Music Performance Foundation Degree


7 locations available

Program Description

If you want to gain the musicianship and business skills to work as a professional musician or vocalist, then this foundation degree offered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University is for you!


You will engage in a variety of composition and arrangement projects, working on your own and with others. You will also compose a piece of music for visual media.


Learn how to work effectively in recording studio environments, working with other musicians, sound engineers, and producers. You will also gain an understanding of the development of recording technology and how this has impacted on music.


You will focus on developing your musicianship including sight reading, listening skills, and improvisation. You will perform in a variety of situations, both solo and in groups, and you will integrate the use of technology to enhance your performances.


You will get to understand the contemporary music industry, working on commissions from clients and on self-directed projects, which will develop your industry practice.

Reasons To Choose Us

  • Delivered in partnership with the 2017 University of the Year, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), which has the excellent satisfaction and employment rates.
  • Practical, vocational content. Foundation degrees are less ‘academic’ than full degrees.
  • Flexible study options – you can hop off and on.
  • You can top up to a full degree at Nottingham Trent University which can lead to a Masters.
  • Entry requirements are lower than for a full degree – 64 UCAS points which is a pass/pass/merit grade on a Level 3 RSL or BTEC extended diploma.
  • Industry practice is integral to both programmes with unique industry opportunities
  • Benefit from being a student with NTU, including student union membership and access to online library facilities.
  • Dedicated library in each center.
  • Professional environments and taught by industry professionals.
  • Industry standard equipment.

Develop Your Creative Career

Choosing this Music Performance foundation degree is a great way to break into the creative industries.

The creative sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the UK economy and a great and exciting place in which to work.

This foundation degree can lead onto:

  • A top-up one year course leading to a full BA degree and then on to a Masters if you wish.
  • Employment, or self-employment, in the creative industries. This may be as a freelance musician, or it may be into another area of the music or creative industries.
  • A creative higher apprenticeship as a stepping stone to work.

Year I Modules

Here you will develop your understanding of composition and music arrangement. You’ll be given grounding in music theory, arrangement techniques, and composition while developing hands-on skills in music production software. During this module, you’ll study different approaches to composing. You’ll work both individually and collaboratively on projects that show a developing understanding of music genre and create a body of work that demonstrates your developing practice as a composer, arranger, and musician.

This module aims to develop your performance techniques, focusing on several key areas. You’ll develop technical competence in playing an instrument through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, as well as listening skills and improvisation. You’ll develop your skills as a performer in solo and group contexts, considering the communicative nature of musical performance, your relationship with the audience and be exploring the performance environment.

This module also deals with the various technical demands of the performing musician, including instrument maintenance. You’ll carry out research to inform your developing practical skills, giving you an appreciation of contemporary theories and techniques.

New technologies are enabling more musicians to record their own music and self-produced. However, the ability of musicians to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas about their work with sound engineers and producers is still an invaluable asset. You’ll develop your understanding of sound recording practices to aid you in your future career as a professional musician. You’ll also study the historical development of recording technology and its impact on musical styles, as well as the wider influence on society and culture.

You’ll develop knowledge and understanding of how changes in industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. The module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional, so there’ll be a strong emphasis on completing work for clients as part of your study. You’ll also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for employment in the industry.

Year II Modules

You’ll develop your performance techniques, enhancing your technical skills, while broadening your contextual understanding of musical performance. You’ll continue to develop a technical mastery in your first instrument – performing individually and collaboratively to develop your stage craft and hone your skills as a performer. As well as a focus on traditional musicianship, you’ll also explore the integration of different technologies in performance. You’ll research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance and use this research to inform the integration of technology into your own work.

A composer for visual media must be able to work collaboratively, taking direction from others in the development of their work. It is also important to understand the emotive impact music can have and how to write music that enhances the viewing experience. You’ll explore the application of compositional tools for specific themes such as horror, romance, drama, sadness, suspense, and comedy. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflection through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work and analysis of your own work.

Music plays an integral part of everyday life across a diverse range of cultures and societies. In many ways, music provides the touchstones of human experience. Music can transcend language and cultural barriers. It can have an effect on the individual and social identity, politics, fashion, and technology. This module encourages you to examine the historical significance of music and its impact on global cultures and societies. You will also study the fundamental aspects of the psychology of music and its effect on the human brain in terms of emotive response to music and sound.

You’ll undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.

Get Industry Experience

Being at Access is so much more than just doing a course. You will have the chance to get the first-hand experience of the music and creative industries.

Here are some of the opportunities you can take advantage of:

  • EVENTS: You’ll have unique opportunities to showcase your work. These range from a local gig to the chance to perform on a festival stage at events such as Latitude organized by partner, Festival Republic.
  • MUSIC GLUE: Music Glue is a global direct-to-fan platform used by 26,000 artists worldwide to sell tickets, merchandise, music and more directly to their audience from one customizable website.
  • DISTRIBEAT: A partnership with a worldwide distribution company, Distribeat, which allows you to market your music through all major online stores including iTunes.
  • MASTERCLASSES: Access promotes industry masterclasses by artists represented by Tri-Tone and 7 pm Management. These enable you to gain advice and guidance from working musicians and producers.
  • TWINE: All our students get free Twine membership, which is an online platform allowing creative people to collaborate on projects and earn money!
  • FOCUSRITE: Access is proud of its partnership with Focusrite. You will have the chance to get your hands on over £500 of FREE Focusrite audio plug-ins, supported by special Focusrite workshops.


On successful completion you will get a recognized qualification which you can add to your creative CV:

  • Foundation degree in Audio & Music Technology accredited by Nottingham Trent University (NTU).
  • You can upgrade your foundation Degree into a full BA by undertaking a top-up year at Nottingham. This can lead on to a Masters if you wish.
  • Nottingham Trent is 2017 the University of the Year.
  • 94% of graduates and 95% of postgraduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving.
  • 93% of students would recommend studying at NTU.
Last updated Jul 2018

About the School

Access Creative College is a national creative college that focuses on providing a creative alternative to sixth form or FE college for 16-18s, but welcomes older learners, as well.

Access Creative College is a national creative college that focuses on providing a creative alternative to sixth form or FE college for 16-18s, but welcomes older learners, as well. Read less
Shoreditch , Birmingham , Manchester , Norwich , Bristol , Lincoln , York + 6 More Less