Music Performance has been added to My Courses


Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE’s at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and will count as 1 GCSE equivalent.
  • Entry is via successful audition and we are expecting instrumental / vocal skills at a minimum of Grade 4/5 standard. Instrumental skills should relate to an instrument commonly used in popular music (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards). Performers of other instruments should check with a member of staff to find out if their instrument would be appropriate for use in this course.
  • GCSE Music at grade 4 or a BTEC First qualification in Music at Merit or above is highly desirable but not essential.
  • Students must be prepared to perform regularly and will preferably already have some experience of doing so.
  • A keen interest in popular music.



Exam board: Pearson/Edexcel

98%of students achieved Distinction Star or Distinction

This course is aimed primarily at students who are interested in developing practical musical skills together with music theory and industry knowledge.  It is a highly practical course and is centred on performing, music theory and learning about the industry. As it is a popular music course it is suitable for students who sing or play the common pop music instruments: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards. We do occasionally accept students who play saxophone or trumpet although we will dicuss this at audition.

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate is equivalent to one A-level. The course covers the core aspects of practical music skills, and relevant industry knowledge. Students studying on this programme will have a keen interest in developing their knowledge and skills and will almost certainly be intending to pursue a career in the industry. This course attracts UCAS points in the same way as an A-level.



Course Units

  • Practical Music Theory and Harmony 
  • Professional Practice in the Music Industry
  • Ensemble Music Performance 
  • Music Performance Session Styles

Assessment of Progress

The course is two years in length.

42% of assessment is via coursework which is internally assessed:

It is structured around a number of assignments, some of which will be short-term (gigs, written projects) while others will require evidence of long-term progression (instrumental lessons, practice logs, etc.).  Each unit has a learning content and outcomes that are clearly stated, and students will be kept informed of their progress.

Please note that changes to this year's specification mean that BTEC is introducing some exam-like elements to the course which will make up 52% of the assessment - however, they will be unlike traditional exams and more like supervised assessments such as preparation tasks, performances, and evaluations. 

Instrumental Lessons

As performing to a high standard and demonstrating and monitoring technical improvement are such important aspects of the course it is compulsory that all students take regular instrumental/voice lessons.  Lessons are available in College and students should sign up with a peripatetic teacher at the start of the year, or continue with their own lessons outside of college. The college operates a bursary system that offers financial support for lessons to some students. If the cost of lessons is prohibitive it may also be possible to have them less frequently e.g. once a fortnight rather than once a week.


Music (Performing) facilities include:

  • Fully equipped performance space including professional sound and lighting systems
  • Computer suite with high end PC’s running Logic Pro and Sibelius 7
  • Digital recording studio incorporating a ‘live’ room and separate control room, complete with significant outboard equipment for effects and processing 
  • An excellent range of industry standard microphones
  • Six practice rooms equipped with pianos and/or PA systems.
  • A wide range of band equipment, including amplifiers, acoustic and electronic drum kits
  • We have a wide range of working professionals who provide peripatetic instrument/voice teachers who come into college to support students. We can also recommend specialists if needed.


The BTEC Level 3 Music Performing qualifications provide a sound basis for students wishing to proceed to university / higher education courses in Popular/ Commercial Music.  It can lead to careers in performing, teaching, and composition as well as related areas in publishing and media. It combines well with most other subjects but compliments in particular Music Technology, Theatre Studies and Media Studies.


A subscription to a basic Spotify account or similar streaming service is required for access to study playlists for use in the class and at home. There is a charge for instrumental lessons although funds may be available for those who may find the cost of these prohibitive.  Students will be expected to provide their own stationery and pay for printing credits. They will need to provide their own instruments and spares (guitar strings, drum sticks, plectra etc.).


  • All students will be required to attend an audition prior to starting the course.
  • Candidates will be expected to prepare a solo piece on their first instrument (the instrument they intend to use during the course).
  • Candidates will receive an invitation to attend audition following receipt of their application.

Audition dates for 2020 entry

Thursday 26th March 2020 - 1pm

Thursday 25th June 2020 - 1pm