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Professional Music Performance

UAL Level 4 Diploma

two students singing

Availability & Details

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

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Adult Learning, Full Time, Higher Education

Academic Year 2023-24 (1 years)

Examination board

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How to apply

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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. 

The course is accredited by University Arts London (UAL).


Cost: £4,670 (free if under 19 years old).

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

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

You will attend the South Downs Campus two to three days a week for 32 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.

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

  • 5 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
  • 4 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 and creative projects and collaborations.

Through working as a professional in your chosen specialism, opportunities for learners and assessors are gained to achieve your goals.

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.

All of your lecturers on the programme are fully qualified and are all continuously working in the industry in their specialist fields. We also have a partnership agreement with The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, for regular student performances. Expect a variety of guest talks and lectures from industry professionals, for example, Jason Cooper from The Cure (drummer).

The tutors were really supportive and it was all thanks to them that I have achieved what I have. I’ve also made loads of great friends and really enjoyed my time at the college.

Lizaveta Sinkerich, A Level student

My time at the college was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. The college is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student