Music Journalism

BA (Hons) - UCA Epsom - 2018

Our BA (Hons) Music Journalism course is designed to transform music lovers into confident media professionals.

With its emphasis on multi-platform content creation, the course encourages you to find innovative ways of sourcing, creating and publishing material across print, online, video and radio.

As a budding music journalist, you’ll learn how to create engaging content – features, news, reviews, blog posts, investigative pieces, radio packages, podcasts, films and videos – for relevant platforms, as well as publishing across social media.

We'll also teach you important knowledge about the music business, giving you vital skills in self-promotion, networking and communication.

From day one, you’ll be developing a rich and diverse portfolio of work that will help to put you in a strong position when you graduate.

Epsom’s close proximity to London means that the UK’s largest media companies are on your doorstep. From Kerrang! and NME to Mojo and The Guardian, we have long-established links with some of the most high-profile publications in the industry.

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, muzu.tv, Virgin Records, Uncut Magazine and Absolute Radio.

Please note: This course will not be running for 2019 entry and we will be running the alternative course: BA (Hons) Music Marketing & Communication at UCA Epsom. 

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Campus:

UCA Epsom

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2018

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

UCAS code:

WP35

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

E

Next event

03 Nov 2018 UCA Open Day

Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Course details

  • Year 1

    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. 

    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.

  • Year 2

    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. 

    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.

  • Year 3

    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. 

    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.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:

Facilities

This course has a studio space for tutorials, workshops, group and independent working with course recording area with booth for radio and podcast podcast production. Campus digital media suites with Macs and PCs programmed with the latest design software and fully-equipped photographic studios with lighting rigs, green screen lighting and set up.

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Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.
  • Careers

    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.

  • Further study

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

     

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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

One of the following:

  • 112 new 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, see more information about IB entry requirements.

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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements


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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