Certificate of Higher Education Songwriting

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A 1 year full-time course available at:

*Subject to approval

Aspiring lyricists and composers will love our practical songwriting programme. During this year-long musical adventure, you’ll be based in Berlin, one of our Creative Capitals. Here, you’ll be surrounded by a diverse array of artists and a rich musical history.

Berlin may be famous for its thriving techno scene, but you will find every music genre imaginable here today, with venues and festivals that cater to every taste. With a community that embraces diversity and non-conformity, there’s space for you to be whoever you want to be.

If you’re someone who thrives on action, experimentation and pushing boundaries, BIMM University is the right choice for you. We want to help you bring your wildest ideas to life, and equip you with the resources, knowledge and connections to do just that. You can attend our legendary masterclasses, and you’ll be taught by lecturers who actively work in the creative industries.


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The songwriting pathway combines music theory with essential songwriting methodologies, allowing you to develop a deep understanding of all areas of song composition.

Collaboration is a significant element of the course. You’ll join forces with talented students from a variety of different backgrounds and with a whole host of interests. This isn’t just about music; it’s about imagining the possibilities when different creative disciplines merge.

In our Styles and Genres module, you’ll broaden your knowledge of musical traditions and familiarise yourself with different cultural rhythms, melodies, and compositional structures. This will inspire you to create songs that will resonate with people all over the world.

As you sharpen your songwriting skills, you’ll build a bespoke creative portfolio. This will be informed by the ‘Studio Project’ module, which is designed to immerse students in real-world working practices.

So, if you’re ready to create music, and to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime, then join us in Berlin and let your creativity soar.

Course Specification

Mode of attendance: Full-time

Length of course: 1 year

Awarding institution: BIMM University (UK)

Campus delivery: Berlin

Language of study: English

Credits: 60 ECTS/ 120 FHEQ (UK)

Final award: Dependent on pathway, one of the following:

  • CertHE Music (Popular Music Performance)
  • CertHE Music (Songwriting)
  • CertHE Music (Music Production)

The CertHE course is only available to students who do not require a visa to study in Germany.

Minimum Requirements

All applicants must successfully complete an entrance interview with BIMM University Berlin (details provided on application).

Academic entry criteria meeting a minimum of 32 UCAS points, equivalent to:

  • General Higher Education entrance certificate (Award of Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife/ Abitur, or a Fachgebundene Hochschulreife/ Fachhochschulreife) with an overall average grade of 3.4, including a minimum grade of 10 on the English component (Leistungsfach) on the Abiturprüfung.
  • 2 A-levels at Grade C or above, or BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and at least three GCSEs at a minimum grade C/4, including English Language.
  • Please reference the Entry Requirements webpage for additional international qualification equivalencies. For applicants with significant prior professional experience and aged 19-years or older, offers may be made under the BIMM University Recognition of Prior Practice Policy.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency is required if English is not your first language. BIMM University Berlin requires equivalent to Level B2 CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).​

Course Fees

We’re dedicated to giving our students the best education possible – which means accessing our globally successful first-rate lecturers in premium locations at the heart of Germany’s creative scene.

Such cutting-edge facilities can be expensive, but we make sure all BIMM University Berlin courses are great value for money – representing a practical and affordable investment for your future career in the industry.

Year 1

All students take the following core modules.


Developing collaborative arranging skills as a songwriter can bring many benefits to your music. Firstly, it can enhance your creativity by exposing you to new ideas and perspectives. Collaborating with other musicians can bring in different musical influences and styles, resulting in a more diverse and unique sound for your music. Secondly, it can improve your musicianship as you work with other musicians who may possess different skills and techniques. This can help you expand your musical knowledge and improve your timing, rhythm, and harmony. Collaborating can also increase productivity, making the songwriting process more efficient and effective.

Module Aims

In this module, you will be taken through the process of arranging and rehearsing your composition to a standard suitable for a performance. Whether you are part of the performance or leading it as a writer/MD, you will be guided through the creative process utilising musicians to achieve your desired outcome for an original composition. This will be supported by the skills and knowledge developed in your semester one modules and will provide you with the tools to create and realise your vision for the composition.

You will receive feedback and guidance on the arranging process from your lecturers and peers and learn the dynamics required to manage creative Individuals to help achieve a common goal of a live performance. Additionally, this module will help you develop the following graduate attributes:

  • Creativity and connectivity
  • Self-awareness
  • Professionalism

The techniques module enables you to explore songwriting through a carefully constructed programme of practical creative tasks. The course is delivered by a teaching team of established, published contemporary songwriters. Career planning, research and freelance skills are embedded in the curriculum, and you will also benefit from opportunities to collaborate with production and performance students.

Further study will be the building blocks of songwriting: chord theory, melody, harmony, lyrics and rhythm. The module involves aural perception, giving you the opportunity to develop your musical ear and recognise intervals and chord sequences by listening.

The module will take a traditional view of songwriting as well as contemporary, by exploring how approaches have changed over time. There will be writing partnerships, giving you the ability to collaborate effectively. Chord theory, structure and writing intuitively will be the focus of the module, as well as an introduction to lyrical and poetic devices.


Music theory is the language and building blocks of all compositions and is a powerful creative tool that established composers and artists/songwriters use to convey their artistic vision. Gaining a foundational level of music theory can help songwriters become more versatile composers and can enhance their ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with musicians and industry professionals. It can enhance creativity by providing essential knowledge on how music is created, allowing for more interesting chord progressions, melodies, and song structures.. Additionally, music theory can make songwriting more efficient, as it allows songwriters to quickly identify what chords, harmony and melodies work to help convey the emotional intent of the song.

Module Aims

You will study music theory used in popular music. Many important aspects of the way music works will be studied, with a firm emphasis on making the content practical and appropriate in today’s creative environment for the composing, recording and performing musician. The module will cover important music theory concepts in a way that helps you to use fundamental theory in modern compositions and recordings.

In this module, you will explore performance in its many forms, drawing not only on classic and contemporary musical performances but also taking inspiration from the broader arts such as theatre and contemporary art to create your own artistic vision. You’ll go from simply playing your songs, to researching ideas for inspiration, to collaborating through improvisation and planning a unique ensemble performance either as a songwriter/performer or as a songwriter/ musical director. In either instance, it is necessary for you to contribute to the songwriting aspect of the composition performed for your assessment.

Throughout, you’ll be supported by a team of experienced lecturers in experimenting with fresh arrangements, stagecraft, and sound and visuals; all helping to bring your ideas to life while building your confidence and independence as a songwriter and/or artist.

Styles and Genres is concerned with the deconstruction of musical and non-musical elements that create successful popular songs. This module will analyse the historical, social and biographical contexts that may have had a bearing on specific musical genres and notable songwriters, as well as examining external influences on these styles.

The module will require you to employ critical listening and aural perception to analyse music and lyrics objectively in order to understand how songs may work on us subjectively. This module will also look to broaden your songwriting vocabulary via the creation of an original work/song, in addition to providing a platform for self-reflection on the skills and aptitudes necessary for lifelong learning in this field.


Developing skills in Digital Audio Workstation recording, arrangement and mixing techniques are essential for songwriters to create polished and professional-sounding compositions. Additionally, arrangement techniques are crucial for songwriters to give shape and structure to their musical ideas and to create a cohesive and compelling musical expression. By developing these skills, songwriters can effectively express their creative ideas and communicate a creative vision with greater precision.

Module Aims

This module will allow you to build your music theory, arrangement, and aural perception skills and use these to support a more in-depth study of mixing and arrangement techniques using a (DAW).

Full module description to be confirmed

Any questions?

For any questions regarding our courses or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM University Berlin, please contact our Admissions Team on +49 (0)30 311 99 186 or email admissions@bimm-institute.de.


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