Level 3 Extended Diploma Music

Start date(s):
31 Aug 2020
2 years
Level 3
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Daytime, Evening
Awarded by:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
16-18 - Free (UK & EEA)
19+ - £3697 per year, your course may be free
(previous year's fees)


This exciting course will help you to further develop your music performance skills and knowledge from studying a broad range of music styles.

The course will give you the best start to get into a range of careers in the music industry. It involves practical solo music performance and working and developing as a musical ensemble. You will study theoretical and academic units such as the music industry, aural perception skills, music theory and harmony, song writing and musical arranging.

You will have the opportunity to study a range of additional qualifications including grades in Practical Music and Music Theory, and participating in live performances in a professional venue.
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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.


Theoretical Units:
  • Aural Perception Skills
  • Pop Music in Practice
  • Contemporary Song Writing Techniques
  • Music and Society
  • The Sound and Music Industry
  • Arranging Music
  • Music Theory and Harmony
  • Special Subject Investigation.

Practical Units:
  • The Functional Music Keyboard
  • Developing as a Music Ensemble
  • Live Music Workshop
  • Music Performance Techniques
  • Major Music Project
  • Music Performance Session Styles.

Technological Units:
  • Sequencing Systems and Techniques
  • Working with Music Notation Packages
  • Music Production Techniques.

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

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. Portfolio-based assignments will involve engaging with software, such as Logic Pro X.

Maths and English


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.

Meet our students

Thomas Lee - HE music

Thomas Lee

Thomas progressed from Level 3 to Level 6, at New College Durham, and is now a musician and teacher.


Victoria Muir

Music student Victoria said that the lecturers here share the same passion teaching the course as the students do learning it.


Lynsey Coultas

Music student Lynsey previously studied graphic design at New College Durham.  She hasn’t let her Asperger’s Syndrome hold her back and is now a confident music performer.

Marc Bartle CS

Marc Bartle

Marc graduated from Leeds College of Music and now works as a freelance music teacher.

What else?

Our students progress to a range of respected universities and music schools, such as Trinity College London, The Power House Music Schools (Guitar Institute, Bass Tech, Drum Tech and Vocal Tech), Leeds College of Music, Salford University, Bretton Hall College, Newcastle University, Napier College Edinburgh, Northampton University and Hull University.


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

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Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

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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.