Music Technology

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

Course Entry Requirements

4 A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent in 3 or more subjects including a minimum grade 4/D in GCSE English Language.

It would be advantageous to play an instrument/read guitar tabs or sheet music.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

 Year One Units:

Unit 14 – Listening Skills for Music Technologists

Throughout this unit you will learn about the listening skills required to engineer sound. You will explore the potential of hearing by learning to listen actively instead of passively. You explore the world of sound and share your discoveries with each other. Your assessment is split into 3 assignments focusing on work you will do in class. The assignments are split into tasks with marks awarded for each which may include reproducing and identifying particular elements.

Unit 25 – Music Production Techniques

Throughout this unit you learn about manufacturers’ specifications for a range of audio recording equipment and be able to set up the equipment required for a recording session. You will also learn to capture audio sources using multi-track recording techniques and mix multi-track recordings.

Unit 35 – Sound Creation and Manipulation

During this unit you will learn and be able to understand the relationship between acoustic theory and the fundamentals of synthesis, be able to use the editing functions of a synthesiser and use the editing functions of a sampler.

You will also realise musical ideas that combine synthesis and sampling techniques.

Year Two Units:

Unit 9 – Planning and Delivering a Music Product

This unit will encourage you to undertake a range of roles in the studio as part of a team, with the aim of creating a product that satisfies current technical and creative trends whilst utilising the best current technology. As a group you create a compilation with a number of tracks covering different styles.

The initial focus for the unit is on teamwork, where each team member will have clearly defined roles in the studio whilst creating a series of recordings. At the end of this unit you will have contributed to the production of a fully finished, mastered compilation.

Unit 5 – Backline Technical Management

Throughout the unit you will learn about the construction of backline instruments. You will look at how they have developed, and how to set up and maintain equipment for a touring band. You will learn about the specific roles of the backline technician and the importance of the health and safety in these jobs.

Unit 29 – Live Sound Techniques

Throughout this unit you will learn about the roles of the live sound engineer. You will be taken through the setup of live sound equipment as well as learning about and developing your live mixing skills including monitor mixes

What skills do I need?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment
  • Energy
  • Music skills – the ability to play an instrument or sing/read music or guitar tabs to a reasonable standard

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

If you have an interest in music production and sound engineering, the Music Technology course is for you.

Our course will give you a solid understanding of theory for audio engineering, the ability to listen critically to identify faults and make creative improvements to recordings (essential for audio engineers!) and the tools to use synths and sampling to manipulate and create sound.

The course includes lots of opportunities for practical work, developing the skills to record, produce and mix music on Pro Tools, gaining knowledge of microphone types and recording techniques, engineering live sound and set up and maintenance of backline equipment such as guitars and PA rigs.

Our students need a passion for music and should be able to play an instrument or sing to a good standard. These talents are put to good use during recording, but the ability to perform is not essential to succeed on the music technology course.

New knowledge and skills are assessed through written work and practical tasks over both years.

The Certificate in Music Technology is equivalent to 1 AS Level after first year, and when the second year is complete this becomes a Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology worth 1 full A Level.

How is the course assessed?

The course is structured by assignments and every task you are asked to do will feature within one of the assignments. There are usually 3 assignments per unit per year. Most of the assignments include recordings or written tasks that are assessed by your tutor.

What will this course prepare me for?

You can progress to a number of careers or higher education from this course. For example many of our students go on to university to study music and music technology, creative, media and performing arts courses with great success. Other careers open to you would be roles that required outgoing, confident people who communicate to a high standard. There are many past students who have become professional musicians or work and perform with bands, music teachers, entertainers, promoters, live sound engineers and the list goes on…

Private Study

You will be given homework tasks each week. These homework tasks will be something which requires you to think around the subject you are studying and will further your knowledge accordingly. Sometimes you may have to complete an assignment outside of lesson time which may involve writing about, editing or analysing music.

What materials will I need to provide?

You will not need to buy anything apart from a pencil, paper and a pen although a pen drive would be handy to store some of your work.

How will I be taught?

You may be taught multiple units per week by teachers who have expert skills in the units they are teaching you. The lessons will include both theory and practical exploration depending on the topic being covered.


BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology is for you if:

You love music, recording and editing music and are creative in your approach. If you enjoy practical work and learning new technological audio skills.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology is not for you if:

You are not prepared to try new music styles, computer software or do not enjoy both listening to music and recording music. We will do our best to encourage and praise you and we are confident that you will make very quick progress with your technological and performing confidence under our specialist guidance if you choose to undertake this course.