About the course
This highly practical course is one of the only Level 3 courses available tailored to electronic music production. It is suitable for students who are serious about following a musical career, specifically within the field of electronic music, be it producer, beat maker, composer or recording artist. You will be taught by music professionals with specific electronic music experience who will provide you with the skills and knowledge to expand your productions/tracks and to 'get out there' and start pushing your career forward, using a mixture of software and hardware.
You will study a range of topics, with year one providing you with the core skills to challenge your abilities in music production and composition (including drum programming and music theory), which we then build upon in year two (including synthesis, promotion and business), preparing you for employment or further study.
We will provide you with rounded knowledge of the music industry and provide you with the necessary tools to become a versatile producer/artist with a working understanding of employment avenues within the industry.
In 2022 three of the 10 tracks chosen nationally by our awarding body UAL for their festival of excellence were taken directly from students on this specific course (from both year one and two) demonstrating the level of professionalism achievable.
Five GCSEs grade 4 or above and/or a Level 2 Diploma at merit grade. Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE grade 9 to 4 in maths and/or English will need to continue to study these subjects alongside the main course.
We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you bringing in a track you have produced (on any piece of software) to a good standard. If you are successful during the interview stage and are offered a place on the course, we will invite you in for a practical production workshop later in the year to assess your skills to ensure these are at the right level for this course.
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.
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)
The course has been designed to focus on you as an electronic-based producer or artist and will develop your core skills in this area of production as well as providing further opportunities such as TV/film or games composition, beat maker or sample library producer. Throughout the two-year course you will be continually producing tracks, both in your own chosen style and for an array of commercial briefs, to provide you with a wide portfolio of finished work and their associated skills.
Your first year is predominantly focussed on ensuring your core production and composition skills are in place and to ensure that you are fully prepared in all aspects of electronic music production. This includes beat/drum programming, song structure, use of effects and other foundations of electronic music production. This is supported by developing your understanding of practical music theory, critical listening, and industry awareness. We build on this throughout the course, and by the end of year one you will be aiming to produce releasable, quality tracks.
Building on the foundations we have put in place during your first year, year two explores more complex subjects such as remixing, synthesis, sound design/Foley and producing on a range of hardware (synths, drum machines, etc.) as well as software - all designed to enhance creativity within your tracks, enabling you to finish the course with a large portfolio of professional quality work.
Throughout both years we expect all students to be regularly writing and releasing their own music and exploring online platforms for promotion and employment.
Benefits, skills and character strengths
There are numerous opportunities to compose/produce music for various projects both within and outside of the college, perform in the local community and to attend a variety of music events throughout the year. Students have previously created bespoke soundtracks for dance shows and student films as well collaborating with musicians from the other creative courses we provide.
Throughout the duration of the course, we strive to provide a creative, safe space for students to try out new ideas, practice their skills and develop their own personal style, with ongoing evaluation and professional, constructive feedback.
How will I be assessed?
Throughout the course you will generate a portfolio of evidence to show how you are developing as a professional producer. We use Google Classroom which allows us to provide you with ongoing feedback and discussion. You will be producing practical work including compositions, remixes and sample packs in addition to presentations, mood boards, evaluations and research documentation.
We make our assignments industry focussed and relevant - we don't 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 an album, remixing existing artists, composing for film, to going on tour, to marketing and promoting yourself as an artist - the list is as big as your imagination will allow.
Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)
The EMP lab is located on the sixth form campus. Each student will have use of a Mac, running Logic Pro X, Native Instrument Komplete and Serum synths. Each workstation is equipped with a controller keyboard and Focusrite soundcard. Within the lab, you have access to multiple hardware synthesisers and drum machines, including a Prophet, Moog and Theramin, to name but a few. You also have access to three new edit suites, all equipped with dual-screen monitors, speakers, weighted keys and software.
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 Music Production. 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. A career in the industry is not unattainable, there are numerous opportunities out there.
Will I need any materials or equipment?
You will be required to purchase high quality closed headphones (with a large jack end or an adaptor), a USB 3.0 memory stick/hard drive and stationery before the course starts.
Access to a personal Macbook/Laptop and software is ideal, but not a necessity.
Days & times
Starting September 2023