ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music)
ACM (The Academy of Contemporary Music) is the UK's leading music industry education provider, made up of ACM Guildford, ACM London and ACM@Metropolis. ACM has been training artists, musicians, producers and entrepreneurs for careers in the music industry since 1995. With state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty and extensive connections within the music industry, ACM offers music programmes that develop students to their maximum potential, surrounding them with like-minded individuals and instantly immersing them in the music industry.
The academy’s ‘learning by doing’ ethos helps to simplify how the industry works and produces a clear view of career paths and options. The detailed exposure to all aspects of the industry as it happens reveals options and destinations which greatly assists students in making clear choices and building the maps they need to guide them to a successful career in the music industry.
At ACM Guildford, students can choose from Music Performance or Music Technology Diplomas, as well as BA (Hons) Music Industry Practice degrees with specialist learning paths including the Musician Route, Creative Artist Route, Producer Route, Technical Services Route and the Music Business and Innovation Route.
ACM London delivers BA (Hons) degree programmes in Professional Music Performance, Creative Music Technology, Music Business and Innovation, and Commercial Songwriting, as well as Industry Qualification (IQ) courses in Songwriting and Artist Development and Music Production.
In addition to ACM's educational offering, music industry professionals are invited to come in and talk to the students. Each student benefits from subject-specific events, such as lectures from renowned players, producers or managers, as well as cross-discipline masterclasses from some of the top names in the world of music.
Tutors at ACM are expert educators with top-level industry experience who have a passion to inspire students to achieve their goals. They possess not only excellent music industry CVs, but also continue to be active professionals in today’s music industry. This ensures the curriculum content is up-to-date and cutting-edge, and key information can always be contextualised with real-world, present-day examples.
Notable ACM graduates include Matt Healy (The 1975), Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkner, Ebony Day, Ted Dwane (Mumford & Sons), Amelle Berrabah (Sugababes), Zomboy and Dan Flint and Chris Miller (You Me at Six).
ACM Guildford is situated in the Surrey market town of Guildford – a location with a long-standing rich arts and educational heritage, and a centre for the gaming industry – and an area that is fast becoming a cultural, commercial and learning destination. With a buzzing live music scene, large student population and a location just a short 30-minute journey from central London, it is the ideal place for beginning your music industry education.
ACM London is located in Clapham – a vibrant district of London that offers everything you could hope for with plenty of transport links to the rest of the city. The area is packed full of iconic clubs and bars, world-class music venues such as the O2 Academy Brixton, shopping facilities, restaurants, galleries, museums and other cultural attractions.
ACM@Metropolis can be found within Metropolis Studios – the Chiswick-based world-renowned recording complex where over 50% of the UK's chart music receives treatment. It’s just 20 minutes from the centre of London and the heart of the global music industry, with major record labels, music publishers, artist management companies, live promoters and agencies on its doorstep.
Degree courses at ACM Guildford and ACM@Metropolis are validated by Middlesex University, while Falmouth University validates all degree courses at ACM London. In addition, ACM’s degree status awards are reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). External examiners also have an essential role in assisting the university in maintaining the academic standards of its awards, with all programmes being awarded accreditation by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).
Across the three ACM colleges, there are 68 courses on offer, taught by established industry professionals and prestigious names who have succeeded in the music business.
ACM enjoys unique partnership relationships with some of the world’s top music brands, including ACM Guildford’s TAMA Drum-sponsored TAMA Artist room, packed full of the latest pro TAMA drumming gear, and the SSL Duality Studio which features kit by Solid State Logic, Mac, Pro Tools, Logic and Ableton Live. Visitors to the building’s Reception will notice a very special drum kit kindly on loan from Queen’s Roger Taylor when he visited to officially open the Roger Taylor Zildjian Studio.
ACM students enjoy a unique facility partnership with Metropolis Studios – Europe’s leading independent recording studio, and host to a plethora of industry names. Students have exclusive access to its iconic facilities during studio downtime, adding an extra layer of experience and giving them direct access to a functioning music industry business and all the benefits that brings. On a day-to-day level, this includes time in studios used by clients such as Will.i.am, Rhianna, Adele and Pharrell Williams, mastering sessions with legendary producers, behind-the-scenes video production experience with Metropolis Films, knowledge of the sync world via Metropolis Music Publishing, label involvement with Metropolis Recordings, and opportunities to be involved in branding and sponsorship events related to the music industry.
The Student Union represents all students at ACM. Besides being a place to meet new people, relax and recharge, it’s where social events and activities take place. Students have plenty to keep themselves busy, by immersing themselves fully into the art of music or trying something completely new.
Each year, the Student Body elects four students to run the SU in roles of President, Education and Welfare Officer, Events Officer and Societies Officer. They represent the academy’s student population, voicing opinions, issues and suggestions on behalf of everybody studying there.
ACM has a dedicated Industry Link department who are on hand for all students and alumni to assist them with networking, events and employment opportunities. Students are assisted with their own professional development, as well as connecting them to today’s music industry. Through regular networking events, work placements, performance showcases and audition opportunities, students can showcase their knowledge and talent to music industry executives (including representatives from labels, publishers and management companies) and gain feedback from those at the top. The department also offers regular tutorial and masterclass opportunities with visiting guests, and gives students access to Music Gateway – a social networking service that connects creatives directly with music industry professionals.
ACM works in partnership with Guildford YMCA providing a limited halls of residence provision for first year students. The YMCA is a youth-focused provider of accommodation providing a cafe-style breakfast and dinner, seven days a week. Each room includes a single bed, desk with chair, wardrobe, pinboard, flat screen television and high speed Wi-Fi internet. Standard rooms include a sink with bathroom facilities shared with one other room. En-suite options are also available for an extra charge. Prices start at £198 per week.
ACM Guildford students also have access to Scape Surrey – brand new student accommodation just a short walk away from Guildford train station and a ten minute walk to the Academy. Every room has a three-quarter bed, large study desk, private en suite bathroom, high speed Wi-Fi, noticeboard, plenty of storage, ambient lighting, colourful communal spaces and 24/7 security. Prices start from £195 per week.
Guildford: Degree £7,995 per year
ACM@Metropolis: Degree £7,995 per year
ACM London: Degree £9,000 per year
ACM London: Foundation / IQ £5,995
ACM Entry Requirements
BA (Hons) Music Industry Practice (all routes)
64 UCAS points
BA (Hons) Professional Music Performance
All candidates should hold A-Levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification.