Course Type / Attendance

Full Time, Higher Education

Subject Area

Performing Arts

Start Date


Course Length

2 Years




Adult, Higher Education


Foundation Degree

Course Level


Award to be received

Foundation Degree (FdA) Applied Music Practice

Regulatory Body

University of Sunderland

Home / Course / Foundation Degree (FdA) Applied Music Practice

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Who is this course for?

This programme is run in partnership with the University of Sunderland, the qualification you will receive is awarded by the University of Sunderland.

This course is for people with a background in music or who are looking to specialise and build on a Level 3 qualification.

Through a variety of modules, you will gain vast knowledge and experience which will give you a real advantage in a music or music teaching career.

The modules run through the course of all semesters, as opposed to some modules being completed during semesters.

What do you need to apply for the course?

Entry Criteria: 56 UCAS points from a minimum of two GCSEs / A Levels or equivalent.


We will also accept PPP at BTEC Extended Diploma level.


GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications) in Mathematics and English. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.


It is also a requirement to undertake an informal audition and interview. This can be discussed prior to audition.


The University and College will seek to provide study opportunities on this programme to all who have the potential to benefit from them.


Factors such as work experience or vocational training can be taken into account when considering an application and admissions tutors have considerable discretionary powers to assess each case on individual merit.

If English is not your first language, please refer to the University of Sunderland English Language requirements:

What are the key things you'll learn?

This foundation degree develops the skills and knowledge required by the all-round, versatile musician working in today’s music environments.


Practical experience and performances are core elements of the course.


Modules on this course consist of:


Year 1

  • Creative Digital Technologies (20 Credits)
  • Practical Arranging (20 Credits)
  • Venue Performing (20 Credits)
  • Harmony and Analysis (20 Credits)
  • Applied Music Project (20 Credits)
  • Teaching and Facilitating Music (10 Credits)
  • Popular Music in Context (10 Credits)

Year 2

  • Practical Arranging (20 Credits)
  • Venue Performing (20 Credits)
  • Harmony and Analysis (20 Credits)
  • Applied Music Project (40 Credits)
  • Composing (20 Credits)

How you will learn

You will be taught through a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, practical workshops, independent learning and individual research projects.


In total, your timetable will consist of 13 hours’ classroom contact time. This will include one hour per week with your personal tutor.


There are numerous ways you will be assessed, including live performance, studio projects, presentations, tests and portfolio work.


Indicative class size.


Due to the rooming and space requirements of the subject, if numbers rise above 26, the group is then divided into two cohorts.


Independent learning


When not attending lectures, seminars and practical sessions, you are expected to match your timetabled hours independently. This will involve reading, research, planning coursework, ensemble work and individual practice.


Academic Support

Our HE Academic Support Tutor provides help in the following areas:

  • Study skills (including reading, writing, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills (in conjunction with the learning centres)
  • Critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management)

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes (senior lecturers, professional practitioners with significant industry experience).

You will also benefit from occasional masterclasses and guest lectures from external practitioners.

Where could this course take you?

After successfully completing the course you could move on to a music one-year top up at university. This could be followed by a P.G.C.E teaching qualification.


Alternatively, you could also find a role within the music industry. The music team has a wealth of industry experience and can guide and support whichever musical direction you choose.


You are assessed in a variety of ways throughout the programme via presentations, essays, practical tasks, performances, workshops, portfolios etc.

Each module has a module guide which explains exactly how you are assessed and the weightings for assessment.

What costs will you incur?

Fees for September 2018 entry

£8,500 tuition fees are per year


Other course costs: Sunderland College provide all mics, speakers, keyboards, drum kits and PA and recording equipment.


However, guitarists and bassists will be expected to use their own guitars, leads and tuners. Drummers will be required to provide their own stick bag.

Printing for your course – you will receive £30 credit for printing which will be paid in three instalments of £10 per term. Any printing requirements in excess of this can be purchased.

Purchasing of course texts is optional. You will have full free access to Sunderland College Learning Centre books, journals and internet and computer use and The Murray Library at University of Sunderland. You will be expected to provide your own pens, paper, and folders.