Awarding organisation

Awarding Body: UAL

Qualfications on offer:

  • Year 1: Level 3 Diploma in Music, Performance & Production
  • Year 2: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music, Performance & Production (This is equivalent to 3 A Levels)
  • Maths at an appropriate level if GCSE grade 4 not yet achieved

Summary of course

Level 3 Music Performance & Production is a very practically based course including a portfolio of performances and theory based assignments. Practical elements include use of audio production facilities, practice booths, Apple Mac & PC software, keyboard lab and gigs in performance venue (both in house and externally) . This course gives the opportunity to perform live gigs and record a demo. The College has strong links with the local Music Community, the Royal & Derngate and the Roadmender. The method of learning is by a mixture of academic and practical sessions.

The Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Music Performance & Production have been designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to progress to further study and training in a range of music performance and production disciplines.

The qualification has been designed for students who have an interest in music performance and/or music production who wish to explore and extend this interest via a full-time, immersive learning experience

Prospective students should be aware that employment in the music industry as a performer is extremely demanding and requires a high level of skill and commitment.

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units:

  • Principles of music performance and production
  • Critical Listening and music composition
  • Music Industry and professional practice
  • Critical and contextual awareness for music performance and production
  • Music Production in context
  • Music performance in context
  • Preparation for specialist study in music performance and production
  • Collaborative performance project

Specialist Units:

  • Developing Music performance and production skills
  • Exploration of specialist study in music performance and production
  • Preparing for progression in music performance
  • Project proposal for extended project in music performance and production
  • Extended project in music performance and production

All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

For further information about the course and the units you will study, please read the awarding body specification by clicking on the link below:

Awarding Body specification.

How is the course assessed?

Continual assessment throughout the two years and assignments with certain units externally assessed at the end of year two. Assignments range from practical projects such as performances and composition projects to written projects and verbal presentations. There will also be some practical skills testing in the classroom in areas such as recording techniques, keyboard skills and listening skills.

Your Study Programme

If you are aged 16-18, you will join a Study Programme. We will make sure you are working at the right level on your core qualification and are challenged to achieve the highest level of qualification you can. All students will continue to improve their maths and English and if you don't have a grade 4 (C) at GCSE, we will work with you towards achieving that goal (subject to specific entry requirements for particular courses). Work experience will be part of your study programme and complement your college study and prepare you for employment. You will also get involved in activities to help you develop life skills and to build your confidence so you can make progress in your career. Weekly timetables will include tutorial support which may comprise of full group activities or one to one sessions to discuss individual progress or support needs.

Who is this course for?

Students who wish to progress to Higher Education including HND Level or employment in a related area of the Music Industry.

Progression and Career Opportunities

After successful completion of this course you can progress to :

  • HND Music Production
  • Degree in Music Performance or Music Technology
  • Employment
  • Further specialist music training (e.g. instrumental performances courses)

Entry Requirements for new students

Level Entry Requirements
Entry and Foundation: GCSEs, mainly 2-1 (F/G) grades. Satisfactory school reference*
Level 1: Four GCSEs at grade 2(E) or above
Level 2: Four GCSEs at grade 3(D) or above
Level 3 BTEC Courses or equivalent: Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C)
Level 3 A Levels Five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and maths
Level 4/5: A Level 3 qualification such as: A Levels, BTEC Level 3, Access to HE, Advanced Apprenticeship;
Specific Course Requirements: Standard Level 3 entry requirements including GCSE English

*All applicants will be invited in for interview.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered except where English has been studied as a second language and is required at GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C).

Interview Requirements

You must bring your interview letter to your appointment with you and arrive 15 minutes before your interview is due to take place.

At point of interview please bring along a five hundred word essay titled Why I want to do the National Diploma in Music. This may be either hand-written or word-processed.

Applicants may be asked to perform an audition piece to ascertain they have the level of musicianship required.

Students will be offered a place conditional on attending a taster session in June.

General Info (materials required for the course)

Every effort will be made to provide you with opportunities to work with local music venues. We have strong links with the Roadmender and regularly organise events in other venues.

There will be costs of approximately £35 for essential materials such as headphones and earplugs.

Course fee information

All Students will need to enter or register for their course qualification either by examination entry or Board Registration. The course tutor will advise you how to enter or register for your qualification and of the College deadline. All late entries are subject to a late entry fee.

The following fees will be payable in full:

16-18 year olds

  • All re-sits except first re-sit of GCSE Mathematics and English
  • Unauthorised absences from any examination entered
  • Any examination/registration unsupported by your subject tutor
  • Late examination/registration entries
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

19 years or over

  • Level 1 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Level 2 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Second Full Level 3 course: You may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay for the course fees^2
  • Level 4 course: Loans may be available^2
  • All Levels: Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

Overseas Students

  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 1 of a 2-year course
  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 2 of a 2-year course
  • £350 non-refundable Examination/registration fee in Year 1
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

^1 Fee remission may be available if you are in receipt of a state benefit. ^2 Contact the Enrolment Centre for more information on 0300 123 2344.


student success

Nicola Bridges

Nicola Bridges

Professional musician Nicola Bridges has starred on stage and performed her own cabaret show, but decided to head back to the classroom at Northampton College to add another string to...

Sorry, you’ve missed the start date for this course but we are planning to offer it again in 2019. If you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us on 0300 123 2344 or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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