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All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

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

Four GCSEs at Grade 4-5 [C] or above or an appropriate Level 2 qualification plus GCSE English at Grade 3 [D] or Functional Skills Level 1 in English and Maths. Competent musicianship to be determined at audition.

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


student success

Louis Sefton, HNC Music Production

Louis Sefton, HNC Music Production

"I always wanted to work in music, so the careers adviser in at school recommended the music courses at Northampton College. I started with the Level 3 Music Technology course...

Sorry, you’ve missed the start date for this course but we are planning to offer it again in September 2020. 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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