Popular Music


This two year vocational course will teach you all about music performance, music technology, the music business, music theory and popular music through the decades. You will perform various gigs and concerts throughout the year in different music venues. This course will suit competent and fully committed performers on guitar, bass, drum kit, vocals or keyboard.

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


  • Ensemble performance
  • Music performance techniques
  • Solo music performance
  • Events management
  • Contemporary song writing
  • Aural perception skills
  • World music
  • Recording techniques.


  • Major music project – organise your own show
  • The sound and music industry
  • Session styles – cutting it as a session musician
  • Music in society
  • Mixing and mastering techniques
  • Freelance musician.


Assessment and Qualification

  • 100% coursework
  • Exam board: Pearson
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (level three)
  • Equivalent to two A Levels.

Course entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grade 4 (including English)
  • Good school reference including attendance and behaviour
  • Making a good impression at the college pre-enrolment interview
  • You will also need skill in playing your instrument or in singing (all students will be auditioned to assess their suitability for the course)
  • Entry on this course requires an audition, where you will be able to demonstrate a good skill and repertoire on your instrument or vocal performance.

What students say about the course

"This course has given me many performance opportunities, which has helped build my confidence. I’ve had the chance to perform at the Talking Heads and in concerts at college. I have also collaborated with students who are studying the music technology course and have regular access to the college recording studio. I have seen a real improvement in the way I write songs and I have learnt a lot about the music industry.

Ria Hanley, previously at The Mountbatten School

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.