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

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About the course

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.

You will study a range of topics, with year one providing 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 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 musician with an understanding of employment avenues within the industry.  

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs Grade 4 or above, including maths or English at Grade 3 or 4

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 practical performance workshop 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:

Year One




Sept – Dec

Jan – Mar

Apr - May





Composing for Media

Extended Project

· Functionality of Logic Pro X (input of MIDI and audio, edit, quantize, mix functions, gain structure, 48v, using DI and microphones)

· Structure

· Hooks

· Lyrics

· Melody Writing

· Dynamics

· Chord progressions

· Stylistic Elements/Genres


· Terminology

· Instrumentation

· Compositional techniques

· Instrument Ranges

· Sync


Session Styles

Performance Techniques

Extended Project

· Direct injection and live sound management

· Stylistic accuracy (tone, technique, groove)

· Rehearsal etiquette

· 'The 3 A's' – Accuracy, Audience, Attitude

· Using a metronome

· Developing artistic skills for different genres

· Original and cover rehearsals


· Preparing for and undertaking sound checks

· Rehearsing for a live performance

· Instrument maintenance

· Communicating with an audience

· Movement, image and visuals


Music and Society

Music and Society

Extended Project

· Origin of music

· Origin and development of music notation

· Contribution of slave music to western music

· Origin and development of radio technology

· Origin and development of recording technology

· Origin of electronic music and synthesisers

· Origin of the Blues

· Origin of Jazz


· Origin and development of the electric guitar and bass

· Origin and development of the drum set

· Big Band and Swing music

· Further development of recording technology

· Origin and development of country and western music

· Origin of early Rock and Roll - Rockabilly



Music Business for the Modern World

Music Business for the Modern World

Extended Project

· Do you dare to dream

· Structure of the music industry

· The changes and challenges of the modern industry

· Record labels

· Royalties

· Music synchronisation

· Music Publishing


· Writing a bio

· Writing a press release

· Using social media

· Marketing yourself and your product

· Developing a website

· Professionalism and work ethic



Listening Skills

Listening Skills

Extended Project

· Listening vs hearing

· How the ear works

· Identifying and analysing musical components in live and recorded music (structure, rhythm, harmony, tempo etc)

· Identifying and fixing faults.


· Identifying and analysing sonic components in live and recorded music (EQ, compression, mix, blend, clarity, mastering, balance, effects, edits etc)

· Individual mix analysis

· Identifying and fixing faults.



Music Theory

Music Theory

Extended Project

· Pitch, rhythm and clefs.

· Time signatures

· Intervals

· Classical terminology

· Constructing chords

· Extended chords

· Cadences

· Inversions

· Key signatures

· Ear training

· Modes



Year Two




Sept – Dec

Jan – Feb

Mar - May




Aural Perception Skills

Aural Perception Skills

Major Extended Project

· Application of music theory

· ABRSM / RSL Awards

· Ear training:

o Intervals and pitches

o Chords and chord progressions


· Application of music theory

· ABRSM / RSL Awards

· Ear training:

o Simple and complex rhythms

o Harmony and tonality



Community Music

Events Management

Major Extended Project

· Purpose, types and opportunities for work

· Planning a workshop

· Safeguarding

· Equality and diversity

· Running a music workshop

· Build it and they will come philosophy

· Aims and objectives

· Legal and licensing

· Logistical planning

· Financial consideration

· Risk assessments / H&S / Legislation

· Timescales

· Contracts

· Marketing and promotion


Live Performance Workshop

Live Performance Workshop

Major Extended Project

· Stage presence

· Etiquette

· Profesionality

· Song writing

· Developing your sound

· Artistic identity

· Image


· Independent development of artistic identity, working towards an original live performance.


Advanced composition

Studio Musicianship

Major Extended Project

· Advanced functions of Logic Pro X (comping, synthesis, time stretch, drum replacement, automation)

· Writing to a brief

· Artistic identity

· Production vs composition

· Layering and texture

· Remixing

· Mastering

· Studio etiquette

· Equipment

· Mic placement and techniques

· Studio Experimentation

· Recording techniques

· Intro to acoustics


Career Development

Final Project Preparation

Major Extended Project

· Freelancing skills

· Cost of living

· UCAS – how, what, why.

· CVs and personal statements

· Accounting and budgeting

· Tax, National Insurance, Pension, Insurance

· Legal and licensing

· Body language and networking

· The marketing mix





Sound Design 101

Major Extended Project

· Introduction of foley and sound effects

· Recording and performing live foley

· Sound editing/processing

· Creating genre sound effects (horror/sci-fi/fantasy/combat/comedy)

· Putting foley/SFX to picture


· Introduction to found sound

· Creating/recording sounds fromeveryday objects

· Unusual microphone techniques

· Introduction and use of contact mics

· Circuitbending and strange electronics



Backline Technology

Project Management

Major Extended Project

· Backline technology (guitar and amp setup and maintenance)

· Mastering audio mixes

· Line array speaker technology

· Multi-phase power & power for festivals




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.

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

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
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:30
Thursday 09:00 - 16:30
Friday 09:00 - 16:30

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