Professional Music Performance

UAL Level 4 Diploma

This one year UAL Level 4 Professional Music Performance course at HSDC South Downs is an excellent gap year opportunity to extend your existing skills and knowledge in order to prepare you for Higher Education or entry into the performance, composition and creative side of the music industry. 

You will be working with collaborators creatively and with industry professionals on your journey to becoming a creative music professional.

Take the opportunity to become a practising professional on your chosen pathway.


Type of study
Full-Time, Higher Education
Examination board

Availability & Details

Professional Music Performance - UAL Level 4 Diploma SF-MPPE4D-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2020-21 (1 years)
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To study on this course, you will need Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music or similar creative qualification, or an A Level programme equivalent. You will also need to display a passion for this field. Mature students can apply with a relevant portfolio of work or audition.

On this one year course at HSDC South Downs, you will study the following:

  • Unit 1 – Applied Professional Practice
  • Unit 2 – Specialist Performance Practice
  • Unit 3 – Specialist Performance Project

Units 1 and 2 are graded as 'pass' only. The overall qualification is graded on Unit 3 and will be finalised as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

The following focused areas are included in the module delivery but are not exclusive and can be tailored to your needs:

  • Instrumental Focus
  • Performance Skills
  • Touring
  • Recording & Mixing
  • Practitioner Study
  • Professional Standards
  • Rehearsals and Collaborations


You will attend South Downs Campus two to three days a week for 30 weeks for lectures and practical work, with some learning taking place remotely via demonstrations/webinars and online lectures.

A balance between practical and research/lecture-based learning will help guide you with a well-balanced programme. In most cases, in order to capture the essence of the programme, you will declare yourself as a professional trader.

All of your lecturers on the programme are fully qualified and are all continuously working in the industry in their specialist fields. Expect a variety of guest talks and lectures from industry professionals, for example, Jason Cooper from The Cure (drummer).

Resources include access to Higher Education only study areas and a nationally recognised music department with resources including: 

  • 4 x Apple Mac suites running Logic Pro X, Ableton
  • 2 x industry-standard recording studios (Genelec, AKG, UAD, Native Instruments, PMC, Motu, Rhode, Roland, Mackie, Yamaha, Alesis). We are always developing partnerships with manufacturers and brands, so great discounts on equipment are always available to you.
  • Podcast rooms
  • 3 x production hot rooms
  • 4 x production rehearsal rooms fully kitted out with Backline
  • 2 x theory rooms, acoustically tuneable recital, performance/production room
  • Technical team support


You will be continuously assessed through a range of assessments, technical & creative projects and collaborations.

Progression can include employment (including self-employment) and/or progression to Higher Education. In some circumstances, this year’s study/qualification can act as the first year of a full three year degree programme at an alternative Higher Education provider.

The course has been designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to develop your career as a creative professional. This qualification will provide you with an opportunity to cultivate your employability by developing your creative, performance and instrumental/production skills in your specialist field.

Alumni from HSDC Higher Education music courses include Victorious Festival owners and employees, International Recording and Touring artists and BBC National Radio Broadcasters.

How to apply

Contact us

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

My experience with the teaching and support was really well, as I’m dyslexic, they helped me a lot and I’ve achieved good grades, so I’m really pleased.

Thomas McCann, A Level student

My experience at the college has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student