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Home » Courses » BTEC National Extended Diploma in Music

BTEC National Extended Diploma in Music

If you are passionate about music, love writing, performing or producing music and want to work in one of the most competitive and exciting industries in the world, then the Extended Diploma in Music could be the choice for you.

why choose this course ?

The music industry is ever expanding, and there are many opportunities for musicians to forge an exciting career for themselves through different pathways. This exciting two-year programme will provide you with a hands-on, vocational approach to working within the music industry, helping you to develop the knowledge and skills required for employment within the music business or further study at university level. You will look at the practical skills required for performing in bands or as a session musician, developing the techniques needed for playing in a range of styles and genres. You will take part in a number of practical projects ranging from gigs at local venues, to community-based music projects and events.

Apply for this course

Start date: 09/09/2024

Course code
Level 3
Truro College
2 years
Extended Diploma

top course highlights

Great Facilities

Expert Lecturers

Progression Focussed

Real-World Projects

Collaboration Opportunities

Music & Performing Arts 439

Learn from industry experts

You will be taught by staff with extensive experience in a range of fields from within the music industry.

Music & Performing Arts 438

Develop work-related skills

The course is designed with progression in mind, giving you the skills to move into a range of entry level careers within the music industry through a range of practical and vocationally relevant projects.

A tutor leans towards a student's computer screen in a helpful way. He is smiling.

Top Quality Facilities

Work in state-of-the-art facilities including fully kitted out practice rooms, professional recording studios and computer suites using the latest industry standard software.

what will i learn?

If you love popular music, and can see yourself focusing on it every day, both as an individual and through teamwork, then this is the course for you! You will develop composition and song writing skills, look at music sequencing and recording, and receive a free instrumental lesson every week.

The course is divided into two years. At the end of year 1 you will achieve a 90 Credit Diploma (equivalent to one and a half A-levels or three AS levels), and the full Extended Diploma (equivalent to three A Levels) at the end of year 2. The course is packed with opportunities to develop across the range of skillsets within music and provides an excellent platform for your future. Your studies will be divided as follows:


You will look at a range of practical projects in year 1, developing your playing ability, communication and teamwork skills, and performing several shows both at college and in the community. You will work within a number of different line-ups, in order to enhance your skills of creativity and develop your musical interests. You will also focus on song writing, and in year 2, you will organise, manage and perform at a large-scale event, either in a band, or as a solo artist.

Musicianship Skills

Your music theory skills, listening and aural perception will be developed, as these are key to anyone wishing to be successful in the industry. We will look at how these skills can be practically applied, and even give you the opportunity to study for a theory qualification if you want to. In year 2, You will look at how to write and construct music for a variety of purposes, and develop your song writing techniques.

Popular Music in Context

This element will allow you to look at popular music history, and how the wider world affects the music that is written and created. You will study what makes certain artists successful, investigate the music of other cultures, and undertake a research project in a musical subject of your choosing.

Creative Music Technology

Music technology is an ever-expanding area of the business, and every up and coming musician should be aware of the benefits of honing these skills. You will learn to sequence and compose music using industry standard software, and will also learn to use our 24 track studio, to record and produce music to a professional standard. The skills that you learn here will ensure that you are ready for the future challenges and developments within the music industry and encourage your creative side!


The aim of the industry units is to prepare you for work within the music business. You will study the main areas of the industry, looking at the roles involved. You will then look at contracts and investigate music licensing and royalty payments. Former students who have enjoyed these units have gone on to work as music lawyers or within record companies. In the second year, you will look at the skills needed to work as a freelancer within the industry, studying everything from applying for music jobs to looking at managing your finances and paying tax. You will also study the importance of marketing within the industry and run a marketing campaign for a music product.

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Where will it take me?

On completion of this course, you will have the qualifications necessary to progress onto a range of higher education options, either in Music or from a wide range of other options. You will already have the skills required for a number of career options within the performance and production industries.

The course leads onto a range of careers including jobs as:

  • Session Musicians
  • Music Promoters and Events managers
  • Producers and Engineers
  • Film Composers
  • Record Label roles including A&R and Management
  • Journalists
  • Product Designers

Our former music students include a Grammy Award winner, a number 1 selling electronic artist, an internationally acclaimed band, the winner of ITV’s ‘The Voice’, and a whole host of session players, event managers and producers working regularly with the skills that they developed here.


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Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above or a Level 2 Diploma in appropriate subjects (to include English Language or Literature and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or above).

Though no formal music education is required, you should be able to display not only an enthusiasm and passion for the subject, but also an aptitude for performance and experience of an instrument or voice.

You will be expected to attend an interview and audition, at which you will play or sing two contrasting pieces to assess your suitability for the course.

Assessment Arrangements

You are assessed in a variety of ways including practical tasks, written essays, verbal presentations, logbooks and technology-based projects.

Information & Support

Working within the Student Services area, the Student Support team will see you on a one-to-one basis as needed and offer advice and guidance on financial, personal and emotional issues. A professional team of staff work together with your personal tutor to support you so that you can successfully complete your course and recognise pathways to progression after leaving College.

What You’ll Need

Students will always need a set of headphones, a notebook and a pen. Microphones, drum kits, keyboards and amplifiers are provided for use at college, so musicians just need to bring their instrument/jack leads/drum sticks etc.


Each learner on the Extended Diploma in Music is provided a free half an hour instrumental lesson each week in an instrument of their choosing. It is recommended for the first year that learners choose their strongest instrument for this lesson unless they are already having lessons with an external teacher and wish to pursue something else.

Meet the staff, tour the campus and find out about life as a student at one of the best colleges in the country.

What you could earn

  • Musicians
  • Dancers and Choreographers
  • Actors, Entertainers and Presenters
Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Our colleges

Truro College
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