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Performing Musician Higher National Certificate – C2333

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Course Overview

(Subject to validation) Our new two-year part-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Performing Musician course is an industry-facing programme that offers tuition and training in a range of core themes and subjects, relevant to the performing musician seeking a career in the industry,
You will have a strong applied understanding of music theory, performance and other related disciplines required by this dynamic sector. You will develop vital knowledge of the music industry and areas such as marketing, promotion and professional development will also be covered in depth.
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:
The Music Industry: the music industry is an ever-evolving industry with a variety of areas that interact with each other; with technology being an ever-increasingly vital driving force. Music industry professionals must be aware of the complexities and the structure of this industry and the potential income opportunities that are available to them. This unit will introduce you to the structure of the industry, focussing on revenue flows, employment opportunities, business activities, and growth potential.
Instrumental Technique: 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.

The Evolution of the Instrument: the aim of this unit is that you understand how and why your instrument became what it is today. It provides an introduction to prolific and important exponents of your instrument and aims to broaden your knowledge of recorded music relevant to the instrument. This unit will also explore the development of instrumental technique.

Year 2

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

Recording Technology: the aim of this unit is to provide knowledge of the techniques used by sound engineers and music producers when using technology to record audio sources. While you will learn fundamental recording techniques, you will also learn how to use recording technology in creative ways. Studio setup procedures will be explored as well as the factors that affect the quality at which audio is recorded.

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. On completion of this unit, you will have made decisions around your vocation and will be able to demonstrate the level of autonomy needed to succeed in the music industry.

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. By the end of this unit, you will be able to define the various roles in the music industry, explain the different marketing activities available, and identify the most relevant to promotional techniques to said roles.

Applied Music Theory: in this unit, you will discover the basic principles that contemporary music is built upon. You will put theory to use by unlocking 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.

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 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 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: £2000.00

Additional Costs

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, students will benefit from owning their 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.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

On completion of this Higher National Certificate, 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 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 must be made through UCAS at using the course code W500, institution code L36. 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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