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This two-year course provides the training and skills necessary for a wide range of careers within the music industry. You will develop understanding of the commercial music sector, study musical output and techniques, and improve your creativity, professionalism and practical musicianship to a level needed for music industry employment. This Foundation Degree is focused on developing the practical and transferable skills required to make you industry-ready.

Course description

Awarded by Birmingham City University, this is a high level course with experienced staff and excellent resources. With 3 recording studios, 7 rehearsal rooms, 2 sequencing suites and a 600-capacity working venue on site, you will enjoy exciting, creative opportunities and a supportive environment.

Your principal study can be in performance, music technology, live sound or composition. The course takes a holistic approach to musical study, with every student developing the broad range of skillsets required to become a successful music professional. Assessments are varied and innovative, and often modelled on real industry practice. You will learn through workshops, lectures, recording sessions, seminars and tutorials. You will study the theory, wider contexts and contemporary issues surrounding the modern day music industry and there will be regular visits from industry experts and artists.

You will also develop the musical and creative skills required by a performer, composer or producer, learn how to work well in teams and demonstrate leadership, organisation and decision-making skills. This programme will help you to develop a profile suitable for an artist looking for employment within the music industry and reflect on individual progress as an artist, learning how to improve along the way.

All students receive weekly, one-to-one instrumental sessions, delivered by our highly qualified visiting instrumental specialists on vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.

What areas will I study?

Year one, key modules:

  • Midi, audio and studio techniques (m.a.s.t.)
  • Working live (performance or live sound)
  • Understanding style
  • Show me the money (music industry)
  • Technical development (instrument, music technology or composition)
  • Creative portfolio

Year two, key modules:

  • Production cycle (creative group commission)
  • Personal development
  • Technical development 2
  • Showcase/product
  • Professional music practice (modelled work experience)

What are the entry requirements?

You will need to be aged 18 years or over on or before 31 August of the academic year the course commences.

You must have four GCSEs at Grade 4 or higher, including English, and three A Levels or a minimum of 48 UCAS points, which may be gained from the following Level 3 qualifications:

  • Two A Level passes
  • One A Level pass and AS Level passes in appropriate subjects
  • BTEC National Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • BTEC National Certificate
  • A Level 3 Diploma or equivalent such as NVQ, GNVQ, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Certificate of Education
  • City and Guilds, Technical Baccalaureate
  • A recognised (Kitemarked) Access course
  • ABRSM/Rockschool
  • Other relevant international qualifications

Your Level 3 qualifications should include music. As part of the application, you will also need to undergo an audition, qualification check and supply suitable references. Students with significant, relevant experience in place of formal qualifications may be accepted onto the course subject to a successful audition. International applicants will be asked to demonstrate equivalents of the above qualification levels and an IELTs score of 6 or above.

To find out more about UCAS points, please visit

Where can I progress to next?

Upon successful completion of this two year Foundation degree course, subject to appropriate credits being achieved, you can progress onto the third year of the B.A. (Hons) Popular Music degree to complete your undergraduate study (you may alternatively transfer to the BA (Hons) in Popular Music at the end of year one, subject to achievement and staff approval). You may also choose to use the industry-focused content of the FdA to seek work as a professional musician.

In the music industry itself, SCCB graduates have progressed successfully to work with BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, BBC Introducing, Craig David, Sydney Opera House, X-factor, the Royal Variety Performance, Urban Audio, Blitz Games, music management and a range of ongoing corporate and independent music opportunities.

Course options

  • 2019/20 Full Time Day


    South & City College Birmingham


    Digbeth Campus

    Mode of attendance

    2019/20 Full Time Day


    Please contact the college for days of the week

    Age range Start Fees Duration Further information
    - September | 2019/20 £0.00 2 Academic Year(s) -
    Hours Per Week Study Details Minimum Age Average Class Size Max Class Size Material Fees International Fees
    - - 18 - - 0.00 0.00

    Leisure Program Fees Further Information International Comments
    0.00 - -
    To apply for this option, click here:
    Or click here to enquire:

    UCAS Application Information

    Institution Code Name: SCCB
    Institution Code: S20
    Course Code: W34F
    Click here to apply for this course on UCAS website.