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Not sure? No problem

Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-18 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

Looking to take a gap year before uni, or still in the process of making plans? Love making and performing music? This course could be the answer you've been looking for.


The course is about you, and your long term musical plans. Our aim is to provide you with a strong platform for employment within the live performance industry, whether that is as an independent artist, a session musician, teacher or performing as part of a function band - you decide your path, and we support you along the way.


You will develop professional skills, artistic identity and networking opportunities, setting you up for a future in one of the most amazing industries in the world!



Entry requirements

Level 3 vocational qualification with a minimum of a Merit grade / 3 A-levels A*-C.


Applicants will be interviewed and will undergo an audition prior to a place being offered. 


Do not be put off if you haven't studied music at Level 3, we'll assess individual circumstances during the interview.


You will complete the course with a UAL 'Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance' qualification which carries the same weight as the first year of a Honours degree. If you are 18 when the course starts, and you do not have a grade C / 4 in Maths or English prior to the course commencing, you will be required to study these subjects in addition to the main qualification.

What you'll learn (core modules)

The course will focus on the development of professional rehearsal and performance techniques; all of which is underpinned by theory and expectations from the industry. You will be given challenging projects to work towards, encompassing different scenarios and genres, ensuring that you develop as a rounded and versatile musicians. We spend the first half term getting to know you, then use the remainder of the course to develop your own artistic identity which is then explored through a large scale final performance project. You will focus on employment opportunities to monetise your skills, supported by key business and marketing tools for working musicians. In addition, we work with you to hone your songwriting and production skills, ensuring you finish as a well-rounded, focussed musician.


Benefits, skills and character strengths

We have a record label called 'Digital Saint Records' and commercially release compilations throughout the year on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Amazon Music to name but a few. All students are given the opportunity to submit a track for consideration, and our in house A&R team review and select tracks. If you don't make the album, you will be given support to help you prepare for forthcoming releases. 


There are numerous opportunities to compose music for projects, perform in the local community and to attend a variety of music events throughout the year. You will plan and run a professional show at The Apex, in addition to your own portfolio of live performances.

How will I be assessed?

Your final grade for this course will be PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION.

You will generate a portfolio of evidence to support your ongoing personal musical development. This will be supported by research and evaluative skills.

The final grade for the course is based upon a final project, that will involve considerable research and practical work. This could be a large scale recording project, a tour, a professional showcase/recital or a themed music event - the options for a final project will be discussed throughout the year, but it is 100% about you, and your aspirations. 


Where will the course take me?

Following successful completion of the course, we have a range of course options available such as our BA(Hons) Degree in Creative and Commercial Music and the Bsc(Hons) in Live Sound. We ensure that everyone has a clear plan for progression on to further study or employment. In some cases it is possible to APL straight on to year 2 of a performance based degree (including our very own BA), we will advise you on this.

Our ex-students tour the world as musicians, sound engineers and event managers. We have other students who work as professional composers for games, film and TV as well as artists in their own right. A career in the industry is not unattainable, there are numerous opportunities out there - the music industry is showing continued growth and is currently valued at £4.5bn.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Learners will be required to provide their own instrument and accessories. There will be numerous performance opportunities that will require access to transport outside of timetabled hours.

Abstraction Festival
Abstraction Festival 1
Best of Bond show
Drum riser for Best of Bond show
Finale pyros for Best of Bond show
Lighting design
Live Mixing
Live at the Hunter Club
Live sound for Quadrophonic show
Now Thats What I Call 80s 90s Show 1
Now Thats What I Call 80s 90s show
Penultimate Show
Pyros at Songs from Silver Screen show
Shrubbery Recording Studio
Shrubbery Recording Studio 2
Shrubbery Recording Studio 3
Shrubbery Recording Studio Desk
Shrubbery Recording Studio Tape machine
Shrubbery Recording Studio outboard
Shrubbery Recording Studio patch bay and synths
Shrubbery Studio Live Room
Stage design for Live Lounge Jukebox
Stage setup for Girl Power show
Tech student on sound
The Live sound desk

How much will it cost?

The course is free to anyone who is under 19 when the course starts.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

If you would like to find out more, please come along to one of our open events published on the college website or call the main college line.

Alternatively, keep an eye on our website or social pages for upcoming shows and events- we would love to see you there:



Days & times

Starting September 2020

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