BSc (Hons) Songwriting and Music Production
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.
Why choose this course?
- The Songwriting and Music Production degree is a unique and distinctive degree award in the UK.
- You are fascinated by the potential of technology in the creative process
- You wish to understand and explore current trends in songwriting
- You wish to be taught by current practitioners and exponents in the art of writing songs within the commercial sector
- You wish to be part of a department within a school that includes film making, animation and the creative arts
- 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 £38 million state-of-the-art performance venue, the Forum Hertfordshire.
- Gain a BSc – because we genuinely explore the art and science of music composition
- We have a strong, ongoing record of student satisfaction over several years since the launch of the national student survey.
- The University of Hertfordshire has consistently been towards the top of various league tables reflecting student satisfaction.
- We have some of the best resources in the UK, including the 29 million pound Forum where our students perform every month, and state-of-the art music studios and film and TV facilities.
- 2015 sees a massive upgrade to our studios within the Film, Music and Media building.
- 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.)
What's the course about?
Building on our successful composition and technology courses, this degree focuses on the technical and creative aspects of being a successful songwriter. You’ll explore a range of songwriting techniques, composing and recording songs and building up your studio skills to a professional standard. With access to instruments, electronic equipment, cutting-edge software and venues to perform live, you’ll develop your own musical language and explore how your means of self-expression connect with your cultural surroundings.You’ll also study the business aspects of commercial music making, pursue work experience and build the skills and experience to become a creative and entrepreneurial musician.
What will I study?
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.
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.
The course will explore a wide range of songwriting techniques through a variety of projects where students compose and record songs, gain essential studio practice and produce work to a professional standard. Students will be able to utilise acoustic instruments, electronic equipment and cutting edge software such as Ableton Live. You will develop your own language and idiom and explore how your means of self-expression inputs with your cultural surroundings.
There will be many opportunities for song performance in a variety of venues around the University, such as the Art and Design Gallery and the Forum Attic. Open Days, music industry events, student ‘Jam Jar’ gigs and other festival events allow students to showcase their work in public. In addition, students will be able to develop working relationships with other disciplines within the Creative Arts faculty as well as work with professional dancers on a collaborative project.
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.
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.
Jake - My week at a Glance
My Week at a glance
Hi! I’m Jake, I recently completed the final projects of my degree in Music and Sound Design Technology and in this blog, I will give you an overview of a typical week in my third and final year at Herts. My average 3rd year week would usually include 2 days of lectures, one or two shifts at work and the rest of the week spent working on coursework and socialising with friends.
I only had 2 days a week of lectures in my final year which meant I could be very flexible with how I spent my time. I would always attend all my lectures and typically spend another 2 - 3 hours working on coursework on these days during the evenings. The rest of the week I would usually aim to work a similar number of hours, roughly 6, but this varied as I had other commitments. It is not necessary to work 6 hours per day but as I am aiming for a first-class grade, I felt this was enough for me to learn and practice everything I needed too without over working myself.
During my final year I worked at the Forum at UH as a live sound and lighting technician, something I really enjoyed doing as it was the first time working in a job related to my sound engineering course. Usually I would work 2 shifts a week, Wednesday night and Friday evening which worked out at around 12 – 15 hours a week, sometimes it was more and sometimes less. The fact the shifts were in the evening and at night was good as it allowed me to focus on my coursework during the day, but club nights would see me often working till 4am or later which did leave me tired the next day but this was part of the job and it was a great experience overall.
It was very important that I put aside time for myself to relax and socialize with friends and to take time out of all the work I was doing. Me and a friend from my course got into a routine of playing table tennis each night as a way to get some light exercise and to take a break from the coursework. Final year can be stressful sometimes, so it is very important to look after yourself by exercising, eating healthily (and enough!) and spending time with friends or relaxing by yourself
I think being at Uni is about finding the right balance of work and fun that works for you, it is a great way to practise self-discipline and time management and you will learn a lot about yourself.
Thanks for reading,
Jake - Guide to the facilities
As a sound engineering student, you have access to everything you need to prepare you for working in the industry. It is a very practical subject so having the right equipment, software and hardware, is vital for getting the hands-on experience you need. The majority of my work was done in the FMM, Film Music & Media, building which has computer labs with all the latest programs, surround sound ‘satellite’ rooms, an acoustically treated room for film sound, and many other musical spaces and practise rooms. You also have access to the Art and Design buildings where you will find fully kitted out music studios with performing and recording rooms with the latest mixing desks and computers, a foley studio which I used a lot for film, and the loan store. The loan store allows you to borrow equipment such as microphones, musical instruments and other equipment like video cameras and accessories.
Having access to these spaces was vital as part of my learning experience as there is no substitute for hands-on learning but Herts gave me everything, I needed to ensure I am prepared to start work or go onto further education.
I also had some lectures in the Forum where I learned about live sound and acoustics. I had the privilege to work at the Forum which gave me an even more extensive knowledge of live sound setups. The facilities at the Forum are incredible and working with such a high standard of equipment was always exciting. There are 2 music rooms in the Forum, the main auditorium which is a large capacity club room with a full lighting rig and a custom sound setup. There is also the attic which is a smaller venue which hosts Herts Jam which is a student run music event held 3 times a year. The Forum has seen some big artists and bands play there, such as Enter Shikari and even the music video for Ed Sheeran’s Lego House was filmed there.
As well as the specialist spaces, you have everything you would expect as a student like lecture halls and access to the library on campus where you can borrow books and magazines and use computers and printers. You also have access to the online library to check if they have a book and if it is available.
UH exceeded my expectations of professional equipment and facilities and I would highly recommend anyone looking to study music technology or sound engineering to consider Herts. Despite graduating during the Covid-19 outbreak and it being a strange time, I feel prepared for my future, whenever and wherever that may be!
Jake - Why I chose Herts
Why I chose Herts
When I attended the open day and had the subject talk, Herts was able to relay a confidence in their teaching abilities and the course itself, that other Universities I visited were not able to do. They really sounded like they knew their stuff, and this was backed up by statistics in student satisfaction and almost 100% of students being in further education or work within 6 months of graduating. The course itself also sounded more suited to me as it was a mix of creative and technical teaching compared to some Universities being much more technical and less practical and creative.
The facilities were impressive, and I could picture myself working in the labs and studios as we were shown around. I had never accessed any sound equipment before I had gone to Uni so seeing these facilities up close was a very motivating experience.
The course lived up to my expectations and I really enjoyed being taught there. The staff were very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields of work and I can’t see how it could have been improved.
I also felt that I could imagine myself at Herts much more than the other universes I visited. This may have been due to it being a campus Uni where most of the University is based on one campus. This made it seem like a true community and a busy, bustling place full of young people like me. The campus itself was very appealing due to the modern accommodation facilities and other stylish buildings and spaces. The College Lane campus has a very homely and connected feel due to the Oval building which sits surrounded by accommodation blocks. It therefore gave the impression of being very social which was appealing in itself as I was very excited about meeting many friends during my time there.
Another reason I chose Herts is its proximity to London. I love cities, especially London, and being so close was massively appealing to me. It was only 20 minutes on the train, and I took opportunities to travel there when I could, meeting family and friends and also working in the city centre on some occasions. It also meant traveling home was relatively easy as I could get a direct train to Manchester from London.
Going to a University far from my home was not an issue for me, if anything, it was more appealing as I like to experience living in different areas. It can be daunting moving far from your family, but you will meet so many people very quickly and soon, university will feel like your home.