MA: Songwriting & Performance

This exciting new Masters programme, was developed and led by David and the BA: Commercial Music team at UWS. The following is an outline of the programme. The UWS site is here.

Applications considered now.

UWS Ayr Campus

University of The West Of Scotland
Creative and Cultural Industries

MA: Songwriting and Performance

The expression of culture through music is at the heart of Scottish identity. The songwriter is not only a conduit for this expression but the creator of the most powerful intellectual property within the music industry.

MA: Songwriting and Performance is a new and unique programme focusing on the development of exemplary songwriting / arts practice and skills, understanding the performative and technical attributes necessary to communicate those skills and working within the context of new and developing industry and distribution networks.

Aimed at graduates from a range of music / performance disciplines and industry professional writers / performers the programme provides an opportunity for participants to develop their practice in a series of structured and intense writing projects with performative and recorded outputs. The programme seeks to provide a broad range of demanding content, strongly reflective of the cultural and creative industries.

The programme will provide you with the opportunity to spend intense and sustained time developing new song material towards release in physical and digital forms and building new performances of material. The programme will also provide a strongly critical focus with opportunities to conduct research in areas of songwriting history, practice and cultural location as well as reflecting critically on your own practice.

Delivered by established songwriters and music industry professionals the course has a strong focus on live projects with the expectation that you will be developing your professional career alongside your studies.

Course Content

There are three stages to the programme:

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

20 credits each at SCQF 11 unless otherwise noted.

Collaborative Songwriting (40 Credits) – an intensive week-long project with later submission of developed materials and ongoing collaborative blog. There is also a short scale community based participatory arts project.

Analysing Songwriting – an exploration of ways to analyse and criticise songwriting culture and practice within contemporary contexts and debate

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

20 credits each at SCQF 11 unless otherwise noted.

Performance: Context and Practice – project with links to the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. You will work towards the creation of a new body of work to be presented in a series of solo and collaborative performances at a Glasgow city venue.

Professional Music Practice – The online release of a short piece of experimental music will be contextualised in terms of industry, rights issues and social networks / marketing.

Research: Critical Development – preparation of creative research proposal towards Masters Creative Project

MA (180 credits)

Masters Creative Project (60 credits) – you will carry out a substantial practice-led research project, for example, the recording of an album, the creation of a performance or series of performances with written contextualisation.

Career Prospects

While MA: Songwriting and Performance is clearly a vocational, arts practice qualification there is a strong underpinning commitment to providing students with the correct tools to work successfully and autonomously within developing markets and music distribution platforms. Sitting alongside MA: Music Innovation and Entrepreneurship there will further be clear opportunities for students to collaborate with music business orientated students, creating a potent industry microcosm. It is expected that successful applicants will demonstrate high levels of self-motivation, developing this in a series of live projects. The programme also provides a clear range of high-level transferable skills in the areas of research, communication and personal development planning.

Professional Recognition

The programme sits within the Skillset accredited UWS Media Academy.

Funding Studies

Some part-time funded places may be available for candidates meeting SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland) eligibility criteria. For details of possible funding for 2012 entry contact University Direct on +44 (0)141 848 7044 or e-mail

*The programme is based at the well-equipped new Ayr Campus, some classes may be delivered off-campus, at the School of Creative and Cultural Industries’ Creative Hub in Glasgow’s CCA and Film City.




Creative and Cultural Industries


Entry to the MA is open to Honours graduates (minimum 2:2). Students possessing an Ordinary degree (with a mark average of 50%) can apply to enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma and, on successful completion, transfer to the MA programme. Applicants with relevant equivalent qualifications and/or professional experience will also be considered.




MA (full-time/part-time)* 12–16 months/2–3 years

Diploma (full-time/part-time) 9 months/2 years


David Scott

+44 (0)1292 88600

or +44 (0)141 848 7044

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