Music Performance BTEC National Foundation Diploma level 3 – C7986

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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.

The course is delivered as a one year plus one year programme. You start by studying towards the national foundation diploma in the first year and then top up into year two to complete the extended diploma. You must pass the diploma to be able to top up to the extended diploma. Both years carry 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,
which will include 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. These activities will be timetabled as will work experience. For other age groups, activities will be tailored to your needs.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

Over the year, you will work towards two modules (Music Skills Development and The Music Industry) with four units in the modules (Performing as an ensemble; Creating musical material; Using musical styles and Planning a career in the industry)

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). The units will also cover the history of popular music; music business; music technology; musicianship; composition; and song writing.

You will rehearse in our high-spec practice rooms 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 music technology students in the state-of-the art recording studios to enhance your professional network.

Year 2

If you continue for the extended diploma in the second year you will work towards two more modules (Personal Music Profile and Collaborative Music Project) with six units across the modules (Using Development Plans to Refine Skills; Producing a Personal Project; Using Material for Self-promotion and Networking; Undertaking a Defined Technical Project Role; Using Creative Collaboration to Develop a Project and Producing a Collaborative Project).

Subjects from the first year are covered in more detail during the second year, but with more of an emphasis on independent and collaborative study to prepare you for higher education. Topics in the second year may include freelance skills; running a music workshop; composing for media; event management; 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 a minimum of a 90% attendance rate from 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 completed through coursework over the two years. This course is highly practical, with an emphasis on doing and reflecting, often in a working blog format. Other assessment methods include performances, presentations, recordings, video submissions and reports. All areas of the course contribute to your final grade, however, there is opportunities to focus on areas of specialism too.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees (16-18): £0.00

Tuition Fees (19+): £2882.00

Additional Costs

If you are 18 or above when starting this course, you may incur fees if you continue to the second year of the programme in 2024/25.
Please see our guidance on 19+ fees on our website

There is an additional cost of £120.00 to cover the cost of visits, instrument classes and resources.

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.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

On completion of the two-year extended diploma, you may decide to study for a foundation or undergraduate degree in an area related to Music. The Extended Diploma will award you with UCAS points which you may use to apply to our Higher Education provision or other universities across the UK.

What Happens Next

Click the apply now button, 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 and employment history, 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 for a tour and suitability audition. You will then need to confirm your acceptance of the course offered to you.

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