Course Type / Attendance
16-18 Year Olds
Award to be received
BTEC Extended Diploma (3 A-level equivalent)
Who is this course for?
This is for anybody interested in a career in music. The course is designed to give you a vast range of skills which will equip you for any chosen musical path within the industry.
There are many performance opportunities and there is a real focus on promoting yourself in a constantly changing industry.
In recent years, a significant number of our students who chose the BTDC route have gone on to become professional musicians, producers, composers, sound engineers and music teachers.
What do you need to apply for the course?
You’ll need a minimum of four GCSEs at grade C/4. You do not require a GCSE in music, however you will need some ability in the subject, either as a singer or instrumentalist.
You are also not required to be able to read music.
What are the key things you'll learn?
Over the two years you will study 18 units.
- The 18 units typically consist of:
- Music Performance Techniques
- Music Performance Session Styles
- Working as a Music Ensemble
- The Sound and Music Industry
- Aural Perception
- Solo Performance
- Specialist Subject Investigation
- Major Music Project (Double Unit)
- Live Music Workshop
- Improvising Music
- Music Theory and Harmony
- Functional Music Keyboard
- Music and Society
- Concert Production and Staging
- Sound and Music for the Moving Image
- Sequencing Systems and Software
Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any week day.
How you will learn
You will learn via classroom-based activities along with independent research tasks.
There is a huge emphasis on practical and ensemble projects. Although one of the units focuses on solo performance, you will gain considerable experience in rehearsing and playing live gigs.
You will also learn via classroom-based activities, independent research tasks and lectures. We try to organise as many masterclasses as possible.
In recent years we have had legendary session musician and producer, Elliott Randall, whose guitar solo on rock classic ‘Reelin’ in the Years’ is widely regarded as one of the greatest in music.
We have also recently had a song writing/industry masterclass from Sunderland icon, Dave Stewart from multi-million selling band, ‘The Eurhythmics’.
You will be taught by very experienced music professionals, who have vast industry experience in touring, recording, composing, promotion and artist management.
You will be assessed via a combination of live performances, rehearsals, workshops, presentations, research and written tasks.
There are no exams.
Where could this course take you?
The programme carries the same UCAS points as A-levels, allowing you the same opportunities for Higher Education as an A-level route.
Many of our students opt for a Higher Education programme, with the vast majority choosing the Foundation Degree in Applied Music Practice here at the college.
A career in the Music Industry can be incredibly varied. The team use their vast experience to prepare you for this and to guide you with the path you may choose.
What costs will you incur?
There are no specific costs for course materials, however drummers are expected to have their own sticks/brushes/hot rods.
Previous Student Experience
“I decided to study at Sunderland College as I’d heard really great things from friends that were studying there whilst I was still in school. The music lecturers were unbelievably amazing and knew how to motivate and inspire you to get the best out of you. Their experience in the music industry was inspiring and I knew I was in the best hands whilst studying. The best thing about the course was being around lecturers that really wanted you to do well. The experience I had was one of the best of my life and one I’ll never forget. The knowledge set me up for working professionally in the music industry and was in a class of its own.”Chloe Gardner - now a self-employed musician. She is running a function band and has toured with Status Quo on their Winter Acoustic tour