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Music Performance: BTEC

Qualification: Level 3 extended certificate BTEC

Exam Board: Pearson

Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in GCSE Music or a merit or above in BTEC Level 2 Music. If Music has
not been studied at key stage four, students can still access this course if they play a musical instrument to
grade 5 standard or above. If you have none of the prerequisites you may still apply for the course but will have to audition on your first instrument. We also welcome pupils who DJ or use music technology.


creative, practical and industry-relevant

Equivalent to one A-level, this course is an exciting and vocational way to explore music and is the most industry relevant course to date. It provides progression to the workplace either directly or via study at a higher level. 

As well as developing their musical skills and exploring the music industry’s role within society, students
choose a module that appeals to their own musical practice. Unlike A-level Music, the course is 100 %
coursework based and does not involve a listening or written examination.

Grants are available for both equipment and instrumental lessons.


The course

There are three mandatory units, which provide an essential introduction to the skills and knowledge
required to be successful in music:

  • Ensemble music performance.
  • Professional practice in the music industry.
  • Practical music theory and harmony.

The optional units have been designed to complement the knowledge and skills you will develop in ensemble
music performance and support your progression to more specialist creative courses in higher education.
They also link with relevant occupational areas: 

  • Composing music.
  • Music performance session styles.
  • Solo performance.
  • Improvising music.

There are a range of assessment tools, including performances, set tasks, written research, case studies and projects.


Beyond the classroom

Our performing arts department is very active. There are regular performances and shows throughout
the year–both inside school and within the wider city–with opportunities for musicians and technicians to
get involved. There are also opportunities for sixth form students to take on leadership of lower school clubs,
which can add extra weight to university applications.



There are many employment opportunities for successful ensemble practitioners in the areas of live performance, session music, musical theatre, community music and commercial bands.

The qualification supports entry to higher education courses in a very wide range of disciplines, depending
on the subjects taken alongside. It could lead to university courses such as Performing Arts, Music Industry Management, Music Business and Arts Management, and Popular Music Performance.