Music (Performance or Production) Higher National Certificate – C2333

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Course Overview

This new two-year part-time HNC Music course is an industry-facing programme that offers tuition and training in a range of core themes and subjects, relevant to performing musicians or music producers, seeking a career in the industry.
You will have a strong applied understanding of music performance or music production theories and techniques, along with other related disciplines required by this dynamic sector. You will develop vital knowledge of the music industry as well as areas such as marketing, promotion and professional development.
Combining musicianship, entrepreneurship and technology, the programme offers access to well-equipped rehearsal spaces, performance areas and industry-standard recording studios. At Leicester College, we are an Apple Pro Training Centre, a Roland Academy, and an Ableton Certified Training Centre.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

The modules covered in the first year include:

Recording Technology: You will explore techniques used by sound engineers and music producers when using technology to record audio sources. This involves fundamental recording techniques, as well as how to use recording technology in creative ways. Studio setup procedures will also be explored as well as the factors that affect the quality at which audio is recorded.

Applied Music Theory: This covers the basic principles that contemporary music is built upon. You will then put these theories to use, creating original compositions in different music genres and demonstrating concepts on the keyboard or other instruments.

Composing using Technology: This module examines different music software types and the set-up of a modern Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). You will also learn the theoretical and practical issues of recording, within the context of the historical development of electronic music.

Instrumental Technique (option for performers): This unit will encourage you to investigate the technical skills required by a professional musician before applying this knowledge into your own practice. Skills developed through this unit include musicianship, music theory, technical exercises, and practice schedules.

Applied Sound Principles (option for producers): This unit consolidates a basic knowledge of the physics of sound and applies it to spaces where music is recorded, produced and performed. You will also learn how to construct and build acoustic treatments to improve your own home and project studios.

Year 2

Building upon the skills and techniques developed in your first year you will then progress to study the following modules:

Music Industry : This unit 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 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.

Marketing and Promotion for Musicians: You will investigate and research the relative merits of current music marketing techniques, helping you to evaluate the most suitable marketing activities for your area of practice.

Professional Development: In this unit, you will explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, build an awareness of how to present yourself to the market place and embark on the journey of professional development. This unit will allow you to be assessed in your own specialist area – presenting a portfolio or production work or performances.

Live Sound Techniques (option for producers): In this unit, you will work in the college’s own 250 capacity commercial music venue, studying equipment and techniques involved in live music production.

Live Music Performance (option for performers): This unit is designed to help you gain a range of key musical skills. You will study playing together in groups and improve your aural awareness, as well as learning how to critique your own music-making and the performances of others.

Entry Requirements

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 qualification). You are expected to hold GCSE english and Maths at grade 4 or equivalent. We welcome applicants who do not match standard entry requirements but who can demonstrate the ability to study this subject at university level and who can demonstrate necessary musical ability.

How you will be assessed

You will be set regular assessments across a range of activities for each module and we will provide you with supportive feedback. At this stage, no formal grading takes place it 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 helps you develop your skills throughout the course.
You will also be asked to submit a piece of course work that is graded and counts towards your final mark for the module and overall programme. Each module may contain one or two assessment components.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Total Fees: £2950.00

Additional Costs

Depending on availability, there may be trips that you will need to pay for costing between £5 – £50. Students will be supplied with an essential studio package (computer, interface, headphones, microphone, keyboard and software) to enable them to work from home.


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 this Higher National Certificate, you will have the option of being able to continue onto the Foundation Degree (FdA/Sc) run in partnership with De Montfort University. You may also apply to other universities to complete related degrees. Alternatively, you may go directly into employment working in various areas of the music industry in jobs such as sound engineer, music business manager, and session musician.

What Happens Next

Applications can be made directly through the Leicester College website. Due to the nature of this programme you may also be invited to attend an interview or audition. Where necessary, other means of interview/audition (i.e. telephone, web-based, CD/DVD) can be arranged.

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