Music Performance – BTEC National Extended Diploma level 3 – C0171

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Course Overview

This course is designed to give you, the modern musician, the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in the music industry in a variety of roles. It is a two year course with students studying the subsidiary diploma in the first year before progressing into year two complete the extended diploma. Students must pass year one to progress to year two. The Extended Diploma carries UCAS points and universities recognise the qualification as a method of progressing to relevant degree courses.

If you are aged 16 to 18, you will be enrolled on a study programme. This will include retaking GCSEs or undertaking Functional Skills in English and maths if you haven’t already achieved a grade 4 or above.
You will take part in activities that help you to develop your personal skills, such as building your character and confidence. This will help you to live well and move into your chosen career.

If you are 16-19 years old these activities will be timetabled as will work experience and placement. You can also choose to take part in other activities.
For other age groups, activities will be tailored to your needs.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

This course is delivered through band rehearsal, performance, and instrumental skills development. You will receive small group tuition on your main instrument but are expected to practise in your own time (at least five hours a week). You will also study units in the history of popular music; music business; music technology; musicianship; composition; and song writing. You will take part in recording sessions in our high-spec studios with the music technology students and take part in local gigs at city centre venues. You’ll study in the some of the best facilities in the region and can collaborate with our music technology students in the state-of-the art recording studios to enhance your professional network.

Year 2

Subjects from the first year are covered in more detail during the second year, but with more of an emphasis on independent study to prepare you for higher education. Units in the second year may include freelance skills; running a music workshop; composing for media; music dissertation; and digital mixing skills, as well as further development in performance and instrumental skills.

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course requires five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) including English (essential) and maths (desirable). You will be required to provide one reference and it is desirable that you can demonstrate 90% attendance at your last place of work or study.
You will be invited to attend a welcome event where you will participate in an audition to show that you are at a suitable level on your instrument: this is to support your careers choice and ensure that we place you on the right programme for you.

Consideration will be given to all applicants over the age of 19 who do not hold formal English and maths qualifications.

How you will be assessed

Assessment is via coursework completed over each year. You will need to evidence in your work that your skills and understanding are sufficient to pass each unit or achieve higher grades. Examples of assessment include performances at gigs, instrumental demonstrations, reports, compositions and presentations.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees (16-18): £0.00

Tuition Fees (19+): £7395.00

Additional Costs

There is a materials fee of £20, plus £99 for second and third term instrumental lessons.

Material Fees



If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.

For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.

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Course and Career progression

Successful completion of the first year leads to the second year of the course. Upon completion, you will be eligible to study for a degree in a music (including our own foundation degree) or other related subjects or progress to related jobs such as session work, live musician, record label work, teaching, or composing for media. The non-musical skills you will learn on the course such as managing multiple projects to deadlines are very much transferable skills to jobs that aren’t necessarily music-related.

What Happens Next

Apply online via the College website, or if your school uses the Positive Steps @16 (PS16) application system please apply through this and speak to your careers advisor if you are unsure. You will need details of your qualifications, a reference, and a personal statement to complete your application. Once your application has been successfully processed, you will be sent a conditional offer and be invited to a Welcome Event at the College to meet your tutors, take an instrumental and musicianship assessment, learn more about your chosen course of study and tour the facilities. You will then need to confirm your acceptance of the course offered to you.

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