Music Courses at Derby College

Careers in music are often very competitive. Enthusiasm and hard work may be just as important as a specific talent. Jobs might include sound technician, music teacher, music therapist, performer or roles in radio, TV, film and theatre.

Is this you?

  • Musical ability and talent
  • Enjoy being creative
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Willing to work long and irregular hours
  • Prepared to spend time practising and rehearsing
  • Confident, motivated and determined

Getting into the Music Industry


  • Full time at CollegeDerby College offers courses in both Music and Music Technology. To gain a place on a Music course, you would need to pass an audition.
  • Higher educationHaving a degree can be an advantage for some jobs in the industry. You can study subjects such as Popular Music and Music Technology at HND, foundation degree and honours degree level. If you are a talented musician, you could consider studying at a conservatoire, for which you will normally need to be at grade 8 level at least.
  • Jobs You might be able to go straight into a music-related job but be aware that competition is fierce. However, you might be able to work your way up within the industry through talent, enthusiasm and determination.

Why choose Derby College?

  • You can specialise in either music performance and composition or music technology, harnessing the latest equipment in our high-specification studios at the Joseph Wright Campus.
  • We’ll help you improve your skills in everything from acoustics to sequencing – and keep you up to date with the rapid changes in digital technology which are revolutionising the music industry.
  • You’ll gain important insights into aspects of the business like concert production, marketing, promotion and the freelance world. We even have our own record label managed entirely by Students.
  • Our teaching team has wide-ranging experience of the industry and we regularly bring in guest lecturers and musical groups for workshops.
  • You can get involved in exciting live events – as performers or behind the scenes – at the College and venues further afield.
  • Large-scale practical projects are a vital element of our Extended Diplomas. You will have the chance to record, compose, mix, master, produce and perform material of your own choosing.
  • Being part of Derby College will introduce you to a new network of contacts and a wider musical community.

There’s a demand for young, creative and original talent in the fast-paced music business – but you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. At Derby College, you’ll develop a distinctive style together with technical prowess and enterprise skills.

Maths and English

You need English and maths skills to get on in life. They will support your studies at the College, help with everyday tasks and pave the way to future career success.

If you don’t already have a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and Maths – or equivalent qualifications – you will continue studying these subjects as part of your course at Derby College.

We’ll support you all the way: working with you on the right programme of development throughout your time with us.

You might also be interested in ...

When you’ve completed your course, why not broaden your horizons further still at Derby College? Additional qualifications in subjects such as Art and Design, Performing Arts and Media are exciting choices. Or check out our courses in Business, Enterprise and Management if you would like to set up a venture of your own.

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Jacob Holmes

Jacob holmes

Set to make some noise in the music industry

Music Technology learner Jacob Holmes chose his course after meeting Derby College tutors at an information evening. He says they were so passionate and enthusiastic about their subject, he was immediately inspired to enrol.

The decision turned out to be a sound one. He is now preparing for higher education at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, with a view to a career in the live sound and theatre industry.

Jacob has also won applause for his exceptional commitment to his studies. Keen to develop his skills and understanding, he undertook sound and lighting operations at extra-curricular gigs and performances – both in-house and at external venues – and proved to be an essential part of any technical team.

His dedication earned him the Media, Music and Performing Arts prize, sponsored by the Derby Telegraph, at our 2014 Peak Awards.

The tutors at Derby College are so helpful. They really care about the learners and their progress, which pushes you to work harder.

Did you Know?

  • The music industry contributes 3.5 billion to the UK economy
  • Significant numbers of music professionals are self-employed
  • Back stage skills for the live music sector are in high demand
  • Digital now accounts for 50% of UK record industry revenues
  • Music boosts the UK’s international brand and reputation by an estimated £72 million

Recent Vacancies

Variable salary.
Member of a band, orchestra or solo artist

Assistant music promotions manager
£25,000 per year.
Publicising recording artists or live music events

Studio sound engineer
£15,000 per year starting salary.
Making quality recordings of music, speech and sound effects

Experienced live sound engineer
£25,000 – £30,000 per year.
Controlling the sound at concerts and plays

Site Information

Joseph Wright Centre

Courses in this area are run at our Joseph Wright City Centre campus. About Joseph Wright Centre »

Useful Websites
Information from the sector skills council about the creative media industries
Information from the sector skills council about the creative and cultural sector
Information about arts groups and events in Derbyshire
Information about rates of pay and other key facts from the Incorporated Society of Musicians
Information about music careers and case studies
Information about qualifications in music


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