Our story

The LCCM story first began in 2001, when Geoff Hemsley and Darius Khwaja resolved to found a new college for contemporary popular music in the centre of London. Their aim was to create a new approach to teaching music that mixed the best of the good universities and conservatoires with an art school environment. The course that emerged embedded production with performance, establishing LCCM as the first music college where all students had to master both performance and production; a development that was increasingly evident in the music industry.

Unique approach to specialist higher education

We believe that specialist higher education is best delivered:

  • in small groups with students supported by one to one tutorials
  • by top industry professionals who are also great teachers rather than academics
  • in a friendly, creative environment
  • with access to professional level facilities and resources
  • to high academic standards
  • with students focusing on how to collaborate and communicate effectively
  • with high level graduate skills embedded to ensure work-readiness for all sectors
  • with the alacrity and agility to adapt, improve and modernise continually

How LCCM grew

By January 2003, LCCM had moved into in its main building at 50-52 Union Street, London SE1 offering a two year full-time HND in Music Performance and Production and a one year NVQ Level 4 In Music Performance.

Between October 2003 and October 2007, the college grew from approximately 26 full-time students to 120. From 2006 discussions took place to form a collaborative link with a university. The aim was to take the core themes that underpinned the successful HND and develop them into a three-year bachelor of music degree with the addition of some clever new innovations for students. During this period the NVQ qualification was replaced with a BTEC Edexcel Level 4 Professional Diploma.

A collaborative link was agreed with Middlesex University (MU) in October 2007 with a view that from October 2008, LCCM would provide two programmes: a 3-year BMus (Hons) in Music Performance and Production with MU and a one-year HNC in Music Performance with Edexcel. Also in 2008, LCCM doubled the size of its buildings with the addition of a second site at 235 Union Street, SE1. With this expanded capacity, LCCM continued to grow and by 2011 had approximately 240 students.

Diversification

It became clear again that the music industry had continued to change and more specifically that music along with other forms of creative content were converging with the technologies and business models that produced, published and allowed users to consume them. After a number of years a new strategy had been devised. The plan recognised that just as the iPod and mp3 had changed music, the publishing industry was experiencing a similar transformation with the advent of e-readers and the popularity of downloadable books, many of which had soundtracks and some, enhanced with video content.

We realised that LCCM was uniquely placed to apply its innovative approach to specialist higher education to two new subjects. More importantly we believed that students on all of our degrees would be better educated and more employable if they collaborated together throughout their studies.

Work began on the development of the first degree for professional authors entitled “BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing” with a focus on how the written word was used across all formats, channels and platforms.

Sitting between the music degree and this new writing degree, we developed the first bachelor of science (BSc) in Digital Product Development which sought to radically improve how computer science and software engineering were taught. The BSc for software engineers took lean and agile principles from the software crafting industry and applied them within the framework of a high quality degree. This approach gives technologists what feels like 3 years in a “tech start-up” environment rather than the academic isolation of a traditional computer science degree.

LCCM also sought to expand its focus on the business side of music by adding a BA in Music Industry Management.

Completing this diversification, the college developed an MA programme in Creative Entrepreneurship to give graduates who had developed exciting business ideas that merged technology with music or writing or indeed commercial ventures that mixed all three together, an MA for entrepreneurs. LCCM the London Centre of Contemporary Music had become LCCM the London College of Creative Media.

A flagship new building

To realise this ambitious expansion, LCCM became an approved institution of The Open University and redeveloped its site on 235 Union Street into the Music Box, a brand new purpose-built creative campus at the heart of London’s cultural Southbank. In 2015 it redesigned its BMus to take full advantage of its new facilities and adapted its one year music provision into two distinct Cert HE programmes.

The future

We remain committed to the aims and principles that led us to establish LCCM, a college we still lead today. Our aim is to “transform higher education in music, writing, and software development by connecting our students to industry and investment.” LCCM Mission 2016-20.

We hope you join us.