Songwriting and Music Production BSc (Hons)

About the course


The Songwriting and Music Production degree builds on the University of Hertfordshire Music's highly successful Composition and Technology programmes. The BSc (Hons) in Songwriting and Music Production focuses on the technical and creative aspects of developing a career as a songwriter.

You will write your own songs and develop studio technique allowing you to produce your work to a professional standard. You will develop your own language and idiom and explore how your means of self-expression inputs with your cultural surroundings.

With the input of industry professionals, you will investigate techniques as used by some of the world's most successful songwriters. You will study the business aspects of popular music culture and how this works within the music industry.

Importantly, you will pursue professional work experience and build working relationships with other students developing collaborations in the Faculty. Most of all, you will be an entrepreneurial musician - someone who has talent as a songwriter and has the ability to get their music out there…

Why choose this course?

  • The Songwriting and Music Production degree is a unique and distinctive degree award in the UK.
  • You will be encouraged to develop your own personal voice as a songwriter.
  • On this degree you will investigate a wide range of songwriting trends, utilising both acoustic instruments and technology.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore your creative interests and ideas through a series of songwriting projects and to have your songs performed in our 39 million pound state-of-the-art performance venue, The Forum.
  • Music degrees at the University of Hertfordshire came a full 12% ahead of the rest of the HE Music providers as rated by final year students in the most recent National Student Survey, and 10% ahead of Music at Cambridge University.
  • The University of Hertfordshire is the No. 1 new university for Music, ahead of many established universities and conservatories (The Guardian Subject League Tables 2011).
  • We have some of the best resources in the UK, including the 12 million pound Music and Film building with leading edge music studios and film and TV facilities.
  • Our music industry advisory panel is second to none in the UK and includes key figures in the music industry such as Tim Clark (Robbie Williams's manager), Mike Smith (MD Columbia Records) and Korda Marshall - who signed Take That, James Blunt etc.

Entry requirements...

260 points, including GCE A Level or equivalent in music or music technology or grade V theory ABRSM theory or grade Vll/Vlll ABSRM practical. Plus GCSE English language and Maths at grade C or above; Key skills are accepted as equivalent.

The University also accepts a number of other equivalent qualifications including BTEC, IB and Access courses – to find out more about the requirements for these and  other equivalent qualifications please go to:

Our offer for the International Baccalaureate (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing our tariff point offer by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points.

Study routes

  • Full Time, 3 Years
  • Part Time, 6 Years
  • Sandwich, 4 Years


  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


Our graduates have gone on to successful careers as composers and songwriters (including exclusive songwriting contracts with EMI and Sony Music for example), working for major companies such as the BBC, PRS, as well as composing for television, creating sound design for computer games, sound engineering and teaching. Several have continued their studies for Master's and PhD degrees.

Teaching methods

You will receive interactive lectures, seminars and tutorials, with much practical and studio-based teaching. You will have opportunities to collaborate with film makers and digital animators, and to benefit from the input of movers and shakers in the music industry visiting our University on a regular basis.

Work Placement

Placements are a valuable means of establishing industrial contacts and gaining an insight into the commercial reality of a chosen discipline. We have a long history of students working with industry supplementing the taught university curriculum with real life on the job experience. This has seen students working right across the Music industry.

We expect students interested in obtaining a work placement: to be proactive, to self-initiate this interest and to communicate and work with programme staff in their identification of companies and organisations that are able to provide the appropriate range of experiences and opportunities.

We value the opportunity and benefits of the placement experience highly and as such, we encourage all students to consider obtaining a placement as part of their course. However, we recognise that this may not be a viable option for a number of reasons. In addition, we are not able to guarantee that all students will undertake a work placement as part of their studies.

Professional Accreditations

Skillset Media Academy


Year 1

Core Modules

  • Perspectives of Music 1

    This module introduces the student to characteristic streams of music from the 20th century and will examine models which demonstrate differing stylistic parameters and techniques of construction. The issue of recorded sound and image and how this has changed the creation and perception of music in recent decades, will also be explored. Finally, the fundamental principles which govern the relationship between music and other media will be examined through the presentation and discussion of relevant examples (all pathways).

  • Songwriting and Performance 1

    This module encourages students to explore their creative, musical ideas, through the related subjects of performance, improvisation and composition. During the module, students are required to complete two compositions, which should be performed by individuals or groups of peers from the class, or played back through recorded means to peers. Students will also be guided into sensitive and appropriate ensemble techniques, whereby teamwork and dedication to purpose is encouraged.

  • Learning Skills

    In this module, students will be guided to develop important study skills, such as computer file management, word processing, using books, journals and the internet as a study aid, essay presentation, and the use of appropriate, academic English in written work. Other skills essential to the practising musician, such as aural discrimination of intervals, chords, rhythm and timbre, will also be fostered.

  • C/Techniques and Technology 1 (Version 2)

    Students will be introduced to the Department computer workstation and basic skills such as sample recording, sequencing, mixing and processing will be covered. Students will also be guided through the basic techniques of instrumental writing and the presentation of an instrumental score using computer notation software.


Year 2

Core Modules

  • Perspectives of Music 2

    This module examines the styles, idioms, developments and innovations that occurred in popular Western music during the early to mid 20th century and will look at models which demonstrate differing stylistic parameters and techniques of construction. Reference will be made to developments in both instrumental as well as electroacoustic music. The relationship between sound and image will be analysed and students will be led towards describing the relationship in appropriate and detailed terms. Finally, the changing face of business within the cultural industries will be examined during the period from mid 20th century to the current day, focusing on the commercial sector. Students (film and gaming only) will gain a greater understanding of the aesthetics of audio-visual practice.

  • Songwriting and Performance 2

    Building on the foundation of Songwriting and Performance 1, this module examines compositional models and their attendant techniques from a variety of schools and traditions. Students are encouraged to explore the application of these ideas within their own creative work, producing songs which demonstrate a practical working knowledge of the methods examined. Students will be led to explore in practice a wide variety of performing styles and musical conventions from differing traditions. A greater degree of fluency in interpretation, integration, sensitivity and understanding is expected.

  • Studies and Investigations 2 (Version 2)

    Studies and Investigations 2 is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and independent thought. Students are offered a range of options, each examining a particular aspect of musicology or music history in detail. Two options should be chosen, which make up a third of the credit points for the module. The remaining third of the module is taken up by an independent study, which can take the form of a 3-4000 word essay, formal presentation or project. The topic for this is decided in conjunction with a tutor, who will guide the student to relevant resources. Compulsory tutorials and seminars ensure that the student maintains an appropriate timetable for the completion of the study. In addition, a short-term work placement is permissible, replacing the self-directed independent study.

  • Techniques and Technology 2 (Version 2)

    Students will explore the features of the computer workstation at an advanced level, covering interactive techniques and hard disk sound editing and transformation. In addition, this will include multi-speaker sound projection and mastering.


  • Professional Work Experience 30: Music

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

Year 3

Core Modules


  • Year Abroad

    The Year Abroad will provide students in Creative Arts with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first two taught years of the degree within a different organisational and cultural environment in a partner academic institution. The host institution will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator who will oversee the student's programme during the Year Abroad and will liaise with the appointed UH Supervisor.

  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)

    The optional 'Sandwich' placement year may be undertaken between the levels 5 and 6. Students undertake the placement within a commercial, public or not for profit setting that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience related to the creative and cultural industries. A placement could take a variety of forms, including: * working in an external organisation; * working with a University company or professional team within the University; * self-employment within defined context and externally refereed. The placement duration would typically be sustained for at least 48 weeks, though may be sustained for a full year. While the Faculty/School actively supports the placement process, ultimately it is the placement provider that will agree to manage and select students, normally through an interview process. During the placement a member of the academic staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.

Fees & funding

Fees 2014

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2014 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module

International Students

Full time: £10,600 for the 2014 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees


Find out more about scholarships for UK/EU and international students

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Part Time)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201520/05/2016Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)