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Music: BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (EDEXCEL/Pearson) at The Howard School

Course description

The course is largely practical and focuses on performance aspects of music. It is suitable for students with a passion for performing and an interest in developing skills and techniques on an instrument/voice as a soloist or group member. The course is ideal for any student wishing to pursue a vocation in performing professionally as a musician or in musical theatre, or for those who wish to pursue coaching and teaching performance. The programme covers broad basis of study for the music sector with a focus on performance, personal instrumental technique development, music theory and professional practice.

Applications made to The Howard School can be made by both male and female students.


Course content

Lessons involve a high percentage of practical or performance based study, and developing skills in workshops and study or practice and practitioners. There will be tutorials and teacher led sessions, although there is a significant emphasis on Independent learning with teachers facilitating this learning with specific tasks and guidance. Independent study tasks will vary, with a large emphasis on continuous development on the student’s chosen instrument/s. Peripatetic lessons are highly recommended, and we will provide support in ensuring all students receive tuition.

Music theory will be taught during the course, and prior knowledge would be of benefit but not compulsory as course content will be delivered within lessons.

Entry requirements

Grade 4 or equivalent in at least one instrument is a requirement. If grade exams have not been taken it may be necessary for students to do an audition. 5 GCSE passes at A*-C including a Merit at BTEC Music, or a C at GCSE Music.


Students will be expected to perform to the class and to an audience.

Ensemble Music Performance is a task set and marked by Pearson and completed under supervised conditions taking up to 6 hours in a period timetabled by Pearson. There will be written submission and video evidence.

Professional Practice in the Music Industry is task set and marked by Pearson consisting of Part A and Part B.

The third mandatory unit is assessed in the same manner as the optional unit. The assignments will be written and tasks set by the Music Department, and these are marked and standardised (internally verified) within the school. Some work may be sent away to be moderated (externally verified).

Future opportunities

BTEC’s are widely recognised at Universities and Colleges and gain UCAS points in the same way as A Levels. This qualification is equivalent to one A level qualification. The course would enable students to pursue higher education courses in Musical Performance, Musical Theatre, and other performance related courses.

In the work place, the qualification could lead to peripatetic teaching opportunities, or a career in performance or music therapy. The course would also offer foundations of understanding in administrative jobs within the music industry, and also prove useful in a music recording studio.

This subject balances an academic curriculum, and enables students to develop personal skills that can be applied in any workplace such as evaluation, review, and appraisal, communication skills, team work and collaboration.

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: 13 November 2017

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