About the course
This heavily practical course is focused on music performance and songwriting and is aimed at students who wish to grow their skills and professionalism as a musician, songwriter, and performer. You will learn a range of skills to help support your musical careers, such as music production, application of music theory, and visual design. You will undergo a mixture of band and solo work throughout the course, with a high percentage of students progressing their acts outside of college.
Year one of the course will provide you with the core skills to challenge your abilities in performance and production, which we then build upon in year two, preparing you for employment or further study.
We will explore the music industry and teach you the necessary tools to develop you into a well-rounded and versatile musician with an understanding of employment avenues within the industry.
It is strongly suggested that you already have some kind of performance experience, and have worked with other musicians before.
Five GCSEs Grade 4 or above and/or a Level 2 Diploma at merit grade.
We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you bringing in two videos/recordings of you performing/playing your instrument to a good standard (details will be sent out once you apply). If you are successful during the interview stage, we will invite you in for a formal audition later in the year.
We expect a minimum of 95% attendance and full engagement in every lesson and will regularly be reviewing your progress to ensure this is the right course for you.
Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE 9 to 4 in maths and English will need to continue to study these subjects alongside the main course.
You will complete this course with a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production (equivalent to 3 A Levels at A* for a distinction overall)
Year one is graded as a Level 3 Diploma and year two as an Extended Diploma.
Your final grade for year one will be pass, merit or distinction.
For year two this will be pass, high pass, merit, high merit or distinction.
What you'll learn (core modules)
You will attend College for a minimum of three days a week but will be expected to work for an additional fifteen hours per week at home completing assignments, revising, researching, practising and preparing for lessons.
The following provides a guide outline for the course content:
In year one we will explore and develop key compositional and performance skills. You will apply these to a variety of projects and performances/gigs throughout the year. Other lessons include Music Business, Music Theory, Listening Skills, and Music & Society. All of which will give you a rounded overview and understanding of the music industry and pathways within it. We give you the freedom and encourage you to explore and experiment with music performance, composition, songwriting and artistic identity. Each project/assignment can be tailored to your musical growth, style, and aspirations with clear aims for developing your practical skills and understanding of the music industry. This is a time to find your feet, establish your bands/groups/artists, gain an understanding of the ever-changing music industry, and start applying it to your prospects within music.
In year two there will be a strong focus on industry and careers. Applying music business to your projects/bands/groups/artists inside or outside of college is a key focal point throughout careers lessons and business lessons. There will be more performance opportunities through the Digital Saint gigs that we put on throughout the year, 'Live Lounge' style recording sessions, and opportunities outside of the college. We will continue to encourage exploration and experimentation of music performance and composition throughout live performance workshops and advanced composition classes. You will explore lots of career paths/opportunities from foley and sound design to backline tech to community music. All of which will give you additional skills and knowledge which will help you with your growth as a musician and your implementation of professional practices.
Industry insight into UAL Music Performance and Production
Tutors' insights into UAL Music Performance and Production
Students' insights into UAL Music Performance and Production
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 attend a variety of music events throughout the year.
How will I be assessed?
Throughout the course you will generate a portfolio of evidence to show how you are developing as a professional musician. We use Google Classroom which allows us to provide you with ongoing formative feedback and discussion. You will be producing practical work including compositions, live performances and presentations alongside mood boards, evaluations and research documentation.
We make our assignments industry focussed and relevant - we do not ask you to do anything which doesn't develop the necessary skills to be successful within the industry.
Your grade for year one and year two is based upon a large project of your choosing. You work on this at the end of each year, and so long as it fits within the boundaries of the qualification, this could anything from writing an EP or and album, to arranging a large show, to going on tour, to marketing and promoting yourself as a band/solo artist - the list is as big as your imagination will allow.
Where will the course take me?
Following successful completion of the course, we have a range of course options available such as the Level 4 in Music Performance / Creative Arts Business and Enterprise as well as our BA(Hons) Degree in Creative and Commercial Music. We ensure that everyone has a clear plan for progression on to further study or employment.
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. It isn't just a dream job, 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?
You will be required to purchase high quality closed headphones (with a large jack end), ear protection a USB 3.0 memory stick/hard drive and stationery before the course starts. In addition, you will be required to bring your music instrument with you for certain sessions, and this must be in full working order and regularly maintained (drums and keyboards are available at college).
Access to a personal Macbook/Laptop and software is ideal, but not a necessity.
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 2023