BA (Hons) Music Producing
Create. Collaborate. Innovate.
USW’s Music Producing degree is based at our purpose-built campus in the creative centre of Cardiff.
This exciting and innovative course is a highly practical programme, where you will identify, examine and refine your creative music production process. You’ll be provided with a fast-tracked learning experience through access to USW’s industry-standard studio facilities, extensive tutor expertise and unique collaborative learning environment.
Through masterclasses with industry professionals and real-world briefs, we’ll help you become experts in the latest audio production technology, manage your workflow and forge careers within the creative industries of music, film, television and game audio.
This course nurtures professional development and functions to build the relevant skillsets required for the next generation of music producers, beat makers and recording artists.
Listen to some of our students’ portfolio work on SoundCloud here.
This programme equips you with the practical techniques, theoretical knowledge, transferable skills and vocational experience required of a professional practitioner within the broad field of music production on a personal and professional level. As well as production skills, you’ll learn theoretical, compositional and transferable skills that will enhance your future employability within the music industry.
Year 1 (Level 4): The Creative Producer
Year one aims to develop your individual and team-based music production skills, prior to establishing collaborative relationships within the wider faculty. You will complete the year with a high proficiency in industry-standard tools and techniques, generating confidence and professional practice to take forward.
Creative Music Composition & Production – Release your artistic potential as a composer and producer. From initial song sketches to finished compositions, you will evolve your portfolio through creative desktop production skills and a thorough technical training in both Logic Pro & Pro Tools digital audio workstations (DAWs).
Critical Listening – Develop your critical and expert listening skills, enabling you to analyse audio like professional engineers and producers.
Studio Production – Gain an understanding of recording and mixing techniques used in the production of recorded music and understand the role of producer/musician within the recording studio environment to maximise an artist’s potential.
Music & Sound Essentials – Advance your theoretical knowledge and understanding of how melody, rhythm and harmony relate to popular music creation and analysis, and gain an understanding of the fundamental principles and underlying concepts relating to sound.
Getting Plugged In – You will work in creative partnership with each other and with performance students on a short 6-week practical project that has a ‘real world’ industrial brief.
Year 2 (Level 5): The Collaborative Producer
Throughout year two, the course is designed to stimulate interaction with students from other courses and disciplines to master essential collaboration skills required of the successful producer. You will work on projects with musicians, songwriters, singers, filmmakers and gamers.
Advanced Audio Production - Build upon your DAW skills and enhance your understanding of industry-standard software and hardware. You will study synthesis, sequencing, sampling, editing, processing, mixing and remixing, as well as their creative application. You will also be introduced to immersive audio, and its application across the creative industries.
Music & Sound for Media – Gain the technical and musical knowledge needed to begin composing music and designing sounds for film, video and related media.
Artists Liaisons – Prepare yourself for a career in the creative industries through to the principles of effective communication and promotion. Develop an ethos of professionalism as a music producer and artist.
Music Industry Practice - Challenge your preconceptions of the producer’s role within the music industry. Learn how the industry functions, tackling royalties, contracts and intellectual copyright law, marketing, distribution and merchandising.
Learning Through Employment (Option One) – Develop professional generic and subject skills through real world experience in the workplace.
Minor Project: Working to a Brief (Option Two) – Create music/audio content of your own design to a professional standard, working to an industry-standard client brief.
Year 3 (Level 6): The Professional Producer
The final year culminates in the development and creation of a unique creative Major Production Project that will generate a market-ready portfolio for you to take into industry. You will be encouraged to work collaboratively both within the faculty and for external clients under the guidance of a specialist USW supervisor.
Major Production Project (Live or Production) - Create a substantial body of high-quality portfolio work that expresses your ability and creative flair in your chosen field of specialism. Focus in on recognised industry-based roles and responsibilities. Generate and evolve an innovative portfolio that reflects your professional skill and demonstrates this to industry standards.
Remix Production – Learn and employ the relevant set of creative techniques, both technically and intellectually, to fully engage in the area of remix production.
Professional Practitioner – Develop an advanced understanding and analysis of the industry practices and specifications involved in digital distribution for music release. Advance your critical listening skills and foster the technical ability required to master music for release, incorporating a range of advanced production techniques.
Industry Ready – Identify your responsibilities as a professional practitioner and put into practice the necessary level of research and development of business contacts that will enable the transition from education into the professional marketplace. Create and manage an achievable financial foundation to support a chosen career goal.
Our teaching team is made up of music industry professionals and technical experts. BA Music Producing is tailored to reflect the realities of the modern music industry and gives you access to regular masterclasses, visits by special guest musicians & producers and industry networking events.
This course is assessed through coursework only, which takes the form of practical assessments, portfolio development, presentations and project work. Assessment is designed to support your learning and help you achieve your goals. There will be no examinations.
The USW School of Production and Performance is also an Accredited Apple Training Centre for Education for Apple Logic Pro and an Avid Authorised Training Partner for Pro Tools.
Our campus boasts nine industry-standard recording studios featuring SSL and Audient mixing consoles with live and control rooms, all of which are sound isolated and acoustically treated. Several of the studios are equipped for immersive audio production, including a dedicated Dolby Atmos suite. We also house the Gus Dudgeon Suite, a vintage analogue mixing and editing desk, once owned by Elton John’s and critically acclaimed producer.
Our music labs feature several music workstations and are installed with the latest professional music production software, such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton Live and Reason. We have an extensive range of microphones, musical instruments and MacBook Pro laptops that are loanable from Media Stores.
Romesh Dodangoda Graduate Award for Excellence
The School of Music & Sound is thrilled to announce an industry partnership with GRAMMY-nominated producer Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked with some of the biggest names in rock and metal, including Motorhead, Bring Me the Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, and Funeral For A Friend. The partnership will see Romesh bringing his considerable experience to the Music Producing course through a series of bespoke briefs, masterclasses and an exciting Graduate Award.
The Create Vinyl Sampler
Every year our music and sound students produce a vinyl sampler album "Create" that showcases a selection of the School’s artists and bands. The featured tracks are chosen by a panel of tutors and industry guests who hotly debate the high standard of entries. The end result is a fantastic collection of tracks written, performed and produced by USW students. This year, the label aims to expand and promote the student’s work into the digital domain.
You can listen to previous Vinyl Samplers on SoundCloud here:
We have strong links with industry partners and institutions, offering opportunities for exciting trips that will deepen your understanding of the music industry. Previous trips include visits to the world famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, immersive audio specialists D&B Audio Technik’s factory in Stroud and BBC Music Introducing Live. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in Music & Sound’s Immersed Music Festival that takes place at the Cardiff Tramshed every year.
David Coker, Course Leader
Stuart Jones, Senior Lecturer
Dr Damon Minchella, Senior Lecturer
Andrew Gwilliam, Senior Lecturer
Gill Edwards-Randle, Senior Lecturer
Andy Cooper, Lecturer
Neil Martin, Lecturer
Our aim is to enhance and support the student experience at USW by providing support services for students in a professional, friendly and welcoming environment where students can feel at ease.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.
Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
Applicants in the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria you may also be required to attend an interview to help us assess your suitability for the course.
Applicants outside the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.
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 a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level.
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points.
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 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.
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 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14100
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
All applications are considered on an individual basis. Please provide evidence of a website or any other form of digital portfolio as part of your application.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one 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 and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
In terms of employment, the cultural and creative industries offer many openings. You will gain a wide range of valuable generic and specific skills that are highly regarded by employers. Your preparation as an adaptable, life-long learner enables you to respond successfully to changing patterns of work.
BA Music Producing will attract students interested in music production careers, either in the traditional sense (professional studio-based, working with record companies and management) or the modern sense (beat/rhythm/backing track creation, digital recording, remixing, remote or home studio-based). Students may also specialise in audiovisual music production for film, television and gaming.