New MA aims for equality in songwriting


ICMP’s songwriting students in action

The London-based Institute strives for 50:50 split between female and male students with a new Masters degree course for songwriters

London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has developed a new Songwriting MA in direct response to recent research findings by British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) that female composers are under-represented in the music industry. The Institute’s BA in Songwriting is made up of a rare 50:50 split of women and men, and the course team’s ambition is to see this equality also reflected at Masters level.

The research project, Equality And Diversity In New Music Commissioning, was implemented by BASCA to compare the demographic of composers receiving commissions with the demographics of those with the talent and ambition to become composers. The team discovered that 36% of composition students were female, compared to only 21% of commissioned composers.

“By offering our new Masters degree in Songwriting, we are increasing opportunities for composers to attain higher levels of skill, qualification and, importantly, confidence,” explains ICMP’s Head of Songwriting, Sophie Daniels. “Within the context of respecting difference, the Institute is committed to ensuring there is equal opportunity for all, and we hope our actions positively contribute to achieving equality in composition.”

The MA is a creative programme designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both practical and analytical songwriting education. Students identify the conditions in which they create their best work, and carry out academic research before generating a new major repertoire work or a dissertation.

For further details on the MA in Songwriting, visit

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