16-18: Vocational

Music (Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Course Overview

Entry requirements

When you apply, in your personal statement, please indicate if you would prefer the Music Performance or Music Technology pathway. You will have gained at least 4 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above (including English and/or maths), a First Diploma (at Merit) in a relevant subject or you will need to demonstrate relevant industry experience. You will be required to attend an audition/interview where you will be expected to demonstrate your passion for a career in this area, with the commitment and dedication which you will need to succeed. It will help if you can read music and we look for prior experience of performance and a basic knowledge of relevant software. Please Note: Students are normally registered in the first instance on the Diploma with progression to the full Extended Diploma after one year, subject to completing the coursework satisfactorily.


If you want to work practically in the exciting field of Music Technology then this is the course for you. We have experienced industry practitioners teaching you on many thousands of pounds of state-of-the-art equipment. Get the skills for the Audio, Media, or Music industry career that you dream of.

Music Performance Pathway

You will learn how to achieve a high standard in performance, as well as techniques for recording and mixing. Other units will focus on how the business works, from record plugging to artist management. Specialist lecturers on the course are practicing musicians within the industry and their advice and guidance will prove invaluable to your development.

You will develop your skills and understanding in a wide range of areas, including Music Performance Techniques, Composition, Music Appreciation/History, and The Music Industry. You will also be encouraged to take part in trips to music performances, and of course, take part in live gigs here at the college and at other venues too.

Music Technology Pathway

This specialist qualification is for you if you are hoping to pursue a career in the music industry.

It will train you practically on state-of-the-art equipment in preparation for working in the many established and emerging roles related to music technology. You will work on individual workstations, equipped with audio/MIDI hardware and sequencing software such as Logic, Reason, and Ableton. Studio recording and mixing techniques are taught using two new recording studios - one with analogue equipment and a variety of outboard gear and the other with a digital ProTools HD system and surround sound monitoring. All tutors teaching on the course still work professionally in the music industry as performers, producers, or engineers.

The course includes workshops with industry specialists in various subjects including production, composition, and the music business. On our Music courses, you will develop your skills and understanding in a wide range of specialist areas including

  • Music Performance
  • Session Styles
  • Events Management
  • Marketing
  • Music Rehearsal Skills
  • Practical Harmony Application
  • Planning a Career in Music
  • Sound Design
  • Composition for Film and Games
  • Live Sound
  • Studio Recording Techniques
  • MIDI Sequencing
  • Analogue Synthesis
  • Creating a Sample Library
  • Music Technology in Performance
  • DJ Performance
  • Radio Programming
  • Music Video Production
  • Acoustics

Lighting workshop sessions are available with individual guidance. You will be able to book rooms and resources outside of timetabled sessions to gain confidence and experience on 'Industry-standard equipment. Our students are encouraged to take part in organised trips to music-related venues and professional studios. In addition, you will be supported in gaining work experience with the advice and guidance from experienced specialist lecturers being invaluable to your career development.

  • Assessment Criteria

    The course has a number of modules that form 90 credits over a one year period which are assessed using a variety of practical projects, presentations, essays and workshops.

Select your campus option to apply

What Can This Course Lead To

The Music Practitioners Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma RSL (QCF) is equivalent to 1.5 A Levels and stands alone in its own right as a qualification to prepare you for work in the industry. However, most students progress onto the Music Practitioners Level 3 Extended Diploma for a second year of study (leading to Higher Education in most cases). This course will allow you to access a variety of areas of employment available to you within the music industry. This may lead to work within performance, studios, music retail outlets or sound engineering. Previous students have gained employment in recording engineering, media composition, live engineering, audio installation and education.

Life At NCC

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Facilities for Students

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Financial Support

There are several ways we can help you cover the cost of your studies.

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