Music Journalism

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Music Journalism at our Epsom campus is designed to transform music lovers into confident media professionals. With its emphasis on multi-platform content creation, the course encourages students to identify innovative ways of sourcing, creating and publishing material across print, online, video and radio.

As a budding music journalist, you’ll learn how to write engaging copy – features, news, reviews, blog posts, and investigative pieces – and articulate them on the relevant platform as well as disseminating them on social media.

Our Journalism courses have leapt an impressive 10 places in The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Epsom

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Course overview:

This course has strong links with music and media experts, and Epsom’s close proximity to London means that the UK’s largest media companies will be on your doorstep, helping you to develop an invaluable network of industry contacts.

With access to dedicated studio space, you’ll be guided through how to use industry- standard software, such as Adobe’s Creative Suite, as well as how to put journalistic theory into practice. You’ll also benefit from working in a campus community of fellow creatives from the fields of music promotion, media, film, design and fashion.

Taught by an experienced team of professional journalists and visiting lecturers, our graduates have gone on to forge exciting careers in print, online, TV and radio, including at NME, Kerrang, Vice, Clash, Polydor, Radio 1,, Virgin Records, Uncut Magazine and Absolute Radio.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Introduction to Journalism

    We'll introduce you to the building blocks of journalism, incorporating news writing, media analysis and interviewing skills.

  • Music History and Popular Culture

    You'll examine the visual and cultural history of music - how it fits into the wider social history, and how analysis through critical thought can help us deconstruct its deeper meaning and context.

  • Online and Broadcast Media

    Examines the multimedia world of music journalism and how digital, visual and audio media have merged and become increasingly important in communicating ideas.

  • Theories of Music and Media Production

    Introduces key concepts and critical debates in popular music studies and media theory. In this unit you will develop your musical language and appreciation of how our experience of everyday life is mediated through sound.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Music Media and Industry

    You'll really begin to find your own 'voice' and start expressing yourself and your passion for music. You will find out about other writers and how you fit into a long, robust tradition of music journalism. At their best, music writers create the myths that surround the artist. Whether the writer just reports or takes a more iconoclastic tone, he or she is giving an informed, specialist and entertaining interpretation of music releases.

  • Feature Writing

    This unit introduces you to feature writing, which is a fundamental part of journalism. You will learn about different kinds of features, from short news backgrounders to the substantial, multi-layered main features that drive magazine content. The unit will also introduce you to the technique of pitching. Being able to concisely articulate and 'sell' your idea to editors is a journalistic skill in its own right. Its importance cannot be underestimated.

  • Magazine and Work Experience

    You'll be required to put into practice, as part of an editorial team, those elements you've experienced on the course. Teams will work as editorial journalists to produce a media product on a theme of your choosing.

  • Culture, Music and Identity

    You'll focus on the consumption of popular music and the broader context of media industries. You will analyse critical work on music and society, subcultures, fans and stars, as well as media discourses across journalism, film, TV, advertising and digital platforms.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Investigative Journalism

    Investigates the technique of music writing to a much greater depth, and introduces to you more complex areas of music journalism, including advanced interviewing.

  • Final Major Project

    This unit is about the creation of a body of work that can be used to showcase your skills to industry, and about acquiring the knowledge and experience to launch yourself successfully as an industry professional.

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a period of self-directed individually-negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course leader

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Situated less than 15 miles from central London, Epsom is ideally placed to give you access to the UK’s largest record labels, venues and media organisations, whilst still allowing you to explore a smaller, more localised music scene on and near the campus. And with a course team of professional journalists, we have long established links with some of the most high-profile music publications, including:

  • Kerrang
  • Mojo
  • NME
  • Clash
  • The Quietus
  • Rock Sound
  • The Guardian 
  • Uncut Magazine.

Instilled with a deep sense of journalistic professionalism, our graduates leave UCA Epsom fully prepared for life in the music industry. Our alumni have successfully landed roles at organisations such as:

  • Radio 1
  • London Live
  • NME
  • Vice
  • Clash
  • Absolute Radio
  • Independent record labels.


Currently these positions include journalists, copywriters, PR and A&R professionals, music managers, producers and TV presenters.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level. 

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications 
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2)

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

A written portfolio is required for this course. You may be asked to attend an Applicant Day. The Applicant Day will include an interview and give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see our facilities.

More portfolio advice

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