Popular Music Practice

BIMM Institute Dublin

Popular Music Practice

Research, collaboration, professional development, experimentation, 1-2-1 guidance and more. This is what our MA Popular Music Practice offers you. Over a full twelve-month period of study you’ll be pushed to expand upon everything you know, moving you away from the skills-based style of undergraduate learning and towards becoming an influential and unique voice in your industry.

Our clearly defined course structure is intelligently composed to cover theoretical, practical and collaborative elements. It culminates in a major project of your choice focusing on one of the following paths: performance, production, composition or entrepreneurship. The path that you choose for your major project will be the specialism stated on your final qualification.

Which specialism will you choose?
For your major project, you’ll focus on one of these specialisms in detail. This is a chance to tailor your studies to your passion whilst taking theory, practice and research to an advanced level.

Hone your instrumental technique, build on your performance experience and evolve your performance style. With performance, you’ll have the chance to develop your musicality and your capabilities to a highly advanced level. Set yourself up as the go-to musician on the national music scene – and beyond.

Thanks to our fantastic studio facilities and industry-leading lecturers, specialising in production will stretch your skills in recording, mixing, mastering and more. Get involved in extraordinary recording projects and build your portfolio for a sustainable career.

Whether you are a singer-songwriter, a sound artist or a composer interested in sync opportunities, this path will deepen your knowledge, understanding and ability to write music for a variety of situations, channels and outputs. Furthermore, it is often an excellent pathway of collaboration and will see you embark on exciting projects that span media and genre.

Specialising in entrepreneurship provides a huge range of opportunities such as starting a business, curating events or collaborating with your MA peers and industry organisations. There is huge scope here for you to develop yourself into a commercially minded, music business professional.

Awarding institution: BIMM University

Subjects taught

Please note: module names and structure may be subject to change.

• Popular Music Practice and Research
This module explores the intersection of theory and practice. It guides you through the process of applying a critical theoretical lens to your chosen area of popular music practice.
To make links between theory and practice, the module encompasses research training (including lectures with specialist researchers) and 1-2-1 tuition/mentoring. The skills and experience gained through the module provide a starting point for the Major Project.

• You and the Popular Music Industry
This module allows you to refine your direction within the contemporary popular music industry. It helps you develop the skills you need to support your continuous reflective professional development within your chosen area of practice.

You are encouraged to hone your ideas, audit your existing skills and consider and conduct research on your audience and/or market. You are invited to liaise with industry stakeholders and engage with cutting-edge research, gaining both practical and theoretical insight into the contemporary industry.

• Popular Music & Technology
This module allows you to explore the use of technology in the field of popular music and to investigate the role of technologies in mediating innovative creative practice and entrepreneurship. Mentoring and workshops are offered in addition to lectures.

This ensures that the development of practical skills is supported alongside building a theoretical understanding of how technological change informs and aids popular music practice.

• Exploring Collaborative Practice
This module examines the contemporary popular music industry through collaborative practice, exploring the structures and frameworks within which creative and entrepreneurial practices are located.

You are invited to work collaboratively with your peers and external stakeholders. The culmination of the module is a symposium that exhibits both practical and research.

• Major Project
This module provides you with the opportunity to produce an extended piece of work that explores your chosen area of practice. You are individually supervised by an expert from that field.

Through applying the knowledge and skills gained through the first two semesters, you are empowered to work at the forefront of your discipline, adding to the growing field of practice-informed research on popular music.

Entry requirements

Admissions Criteria:
A good degree (normally 2.2 or above) or significant experience in a relevant field. All applicants will be subject to interview and a portfolio may also be requested for Recognition of Prior Certified or Experiential Learning (RPCEL).

Minimum requirements
A good degree (normally 2.2 or above) or significant experience in a relevant field.

Overseas students where English is not their native language may be required to meet a minimum English language requirement of an Academic IELTS 6.5. We require a minimum of 6.0 to be achieved in each band.

Exceptions apply. Please contact dublin@bimm.ie for more information.

All applicants will be subject to interview and a portfolio may also be requested for Recognition of Prior Certified or Experiential Learning (RPCEL).


1 year
Mode of attendance: Full-time

Post Course Info

You will be qualified to work as an advanced practitioner or educator/researcher within the field of popular music practice and related creative industries.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Daytime,Full time

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    Course provider