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Music Technology BTEC (Extended Diploma) Level 3 at Alton College

Course description

This course is unsuitable for an absolute beginner to Music, to access all aspects of the course successfully students should have previous experience of performing music both individually, and as a part of a band. This course would best suit learners who are interested in all aspects of Popular Music. If you are passionate about Music, and are interested in developing your skills as a musician and a technologist through practical study, then this course is for you!

Some of the topics you will study include:

* Music Production
* Music Engineering
* Performance Skills
* Live Sound Engineering
* The Music Business

Course content

You will study a series of modules which require you to undertake practical projects in different areas of Music Technology. The emphasis of the course will be on your ability to apply the theory and techniques of Music Technology to your own project work. You will study both independently, and in small groups fulfilling different industry roles.

Entry requirements

Students studying a BTEC Extended Diploma programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 4.5 or above and at least a Grade C in Maths and/or English. Alternatively, students who have studied a Level 2 Diploma/Certificate or a BTEC First Diploma should have achieved at least Merit grades.

You will be able to have demonstrated purposeful study of music, for example through GCSE, BTEC, NCFE Music Technology or graded exams such as Rock School or Associated Board.


You will study a total of 18 units during the two years of the course. All of the units are assessed by coursework – and this may include the production of portfolios, presentations, practical projects, and staff observations. None of the units require you to sit a formal examination.
For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass (P), Merit (M), or Distinction (D) grade. As this qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels, you will also be awarded an overall grade consisting of three grades – such as PPP, MMP, or D*DD.
Students must complete and pass the first year to be awarded a 90 credit diploma and progress to the second year and full Extended Diploma.
We are aware that Edexcel is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.

Financial information

A number of CDs will be required for recording performances and compositions.
A 4-8 GB flash memory stick will be required for the storage and transfer of projects between workstations.
Whilst students will need to reference a wide range of textbooks over the course of the programme the following texts are highly reccomended:
• Sound and Recording an Introduction; Rumsey, F. McCormick, T. (2005) - Focal Press
• Sound Synthesis and Sampling; Russ, M. (2008) - Focal Press

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Future opportunities

The two most obvious progression routes are either a Higher National Diploma in Music Production or a Foundation Degree in either Music Production or Audio Engineering; on completion you will usually have the option of a further two years of study to gain a BA or BSc respectively.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 August 2016

Key information