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Accredited music journalism diploma

Music journalism level 3 diploma

Course summary

£294.50 incl VAT. Payment options
3 x monthly payments of £98.16. No charges, interest or credit checks.
Julian Brouwer
An interest in music. Take our journalism challenge! 
Duration / hours:
Approximately 60-80 hours of study. You work at your own pace
ABC Awards level 3 diploma
Awarding body:
ABC Awards

Course review

Andrew Goodwin: music journalism course

The course was incredibly informative, I learnt a lot of new things. I found it a pleasure to do and really enjoyed it, with the help of Cleland and the team it was easy to navigate through it to the end!

Andrew Goodwin: music journalism course

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Brian Thompson: music journalism course

I work full time so this distance learning really appealed to me. The course was interesting and I have learned so much from it. If I had a query, I emailed and got a response almost right away. I would definitely recommend the course to a friend.

Brian Thompson: music journalism course

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Natasha Ferguson: music journalism course

CMP genuinely want you to become who you set out to be. I had the most incredible tutor I could have wished for.

My confidence and self-esteem has been restored over the last few years, and being a part of the CMP clique made that all happen.

Natasha Ferguson: music journalism course

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Leon Byrne: music journalism course

This course gave me an insight into the world of music writing and journalism. The tutorial support was excellent. Recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Leon Byrne: music journalism course

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Natalie Artemas-Polak: music journalism course

The course very much met my expectations. The tutorial support was super. The support was very straightforward and honest.

There was a good deal of constructive criticism, but always with positive reinforcement.

Natalie Artemas-Polak: music journalism course

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Course overview

Music journalism course students enjoying a concertOur music journalism course equips you with the skills you need for a successful career as freelancer, staff writer or blogger.

With the right skills and training, you could be paid to write about your passion, even if you are a complete beginner.

Music magazines, websites and blogs have a constant need for professionally-written, opinionated and colourful copy.

Our online music journalism course trains you to identify these markets and produce the content they want to publish.

Since completing the course, Adam Adshead has been signed up to write regular articles and reviews for NME’s website. See news article

We also give you a thorough grounding in key journalism skills, including record-keeping, covering live events and maintaining that all-important contacts book.

Most importantly, our course prepares students for success, even before they graduate!

While studying with us, Aymer Nelson got the opportunity to interview his hero, Jason Newsted, Metallica's longest-serving bassist. See news feed

Our comprehensive online music journalism course will teach you how to:

  • develop ideas suitable for a range of music-related publications
  • source information, conduct research and carry out effective interviews
  • write music news, reviews and features for a range of publications
  • apply media law and ethics to the world of music journalism
  • sell your work and get paid

You will also benefit from unlimited tutor support every step of the way, including personalised feedback on every assignment.

When you graduate, you will receive the ABC awards certificate of achievment, and the accredited CMP diploma in music journalism. Both qualifications are industry recognised, and prove you are a certified music journalist.

See course reviews | See our alumni

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ABC awards logoAt the end of this course, successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards, and a Learner Unit Summary, which lists the details of all the subjects they have completed as part of the course.

This music journalism course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards’ Quality Licence Scheme

We will also email you the fully accredited CMP diploma in music journalism, which is an industry recognised qualification that proves you are a qualified music journalist.

These awards will enable you to apply for music journalism jobs, develop your career, or help you find freelance work.


This course covers everything you need to know to get started as a music journalist.

Lesson 01: Introduction to music journalism
  • Examine what the music journalist does, and where you fit in
  • Analyse music magazines, and the music pages of local and national printed media and their websites, so you can generate article ideas and write relevant content
Lesson 02: Copy presentation and terminology
  • Submit music articles to printed and multimedia platforms in recognised formats
  • Learn industry jargon to communicate clearly with journalists, editors and publishers
Lesson 03: Notebook discipline and record keeping
  • Store and retain music journalism data safely, ethically and legally

Lesson 04: Contacts book
  • Record your contacts' information safely, legally and efficiently
Lesson 05: Sources and output
  • Use your music skills, knowledge, contacts and experience to produce articles to sell
  • Find original ideas for music articles using the internet and social media searches, and advanced data scraping techniques
  • Prepare your music stories and features for publication in print, online and on social media, and digital platforms
Lesson 06: Using a style guide
  • Ensure your music stories and features are presented consistently
Lesson 07: Who publishes what
  • Define different types of news
  • Understand different types of magazines, what they publish and who to
Lesson 08: Interviewing
  • Interview celebrities, and people who work with them, in person, online and by phone: everyone from artists to festival fanatics, and roadies to managers
  • Prepare to interview VIPs and celebrities
Lesson 09: Newswriting techniques
  • Write music articles that are suitable for print, the web and social media
  • Attract the reader's attention by writing compelling starts to your music articles
  • Maintain the reader's interest in your music articles from start to finish
Lesson 10: Independent Press Standards Organisation: regulatory code
  • Adhere to the media's regulatory framework in your music journalism activities, especially privacy, harassment and the use of photos
Lesson 11: Feature writing
  • Write all kinds of music features: reviews, previews, guides, backgrounders, lists and profiles
Lesson 12: Press releases and handouts
  • Use music press releases to produce original articles
Lesson 13: Events, gigs and press conferences
  • Use live blogging and traditional reporting skills to cover gigs, festivals, receptions and other events
Lesson 14: Media law basics
  • Keep your music copy safe from libel, copyright, confidence, data protection and privacy actions, and learn other laws affecting music journalists
Lesson 15: Selling your work
  • Pitch your articles to the music media: who to approach, how and when, so you can negotiate the best deal

Where you could fit in as a music journalist

If you love music and enjoy writing, this might just be the perfect career! Our online music journalism course can help you to:

  • sell articles to leading music publications
  • work as a staff writer for print or online titles
  • set up and promote your own music blog

To succeed as a music writer, you need thorough knowledge of your subject, the ability to stay up-to-date with the music scene and solid journalism skills.

You also need to produce well-researched and entertainingly-written articles that let your personality and that of your interviewees shine through.

People love to read all about their favourite musicians and it’s your job to portray them accurately, without coming across too cynical or fawning.

Because you will be speaking to musical artists, PR reps and other industry figures, you also need to be confident, persistent and tactful. That especially applies when you're approaching someone whose work you’ve given a less than flattering review!

As a music journalist, you could be:

  • interviewing the world’s biggest music stars for a leading industry magazine
  • publicising the hottest emerging talent on your popular music blog
  • reviewing the latest album and single releases before they’re available to download
  • attending live gigs for free and enjoying full press access

After successfully completing our course, Richard Chamberlain landed a highly sought-after staff writing job on top music magazine, Rhythm. See our news feed

Another of our successful graduates, Leon Byrne, landed a position reviewing new music for Northern Irish music website, Chord Blossom. See our news feed

If you’re tuned into writing about your favourite bands and genres, and getting paid for your efforts, our comprehensive online music journalism course is a proven route to success.

CMP Charter Mark

CMP charter markThe Charter Mark is our assurance of accredited educational quality.

We award it to students who have graduated from one of our courses or training programmes. It helps them to find work.

Holders are licensed to use it on their websites, stationery, and social media profiles.

The Charter Mark guarantees that holders have achieved set standards of competence in a given field.

It gives employers confidence that applicants for staff positions or freelance work have received accredited training and independent assessment.

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Course tutor: Julian BrouwerIan Campbell

Journalist | columnist | reviewer | editor

UK national newspapers | UK magazines | New York magazines

Julian is a journalist with 20 years' experience.

He had his own music column that was syndicated across local newspapers in London, and has written about everything from the Rolling Stones to local pub gigs.

He will mark your work, answer your questions and give you friendly help and advice.

More about Julian

This course gets results

Our graduates get articles published most days. Many of them have gone on to become successful freelancers, and make a good living from writing.

And don't take our word for it: 

See course successes

We'll connect you with the right people

Music journalism is about knowing the right people: the editors, the publishers and the staff journalists who make the decisions.

Our tutors have a huge range of active contacts on newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and radio / TV stations. They can make personal introductions for you when it is appropriate.

We have arrangements with top news and feature agencies. If your work is good enough, they will sell it for you, and split the proceeds with you 60-40%. You get the 60%!

And we also have databases with the contact details of thousands of UK newspaper, magazine and radio journalists - essential when you are selling work, looking for work experience or job hunting.

Many of our students already have the experiences, skills and relationships to produce article ideas.

We have the expertise to turn those ideas into marketable content, and the contacts to help them get it published.

Course delivery

You will have access to our Online Learning Area, where you can:

  • download course materials
  • submit assignments
  • use our college libraries and resources
  • chat to other students
  • keep up-to-date with college news

Our turn-around time for marking work is three working days. We usually provide same-day tutorial support on weekdays.

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When you finish

When you complete the course, you will receive two respected qualifications:

These recognised awards will add value to your CV, and help when you apply for journalism jobs or freelance work.

What you need to study music journalism

  • access to a computer, tablet or similar device
  • internet access
  • Microsoft Word or equivalent: OpenOffice, iWork pages
  • an email account
  • a camera and a video recorder. Smartphones or tablets are acceptable

Course reviews

The course was incredibly informative, I learnt a lot of new things. Ifound it a pleasure to do and really enjoyed it, with the help of Cleland and the team it was easy to navigate through it to the end! Andrew Goodwin

This course gave me an insight into the world of music writing and journalism. The tutorial support was excellent. Recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. Without a doubt.
Leon Byrne

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