Department Leader: Louise Lovell


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Music Performance

What will I need before taking this course?

This course is aimed at students who are interested in developing practical musical skills together with music theory and industry knowledge. It is a highly practical course and is centred on performing, relevant music theory and industry practice.

This course is equivalent to one A-level and covers the core aspects of practical music skills, and relevant industry knowledge. Students studying on this programme will have a keen interest in developing their knowledge and skills and may be intending to pursue a career in the industry. This course attracts UCAS points in the same way as an A-level.

What will I do?

Students are required to study a range of units over two years. Assessment is a mixture of internal and external.

The following units will be offered; all are taught across both years:

  • Mandatary Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony – Internal Assessment

You will learn about relevant music theory through a series of theory and harmony exercises. Many of the exercises will be also be implemented practically.

  • Mandatary Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry – External Assessment

You will learn about the music industry through individual research, case studies and presentations to your peers.

  • Mandatary Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance – External Assessment

You will learn about good practice and preparation for rehearsal and performance through a series of discussions, practical exercises and workshops and evaluation.

  • Plus one unit from the following:

    • Unit 4: Composing Music

    • Unit 5: Music Performance Session Styles

    • Unit 6: Solo Performance

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for students who are: creative, confident, natural performers, self-motivated and team players. Students should be enthusiastic performers, creative improvisers, active listeners, possess good personal organisation skills and have high levels of commitment. Students need to be willing to be involved with the musical activities of the Department.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed through external and internal vocational and academic assessments. Just over 30% of the course will be externally assessed, 70% internally assessed. Assessments may include: performances, rehearsals, community projects, research presentations or written reports.

Progression – what can I do at the end of the course?

This course is for any instrumentalist or singer who wishes to develop their performing skills to a high level, perhaps with a view to a career in the music and performing arts industry. The qualification is widely recognised by Higher Education establishments offering degree, diploma and professional training programmes.

Minimum requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, including English language or literature. Instrumental and vocal skills will be assessed at audition with the Music staff. You will need to be approximately Grade 3 (instrumental - ABRSM/Trinity etc.) – but the grade certificates are not necessary. Music GCSE Grade 4, or BTEC Level 2 Merit is desirable but not essential. You must be prepared to have regular vocal or instrumental lessons.

All students will be required to attend an audition prior to starting the course. Candidates will be expected to prepare a solo piece on the instrument they intend to use (or voice) during the course. Candidates will receive an invitation to attend audition following receipt of their application.

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