This heavily practical course is suitable for students who are serious about following a career in the music industry. You will be taught by industry professionals who will provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience 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, which we then build upon in year two, preparing you for employment or further study.
We will provide you with 360 knowledge of the music industry and teach you the necessary tools to develop you in to a well-rounded and versatile producer with an understanding of employment avenues within the industry.
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 a track you have produced (on any piece of software) to a good standard (details will be sent out once you apply). 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.
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)
The course as a whole focusses on you as an electronic based producer/artist and develops your core skills in this area of production as well as opening opportunities beyond; such as a commercial composer for TV/film/Games or sample library producer. Throughout the two years you will be continually producing tracks, both in your own chosen style and for an array of commercial briefs.
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, using effects and much more. 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 producing releasable quality tracks.
Building on the foundations we have put in place during your first year, year two explores more complex subjects such as synthesis, sound design, songwriting and Foley â€“ all designed to enhance to creativity within your tracks, enabling you to finish the course with a large portfolio of professional quality work. Year two also includes more focus on careers and employment options for when the course finishes. Throughout both years we expect all students to be regularly releasing their own music and exploring online platforms for promotion and employment.
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.
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 formative 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 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. 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?
You will be required to purchase high quality closed headphones (with a large jack end), 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.
We use Logic Pro X within the department to teach on.