This course allows me to work and network with other musicians constantly, a valuable skill for anyone wanting a career in music. I know I’ll be graduating with all the knowledge and tools I need to be successful in the music industry.



Learn the skills you need to enjoy a successful career in the music industry.

Our purpose-built creative arts building provides the latest recording facilities, as well as sound-proofed practice rooms, performance spaces and editing software.

Our supportive tutors are highly skilled musicians with real world international experience. They’ll give you the chance to perform, produce and compose music across a range of styles for stage, screen and studio environments.

Why Study Commercial Music?

Wherever your passion in music lies, our course offers you plenty of opportunity to hone your skills and study areas of commercial music that are new to you.

Popular music is at the heart of this course and you'll be developing strong skills in performance, instrumental technique, songwriting and composition. You'll have opportunities to perform, record, produce and compose music in specialist facilities.

Entry requirements

88 - 112 UCAS points is the standard requirement from Canterbury Christ Church University.

For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

Additionally, all applications are considered on an individual basis according to qualifications, background and experience. All students will need to demonstrate some prior experience of performance skills in popular music, and will be required to demonstrate their suitability through an individual interview/audition.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

In Year 1, you'll study six 20 ­credit modules, where you'll learn about:

  • introduction to performance
  • audio sequencing and recording
  • theory and notation in popular music
  • performance for stage
  • commercial music in context
  • songwriting, composition and arranging.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

Each academic year is divided into two semesters, which are separated by a two ­week assessment period in January. During each semester you'll take three 20 credit modules. 

The teaching on each module will vary but typically includes lectures, practical workshops and seminars. You'll also have regular access to your module tutors and you'll be supported in one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor. 

Information about modules and a variety of learning and support materials is available through our virtual learning environment and you'll have access to IT and library facilities throughout the course.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves working on performance, composition or production projects, reading, practicing your instrument and rehearsing and preparing for coursework assignments, workshops or seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific activities to complete before class.

For the Independent Project in Year 3, you'll undertake independent research, working under the supervision of a member of the course team who you'll meet with regularly.

Your contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected. Typically, a 20 credit module involves 3-4 contact hours per week, but there are variations in some modules, particularly where a module might be delivered predominantly by individual tutorials or in smaller groups for instance.

Your overall workload typically consists of around 10-12 contact hours per week plus additional hours of independent study, practice and rehearsals for instance.


The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics and practitioners who have a range of expertise and experience. Current staff include a professor, principal lecturer, senior lecturers and associate lecturers. 

All staff are practitioners and are active as performers, producers, composers and/or researchers.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Commercial Music develops your skills in popular music, taught by tutors with international experience. You’ll have opportunities to perform, produce and compose music (as a songwriter, or for media and film, for example) and to develop yourself as a performer for stage, screen and studio.

James DeanCommercial Music Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

The balance of assessment type depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose, but you will be assessed by a range of methods including practical work (such as performances, recordings, composition work – in the form of recordings or scores), written work (such as commentaries and essays), and presentations.


You will receive feedback on all your assessments and we aim to provide you with your feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.

Your future career

The Commercial Music course aims to prepare you as a creative practitioner in performance, production or commercial composition (as a songwriter, or for media, for instance). Graduates have, for example, gone on to work as freelance performers and producers, DJ’s, songwriters, web designers, live sound engineers and freelance instrumental and vocal tutors. Some graduates have elected to continue their education by progressing on to Masters’ degree qualifications and others have decided to train to teach in schools or further education.

Choosing to Study Commercial Music at Canterbury Christ Church University has been a fantastic decision. From day one it enables you to gain a further understanding of the commercial music industry, whilst developing the skills needed to become a part of it. University has given me the confidence and the platform to perform original music and advance my skills in a professional working environment.

OliverCommercial Music graduate

Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

of our Commercial Music students were in jobs or further study 15 months after finishing their course.


The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK** Overseas***
Full-time £9,250 £14,500
Part-time £4,625 £7,250

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

**Home (UK) Fees

The fees above are for the 2022/23 academic year but may be subject to change following any announcements by the UK Government (approved by Parliament) regarding maximum Undergraduate tuition fee caps for 2022/23.

In addition, the University reserves the right to increase all full-time and part-time Undergraduate tuition fees mid-course, in line with any further inflationary increase in the Government tuition fee cap which is approved by Parliament. The University will publish information about any changes to tuition fees on its website.

***Overseas Fees (including EU fees):

Undergraduate Overseas tuition fees for International students are not subject to the Government’s regulations on maximum tuition fees.

An International student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500 will be applied to all Full-time Undergraduate courses with a tuition fee of £14,500.

Further information can be found on the following weblink which will be updated for 2022/23 entrants in due course:

Industry links

The University is a partner and principal sponsor of the Canterbury Festival. 

DJ/Producer Matthew Herbert is one of our Artistic Researchers

Regulated by the Office for Students

The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

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