The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Postgraduate course helps future music entrepreneurs tune into success

UK’s first music entrepreneurship programme
launches at University of the West of Scotland


University of the West of Scotland’s new MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the first course of its kind in the UK, gets underway this month.


[Pictured: Alan McCusker-Thompson of the School of Creative & Cultural Industries at University of the West of Scotland.]

The postgraduate degree, which has been developed in response to the changes in the music industry in recent years, will produce highly-focused individuals immersed in the realities and practicalities of the emerging 21st century music business models.

Many traditional modes of thought in the music sector are quickly becoming obsolete, with larger, institutional processes now being superseded by more technologically democratic ways of conducting business. The rise of the ‘new artist model’ which places emphasis upon commercial autonomy by artists and managers within the music sector has also created the need for the development of a new music business skillset. As a result of these changes there are far greater entrepreneurial opportunities in the music sector and this course aims to produce employers rather than employees.

This novel course will cover areas such as the creative economy, global music industries, innovation and creativity, entrepreneurship, and Web 2.0 media. Delivery at multiple sites is proposed including the University’s campuses in Ayr and Paisley, and the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Film City in Glasgow, depending on subject choices.

While the programme is ideally suited to artist entrepreneurs who wish to set up their own record labels, management or publishing companies, it seeks to further develop music-related business ideas, spanning everything from mobile tools and apps, to fashion, hotels and the visual arts and beyond. All of these sectors are continually evolving, which is no better highlighted that the apps market, which up until two years ago didn’t exist but is now currently worth £2billion and is expected to grow to £17billion in the next five years.

This course will therefore equip students with the skills that won’t simply confine them to pursuing the music industry but will enable them to work with music across a wide range of sectors.

This programme is at the leading edge of postgraduate activity in music and enjoys extensive backing from major figures within the UK music sector, such as Geoff Travis of Rough Trade whose forward-thinking resulted in what we now know as the independent sector.

MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Programme Leader, Alan McCusker-Thompson of the School of Creative & Cultural Industries, said: “The University has an established reputation for innovative programmes of study, designed to meet the demands of existing and developing industries, and our new Music Entrepreneurship course will equip individuals with the skills to pursue a number of music-related careers.

“Developing the capacity to ‘think different’ is at the very heart of the programme. Our course will raise students’ awareness of the phenomenal ‘reach’ and cachet of music within the creative industries and the extent to which music enhances all media platforms both aesthetically and commercially. That’s why we’re involving practitioners from business, the internet, the film, TV, games, publishing and fashion industries and of course the music industry.”

The University’s MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship is primarily aimed at those who have an undergraduate qualification or prior experience in music, the performing arts, art and graphic design, media, film, business or any of the creative industries.

Funding for full and part-time study of this postgraduate course is available for eligible students through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) on a competitive basis. The University also has a limited number of ‘Carnegie Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursaries’ available on a competitive basis. Scottish students undertaking either a one year, full-time or two year, part-time taught postgraduate degree in any subject offered by UWS commencing in the 2010/2011 academic session can receive a bursary of up to £3400.

Further information on the University’s Postgraduate MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship or funding/bursary eligibility is available from University Direct, the University’s information service, on 0800 027 1000 or email uni-direct@uws.ac.uk

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