Popular Music Level 3

The course is designed to give you a solid base for work in the music industry or progression to a higher education course. This is achieved through a balanced programme that includes the study of performance, composition, music technology, music history and music business. Instrumental lessons from teachers of the highest quality are included in the course. The developed skills are applied to the preparation and performance at gigs both in College and at local venues and workshops. The Popular Music Diploma is a course for learners who are committed to making a career in music and appreciate the need for both practical and academic skills to be successful in the music industry.

The emphasis is on practical skills, musicianship and academic work underpinned by classroom tuition and a range of extracurricular events including workshops and gigs. In addition to your main programme, you will engage in activities to develop your English, maths and employability skills.

You will complete the UAL Diploma in your first year and continue to the Extended Diploma in your second year.

***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are open now!***

We want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a place with us. All full-time applications received by 31st of January 2022 will be guaranteed a place at Colchester Institute, subject to you satisfying the published entry requirements. We still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ buttons located in the menu further down the page.

If you are looking to start, or are a parent/guardian of a learner looking to start in September 2022, then bookings for our popular January Open Events are also open.

January Open Events

Course Content

Popular Music Level 3 Diploma Units include:

  • Composing Music
  • Concert Production and Staging
  • Improvising Music
  • Music Performance Session Styles
  • Music Performance Techniques
  • Music Theory and Harmony
  • Operating Live Sound and Music Sequencing.
Entry Requirements
  • 5 GCSEs (9-4) including English, or satisfactory results (Merit/Distinction) in a relevant level 2 Music Diploma
  • An audition to demonstrate musical ability at Grade 4/5 or equivalent

All eligible applicants will be auditioned and should have sufficient ability to succeed on the course. Candidates will be expected to perform on one instrument (which can include voice) to a good level of proficiency at equivalent to grade 4/5 Rockschool or ABRSM examination standard or above.

What Can I Do Next?

A career in music might focus on education work (teaching or working as a performer in education), on composing and arranging, on technology (recording or instrument technology), on management and administration or on a whole range of opportunities in the publishing and retail sectors. The course prepares students for progression to higher education courses in popular music and music technology, such as the Foundation Degree or BA (Hons) in Popular Music at UCC University Centre Colchester.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Popular Music Level 3
Course Outline: The course is designed to give you a solid base for work in the music industry or progression to a higher education course
Qualification: UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production
LevelLevel 3
DurationTwo Years: Year 1: Diploma | Year 2: Extended Diploma | Two Years: Extended Diploma
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £11,356
This fee covers the whole two year course


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.