About the course
This highly demanding, practical based course will provide you with exemplary skills in audio engineering, studio production and live sound production. You will work with skilled music industry professionals in our modern professional recording studio and in various performance venues. In the studio, you will be taught recording, mixing and mastering, and studio management skills. As well as producing original tracks for students on the music courses, a proportion of the work is producing/engineering for clients of the studio, including local bands, solo artists and songwriters.
In addition to recording, a large focus of the course is on live sound production, with a unique number of live concerts designed and produced throughout the year. You will learn live mixing skills, PA system setup and maintenance, lighting design and operation, rigging, stage design and construction, pyrotechnics, projection technology, power distribution, events management and stage crewing.
You will gain a thorough understanding of how sound works and how to manipulate it to achieve a high quality production.
This course would suit people who are interested in a career as a studio producer or engineer, live sound mix engineer, stage manager, lighting designer and operator, rigger, pyrotechnician, or acoustician. In addition, accomplished composers and performing musicians who want to improve their production skills to enhance their own music would benefit from this course.
Five GCSEs Grade 4 or above and/or a Level 2 Diploma at Merit grade.
We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you completing a short written task (details will be sent out once you apply). If you are successful during the interview stage and you are offered a place, we will invite you in for a practical studio or live workshop later in the year.
We expect a minimum of 95% attendance and full engagement in every lesson and will regularly be reviewing your progress to ensure this is the right course for you.
Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE 9 to 4 in maths and English will need to continue to study these subjects alongside the main course.
You will complete this course with a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production (equivalent to 3 A Levels at A* for a distinction overall) Year one is graded as a Level 3 Diploma and year two as an Extended Diploma. Your final grade for year one will be pass, merit or distinction. For year two this will be pass, high pass, merit, high merit or distinction.
What you'll learn (core modules)
You will attend College for a minimum of three days a week but will be expected to work for an additional fifteen hours per week at home completing assignments, revising, researching, practising and preparing for lessons. During show weeks, you will be expected to attend every day.
Course subjects include: studio production, microphones and micing techiques, Pro Tools, working with clients, live sound production, live mixing techniques, feedback control, PA setup and maintenance, stage design, lighting design and operation, rigging, stage management and crewing, pyrotechnics, acoustics, the science of sound, music business, music industry, equipment maintenance, ear training, music theory, speaker design, marketing, career development, projection technology
Tutors' insights into UAL Music Performance and Production
Students' insights into UAL Music Performance and Production
Benefits, skills and character strengths
We have a state-of-the-art recording studio which is a commercial business that is open for external recording clients which allows the students to gain experience in meeting a client's needs. There are numerous opportunities to produce music for film industry projects, produce events for the local community and to attend a variety of music events throughout the year. All of these activities are suitable for a CV and can be used to gain work in the entertainment industry.
How will I be assessed?
Throughout the course you will generate a portfolio of evidence to show how you are developing as a professional music technician. We use Google Classroom which allows us to provide you with ongoing formative feedback and discussion. You will be producing practical work including studio recordings, stage lighting, and live events in addition to presentations, mood boards, evaluations and research documentation.
We make our assignments industry focussed and relevant - we don't ask you to do anything which doesn't develop the necessary skills to be successful within the industry.
Your grade for year one and year two is based upon a large project of your choosing. You work on this at the end of each year, and so long as it fits within the boundaries of the qualification, this could anything such as recording an EP or an album, organising a live music event, or focussing on music business administration - the list is as big as your imagination will allow.
Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)
West Suffolk College Main Campus, The Bunker Recording Studio, performance venues in the community
Where will the course take me?
Following successful completion of the course, students may go on to do university such as the Level 4 in Creative Arts Business and Enterprise or they may enter employment within the music industry. We ensure that everyone has a clear plan for progression on to further study or employment.
Our ex-students tour the world as musicians, sound engineers and event managers. We have other students who work as professional composers for games, film and TV as well as artists in their own right. A career in the industry is not unattainable, there are numerous opportunities out there - the music industry is showing continued growth and is currently valued at £4.5bn.
Will I need any materials or equipment?
A fee of £15 is required, which covers the purchase of a crew T-shirt.
Dark jeans or 'combat' trousers, a small torch, "Leatherman" multi-tool and sturdy rubber soled footwear with steel toe caps should be purchased for live production work.
Learners will be required to purchase a USB-C Memory stick/Hard drive and headphones before the course starts.
If learners wish to purchase music production equipment, we will discuss this with them during the course.
I'm interested. What should I do now?
If you would like to find out more, please come along to one of our open events published on the college website or call the main college line.
Alternatively, keep an eye on our website or social pages for upcoming shows and events- we would love to see you there:
Instragram: @the_bunker_studios @digital_saint_records
Days & times
Starting September 2023