Music Performance & Production (Rock & Pop)

UAL Extended Diploma Level 3

smiley male student playing a drum kit

Availability & Details

Music Performance & Production (Rock & Pop), UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma AF-MUSC3E-D(0000)002

Alton Campus

Type of study

Academic Year 2021-22 (2 years)

Examination board

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How to apply

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The UK music industry is huge, contributing over £5billion to the economy with the live performance sector alone contributing over £1billion.

This course has been designed to provide you with the necessary skills to enable you to work professionally as a performer in the music industry. There are a vast number of different roles and this course will equip you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to access many of these, as well as supporting progression to higher education courses including degree-level study. There are two streams of study available. If you are a Jazz specialist or have a particular leaning towards Jazz then the Jazz stream is for you. The Rock and Pop stream covers all other styles of Rock and Pop music.

During the course, you will form bands with your fellow students and there will be a number of gig opportunities both in college and outside at professional venues. There are also opportunities for solo artists to perform. The repertoire both for bands and solo performers specialising in Rock and Pop may be covers or original material. As well as developing your performance skills, you will also gain an understanding of the commercial considerations of live music. You will use this knowledge to put on and promote your own gigs at a venue outside of college. Even if you only have an interest in performing and are not interested in a music career, many of the skills you learn are extremely useful and are applicable to other industries.

Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Mathematics, as well as an audition that requires you to demonstrate that you are advanced enough on your instrument/voice to start rehearsing with a band.

This two year course is equivalent to three A Levels and runs over two years. It is made up of a total of 13 Units. During Year 1, you will study Units 1 to 8 which gives you the Level 3 Diploma in Music Performance and Production. During Year 2, Units 9 to 13 are studied and these extra units, when added to the Diploma, make up the Extended Diploma. 

Year 1 

  • Unit 1 – Principles of music performance and production
  • Unit 2 – Critical listening and music composition
  • Unit 3 – Music industry and professional practice
  • Unit 4 – Critical and contextual awareness for music performance and production
  • Unit 5 – Music production in context
  • Unit 6 – Music performance in context
  • Unit 7 – Preparation for specialist study in music performance and production
  • Unit 8 – Collaborative music performance project 

Year 2 

(Students must complete Units 1–8 of the Diploma in Music Performance & Production, in addition to Units 9–13)

  • Unit 9   – Developing music performance and production skills
  • Unit 10 – Exploration of specialist study in music performance and production
  • Unit 11 – Preparing for progression in music performance and production
  • Unit 12 – Project proposal for the extended project in music performance  and production
  • Unit 13 – Extended project in music performance and production

The Extended Diploma is a full time immersive course that offers a variety of learning and teaching approaches to nurture the talents of the creative student. Including lectures, guest lectures, rehearsals, tutorials, studios recording sessions, live performance workshops, presentations and group discussions. The facilities on our campus feature the latest music industry-standard equipment. They include: 

  • Two Apple Mac production suites consisting of more than 20 individual workstations with audio keyboard and Logic X
  • Main recording studio consists of Apple Mac Pro, and Logic Pro X
  • Live music venue with a variety of live audio equipment: industry-standard microphones and DI boxes, PA and monitor speakers and outboard equipment

Our rehearsal rooms are equipped with all the kit required to rehearse and perform your favourite music:

  • PA Systems
  • Mics
  • Amps
  • Keyboards
  • Drums
  • Grand Piano
  • Double Bass

You will bring your own instrument and make music in a range of ensembles, from solo acts to full bands.

Also, our fantastic Ormond Room is a fully equipped performance space for recording or performing. Writing and performing music is at the heart of what we do throughout the courses here.

This course is assessed through 100% coursework and continual assessment. There are no examinations.

For the first year Diploma, you will be continually assessed on a Pass or Fail basis on Units 1-7. The final Unit 8 will be graded on a Pass, Merit, Distinction level.

During the second year Extended Diploma, Units 9, 10 and 11 are assessed on a Pass and Fail basis, whilst Units 12 and 13 are assessed as Pass, Merit or Distinction and will produce your overall grade.

Much of the work over the two years is practical in nature, but written assignments and presentations are required to support this. There is a big emphasis on research and this is excellent preparation for university, as the qualification is assessed more like a degree than an A Level.

There may be additional costs for promoting live events that you will be taking part in and also for one-to-one instrumental or vocal lessons.

On completion of this course, you could go on to university, conservatoire, become a performer, technician, promoter, venue manager, live sound engineer, songwriter, composer, music producer, studio engineer, musicologist, music therapist, peripatetic teacher or classroom teacher.

We have a huge number of former students who work in the music industry, and as such we are able to offer students unparalleled access to opportunities, as well as potential work experience in the industry. Our industry links include everything from small venues such as The Lounge Bar in Alton and the West End Centre, Aldershot, through to large events such as Victorious Festival in Portsmouth and Radar Festival in Guildford. We also have many educational links to university level including Leeds College of Music.

I got into both of the universities I wanted to. It happens so fast and it’s an amazing feeling when you think that all of the work you’ve done has paid off in the best way possible.

Anton Sukhorukov, A Level student

My experience at the college has been really good, it’s been really rewarding, all the lecturers were so lovely and supportive there’s no way I could have done it without them - the teaching has been outstanding.

Lucie Brooks, A Level student

This is a really good college, and it is definitely somewhere you can achieve your dreams.

Yolanda Stemp, BTEC student