Accessibility links

Music Technology Extended Diploma UAL Level 3 at The Academy of Contemporary Music

Course description

Start your journey as a professional producer.

ACM’s UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma is designed to give students a focused learning experience, providing the skills and knowledge necessary for continuing study at Higher Education level or building a career as a music producer.

Students are given access to a host of world-class Music Technology facilities, including our Apple MIT suites and state-of-the-art recording studios.

Lectures, tutorials, workshops and masterclasses are led by the same worldclass music industry professionals that teach on our Higher Education programme offerings and our unique relationship with Metropolis, Europe’s largest creative complex, means that students of this course share their time at ACM with the Grammy Award-winning producers and engineers resident at the studios.

Course content

First year modules include:


Music Culture (COR-311)

  • Music Culture will provide learners with knowledge and insight into historical and contemporary contexts and perspectives that have influenced the development of music performance and production.
  • It will discuss how music functions within society and encourage critical commentary on the influences that technology, politics, business, history and geography have had on the development and production of music and wider popular culture.

Professional Industry Practice (COR-312)

  • These sessions aim to promote learners’ personal, academic and professional development through selfassessment, target-setting and preparation for Higher Education and future career paths
  • It will investigate the workings of the music industry, where it fits within the creative industries, synergies, collaborations, partnerships, how the industry maps together, who the industry represents, why it’s so important and the mechanics of how it works in terms of income streams, money generation and flow, the rise of the DIY artist and new business models in creative projects coming to market within the creative industries.

Event Management (COR-313)

  • Through a practical and contextual approach, this module will discuss the planning of events – music, corporate, fashion, product launches, festivals – clarifying their purpose, the people, stage management, sound, backline, equipment, logistics, strategy, planning and execution, venue hire, health and safety principles, roles and all venue considerations when the public come together


Audio Principles (PRD-311)

  • In this module students will gain an understanding of basic keyboard skills and progress to integrating these skills into performance situations.
  • They will learn how to use the keyboard creatively as a performance tool, integrating it with MIDI functions, controllers and mapping tools.

Studio Production (PRD-312)

  • Studio Production will enable students to develop a key understanding of the studio environment, beginning with mic techniques and signal flow progressing to more advanced techniques and mixing with the console.
  • Focus will be on recording techniques and overdubbing skills with mixing skills integrated at a later stage.

Composition Skills (PRD-313)

  • Students will develop an understanding of music theory and songwriting skills.
  • Students will use DAWs (e.g. Logic) when demonstrating recording principles within song creation or integration of various media formats (genre-specific, games, advertisements etc.).
  • DAWs will also be used as composition tools to develop ideas such as melody lines, score editing, VST instruments, video integration and basic synthesis skills.

Critical Listening for Producers (PRD-314)

  • This module will provide the student with the opportunity to expand and develop listening skills to help inform musical performance and production ideas.
  • Crucially, the module will be taught from the producer’s perspective, providing contextual relevance to the role. Students will learn to interpret and analyse musical material and communicate clearly using music terminology.
  • It should provide the all-important link between the concepts of aural perception and music theory enabling students to appreciate its value and become conversant in the language of music.

Sequencing Skills (PRD-315)

  • Students will learn and utilise Logic and Ableton software allowing them to become competent with the basic and intermediate level functions within both digital audio workstations (DAWs).
  • They will learn layout and key commands, automation and controllers, mixing, editing and any techniques and tools specific to each DAW. Students will also learn the principles of synthesis and sound design.

As well as developing their general musicality and technological competencies, students will also develop the analytical, time management, presentational and interpersonal skills necessary to become a well-rounded and employable music professional. After all, studying Music Technology at ACM is not just about learning how to produce music, it’s about learning how to make your love, your profession.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum 4 GCSEs (A* - C or 9 - 4 grade) or an equivalent Level 2 qualification. This should include English and Maths GCSE (A* - C or 9 - 4 grade).
  • All applicants will be assessed though interview/audition.
  • If you do not have a pass in either English or Maths GCSE then we will provide you with the opportunity to complete this alongside your course. Students needing to resit both English and Maths will normally be required to first complete the UAL Level 2 Diploma in Music Performance and Production programme. Your ability will be assessed and where appropriate you may be required to first complete a Functional Skills level award.

Financial information

If you are under 18 on 31st August 2017, the government will fully fund your studies with us for the entire two year Extended Diploma - and subject to eligibility criteria.

Future opportunities

Students can progress onto ACM degree programmes.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Academy of Contemporary Music directly.

Last updated date: 17 October 2016
Provider logo

Key information


  • More information
    • With a long-standing rich arts and educational heritage, the Surrey market town of Guildford is fast becoming a cultural, commercial and learning destination. With a buzzing live music scene, large student population and a location just a short 30 minute journey from central London, it is the ideal setting for beginning your music industry education.

      Combining the security and charm of a small town with all the vibrancy of a city, Guildford is very well serviced with a huge selection of shops, restaurants, live music venues and sports facilities.

      Guildford has a vibrant nightlife scene catering to the town’s large student community. It is bustling with clubs, bars, pubs and dedicated music venues of all sizes from The Boileroom, a 200-capacity live events space, to G Live, a 1,700-capacity venue.

      ACM’s immersive education experience extends into those spaces in the evenings and weekends, providing performance, production, technical and business opportunities for students at more than 60 live events that we are involved with every month. In fact, it’s hard to find a night in Guildford that doesn’t involve ACM in some form.

      Despite its vibrant nightlife and the urban benefits of such a well-served town, Guildford has one of the lowest crime rates in the United Kingdom. Being only a 30-minute train journey from London, students regularly travel for performance and work opportunities. With trains running every 15 minutes throughout the day, Guildford is also well connected for travel by road, benefitting from a 15-minute link time to the M25.