Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Pearson Education Ltd

Higher Diploma in Music Performance (HNC)

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Course summary

TEF Bronze

Institute of Contemporary Music Performance has opted into the TEF and received a Bronze award.

Find out more about the TEF.

The Higher Diploma in Music Performance is a comprehensive one-year course ideally suited to those students looking to achieve a solid foundation as a musician in a short period of time. It’s been specially designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for a range of different careers in music or, if you’d prefer to continue with your learning, it’s a natural base from which to progress to an undergraduate degree or other professional qualification in music. Our highly experienced professional teaching faculty will tutor you in music performance, instrumental technique, musicianship and music technology, allowing you to become a versatile, consistent, expressive and accomplished player. They’ll provide you with a first-hand working knowledge of the way the music business operates, thanks to regular masterclasses, industry events, and visits by special guest musicians, and you’ll have access to all the same amazing equipment, facilities and careers benefits that ICMP undergraduates and postgraduates do. At ICMP, collaboration is encouraged, particularly in a live performance workshop setting, where you’ll form bands with fellow Higher Diploma students and will receive ‘A&R-style’ feedback on your performance from both peers and tutors. Learning happens within a real- world music industry environment, which will see you assessed while performing at a gig you helped to organise, in a renowned London venue, in front of a real audience. At the end of your year with ICMP, you’ll have all the tools you need to launch a professional music industry career, as well as a thorough foundation in music which will stand you in good stead for future study. You can progress directly from this course to a career in the music industry in areas such as session playing, touring, performing, recording or creating music, or you can continue on to one of our undergraduate Performance degree

Course details


  • Instrumental Technique
This unit will investigate both the theory and practice of the technical skills required by a professional musician, including harmony, scales, rudiments, technical exercises, warm ups, posture, dynamics, tempos, pitch, using a metronome, instrument maintenance, and more
  • Performance
This unit will encourage you to investigate all the aspects involved in staging a musical performance, including performance techniques, audience expectations, planning a rehearsal phase, commercial costs, hiring musicians, stage plans, technical specification lists (tech specs), communicating with a venue and promoting an event.
  • Music Production Fundamentals
This unit introduces the skills needed to record, produce, mix and master creative ideas within a framework of modern music production technology, and current studio and industry practice.
  • Applied Music Theory
In this unit, you’ll put music theory into practice to unlock the compositional and stylistic elements of different musical genres and will be able to demonstrate those concepts on keyboard or a second instrument.
  • The Music Industry
This unit will introduce you to the structure of the music industry, focusing on revenue flows, employment opportunities, business activities and growth potential.
  • Marketing and Promotion for Musicians
This unit will provide you with knowledge about freelancing and marketing activities, such as effective networking, and online and social media marketing, which you can use to create a professional marketing presence and further your music career.
  • The Evolution of the Instrument
The aim of this unit is to help you understand how and why your instrument became what it is today. It provides an introduction to notable advocates of your instrument, and aims to broaden your knowledge of recorded music and instrumental technique.
  • Professional Development
In this unit, you’ll explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, while building an awareness of how to present yourself to the marketplace.

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

International students will typically hold a relevant equivalent qualification, please check your qualification with our Admissions team. In addition, you should hold a relevant English language qualification equivalent to CEFR Level B2. ICMP are able to sponsor students that require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK. For more information on the application process contact [email protected]

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


All applicants will be invited to attend an audition/interview


When filling in your application please document which instrument you would like to study.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
International £11700 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

We have developed together with valued partners several scholarships and bursaries which supplement our outreach and widening participation activities and enhance access to our courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information.

Higher Diploma in Music Performance (HNC) at Institute of Contemporary Music Performance - UCAS