Our two-year Foundation degree, awarded by De Montfort University, is an industry-facing programme offering tuition and training in a wide range of themes relevant to the performing musician seeking a career in the industry. Develop expertise in music performance, composition, songwriting and production via various industry-standard projects and academic work. You will work closely with related disciplines such as dance, acting and music technology and be taught by industry active professionals, use specialised equipment to learn and complete vital work skills.
Applicants should have a strong applied understanding of music theory, performance and other disciplines required by this sector. Develop vital industry skills through the work-based aspect of the degree reinforcing individual subject specialisms in commercial environments including session musicianship, studio recording, music production and composition for Film and TV.
The programme offers access to well-equipped rehearsal spaces, performance areas and recording studios. Leicester College is an Apple Pro Training Centre, a Roland Academy and an Ableton certified Training Centre.
What You'll Learn
Instrument and Technique: In this module, you will develop your technical skills and musical insight as a solo performer. Learning will be supported by individual lessons with one of our professional instrumental/vocal teaching staff. You will also study the evolution and development of either their instrument – or the signature vocal sound of their chosen genre. Lectures and independent study will inform your learning and you will also have access to a variety of masterclasses and workshops.
Performance Ensembles: This module is designed to help you to gain a range of key musical skills. You will study playing together in ensembles and improve your aural awareness, as well as learning how to critique your own music-making and the performances of others. On successful completion of this module, you will be able to plan, promote and execute a successful showcase that meets the expectations of your audience.
Music Theory and Composition: In this module, you will discover the basic principles that contemporary music is built upon. You will put theory to use to unlock the compositional and stylistic elements of different musical genres and will be able to illustrate and demonstrate the concepts on the keyboard or a second instrument.
Music Business: This module looks at the business and industry requirements placed on the modern musician to harness your skills and focus them to positively impact your career. The business associated with the music industry and its components rely heavily on individual skills; music makers need to be aware that their own skills in this area are the major driving force behind their success.
Sound Creation Manipulation: This module explores different music software types and the set-up of a modern Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). This module also explores the theoretical and practical issues of recording and aims to give you a contextual grounding and experience in the historical development of electronic music. The development of technology-dependent compositional techniques will be practically and theoretically studied.
Studio Recording: The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the processes and techniques of audio recording and production. You will work in modern recording studios and investigate the factors affecting sound quality in the recording process. You will learn to use digital recording systems such as mixing consoles and patch bays and will develop a practical and theoretical knowledge of the production chain.
Live Sound Technology: This module is designed to enable you to develop knowledge of performance arts and its associated systems and techniques. You will work in a commercial/public-facing venue in the city centre to help build your knowledge and develop technical skills through a range of related disciplines.
Advanced Instrumental Technique: Building upon the first year module, you will further develop your individual musicianship. You will again be taught by professional musicians, who will introduce you to the advanced skills of your instrument or vocal technique.
Popular Musicology: In this module, you will study, analyse and critique approaches to contemporary popular music. You will explore the aesthetics of popular music and also study its social and cultural importance, with case studies ranging from rock ‘n’ roll and soul to hip-hop, chart pop, and electronica. You will also learn how advances in technology have shaped the way in which music is created and produced.
Songwriting Arrangement: This module will continue to develop your songwriting skills by exploring a range of advanced compositional techniques. Studying a wide range of styles and genres, you will explore identity and authenticity in contemporary songwriting and learn collaborative techniques and approaches. Assessment will be through a portfolio of your own creative work, and a final collaborative project with student colleagues.
Performance Technology: This module will develop your awareness of the way in which technology can be creatively integrated into a musical performance. It involves the study of hardware and software currently being used in performance events, as well as examining the way in which contemporary artists employ this technology. It provides an opportunity for you to combine the areas of hardware and software knowledge to stage your own performance in which technology plays a central role.
Creative Entrepreneurship: In this module, you will work off-campus in negotiated industry placements to create a work-based portfolio. You will be encouraged to pursue a pathway that is relevant to both the course and your own career ambitions.
Sound and Vision: As the need for music and sound alongside other media continually increases, developing the skills to work in flexible ways with different media opens many opportunities within the industry. In this module, you will be introduced to the theoretical and practical elements of producing music and sound for a variety of media applications. This module explores audio production for a website, multimedia, and synchronised visual works.
Research: In the ever-changing world of music, the need for self-directive development plays an integral part in the progression of successful individuals. This module will provide you with a broad range of research skills that will be used to develop and support a variety of practical and theoretical applications. It will allow you to develop research skills in an academic context and to facilitate the completion of a piece of independent research.
Entry to this course requires a minimum of 32 UCAS points from a recognised Level 3 qualification in a related subject (i.e. two A2s at grade D, Extended Diploma PPP, or an Access to Higher Education course). You are expected to hold GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or equivalent.
We welcome applicants who do not match our entry requirements but can demonstrate the ability to study this subject at university level and who can demonstrate the necessary musical ability.
How you will be assessed
You will be set regular assessments which will be used to engage you in a range of activities for each module and we will provide you with supportive feedback. At this stage, no formal grading takes place that counts towards either a mark for the module or the overall programme. The feedback given to you in relation to your progress will highlight your strengths, weaknesses, and potential attainment in relation to the learning outcomes identified, which will help you develop your skills throughout the course.
You will also be asked to submit a piece of graded coursework that counts towards your final mark for the module and overall programme. Each module may contain one or two assessment components.
The final grade on your DMU certificate at the end of this course follows the standard university Foundation Degree classification system of distinction, merit, or pass.
Total Fees: £6165.00
Depending on availability, there may be trips that you will need to pay for costing between £5 – £50. Although the College has a stock of instruments, you will benefit from owning your own instrument and are also advised to purchase a pair of good quality headphones in the region of £30 – £50. Access to a suitable computer for running music production applications is also desirable.
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.
Course and Career progression
On completion of this Foundation Degree, you will have the choice of being able to top-up to a BA degree in Music, Performance, and Technology at De Montfort University. You may also apply to other universities to complete related degrees. Alternatively, you may choose to go directly into employment in the music or performing arts industry.
What Happens Next
Applications to our full-time undergraduate courses must be made through UCAS using the course code X372, institution code L36. If you haven’t started a UCAS application yet, and only want to apply to Leicester College, you can apply directly to us using our direct application form via the College Website and we will process a UCAS application on your behalf.
Due to the nature of this programme, you may also be asked to attend an interview to ensure this is the right course for you. Where necessary, other means of interview/audition (telephone/Teams) can be arranged.