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Music Technology BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Level 3 at Wilberforce College

Course description

You should choose to study music if you enjoy learning about music and recording music along with an interest in live sound and sound production. It is a hands on course with many opportunities for recording your own and others music most of which form part of your assessments. As well as audio engineering principles you will study the elements of many different forms of music technology, for example how to recognise recording faults. 

You need a keen interest in music and the ability to play a contemporary instrument such as a guitar, drums or have the confidence to sing to a reasonable standard.  If you are experienced in music already your skills will be put to good use especially in the units that require you to record a performance.

The course is mainly theoretical and you will need to complete some written work. The Certificate in Music Technology is equivalent to 1 AS Level in the first year and if you go on to study the second year you will obtain the Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology worth 1 full A Level. You may also be able to study 3 more courses or their equivalent alongside it depending on your entry qualifications.

Course content

Year One Units

Unit 14 - Listening Skills for Music Technologists

Throughout this unit you will learn about the listening skills you need in order to engineer sound. You will explore the potential of hearing by learning to listen actively instead of passively. You will explore the world of sound and share your discoveries with each other. Your assessment is split into 3 assignments focusing on work you will do in class. The assignments are split into tasks with marks awarded for each which may include reproducing and identifying particular elements.

Unit 25 - Music Production Techniques

Throughout this unit you will learn about manufacturers’ specifications for a range of audio recording equipment and be able to set up the equipment required for a recording session. You will also learn to capture audio sources using multi-track recording techniques and mix multi-track recordings.

Unit 35 - Sound Creation and Manipulation

During this unit you will learn and be able to understand the relationship between acoustic theory and the fundamentals of synthesis, be able to use the editing functions of a synthesiser and use the editing functions of a sampler. You will also realise musical ideas that combine synthesis and sampling techniques.

Year Two Units

Unit 9 - Planning and Delivering a Music Product

This unit will encourage you to undertake a range of roles in the studio as part of a team, with the aim of creating a product that satisfies current technical and creative trends whilst utilising the best current technology. Each team will plan and create an audio CD with a number of tracks.

The focus for the unit is on teamwork, where each team member will have clearly defined roles in the studio whilst creating a series of recordings. When finished this unit you will have participated in the production of a fully furnished, mastered audio CD recording.

Unit 5 - Backline Technical Management

Throughout the unit you will learn about the construction of backline instruments. You will look at how they have developed and how to maintain the equipment for a touring band. You will learn about the specific roles of the backline technician and the importance of the correct health and safety aspects.

Unit 29 - Live Sound Techniques

Throughout this unit you will learn about the roles of the live sound engineer. You will be taken through the setup of live sound equipment as well as learning about and developing your live mixing skills including monitor mixes for individual performers

Entry requirements

4 A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent in 3 or more subjects including a minimum grade D in GCSE English Language.

It would be advantageous to play an instrument/read guitar tabs or sheet music.


The course is structured by assignments and every task you are asked to do will feature within one of the assignments. There are usually 3 assignments per unit per year. Most of the assignments include recordings or written tasks that are assessed by your tutor.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 September 2016

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