Music (Songwriting and Performance) Higher National Certificate

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Description

A two-year part-time programme of study taught over four semesters. The programme is the equivalent of year one of a full time degree.

Students undertake challenging assignments that cover all creative aspects of music-making including performance, songwriting and recording together with the core units of study of ‘Music in Context’ and ‘Creative Arts Research Skills’ which are embedded within the programme.

Applicants do not need a background in songwriting or performance but need to be interested in the field and must be willing to embrace the challenge of working within these areas to a professional standard. There are numerous options for progression that include (although not exclus…

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A two-year part-time programme of study taught over four semesters. The programme is the equivalent of year one of a full time degree.

Students undertake challenging assignments that cover all creative aspects of music-making including performance, songwriting and recording together with the core units of study of ‘Music in Context’ and ‘Creative Arts Research Skills’ which are embedded within the programme.

Applicants do not need a background in songwriting or performance but need to be interested in the field and must be willing to embrace the challenge of working within these areas to a professional standard. There are numerous options for progression that include (although not exclusively) Higher Education.

Through a core unit, students will learn research skills that help to prepare them for both the HE environment, and their own continued professional development. Due to the part-time nature of the programme, students are encouraged to make use of non-study time by working part-time, preferably in industry related work (whether this be as a jobbing musician, songwriter or indeed sound engineer for local venues). Students are actively encouraged to use this work to inform some, if not all, of their freelance portfolio.

You will study a number of units including: Songwriting Techniques and Skills, Music Performance Skills, Band Rehearsal and Performance, Music Composition Techniques, Computer Music Composition and Production, Music in Context, and Creative Arts Research Skills.

Study support:
If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but feel that you require additional support with your studies, you may be eligible to access some discrete sessions in one of the following areas:
• Assistive software training
• IT upskilling
• Essay planning and structure
• Proof reading and editing written work
• Bibliographies and referencing
• Time management and personal organisation
• Revision and exam tips
• Presentation techniques

Skills and assessment:
Students gain skills in songwriting and composition along with hands-on experience of professional rehearsals and recording and production in a real-life studio setting. A key element is the development of a portfolio of song writing work to Higher Education interview standard.

Assessment methods:
The units are delivered through a variety of techniques to suit different learning styles. You will be supported by a dedicated team to achieve through both individual and group assessment in practical workshops (in performance and recording), research, discussions, presentations and portfolio projects. You will receive group and individual feedback at regular intervals across all terms.

The assessments you undergo could be formative or summative:
Formative - Designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and inform you of your on-going development. Formative assessments, such as class exercises, tests, activities, do not form part of your grade.
Summative - Designed to provide a measure of your achievement and performance against learning outcomes, using end of unit assignments to determine your grades.

At each level of study you will be asked to participate in formative and summative assessment procedures which require you to consider and grade your own work against the agreed assessment criteria. This allows you to reflect upon your own practice with tutors, and to take responsibility for areas of strength and weakness in your work.

Entrants to the Programme should normally possess the following:
• A minimum of two passes at A-level, plus four passes at GCSE (grades A–C), or O-level (grades A–C), normally including maths and English Language and a science subject
• A National Certificate or Diploma or other equivalent qualifications, such as GNVQ/NVQ or other Level 3 vocational qualifications

A typical offer would be two grade C’s at A-level (Maths, science, art and/or English would be advantageous) or BTEC Diploma at merit level (equivalent to two A-levels at grade C).

We also welcome students returning to education and support widening participation and encourage applicants with non-standard qualifications.

English language
Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:
• British Council IELTS: normally minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components;

Progression to Higher Education programmes in Music and/or Music Technology including the preparation of a portfolio to HE application standard. A broad insight into songwriting and compositional techniques that includes an understanding of production and audio engineering equipment and the professional recording process also prepares students for a wide range of careers with the professional music industry.

The HNC can provide a pathway to a plethora of professional roles, such as work in songwriting in a popular music context, television/film/game composition, subject-related journalism and specialist research. Students are encouraged to develop enterprise skills and this course should prepare them for all aspects of the industry from working within established media and industry structures, starting their own independent studio and working successfully as freelance songwriters and producers. HNC students will review employment opportunities and are encouraged to find a related work placement to run alongside the course.

esources:
Students will be provided with a industry-standard environment in which they will take part in practical workshops, interactive lectures, hands-on time in the performance pods, studios, guided and self-directed projects.

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