Validated by The Open University, the Foundation Degree in Music Performance & Production is an innovative programme located in purpose-built facilities at Hillsborough Campus. The course offers a highly practical focus and provides the opportunity to develop specialist skills in music performance, production and composition, whilst simultaneously gaining a broader understanding of the industry and the interrelationship between musical disciplines. The course is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, performances and professional projects, supported by experienced academic staff, professional musicians, producers, studio engineers, performers and high quality, tailored industry support. Students will draw upon critical approaches which underpin effective and professional practice and engage with contemporary thinking both within and beyond their specialist area. The course prepares students for employment, further study and self-fulfilment within a wide field informed by critical, historical, conceptual, and ethical dimensions and their own relationships with audiences, clients, consumers and co-creators, enterprise, industry and markets. The programme aims to provide skills that: Cultivate and nurture originality and the development of musical identity Develop an ability in interpretive and technical skills within composition, performance and productions Develop an understanding of the music industry, how it functions and how to develop entrepreneurial skills Develop some analytical and critical awareness of the synthesis between relevant theory and its application in performance, production and composition Develop the practical skills required to use a variety of It formats and music technology Gain an understanding of how cultural and social contexts shape significant developments within popular music Support the development of interpersonal, communication and leadership skills At Level 4, students will study two modules focusing on practical musicianship; studying the context and elements of composition, popular music, recording and live sound. The modules at Level 5 further develop students' musical and contextual skills with harmony and composition, advanced practical musicianship and music studio production; all of which lead to the development of a composition/songwriting portfolio. You will also study session styles, improvisation and music processes and production. The Foundation Degree in Music Performance and Production is heavily focused on employability and involves work related learning, live briefs and simulated live briefs. Students work across a range of venues in Sheffield and the surrounding area, engaging in large scale projects involving project management, developing individual portfolios and employability skills. The course is delivered in purpose built, industry standard setting, comprising of a fully equipped recording studio, production suite, teaching spaces running Logic Pro, Ableton, Reason and CUBASE and 7 fully equipped practice rooms. The Staff are experienced HEA fellows and practicing musicians, studio and live sound engineers with experience working across Europe as vocalists, recording artists and session musicians. Formal and informal, group and one-to-one tutorials take place at regular intervals and on a weekly basis throughout the programme. Formal tutorials are documented to include topics discussed, guidance, feedback, support, actions and outcomes. They are also an opportunity to inform members of staff of any personal issues students wish them to know. Group tutorials focus on project work, discussion, progress review and current and future information, given as guidance and feedback. Students are expected to take notes and use this opportunity as reflection and potential areas of progress and development of projects.
Year 1 (Level 4) Semester 1 Practical Musicianship  (20 credits) Develops appropriate reading skills and successful practice and rehearsal strategies to allow for preparation and performance of both solo and group material to an audience. Elements of Composition (20 credits) Develops awareness of the different elements of musical composition through the study of compositional techniques in the creation and development of melodic, rhythmic, harmonic and structural ideas. Popular Music in Context (20 credits) Examines the contexts within which popular musical culture has evolved and continues to develop. This module will introduce, and give opportunity to apply, research skills needed for other modules at Levels 4 and 5, and give a context for practical study on other modules. Semester 2 Practical Musicianship  (20 credits) Students build performance and rehearsal skills through the preparation of a variety of material across a variety of styles for performance in a series of short ensemble performances culminating in a larger scale performance. Composition in Context (20 credits) This module builds upon the elements of composition and prepares learners for Level 5 through the investigation and application of stylistic convention across a number of genres and a practical investigation of common instrumental combinations and resources. Live Sound and Recording (20 credits) Learn and apply principals of music technology relating to sound capture and amplification for studio recording and live sound engineering. Year 2 (Level 5) Semester 1 Harmony and Composition (20 credits) This unit builds on skills developed at level four and investigates common harmonic and contrapuntal conventions that are used in different musical styles and genres and prepares learners for the portfolio required for the composition/songwriting module in Semester 2. Advanced Practical Musicianship (20 credits) This module builds on skills developed for Level 4 modules in performance and investigates professionalism in performance and the need for versatility as a working musician. The module will help prepare students for the session styles and improvisation module in semester two. Music Studio Production (20 credits) This module will enable learners to produce recordings to professional standards by developing their practical and theoretical skills. This is a progression from the Level 4 Recording and Live Sound module and will give students opportunities to record independently and with confidence, to enable an option of running recording studio sessions as part progression on to Music Process and Production in the second semester. Semester 2 Composition/Songwriting Portfolio (20 credits) This unit allows learners the opportunity to investigate and apply the skills and techniques developed throughout the course in the creation of a portfolio of completed songs/compositions in any chosen style/genre. Session Styles and Improvisation (20 credits) This unit builds upon previous performance modules and investigates the role of the session musician and the role of improvisation in the performance of music. Music Process and Production (20 credits) The module will enable students to work in real work situations to research, plan, promote and manage an enterprise project. This will prepare students for work, as well as give students who are progressing onto level 6 experience is managing a substantial project as part of a team.
The majority of units in this course are assessed through a combination of written coursework (essays, portfolios, analysis etc.) and practical assessments (e.g. presentations, performances etc.)
Qualified teacher status (QTS)
To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:
- Course does not award QTS
How to apply
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
- Course code:
- Institution code:
- Campus name:
- Hillsborough Campus
- Campus code:
Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
We are unable to accept international applicants due to UK visa restrictions.
Additional entry requirements
The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£7500||Year 1|
Additional fee information
Course contact detailsVisit our course page
Admissions and Student Funding Team @ The Sheffield College
0114 260 3707