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, one-to-one 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 or more of the following paths: performance, production, composition or entrepreneurship.

“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 pathway will you choose?

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


Hone your instrumental technique, build on your performance experience and evolve your performance style. If you specialise in 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 offers you the chance to collaborate with students of different disciplines 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. There is huge scope here for you to grow 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

Credits: 180 FHEQ / 90 ECTS (EU)

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 for whom 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

Postgraduate courses UK/Irish students EU/International students UCAS code
MA Popular Music Practice (full-time) £9,950 Full information on EU and international student tuition fees can be found here. N/A
MA Popular Music Practice (part-time) £6,450 (per year) N/A

Our 12-month master’s course is divided into a winter, spring and summer trimester, each with a different focus. For part-time students, only one module is completed per trimester. 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 popular music practice.

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

This module allows you to refine your direction within the contemporary popular music industries. 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 practical 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 inventive creative practice and entrepreneurship. Mentoring and workshops are offered in addition to interdisciplinary sessions.

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 focuses on experiential learning and invites you to explore different aspects of collaborative practice. These might include negotiation, leadership and teamwork strategies, or other forms that are pertinent to creative and entrepreneurial collaboration. You are invited to work collaboratively with your peers.

You can choose to focus on curating and organising a symposium or other event that exhibits both the practical and research outputs of your cohort, or work with your peers within a small group to undertake creative or entrepreneurial project work. 

This module gives you the opportunity to produce an extended piece of work that explores your chosen area(s) of practice. 

Through applying the knowledge and skills gained through the previous four modules, 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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