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 2022-23 (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 focussed 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 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.

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 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.

It’s now possible to progress directly from successfully completing this course on to Year 2 of an Arts degree, allowing you to save money by not paying the first-year university fees. Progression to a full degree is available through Solent University, joining for the 2nd and 3rd years. Meaning that the first year of your degree will be free if you are under 19 or significantly reduced if you are over 19.

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. Expect a variety of guest talks and lectures from industry professionals, for example, Jason Cooper from The Cure (drummer).

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 am delighted with my results and am really looking forward to studying Law at Oxford University. I really enjoyed my time at HSDC Alton and I really appreciate all the help and support from my fantastic teachers, without whom I wouldn't have got my place at Oxford."

Catherine Goldie, HSDC Alton A Level Student

I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student