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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.

Are you a musician that loves performing both in bands and as a soloist? Do you want to develop your skills and grow as a performer? From Rock to Pop, Folk to Fusion, this course is well suited for all types of musicians from drummers to singers, guitarists to keyboard players, in fact anyone interested in gaining the essential skills and knowledge needed for future study or a career in Popular Music.

The course involves practical and investigative work centred on the performance of contemporary popular music and learning about the inner workings of the music industry. You will work closely with the Music Production students to record your music and put on live events. 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.

Throughout the course you will be working as part of a production team towards putting on a tour at the end of the year. This will involve choosing repertoire, perhaps writing your own songs, designing promotional material and working with a budget. It will give you a real insight into what it is like to put on live music events.



You will study the following topics:

  • Performance (group and solo)
  • Music Industry studies
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Session Styles
  • History of Popular Music
  • Music Theory
  • Event Management
  • Recording and Production

We have a full programme of gig dates throughout the year to give our students the most experience of performing in the real world as possible. usually, we gig every fortnight at local venues and further afield from The Cavern Club in Exeter to Gloucester University.

Over the last few years we have welcomed the following speakers:

  • Jim Fox :  John Peel Stage Glastonbury Festival
  • Zac Peters : DMF Music Exeter
  • Paul Grey : Musicians Union
  • Chris Tait : Shipboard Musician

Our students have visited:

  • The John Peel Stage Glastonbury Festival (over a decade of attending)
  • Loud Mastering Taunton
  • Real World Studios Box near Bath (Peter Gabriel’s studio)
  • Theatre Royal Bath
  • Theatre Royal Plymouth
  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Colston Hall Bristol
  • The Phoenix Art Centre Exeter

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 the ability to perform in front of others.

There are regular formal assessments in the form of performances, recordings, 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 join the Music Industry. Previous students have gone on to work in recording studios (including Abbey Road!), joined professional bands (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…

There is a record of excellent progression into higher education too with the majority of students going on to study:

  • At Music College
  • ACM and Tech schools
  • Music Performance degrees
  • Music Industry Management
  • Commercial Music

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.