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This course, equivalent to 3 A Levels, offers students the chance to completely submerge themselves into every aspect of music making. The course is designed for students with a genuine interest in working in the music industry as a performer or producer, or in fact any area of the industry.

You will study many aspects of the Popular Music and Music Production Foundation Diplomas with additional units in marketing, promotion, production and performance. In the second year of the course when you have studied both pathways, you will choose whether you specialise in either performance or production.

These qualifications are focused on building practical skill sets to enable you to work within the industry. During your time here, you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience at a number of festivals to putting on your own European tour and releasing music! You will write, record and produce music in the state of the art studios with a choice of getting assessed on your production, or performance skills.

Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English Language or Literature and musical ability or knowledge of Music software.

On this course you will study the following topics:

  • Performance (group and solo)
  • Recording and Production techniques
  • Songwriting/Composition
  • History of Pop and Production Through Decades
  • Music Industry Studies
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Events Management (including a tour)
  • Sampling and Synthesis
  • Live Sound

How is the work assessed?

No externally assessed exams. All practical portfolio work and research projects.

What can I do at the end of the course?

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!), joined professional bands and gone on tour (October Drift, Last One Home), gone into Music Management and Promotional jobs (Senior Account Manager at Be-Hookd Digital and Artist Manager,) the list goes on…

Any other information that is relevant to the course?

Students are also encouraged to get involved with Music Enrichment activities such as Big Band, Choir, Rock Choir, Guitar Group, Folk Group, Samba Band, Jazz Combo…

There are opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience at places such as Glastonbury Festival, Tunes in the Dunes and venues across the South West.

I chose this course because I am a very keen songwriter and producer and I hoped it would provide enough insight into the different areas of the Music industry to help guide me to focus and specialise in a particular area, to go on and study at university and pursue as a career. This course has definitely provided me with a lot of experience and knowledge, surrounding that, and at the same time has been a lot of fun.

The Music department is great at running trips – in particular, visiting professional recording studios, such as Muddy Road Studios which we have had the chance to go to and record performances and songs. The industry lectures, given by professionals, such as PRS (The Performing Rights Society) and artist managers, have also been extremely beneficial.

The support I have received in developing my experience as a songwriter and my artist project, ‘saferinthecity’, has also been rewarding, haven been given a range of opportunities to perform live at different events, share and collaborate with others and to flesh out my initial ideas, in both a recorded and live setting. If you’re certain you want to pursue a career in something music-related, I would highly recommend this course, as it has a useful focus on creating a career realistically, as a freelancer and musician in the industry.

Harry Paynter, Pop Music and Music Production student



The Aspen Music Centre is officially opened in December 2018 with the help of pupils from St George’s Primary School

Aspen Music Centre has been purpose built to offer the best experience for students wanting to advance their musical skills.

The music suite and performance space has:

  • 2 recording studios with RedNet Technology
    Studio 1: Audient ASP 8024 HE Mixing Desk
    Studio 2: Allen and Heath ZED 16 Mixing Desk
  • Industry standard microphones, guitar amplifiers etc
  • 2 sound proof live rooms for recording
  • A Mac suite equipped with the latest Apple iMac computers running Logic X, Ableton, Sibelius 8
  • Editing/production suite with Allen and Heath QU24 Digital Mixing Desk
  • 2 large specialist music teaching classrooms
  • 5 purpose built practice rooms equipped with pianos for instrumental lessons and individual bookings
  • Secure instrument store cupboard and vast library of printed music
  • Instruments and sound equipment available to loan

Also on campus we have a number of well equipped practice rooms;

  • Red Room – Large practice room with stage, full PA and recording facilities, Drum Kit, Amps and Piano
  • Green Room – Piano, PA, Drum Kit, Amps
  • Blue Room – Drum Kit, PA Amps and Recording facilities