Music Practitioner (Performance, DJ & Electronic Music, Music Technology Pathways) - Level 3 Extended Diploma (Full-Time) (16-18)

Level 3 - A Level or BTEC National or IB or NVQ Level 3 or Equivalent

Subject Area Music

Attendance Full-Time


Within this RSL Level 3 Music Practitioner course learners are able to specialise through bespoke pathways.

Pathways available are:

Music Performance

DJ & Electronic Music

Music Technology

Over the two years you will cover units which will prepare you for life within the music industry as well as develop your skills as a practitioner. This course is ideally suited to musicians who wish to develop vocational skills within industry standard facilities with highly skilled staff.




This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: September 2021. For further information, please call 0191 200 4000 or email
Duration: 2 Years
Venue: Performance Academy, Rye Hill Campus

Who the course is for

This course is designed for those wanting to develop careers in the music profession and related industries. You have the opportunity to specialise into your area of interest from the start of the course.

Music Performance Pathway: This course is for the musician who wishes to develop music performance skills as well as develop knowledge of the industry and recording techniques.

DJ & Electronic Music Pathway: This course is for the musician or producer who wishes to develop skills within electronic music production and gives the additional opportunity to develop performance skills.

Music Technology Pathway: This course is for the musician, engineer or producer who wishes to develop and gain skills within the studio and/or live sound.

Qualification Gained

The course leads to the following qualification: RSL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Practitioner.

The programme is equivalent to 3 A Levels (with a maximum 168 UCAS points being available for this programme).


How to Apply


Click on the "Apply for this course" button at the bottom of this page.

In Person

Come along to our Student Services Office, located within Armstrong House. Alternatively, visit an Open Event at our Rye Hill Campus, click here for dates and times.


Course Content

Within the course specialist units have been selected to develop skills within each specialism. areas covered within units for specialisms are:

Music Performance Pathway: Improving Instrumental Performance, Recording Music for Performance, Live Music Performance, Improvisation, Music Instrument Development.   

DJ & Electronic Music Pathway: Music Sequencing and Production, Analogue Synthesis, Creating a Sample Library and using Equalisation and Filters.

Music Technology Pathway: Sound reinforcement, Live sound recording, Digital Recording and Production, Revenue Flow in the Music Industry.

Learning Methods

The course is very practical and you will be spending the majority of your time in rehearsal rooms, studios, music venues and other creative spaces relevant to your chosen pathway.

Studying and learning the knowledge and theory elements of the course inevitably means that some time will be spent in classrooms, lecture theatres and IT suites, but even there the emphasis is on practical application.

Some of your learning will be through e-learning and the course makes extensive use of social media to communicate with and support students.

Assessment Methods

The majority of your assessment will be based on the evidence that you collect through your practical activity and will include recordings, performance videos and other similar evidence.

However, you will be required to write reports, keep logs and notes of meetings and discussions, make presentations, and provide written and verbal responses to questions. Assessment material and assignment briefs will be available on the course's Blackboard site and the courses Facebook groups.


Progression Opportunities

On completion of this course, most students’ progress into higher education to develop the higher level vocational skills and portfolio of work experience required to progress into the industry.

We have two specialist degrees:

  • BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance
  • BA (Hons) Music Production


Career Opportunities

Careers in the Music Industry are wide-ranging based on your skills and portfolio.

Some of these include:

Music composer/arranger, performer/DJ, instrumental tutor, music course teacher, music producer, music journalism, artist management, promoter, music programmer, marketing, distribution, A&R, music therapy, sales, publishing, booking agent, tour manager, merchandiser, radio presenter/producer.

The world's three major recorded music businesses have a significant presence in the UK: Universal Music Group, SonyBMG and Warner Music Group. The UK is also home to the world’s largest independent in the UK’s Beggar’s Group (Source: The Economic Contribution of the Core UK Music Industry, UK Music, 2013).

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at A* to C, including maths and English and preferably a vocationally relevant subject. However, those who do not have a vocationally relevant subject must be able to demonstrate advanced ability at audition.

Those without relevant maths and English qualifications will be required to gain those qualifications whilst on the course.

If English is not your first language, you will also need English language test of 5.0 or higher.

You will need to supply a satisfactory reference.


Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, you can contact Student Services by using the LiveChat function on this page, by emailing or by telephoning 0191 200 4000. We are currently open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.


Course Costs

16 to 18s

Learners are eligible for free tuition if they are aged 16-18 when beginning their studies.

If the course being applied for is a two-year qualification, you will continue to be eligible for free tuition for the remainder of the course.

If the course being applied for is two separate one-year qualifications and you begin studying year one of the course aged 18, you will be required to pay fees for the second year.

If you are aged 18 when beginning the course, it is advised that you talk to our Student Services Team on 0191 200 4000 or by email who will be able to explain the options available.

Please note, if you are applying from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you may be subject to different funding rules than students who live in England. Depending on your age and type of course you choose you may be liable for fees, even if you are under 19. Please contact Student Services on 0191 200 4000 to discuss your eligibility.