BA (Hons) Music Business

If you have a passion for music and making things happen, this degree is a chance to explore the many avenues available in the music business, be entrepreneurial and develop your specialist business skills. 

Students come from a range of backgrounds, sharing the common goal of wanting to develop a career in the music industry. These career options include label management , A&R, event management, publishing, artist development, enterprise, marketing and radio. 

Real-world music projects in the vibrant music scene of Cardiff and South Wales will be part of your student experience. You’ll be encouraged to work with students from other disciplines, benefiting from the creative community you’ll have access to at the University. 

Staff have a wealth of experience working within the music industry. You’ll also benefit from regular visits and masterclasses from high-level music industry professionals such as former Coldplay manager, Estelle Wilkinson, Managing Director of leading digital agency Edition, Adam Biddle, and Alun Llwyd and Kevin Tame from notorious Welsh independent label Turnstile.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W370 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W370 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

In the first year, you will develop a general understanding of the industry, gain in-depth knowledge of the artist development process, and learn the basics of marketing, management and finance.

In the second year, you will deepen your knowledge of the financial, legal and business principles essential to understanding and managing artists in the industry. You will learn how contracts and intellectual property may affect your future businesses and how to manage and generate marketing materials.

In the third year, you will develop, brand, market and manage your own business. You will complete independent research and create original ideas in order to navigate and start your own career.

Year One

  • Introduction to The Music Industry
  • Principles of Artist Development
  • Principles of Music Business and Finance
  • Words and Music: Culture, Context and Criticism
  • Artist Development and Branding
  • Principles of Music Promotion and Marketing

Year Two

  • Digital Media in the Creative Industries
  • The Modern Live Industry Running
  • Music Contracts and the Law
  • Creative Event Management
  • The Future of Intellectual Property in the Music Industry

Year Three

  • Entrepreneurship and the New Routes to Market
  • Major Project
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Project
  • Management in the Creative Sector
  • Strategic Business Management in the Entertainment Industry


Course assessment is through regular coursework submissions, presentations and practical tasks, in addition to examinations in some areas.


Lucy Squire, Music Business course leader
Richard J Parfitt Academic Subject Manager
Helen Walbey
Skip Curtis
Simon Thomas
Andy Rea
Danny Champion

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

You’ll need to attend an information interview. Please bring any questions regarding the content of the course with you on the day so that you can discuss this as part of the interview process.


Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £11900 

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £12300 

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £500
It is suggested that students have their own laptop computer and smart phone (All academic years)
Other: Travel £100
Students may be expected to travel to master classes/ conferences / events/ performances at their own cost (All academic years)
Other: Course Text £50
Students may need to buy some course texts (All academic years)

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

USW’s Music Business degree provides you with the skills and expertise you need to be at the forefront of the music business, enabling you to create and model your music business career. By the time you graduate, you will have the skills for a wide range of careers in the music, media and entertainment industries, including publishing, marketing, A & R, radio, event and tour management.

You will learn management principles and a broad range of business skills helping you to maximise the creative and commercial potential of the artist/business relationship. Your studies will promote entrepreneurship and creative thinking, helping you to create and launch your own business initiative before leaving the course.

Graduates will also have transferable and practical experience that can be applied in many other areas of the business environment.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.