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Music BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Stafford College

Course description

This course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and qualifications for entrance into Higher Education and into the Music Industry.  Whether you have ambitions to be a performing artist, session musician, composer, recording artist or producer, the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music will help you in achieving your goals.

Course content

The course is full time, lasts for 2 years and consists of 18 modules.  These include a number of core units (such as World Music, Performing Techniques, Composing and Arranging) in addition to specialist units (such as Live Sound, The Freelance World, Pop Music in Practice, and Acoustics).  The 18 Modules are equivalent to 3 A-Levels.


The music area contains rehearsal rooms, 2 high standard recording studios and 2 computer labs, where students can prepare for and work on their projects.  Within these facilities there is a full amplifier backline and performance PA system, 2 drum kits, a digital piano, a selection of world and contemporary instruments and a range of recording hardware and software.


Students are continually assessed through their ongoing project work.  Learners will complete practical assessments, performances, presentations, role-play situations, written assignments and in-class discussion, which will all contribute to their portfolio.  Many of these projects involve collaborations with other departments and outside organisations, such as providing live music for the Performing Arts shows, taking part in the Black History Month celebrations and performing at Stafford Train Station during the ‘V-Festival’ weekend.  Assessment culminates in a final project where students utilise all their skills to produce an original EP and launch event at which they must perform.


Students without a grade C in English or Maths will also work towards Level 2 Functional Skills in either English or Maths


Each member of staff has subject-specific expertise, ranging from Contemporary Performance and Composition to Live Sound and Digital Audio Principles.  Staff work hard to keep our student cohort up to date on the latest developments in popular music, the industry and technology, and run trips to conferences and events ranging from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsal in Manchester to the Music Live! Show at the NEC in Birmingham.


English & Maths

We are committed to helping students improve their skills in English and maths. Students on a full-time course at College who missed out on GCSE qualifications at grades A-C in these subjects at school will attend additional classes and receive support to enhance their grades. Depending on individual ability, students will work towards GCSE, City & Guilds or Functional Skills awards to ensure that they have the qualifications needed to progress to university or employment. To take catch-up classes to ensure you have the qualifications you need to progress onto university or into the workplace.  

Entry requirements

Minimum of 4 GCSE’s passes at grade C or above preferably including Music.


A full Level 2 Diploma in a related subject achieved at Merit grade or above. Pass grade will be considered if suitable practical / vocational skills can be demonstrated and a satisfactory reference provided.

Qualifications other than GCSE’s, in a subject not directly related to this course will be only recognised as equivalent to 1 GCSE.


Other experience will be considered for mature applicants.


Selection will be by interview. You may be asked to provide some examples of your own work or some evidence of your interest in musical development and your music experience for example, through audition.

Financial information

Fees for students over 18 apply as per Stafford College Policy.  Students will be required to bring their own instrument to every lesson, (with the exception of amplifiers and drum kits).  All students will need to purchase blank CDs, basic stationery such as folders, pads and pens and at some point in the year will likely need to purchase further printing credits.


A USB storage device is also recommended to allow files to be transferred from computing labs to the studio easily.  These can be purchased for less that £10.  In addition to this it is recommended that students provide their own set of headphones for mixing purposes.


If you require any advice on financial /travel support towards your education, please contact Student Services on 01785 275512 and ask for Carole Moore, or by email:

Future opportunities

Following successful completion of the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma many students progress onto a degree programme in Music, Music Technology or a related subject at University.  Stafford College also offers a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Music Production.  Tutorial sessions play an important role in empowering students to research and apply for jobs and Higher Education places, and include one-to-one work to ensure that the student is well informed and prepared.

Further information

If you would like further information about the college or our courses, you can write, visit or telephone Student Services on 01785 275468.  Our e-mail address is:  If you are unsure about which course to take, we can arrange for you to talk to our guidance advisors.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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