Music Technology

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Course code
Type of study
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This course is your opportunity to discover your niche as sound engineer, producer, effects specialist, composer, DJ or audio software specialist, among many other things.

You will be taught by music industry professionals who are specialists in their individual disciplines as well as being qualified teachers.

Importantly, you will have access to our state-of-the-art recording studio along with our computer music suites, which are equipped with Apple Macs and the latest versions of Logic Pro X.

Encouraging creativity is one of the main priorities of this course. We will also give you a greater awareness of both historical and contemporary developments in arts and popular culture.

By the end of the second year you will have created and produced your own portfolio of music, which will evidence your newfound knowledge and skills. 

You will require five GCSEs at grades A-C or equivalent including English Language or Mathematics. Mature student¿s experience may be taken into account in lieu of this. There is no requirement to be able to play an instrument or to have studied music at GCSE. Suitability for the course will be established with an interview, this also gives you the chance to discuss any other matters relating to this course, other qualifications and general life at the College.

You should demonstrate a keen interest and desire to study in this subject area.

Please be aware we offer a Level 2 Diploma in Music Technology if you think you will not achieve five GCSEs at grades A-C.

The course covers sound recording techniques, midi sequencing and sampling, music theory, live sound, music and sound for film and television, studio management, music/events management and aspects of professional practice in the entertainment industry. Students will also be made aware of historical and contemporary developments in the arts and popular culture.

You will be taught by professionals from the industry who are specialists in their discipline and qualified teachers. You will use the college computer music suites, equipped with Logic Pro and Reason software, to develop your sequencing and production skills. You will also have intensive use of our state of the art recording studio.

The course is made up of the following units:

Year 1

  • Composing Music
  • Delivering a Music Product
  • DJ Performance Techniques
  • Listening Skills for Music Technologists
  • Music and Society
  • Live Sound Techniques
  • Sequencing Systems and Techniques
  • Sound Creation and Manipulation
  • The Functional Musical Keyboard
  • The Sound and Music Industry

Year 2

  • Concert Production and Staging
  • Music Events Management
  • Studying Music from Around the World
  • Planning and Delivering a Music Product (double unit FMP)
  • Music and Sounds for the Moving Image
  • Music Production Techniques
  • Special Subject Investigation
  • The Music Freelance World

You be continually assessed in all the units on the course. Much of the work is practical in nature but written assignments are required to support this. There is no final examination.

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South Downs is a really good College, and it is definitely somewhere you can achieve your dreams.

Yolanda Stemp, BTEC student

There are lots of people at the college, each studying a diverse range of courses, people from all different areas come to study at South Downs, it creates a sense of community, there is a huge social aspect to college life across all courses.

Lee Backhouse, BTEC student

My experience at South Downs has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student


Higher education to study at degree level (about 30% of students on the course choose this route). Alternatively you could go straight into the music industry. You may also use the qualification to access other degrees/employment in areas such as media, film and television, broadcasting, acoustics, events/music management, live sound and other disciplines that are not directly related to music.

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