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Music Technology: Production (Level 3) at Access Creative College

Course description

If you love creating, producing and mixing music using technology, then this course is the perfect way to develop your skills to the next level. The course is:

  • For those wanting to create and release music using software such as Logic and Ableton Live.
  • Ideal for school leavers aged 16+ looking to create and perform electronic digital music.
  • Perfect for producers into creating and recording any style from drum ‘n’ bass, techno, dubstep and house to media, film, games and advert music.
  • Designed to allow options to perform/DJ your music using software and hardware controllers and collaborations with musicians.
  • Based around real-world projects with opportunities to record and release tracks, undertake remix projects,  create music for media applications such as adverts and computer games, and create live sets.
  • Integrated into the industry. Through our partnership with Focusrite, you will have the opportunity to get over £500 worth of FREE plug-ins, including the Scarlett compressor, EQ and reverb, the classic Midnight and Red Suites with their iconic compressors and equalisers, and the Softube bundle with reverb, delay and distortion.
  • Designed to give you more than music in that you will also gain valuable job skills and life skills.
  • Linked to nationally-recognised music qualifications.
  • Taught by producers at Birmingham, Bristol, Great Yarmouth, Lincoln, London (Stratford), Manchester, Mansfield, Norwich, York.
  • Graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted in 2016.

Course content

This Music Technology course offers progression from Music Technology at Level 2 and is for producers and composers with more experience, but who are looking to refine their skills.The course covers musicianship, music software and hardware, repertoire development, recording, mastering and realization, business awareness and promotion.

Delivery is focused around practical music production sessions in Apple Mac technology suites as well as in digital studio environments.

You will focus on developing the skills needed for creating successful recorded works. On the Level 3 course you will be doing in-depth work in the following areas:

  • Musicianship: this is about developing your technical and theoretical knowledge to enable you to create better compositions and recordings. You will develop your understanding of how music works and systems of notation to record musical ideas. There is no formal requirement to read conventional music notation, but an awareness of it is important, especially on the Advanced Music course. You will also develop your keyboard skills to assist with your understanding of music and to help you input data in real time.
  • Repertoire: you will work on developing a body of work which will include original compositions and arrangements/remixes for a variety of applications. It is important for aspiring producers to develop a broad repertoire to maximise opportunities of generating income. Writing original material is an essential creative process for artists, but we will be looking for you to develop an increasingly diverse range of material including music for a variety of media. Arranging/remixing other people's tracks is an interesting, instructive and creative activity, such as a dubstep version of an acoustic song or reworking another producer's work in a different style, and is a common element of the dance music genre. You will also work on creating music for commissioned briefs such as a 20 second piece in a particular genre for an advert.
  • Collaboration: it is important for producers to develop collaboration skills working with other producers and  musicians. You will be expected to develop parts for real instruments and vocals and arrange the performance and recording of these, such as a live drum rhythm, bass line, guitar part or vocal melody. You will also be expected to work jointly with other producers on specific projects.
  • Promotion: digital music artists need to create channels to promote their repertoire - this is essential if you are to generate money from your music. You will look at creating a fan/client base through effective communication via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud. You will look at developing an electronic press kit and releasing music digitally via online distribution companies. You will also explore publishing and synchonisation opportunities which are key to generating income from media sources. You will also look at image and graphical/video representation via posters, flyers, CD covers etc.
  • Realization: this is the process of creating fully mastered versions of your repertoire. This may include multiple edits for different destinations (e.g. radio edit, extended dance mix) and specific mixes for commissioned works, such as a computer games theme or soundtrack.

Entry requirements

Our main criteria are an ability and passion for all aspects of music production and a dedication to gaining skills. You will also need to demonstrate that you are able to work at your chosen level. For school leavers we will require evidence of your predicted and actual grades, backed up by a school reference.

This Music Production course is for more experienced producers/composers with more experience of music production. You should already be familiar with at least one or two software platforms and may have used more advanced programmes such as Logic Pro. You may also be a DJ or live electronic performer.

You will be invited to an interview where you will be expected to give a demonstration of how you created a piece of music using digital software. Please bring the track with you, ideally as a software file(e.g. Garageband, Reason, Logic) and/or as a MP3 or similar audio file or link to a Soundcloud file. You may also undertake a short demonstration of using a digital audio workstation (around 5 minutes). If you are a DJ or live electronic performer, then please come prepared to demonstrate your skills and talk about bars, beats and structures and music production. You can view/download a detailed Interview Guide from the link below.

Please note you will not be able to enrol if you will be under the age of 16 on 31st August. Applications from people under this age are still welcome, but will be deferred to the following year.


Music Production courses are assessed through nationally-recognised RSL qualifications with assessment based on course work rather than exams. From 2017 all qualifications will have an element of external assessment and these units must be passed to successfully complete the course.

The Level 3 Music Technology: Production course has the following options:

  • One year RSL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners. This can generate up to 86 UCAS points on the 2017 tariff. If you are successful in this you can progress to
  • One year RSL Level 3 Extended Diploma for Music Practitioners. This can generate up to 168 UCAS points on the 2017 tariff.
  • Please note these UCAS points are for a Distinction* and lower grades generate less points.

The Subsidiary Diploma and Extended Diploma:

  • are equivalent to three A Levels or a BTEC Level 3 Diploma;
  • provide progression to university degrees.

Other Qualifications
Access to Music is committed to providing you with the best opportunities and so delivers wider life and employability skills alongside music. Students aged 16-18 with a GCSE grade D in either English and Maths will be given support to improve their grade. Students with lower than a grade D will do Functional Skills and then potentially move on to do GCSEs. Both options include exams.

Financial information

All ages for September 2017 entry are based on how old you are on 31 August 2017, and/or at the start of your course.

If you are aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2017, you will not have to pay any fees. There is voluntary Enrichment Contribution of £95 which can be paid before starting the course and contributes towards enrichment activities provided by Access to Music, such as music opportunities, masterclasses etc.

Enrolment is based on payment of fees and acceptance of an offer is not a guarantee of your place on the course.
Fees for Level 3 courses per year are:
> £4000

You can now apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of this course. You will only have to repay the loan when you start to earn over £21,000 per year.


Future opportunities

Progression from the Extended Diploma course can be to undergraduate study, including the following Access to Music courses:

You may also progress into employment in the creative industries or into an apprenticeship.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 October 2016
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Key information


  • More information
    • Access to Music York runs from the Jam Factory, a commercial rehearsal and studio business which means that your place of learning is at the heart of the regional music scene.

      Facilities include fully-equipped band rehearsal rooms, Apple Mac technology and media suites and a digital recording studio.

      Our staff are all experienced musicians and they get to know who you are and what you want to be. We have a proven track record of past students going on to university and into the industry.

      Finally, York is a great place to study music. It has a lively music and cultural scene and there are plenty of opportunities to get out and perform or work at venues and festivals.