Popular Music


During this two-year Popular Music course, you will be taught all about music performance, the music business, music theory and the evolution of popular music. We will help you to build your practical musicianship and develop your performance and critical listening skills. You will be provided with a detailed insight into the many opportunities open to you when you start your career in music and are encouraged to play in a range of bands in college and in music venues.

Download the course details as a PDF

Level: Vocational (level 3)
Type: Double award

Course Details

Begin with the end in mind

Composer, songwriter, singer, band member, music promoter.

Music performance, music production, music promotion, and music management.

Topics you'll cover


  • Induction project: performing repertoire of an important and influential artist
  • Styles and genres throughout the history of pop
  • Instrumental and singing techniques
  • Prepare to work in the performing arts sector
  • Planning to deliver a performance – to a brief.


  • Song writing
  • Creating music to perform
  • Performance unit
  • Arts administration.

Assessment and Qualification

  • Unit 1, 3 + 32 have an externally assessed written exam as well as written coursework. Some tasks are assessed via recorded presentations.
    Performance focussed units require both video recorded performances (Solo and in Groups) and related, assessed written coursework
    Exam board: OCR
    Cambridge Technical Diploma in Performing Arts (level three)
    Equivalent to two A Levels.

Course entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at a grade 4 or above, including English Language.
  • You will be required to attend an audition (performance of a piece in any pop style: pop, funk, soul reggae, indie, rock)

Additional information

During your studies you will have access to extra materials and activities as part of your course. These extra items (such as equipment, study guides and workbooks etc.) are built into the normal day-to-day running of our courses and so we ask students to make an annual payment towards these additional costs. If there are any issues with being able to pay these costs, please contact Richard Taunton Sixth Form College.

 A copy of our course payment breakdown can be course payment breakdown.