Music Business HND

Based in the heart of our creative campus at Riverside Music College, the Music Business Course provides students with the perfect platform to launch a career in the music industry.

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Academically, students will gain knowledge of fundamental business skills, such as, leadership, finance and organisation. This is combined with music industry specific study areas, including intellectual property, copyright, the live performance industry and digital content, technology and innovation.

We invite successful leading figures from the music industry to present seminars at Riverside each semester. This offers students the unique opportunity to interact with people who have forged a successful career in the business.

"The easiest way to learn something is to do it, so the balance Riverside strikes between classroom learning and learning in an industry environment is not only important but also invaluable." Craig Johnson - DF Concerts

Find out how our students Get Industry Ready with our RMC Industry Award!!!

On completion of the course students will be in a position to apply for a variety of industry based roles or to continue their study at one of the many institutions that offer Bachelor's Degrees in related subjects.

To receive a hard copy of our prospectus, simply get in touch with your name and address. To view a digital version, just click here

Join us at Little Tiger

The record label and Promotion company run by our students

Our Music Business students gain real-life experience in releasing and promoting music. Little Tiger operates as a mechanism to allow students to participate in the music industry and get hands-on experience via the two divisions of Little Tiger; the label and the promotion company.

Little Tiger Logo

Students are responsible for A&R and signing artists through the label whilst the promotion company works as a vehicle by which students promote releases by artists. This involves radio, press, and online promotion, and organising promotion events for artists on Little Tiger and other labels.

Many of the skills gained by students participating in both divisions of Little Tiger are transferable (Law, Licensing, Copyright, Marketing, Finance), with general business communication skills embedded in many of the processes involved in releasing and promoting recordings by artists.

Check out the latest releases from Little Tiger on Bandcamp

The course is fully SQA accredited and part funding is available from SAAS.

(SCQF Level 7/8)

Entry Requirements

By interview

Minimum of One Higher (grade C pass or above), PLUS passes in 2 other subjects at NAT5/equivalent - OR - appropriate range of NQ units OR substantial relevant work experience.  Preference will be given to students with at least Two Highers (grade C pass or above).

HNC Music Business (Year 1) - Course Content

Within this unit students will learn about the commercial organisations that form the Creative Industries and give an overview of their working practices and structure. Organisations such as; PRS, MCPS, PPL, MU and many others play a vital role in the music industry, this unit allows our students to develop an in-depth understanding of how these key organisations operate and how to access them. Focus is placed on providing information on the opportunities for promotion and networking in order to build a successful career within the industry.

Our students will learn the inner workings of the organisational aspect of the music industry giving them the background and knowledge to build a successful career within it. Through networking and good practice students will also focus on turning business ideas into positive opportunities within the industry.

This unit provides an understanding of law within the music industry examining the various types of contracts, and clauses within, between parties and the principles behind the protection of intellectual property.

Candidates will learn the basic principles of marketing and its importance within a constantly developing industry. This unit will provide the understanding and experience needed to design a competent and successful marketing strategy.

This unit is designed to give the candidate an understanding of the promotion of music through the multitude of mediums available.

Candidates will develop the necessary skills required to formulate financial and management accounting reports applicable to the music industry by means of; accounting, e-business strategising and good financial practice.

You will be given an introduction to the promotional techniques that are used in the modern music industry. The unit will give you an understanding of the concept of image as it relates to the music industry and how it is tailored to a target demographic. Practical elements of the unit involve producing a promotional pack according to the specific guidance of a design brief. You will also learn about basic design principles, such as layout, colour, typography and composition.

Candidates will learn the operational structures of record companies and develop knowledge of the organisational aspects involved within. The unit will prepare students with the skills and methods needed to run our own record label ‘Little Tiger’.

This unit introduces the live music industry with key emphasis placed on the roles, responsibilities and working relationships of those who work within the industry. Attention will also be paid to the financial considerations involved in this sector.

This unit will give candidates a broad knowledge of a period in music history with an emphasis placed on stylistic evolution.

The creative project will give you the chance to gain hands on experience in running the college record label. You will be given the opportunity to bring your own ideas to the table and develop your individual creativity as relates to running the business.

This unit is designed to provide candidates with an understanding of the nature and workings of the music publishing industry. The activities carried out by authors, music publishers and the relevant collection societies will be considered and the practical considerations involved in the process of self-publishing will also be examined. Music Industry Publishing provides an understanding of the management and administration of song rights within the music business.

The Graded unit is designed to utilise all skills, knowledge and understanding gained from studying all the above units in the form of a business proposal/portfolio. The subject of the Graded Unit is entirely at the discretion of the student who will be provided with continual one on one progress meetings with an assigned member of our lecturing team who will be on hand to offer advice and guidance.

HND Music Business (Year 2) - Course Content

This unit builds on the knowledge acquired from Music Law1. It looks at legislation as it relates to organisations within the music industry and how it relates to those who work within it.

Working as a successor unit to Music Industry Management 1, this unit will develop the skills and knowledge attained in year 1. Emphasis is placed on nurturing negotiating skills and exploring issues involved with management in the current music industry climate.

In this unit our students will examine the psychological and social influences of buyer behaviour, as they exist in relation to the music industry, and how these can be exploited to create a successful marketing campaign.

This unit examines good practice, through sound accounting statement and reports, in relation to making key financial decisions within the music industry.

This unit is an examination of how to create commercial opportunities and good marketing practice through existing technologies,for example; social media and the internet.

This unit looks at the roles and financial considerations of the live touring industry and will prepare our candidates with the skills and knowledge required for working within this sector of the industry.

In this unit we look at the ever changing world of digital technology and how it impacts on the production, distribution and sale of music. We aim to provide our students with the skills and knowledge required to recognise the opportunities and challenges in relation to technology.

This unit examines human culture and the role that music plays within various cultures.

This unit is designed to prepare our students for a role in stage management and will provide an understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to work within this sector of the industry.

This unit is a continuation of Music History 1 (Year 1). Candidates will examine factors that have lead to the overall development of a particular musical genre.

Students will manage our in-house record label ‘Little Tiger’. Using skills already acquired candidates will be responsible for identifying talent, artist development, marketing, budget management and much, much more.

This Group Award Graded Unit is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following principal aims of the HND Music Business:

  • an ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study
  • an ability to develop study, organisational and research skills
  • an ability to develop proficiency and business acumen relating to the practices of the music industry
  • an ability to integrate these skills in practical or business application
  • an ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas in line with their preferred career aims
  • an ability to develop critical analysis; to reflect on own work and continually strive for best practice
  • to enable progression to further study in music or a related discipline
  • to enable the adoption of innovative practices and creativity in work and enable respond quickly to the challenges posed by changes in the music industry
  • an ability to develop personal skills and follow music industry protocol

Fees & Funding

Riverside offers flexible payment options for students wishing to pay fees via our SAAS and non-SAAS funded instalment plans. Eligible students can also apply for living cost support via SAAS, who have a combination of loans, grants and bursaries available. Student loans of up to £6,750.00 and bursaries of £2,000.00 are available depending on individual circumstances. For further details please check the SAAS website.

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HNC: 1 academic year HND: 2 academic years
August - June
(full time)

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