Middlesex University London and the Association of Independent Music partner on pioneering Music Business MA for industry professionals

The programme follows in MDX's strong tradition of distance education, in particular delivering MA Professional Practice programmes.

London, 6th July 2022

Middlesex University London (MDX) and leading music industry body the Association of Independent Music (AIM) are proud to announce an exciting collaboration on an MA Music Business programme by distance education.

The MA is designed for music industry professionals, such as emerging artists and executives, who seek a formal qualification to ground their skills and experience. Students will study alongside their working commitments. The first cohort is due to begin in September 2022.

The programme follows in MDX’s strong tradition of distance education, in particular delivering MA Professional Practice programmes. Building on this successful model, the new MA Music Business incorporates a blend of workplace reflection and taught content. It chimes closely with MDX’s ten year strategy around opening opportunities to groups under-represented in professional fields, and nurturing both radical creativity and workplace skills.

The course has been developed in close collaboration with AIM, the not-for-profit organisation representing and supporting the UK’s independent music community, which makes up over a quarter of the UK’s recorded music market. AIM was instrumental in designing the structure and content, as well as participating in the approvals processes for the programme with the University’s administration.

AIM’s CEO Paul Pacifico, by background a music entrepreneur and performer, and previously CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, was inspired to launch the partnership, having just completed the MA Professional Practice at MDX.

“I have a deep commitment to social justice, diversity and inclusion and making sure that there is a level playing field,” said Paul. “AIM is there to make space for new entrants to the market and for people who have come from unexpected places and do something brilliant. That’s what we’re all about.

“The more we can do in our sector to benchmark professionalism and validate skills and knowledge, the better. The skills you acquire when you work in music are so transferable, a lot of them are undervalued and under-recognised.”

AIM’s Professional Development Lead, Nina Radojewski, said: “We are excited to show our members and other industry professionals how valuable and accessible contemporary approaches to formal study can be these days, no matter if they’re a senior executive or in an entry-level role.”

Head of Performing Arts at MDX Dr Lesley Main, Director of Music Programmes Professor Peter Fribbins, and Associate Professor in Music and the Creative Industries Dr Richard Osborne have been heavily involved in the development of the programme. Dr Osborne will take the role of Programme Leader for the MA.

“‘It is tremendously exciting to be working on this programme, which will help music industry professionals to gain the academic recognition and career progression that their work richly deserves,” said Dr Richard Osborne.

“The new MA Music Business is innovative, inclusive and really exciting,” said Dr Lesley Main. “Because AIM is a trade body, there are possibilities to connect with other trade bodies to initiate further invaluable collaborations and professional opportunities”.

Now in its 23rd year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most-respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world, to DIY or self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music: including 4AD, Beggars Group, Black Acre, CTRL Music, Dirty Hit, Domino Recording Co, Hospital Records, Killing Moon Group, FAMM, Ninja Tune, Numbers, Transgressive, Secretly Canadian, Supernature, Warp, and XL Recordings.

AIM exists to level the playing field for UK independent music businesses, the beating heart of music. No matter their genre, background, how much money they have, how they identify or their age, AIM provides access to the knowledge and contacts creative entrepreneurs need to create, build and win. AIM supports its members not only through the difficult times but also on a day-to-day level with practical support that makes a real difference to their lives and work, helping them take their businesses to the next level.

MDX is also developing other areas of activity with AIM in an ongoing partnership.

Full details about the course can be found here. International AIM applicants are eligible for a fee discount to ensure all AIM members pay the same course fee.


AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector. Our members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music.