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Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music (Performance or Production Pathway)

This course is offered in two pathways (performance or production) and aims to provide a broad skills base for progression to the second year of the Extended Diploma. 

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Music
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

On the Performance Pathway, the main focus is music performance, underpinned by associated theoretical and technical skills alongside professional development in relation to the music industry.

On the Production Pathway, the main focus is music production, underpinned by associated theoretical and technical skills alongside professional development in relation to the music industry.

If you do not have GCSE Maths at grade 4 or higher, you will also develop your skills in maths.  This will support your main programme of study, help your future progression and enhance your life skills.

You will need four GCSEs at grade 4 or higher including English Language. Alternatively you may have a BTEC Level 2 Diploma at Merit or Distinction level along with GCSE English Language at grade 4.

For Music Performance, you must also be able to play an instrument or sing to grade 4 standard, and you will need to attend an audition where your practical skills and music theory knowledge will be assessed.

For Music Production, you will also need to provide evidence of some experience in music technology.

Units studied will include:

Music Performance 

  • Music Performance Techniques
  • The Sound and Music Industry
  • Arranging Music
  • Aural Perception Skills
  • Music and Society
  • Music Performance Session Styles
  • Music Theory and Harmony
  • Sequencing Systems and Techniques
  • The Functional Music Keyboard
  • Maths (if necessary)

Music Production

  • You will undertake units that teach you about music sequencing, composition, music production and live sound.
  • You will also learn about the music industry and how you can secure work to take advantage of the flourishing music sector.
  • In the second year of your course, you will complete solo and group projects that cater to your interests, allow you to showcase your skills and enable you to build a portfolio of work that you can take on to further study or into industry.

This course will be delivered on-site.

Music Performance – you will need to have your own pair of headphones and a USB memory stick.  You will also need to have your own instrument where applicable.

Music Production – a pair of headphones.

Assessment is 100% through coursework with practical and theoretical-based assignments.

Learners studying Maths will be assessed through a controlled assessment or final exam.

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can progress to the BTEC Extended Diploma in Music. Most of our students progress to university to continue their studies in fields such as music or music production or to take other courses related to the music business. Others have progressed directly into industry.

For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering the curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...




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DCG Success Stories

Declan Dean playing his guitar outside of the Joseph Wright Centre.

Declan Dean

Bassist and former DCG music student Declan all set for LIPA 

I really liked Joseph Wright. The music studio is so good.

Read More about Declan Dean

Owen Doherty playing his guitar outside of the Joseph Wright Centre.

Owen Doherty

Owen one of two DCG music students to win place at prestigious LIPA 

It was my music lecturer, Matt Shirtliff, who talked to me about options to study music at university, so I decided to apply to LIPA.  It was good careers advice.

Read More about Owen Doherty

Former DCG student and drummer of Marseille, Tom Spray.

Tom Spray

Marseille drummer Tom glad he studied music at DCG

We got chance to do gigs at college which really helped my playing and got me more used to being on stage.

Read More about Tom Spray

Harriet McDonnell

Harriet McDonnell

Rock band Muddibrooke set on right track by Derby College

I would recommend Derby College and the music course to anyone thinking about pursuing a career in the music industry.

Read More about Harriet McDonnell

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Course Information Last Updated On: May 17, 2024 1:25 pm