Accessibility links

Music Technology BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma Level 3 at PETROC

Course description

The music industry demands high-level technical skills these days, and the technology is evolving constantly. Over two years, this full time study programme is dedicated to giving you the skills you need to work in the music technology industry.

Students ask what sort of work is produced and what it is used for. Students have recorded charity or demo CDs, have produced sound for live shows and festivals, produced videos and soundtracks for videos, helped launch local bands, produced music and sound tracks for dance productions and for the theatre.

Students ask what sort of professions they can go into and some examples include recording studios, radio or television, theatre sound, computer companies, sample or sound effect companies, sound and music for games etc.

Course content

The qualification is divided into 18 units; you may study recording, sequencing, acoustics, use of computers, research units, history of pop music, music theory, listening skills and the music business. If you play an instrument, we will encourage you to participate in performances with music performance students.
You will also produce written, recorded and sequenced work and presentations in and outside of normal college hours. The whole programme is designed to produce professionals, ready to move to higher education or straight into the industry, in a range of fields from recording/live sound engineer to film/video game music composition and production.
There are five mandatory units to be completed as part of the overall 18 units for the qualification; they are;

  • Listening Skills for Music Technologists - this unit is all about critical listening, an important skill for budding engineers and producers to develop.
  • Music Production Techniques - an in-depth introduction to basic and advance recording techniques, studio equipment and environment.
  • Planning and Delivering a Music Project - an opportunity for the learner to develop a project that will help develop music technology related skills that suits the learner throughout the second year.
  • Sequencing Systems and Techniques - this unit introduces the learner to sequencing software for developing compositional work for music for film, songwriting and composition for games/video.
  • The Sound and Music Industry - this unit is a study of all the major important aspects of the music industry including the four main areas (Record Companies, Artist Management, Music Publishing and Live Performance) and their interconnectivity, contractual aspects and income.

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above, or equivalent, to include English Language, Science and ideally Maths, or, a full Level 2 vocational qualification at Merit or above. Formal musical qualifications may not be needed but at interview, you will need to show us evidence of previous use of music technology (CD or recording etc)


The course is assessed through coursework (preparation and production, research, written assignments, log keeping, discussion and evaluation) and there are no exams. Over two years you will compile a portfolio of coursework. This coursework is all marked by our lecturers and a sample is verified by an Edexcel examiner. This ensures that all marking is fair and matches Edexcel standards. There will be certain key dates (like recording deadlines) by which you have to complete work, but there are no timed written tests or exams.

You will study 18 units each of which will be graded Pass, Merit, or Distinction. These are then condensed down to the grade you will receive at the end of the course. Each of the three grades is equivalent to an A Level and accepted as such by universities and the trade.

Future opportunities

In the past, students have progressed to higher education at universities such as Bath, Salford, TVU, Leeds, and Cardiff. We offer foundation degrees at Petroc too, to take your studies to a higher level without needing to leave the area. Some students have gone straight into the profession, in local or national companies and others have started their own business.

Further information

With the facilities at our Brannams Campus (The Factory with a 500 capacity venue, insulated rehearsal booths, state of the art recording studio and computer work station rooms) and our experienced music industry staff, we are able to offer the budding engineer, music producer, songwriter or arranger a true vocational experience.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact PETROC directly.

Last updated date: 17 February 2017

Key information