This course is designed for students with a genuine interest in working in the music industry, either as a performer, producer or any role within the industry. You will be playing in various venues across the South West, recording your music in our state of the art recording studios and learning about earning a living in the industry from session musicians, band managers and experts like Jim Fox, who runs the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury.

A range of skills will be developed on the course including performance skills, musicality, research, communication, time management, creativity, practical production skills, editing and in writing assignments.

You will need a high level of musicianship and an enthusiasm to get involved with all aspects of the profession of music.

There are 5 mandatory units which include:

  • Music and society- how music relates to and interacts with society
  • Music project – how to put on a successful live performance
  • The sound and music industry
  • Sound creation and manipulation
  • Music production techniques

There are an additional 13 optional units.

The Level 3 Extended Diploma is a full time, two year course equivalent to 3 A Levels.

“For me, Popular Music and Music Production has been the perfect balance between creativity and technology. The course is diverse, covering a huge range of applications including live sound, studio recording, synthesis and composition. This has been particularly useful for me when trying to find my areas of interest in such a large industry.”

Popular Music and Music Production Vocational Student

Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English Language or Literature and the ability to play an instrument well.

All music students on A Level or Vocational Music courses at Richard Huish College will receive a bursary off the cost of instrumental or vocal tuition.

To find out more information on the Music Bursary please click here.



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

Opened in Autumn 2018, 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


How is the work assessed?

There are a number of different assessment methods from portfolio work, to live performances, to externally assessed units, but the qualification remains focused on building on practical skill sets to enable you to work within the industry.

There are many ways in which you can collect and submit evidence for your coursework. These might include any combination of:

  • Video of a live performance
  • A report (written or verbal)
  • A presentation
  • A practical project (studio or live performance)
  • A display or visual material (poster, leaflet etc.)
  • An audio recording
  • A witness statement.

What can I do at the end of the course?

The course has been developed in the creative media sector to focus on:

  • Providing vocationally-related education and training for those who are intending to work, or who already work, in the Music Industry
  • Providing opportunities for learners to achieve a nationally recognised Level 3 vocationally specific qualification either to enter employment in the music industry sector or to progress to higher education or vocational qualifications such as the Edexcel BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Music Performance and Music Production.
  • Providing opportunities for learners to develop skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to the music industry in an applied learning context giving learners the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life.

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.