training (including lectures with specialist researchers) and 1-2-1 tuition/mentoring. The skills and experience gained through the module provide a starting point for the Major Project.

This module allows you to refine your direction within the contemporary popular music industry. It helps you develop the skills you need to support your continuous reflective professional development within your chosen area of practice.

You are encouraged to hone your ideas, audit your existing skills and consider and conduct research on your audience and/or market. You are invited to liaise with industry stakeholders and engage with cutting-edge research, gaining both practical and theoretical insight into the contemporary industry.

This module allows you to explore the use of technology in the field of popular music and to investigate the role of technologies in mediating innovative creative practice and entrepreneurship. Mentoring and workshops are offered in addition to lectures.

This ensures that the development of practical skills is supported alongside building a theoretical understanding of how technological change informs and aids popular music practice.

This module examines the contemporary popular music industry through collaborative practice, exploring the structures and frameworks within which creative and entrepreneurial practices are located.

You are invited to work collaboratively with your peers and external stakeholders. The culmination of the module is a symposium that exhibits both practical and research.

This module provides you with the opportunity to produce an extended piece of work that explores your chosen area of practice. You are individually supervised by an expert from that field.

Through applying the knowledge and skills gained through the first two semesters, you are empowered to work at the forefront of your discipline, adding to the growing field of practice-informed research on popular music.

Any questions?

For any questions regarding our courses or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Music Institute, please contact our Enquiries Team on 01273 840 346 or email [email protected].


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