LEVEL 3: VOCATIONAL FOUNDATION DIPLOMA
EXAMINING BOARD: PEARSON
- Course Content
- Entry Requirements
- Common Questions
- What our students say
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This Foundation Diploma equates to 1.5 A Levels and can be studied alongside two A Levels or Extended Certificates within your Study Programme.
The course is a vibrant and creative, looking at every aspect of the use of technology to create, manipulate and capture music. Practical work includes writing, recording and producing music, sampling, sequencing and live sound. There is a dedicated suite of Apple Macs running Logic Studio and Pro Tools software and two purpose built, state of the art recording studios to help you achieve the highest possible standards in your work. Our Aspen Music Centre was purpose built for the teaching of Music; find our more about our facilities in our music enrichment section and on our 360º virtual tour.
If you are considering a career in the music industry, teaching, or simply use music as a creative outlet, this course will give you the necessary musical and technical skills to help you realise your musical potential. The technical aspects of recording, sequencing and synthesis are dealt with both theoretically and practically and you will develop your knowledge of music technology experimentally.
The course works in partnership with the Popular Music course for recording, producing, and live sound for the College’s Pop and Rock bands. Huish has an excellent programme of Music enrichment, with opportunities to play and sing in a wide variety of groups.
You will study the following topics:
- Film Music
- Live Sound
- Music Industry
You will need (or equivalent to);
- GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
- GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
- plus three more GCSEs grade 4/C or above
- musical ability (ability to play an instrument/sing) and some experience using music software.
There are regular formal assessments in the form of recordings, compositions, sequences, presentations and creative written work. There are no externally assessed examinations in this qualification.
You will gain a wide range of skills to be able to go on to any aspect of the Music Industry.
Previous students have gone on to work in recording studios (including Abbey Road!), into Music management and promotional jobs (Senior Account Manager at Be-Hookd Digital and Artist Manager) and to work as Film Music Composers and Producers.
There is a record of excellent progression into higher education too with the majority of students going on to study:
- Creative Music Technology
- Music Performance
- Music Production
- Music Industry Management
- Commercial Music
- Music and Audio Technology
- On the prestigious Tonmeister Course.
Can I study Pop Music and Music Production?
Yes, if you are certain you are want to pursue a Music career you can study for a Pop Music and Music Production Extended Diploma. If you want to keep your Study Programme more broad, you should choose either the Pop Music or Music Production Foundation Diploma and two other subjects.
Roo Harrington Barwick was part of the Class of 2021 and now studies Human Science at Oxford University. Originally interested in Humanities, Roo decided to study BTEC Music Production, alongside A Levels in Psychology and Sociology when he joined Richard Huish College due to is strong interest in music both in and outside of school.
“When choosing my subjects, I decided to only choose those I was genuinely interested in or passionate about. I’ve always been musical but never had the opportunity to learn how to produce music with technology so this course was perfect for me. As music is my main hobby, it also allows me to practise it alongside my A Level subjects and it provides enjoyable breaks and interludes between my academic studies too and I think this positively effects my whole Study Programme”.
He soon found Music Production to be a perfect accompaniment to his other course choices which were a more obvious fit for his career aspirations to one day become the Ambassador to Washington.
“A lot of the work in Music consists of large long-term projects and so the course is really great for learning organisational and planning skills that I simply would not have if I didn’t take the course. What’s more, there are so many opportunities to collaborate creative ideas with friends and other musicians that teamwork becomes second nature and group projects are built so organically and effectively. Being in such a healthy, creative environment enables creative innovation to flourish and it really encourages and rewards thinking outside of the box and coming up with new and different solutions to the problems you encounter. Whether music is a hobby or a career aspiration, the musical and technical skills you learn on the course are invaluable and will provide you with the means to exercise your creativity throughout your life in the future”.
Vocational Music is a very varied course within lessons, students view Music Technology skill demonstrations, collaborate, demonstrate interactive listening, display their work and independently work on music projects. Roo shared his highlight of the course:
“The most enjoyable and engaging project I worked on was definitely the 20-minute EP. Each student has to produce their own 20-minute-long album and we all have complete freedom – any genre is allowed, the songs can be covers or originals, they can be programmed or live, they can be just yourself or a band recording or you can get in touch with live musicians to record, so long as it is produced yourself. I really enjoyed such freedom and have produced my best works by far in this project, from covers I made by myself to recordings of my friends and their bands.”
“Without a doubt I would recommend Vocational Music. It’s perfect for providing and honing valuable alternative skills for life that universities also love to see. It can equip you for a future in any route – whether you take the subject further or, like me, you use such transferable skills to go down a completely different road. It definitely does not close any doors, and in my case, it opened more that I could only dream of”.
Vocational courses can be a great alternative to A Levels and allow you to learn skills in a completely new way you may not have tried before. Roo offers some final advice from his experience for those considering a vocational subject.
“Don’t be afraid at first when such new things are being thrown at you. Embrace them and welcome new opportunities. Once you’ve grasped the basics of your course, if that takes weeks or months (and trust me, sometimes it can take a long time), you will begin to fly ahead and really enjoy all the work. Never be afraid to revisit or ask again about the basics – it’s so important to grasp these so that you can build with them a foundation on which you can always fall back in your studies”.