BA (Hons) Music Production

Overview

The BA (Hons) Music Production degree at BIMM Dublin is a specialist programme designed for those wishing to pursue a career in a range of music industry roles, such as producer, sound engineer or creative artist.

The aim of the course is to nurture your creative flair while you develop your skills as a music producer across a wide range of contexts, including traditional studio and live recording, songwriting, live sound and music for moving image. You’ll study the context of contemporary music and the industry that supports it, as well as learning personal, project management and business skills.

Networking and collaboration are central to the degree, and you’ll be encouraged to create music projects with your peers on the BA (Hons) in Commercial Modern Music programme.

You’ll undertake hands-on learning in our high-tech production facilities and will have direct access to cutting-edge equipment and software, where you’ll be directed in its use by professional industry tutors who really know the ins and outs of the kit.

So to make your way in music production, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Validated by:

The BA (Hons) in Music Production is a private, fee paying course.

The fees for 2015-16 are €5,950. International (non-EU) fees for 2015-16 are €10,950.

Full list of fees

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, students address the essential production skills that will underpin not only the rest of their studies, but also their future career. This includes working with a wide range of analogue recording techniques and equipment, digital mixing, audio production and sequencing platforms, as well as developing an understanding of music theory, songwriting and the music business. Students take six modules (120 credits). All modules are mandatory and run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Please note: module names and structure may change during the validation process.

  • Recording Skills

    Behind every great audio product there lies a great recording. The skills needed to capture a great recording are essential to any artist, music producer, songwriter or creative musician. This module explores the fundamental principles of multi-track recording technique, covering aspects such as audio quality and microphone technique. The module is a mix of theory and practical work and students will engage in a collaborative project, providing opportunities to work with students from the BA (Hons) in Commercial Modern Music course.

  • Software Environments

    This module explores the use of software platforms within music production. With a focus on MIDI-based systems, students will learn of its historical context and its creative practical application in contemporary music. Utilising dynamic sequencing platforms, Pro Tools and Ableton Live, students will study processing techniques such as subtractive, FM, additive and other strands of classic synthesis. The art of sampling is approached using a mix of DAW built-in samplers and Propellerhead-software Reason.

  • Mixing and Audio Production 1

    This module provides students with a solid grasp of the fundamentals of professional audio production. Under the broader banner of mixing, digital audio manipulation and processing, they’ll study the details of practical multi-track mixing with an emphasis on creativity and originality. Using the industry standard software Pro Tools, subjects such as audio compression, equalisation and automation will be explored and incorporated into workflows widely used by professional mix-engineers. Students are also offered the opportunity to pass the Pro Tools 101 user exam as part of the module, free of charge.

  • Songwriting 1

    As an essential skill for any artist, music producer or creative musician, songwriting empowers the individual to develop important musical and lucrative skill-sets. Students will study and develop the fundamental skills of writing original songs, covering aspects such harmonic progression, melodic contour, lyric creation, rhythmic lyric structure and song form. Through studying tools and techniques they’ll learn to write melodies, find out how melodic rhythm influences rhyme and explore the dynamic relationships between melody and harmony. With an emphasis on originality and creativity.

  • Musicianship

    Musicianship supports the development of skills in key areas: music theory, ear training, production analysis and song analysis. In theory and ear training classes, students will consider key theoretical concepts and their application in popular music, including interval and chord identification and harmony, rhythm and pulse, basic transcription and chord/scale relationships. They will also study concepts of production aesthetic in order to develop their own production style, and song analysis allows the development of songwriting skills via the critique of commercial material.

  • Popular Music Culture

    This module considers the history of popular music and the work of key artists in the context of the social, political and cultural developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will also exercise the research techniques necessary to write academic papers.

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 requires students to apply their skills to increasingly ‘real-world’ scenarios involving arranging, advanced sequencing and remixing in contemporary dance styles, while studying the cultural heritage of popular music. Students also have the chance to select optional modules that allow them to specialise in studio management, live sound and songwriting. Students take six modules (120 credits). There are five mandatory modules and students select one out of three optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Please note: module names and structure may change during the validation process.

  • Mixing and Audio Production 2

    Building upon previously explored concepts, this module further expands on necessary skills for the audio production industry. Going back to the beginning, the module starts off with mixing on analogue large format consoles and takes students through to current professional workflows using controls surfaces. High emphasis is put on advanced mixing techniques such as real-time automation, OTB vs ITB workflows and audio processing concepts commonly used in the industry, including flexible and static time manipulation.

  • Electronic Music Production

    This module explores the stylistic directions and techniques for producing creative original material within various electronic music genres. Classic and contemporary dance style will be explored in-depth leading into advanced remix concepts and approaches. Synthesis techniques and its specific application within electronic music are studied using applications, such as Ableton Live, to create innovative and inspiration material. Key focus is on creating original, artistic and imaginative remixes and genre-specific music.

  • Arranging

    Musical creativity is an important skill for many applications within the professional music industry. Arranging and orchestration skills allow students to apply more musical traits to any composition and are essential ingredients for success. Covering these aspects, this module enables students to obtain musical skills that are essential when working within creative idioms.

  • Music for the Moving Image 1

    Working with image content is a satisfying and rewarding arena. With an expansion of musical material embedded into more than just TV and film (i.e. radio and online adverts, corporate trade fairs, etc.) both ‘synchronisation’ and commission-based portfolios are becoming more and more commonplace. This module has a creative focus, concentrating on compositional skills to produce ‘musical beds’ for a variety of image-based products (i.e. film, TV, etc.).

  • Music Industry Landscape

    The module gives students the opportunity to study the fundamental aspects of the music industry. The aim is for them to have an understanding of the historical and contemporary structure of the music industry, including learning the roles of key stakeholders and providers within it and how those roles are constantly adapting to market pressures brought about by advances in new technology. Treating the industry as a set of related smaller organisations and structures, this module studies aspects such as the facilitating of licensing, marketing, promotion, distribution, selling and production of music-related product. Students will learn to apply study skills and basic research and academic writing techniques.

  • Optional – Live Sound

    As an important sector of the music industry, this module represents an opportunity for students to learn the intricacies of controlling and delivering high-quality audio production for live events and gigs.

  • Optional – Songwriting 2

    Song composition and development will be explored to a greater depth in this module that continues from previously studied material. It will focus on advanced aspects, such as creative approach, tonal phrases, resolution, structure tones and embellishments, melodic placements, harmonic and melodic interplay and structure variety.

  • Optional – Studio Management

    With many producers working in a freelance capacity within the industry, either from the confines of their own facility or via commercial facilities, this module allows students to learn aspects such as private and commercial studio management, hardware and software maintenance, studio design concepts and acoustics.

Year 3 (Level 6)

Year 3 affords students the opportunity to participate in the self-directed final Production Project, while choosing from a range of optional modules including Sound Design, Music Pedagogy and Composition for the Moving Image that will best prepare them for a career as a music industry professional. Students take five modules (120 credits). There are two mandatory modules and students select three out of six optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Please note: module names and structure may change during the validation process.

  • Production Project

    This module gives students the opportunity to engage in the creation of a high level, independently driven portfolio of work. They will select a suitable subject, and under supervision from an industry specialist, deliver a project that encapsulates both practical and research-based content.

  • Personal and Business Development

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore and develop the personal, interpersonal and team skills that count towards success. It will introduce what are often called the 'soft' skills – or the 'emotionally intelligent' skills – that are increasingly vital for personal and business success, particularly amongst freelancers.

  • Optional – Songwriting 3

    Developing from previous study, this optional module allows students to continue to exercise their creativity and musicality. They’ll have the opportunity to study songwriting techniques and concepts to an advanced level, with an emphasis on building a portfolio of high-quality, original material. The module will focus on issues such as melodic motion, melodic development over and across harmony, advanced modulation techniques, colouring, phonetic relationships, rhyme styles and structure, and plot progression.

  • Optional – Sonic Manipulation

    The creative use of audio processing and sound design will be covered in this module, with an emphasis on sonic effects for commercial audio projects, such as moving image and song-based material. It will explore software platforms such as MAX/MSP, and serves as an entry point into further studies within the Digital Signal Processing realm.

  • Optional – Location Recording and Post

    Encapsulating remote recording and editing for musical and outside broadcast environments, this module allows students to develop essential skills for important sections of the industry. They’ll also explore the aspects involved within the audio post-production industry.

  • Optional – Music for the Moving Image 2

    Building upon previously studied concepts, this module allows students to explore composition techniques to an advanced level, whilst working with moving image content. Operating within a mix of visual themes, students will learn the compositional and production concepts associated with working within corporate video, advertising and commercials, television film and drama, brand idents and television themes, documentaries and animated features. Analysis of commercial work will provide reflection upon the students’ own work.

  • Optional – Music for Games

    A wide-ranging and important sector of the production industry, this module enables students to explore the creation and production of music and sound for the games industry. With an emphasis on creativity, they’ll produce a product working within the specific formats for this sector of the industry.

  • Optional – Music Pedagogy in Practice

    This module helps participants develop the skills for engaging in community music projects, alongside setting up a successful teaching practice. Private, group and classroom teaching is integral to many professional musicians’ business plans, and two or three days teaching a week can provide the financial security needed to pursue other long-term career goals. Students will learn how to: plan and deliver lessons; assess students and give them feedback; and evaluate their own teaching in order to improve it. Community-based music projects provide an opportunity for a music industry professional to engage in work that supports people to enjoy and learn from making music.

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Minimum requirements

A minimum of six subjects at Leaving Cert level, including 2 Higher Level C3s, and 4 Ordinary Level D3s, to include Maths and English or Irish. Applicants must also attend an interview at which they will be required to present a portfolio of work. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:

Progression

Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry in roles such as producer, DJ, sound engineer, film and television composer and computer music designer, or they can continue their study with a BIMM Postgraduate Certificate in Further and Higher Education or a Masters Degree.

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How to apply

All applications can be made directly via the BIMM Admissions Team. To request an application form call +353 1 5133 666 or email aoifeobrien@bimm.ie Irish students will be invited to attend an interview during which they’ll be required to present a portfolio according to specific guidelines. International applicants who can’t attend an interview will have a phone interview booked for them.

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International students

We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of study:
3 years
Awarding institution:
University of West London
Teaching institution:
BIMM Dublin
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
Certificate of Higher Education – 120 credits, Diploma of Higher Education – 240 credits, Ordinary degree – 300 credits, Honours degree – 360 credits.
Admissions criteria:
A minimum of six subjects at Leaving Cert level, including 2 Higher Level C3s, and 4 Ordinary Level D3s, to include Maths and English or Irish. Applicants must also attend an interview at which they will be required to present a portfolio of work. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers and playing guitar on The Commitments soundtrack, to vocal coaching Bono and being frontman for the indie band JJ72, our BIMM Dublin tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Making it in music:

Success Stories

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with nearly 80% of our graduates making a living out of music alone. Take a look at our shining stars.

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