Level 3 90 Credit Music

Start date(s):
31 Aug 2020
1 year
Level 3
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Awarded by:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
16-18 - Free (UK & EEA)
19+ - £6671, your course may be free
(previous year's fees)


This course will prepare you for work within the music industry by developing your technical and practical skills. Undertaking a work placement in a relevant area, and engaging in multiple live performances, will provide you with essential valuable skills.

You will become aware of the influencers of popular music across the ages, and will develop your own performance style.


Songwriters Showcase 2

Starbucks houses songwriters evening

Students showcased their creative ability in our on-site Starbucks.

mark nixon elvis presley

Former Performing Arts Student signed to RCA

Former New College Durham Performing Arts student Mark Nixon has been signed by prestigious music recording group RCA. 

Music performance 1

Showcase their skills

Our new music students showcased their skills to a live audience during their first performance in the college.

Music Show

Live music performance

Our current Music students have excelled themselves with a series of outstanding performances in December.

Root music 2

Former music student auditions on The Voice

A former New College Durham music student is through to the next round of the BBC show The Voice.

Performing Arts 3

Music by Numbers

Our music students performed 'Music by Numbers' and 'Unplugged' as part of their practical assessment.

Peanuts Agency

Agency talk to Actors

Performing Arts students gain insightful industry knowledge from Peanuts Casting Agency.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts students showcase their talent

Students performed songs from the musical Rent during their induction week.

Music students perform best of the 80s

Talented music students transported a captivated audience back to the 80s at the Gala Theatre, in a thrilling live performance.

Music students at Retail Awards

Music students perform at Retail Awards

Music students from New College Durham performed at the prestigious Retail Awards in Durham.


The course is designed to stretch and challenge those who are looking to progress into a career in the industry. It is an opportunity to develop your instrumental skill and repertoire, in group and solo contexts. You will apply and refine your audio awareness across a range of popular music genres, and will study and analyse the influence of popular music across the ages.

This highly practical qualification will allow you to explore, develop and test your creativity. You will be provided with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to progress to degree level study or employment. You will create song writing portfolios, audio and MIDI projects using Logic Pro X.


You will study the following units:
  • Music Performance Techniques
  • Working and Developing as a Musical Ensemble
  • Sequencing Systems and Techniques
  • Contemporary Song Writing Techniques
  • Aural Perception Skills
  • Solo Music Performance Skills
  • The Sound and Music Industry
  • Pop Music in Practice.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is carried out on a continuous basis and the course is delivered through a series of practical projects and assignments, including public performances.

The assignments will be both practical and theoretical throughout the year and you will be expected to set targets and make a record of this. Performance-based modules will be assessed through live performances in professional music venues, such as the Gala Theatre and the College’s Drama Studio. Aural perception skills will focus on skills tests in pitch and rhythm.

Maths and English

Stobo Castle

Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

We are very proud of the strong industry links we hold. Our established link with the Gala Theatre in Durham ensures you are provided with the opportunity to perform in a professional environment.

Our tutors are practicing professionals who have links with professional venues, studios, producers, theatre companies, musical directors and agencies.


You will be encouraged to pursue a work placement to get experience working in a relevant area. Previous students have successfully secured placements in local radio stations, live music venues, recording and rehearsal studios, and shadowing music teachers in either a classroom or stage school setting.

You could progress to FdA Roots and Popular Music at New College Durham, or a relevant subject at university.

What else?


Please note these prices are for the current academic year and may be subject to change for our courses starting in future years.

Refund policy square 2018/19

Refund Policy 19-20

View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.


Additional Costs

You will need to own and maintain musical equipment and instruments, including a first study instrument and necessary accessories.

Interview Instructions

You will be invited to attend an interview. At this stage, you will demonstrate your performance ability and your suitability to the course will be assessed.

What you are expected to do at interview will be outlined in detail in an audition pack that will be sent out prior to your interview date.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

Entry Criteria

In order to access this course, you must possess a minimum of four GCSEs at grades C or above (or equivalent), ideally this will include maths and English.

This course is accessible to applicants of all ages who possess suitable experience and ability.