BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Andy Light

What is BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology?

The Music and Media industry is in a constant state of flux, with traditional record sales diminishing the live music industry has exploded into action. Live concerts are now recorded, mixed and distributed across on demand streaming services, or pay per download stores. The way in which Music is consumed is changing, the rapid growth of the Media Sector over the last ten years has created many opportunities for audio professionals from sound design and composition for moving picture, to audio technologies for games and mobile phones.

This course is designed to give you a solid grounding in the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you will need to succeed in this exciting industry.

Is the BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology suitable for me?

This course is unsuitable for an absolute beginner to Music, to access all aspects of the course successfully students should have previous experience of performing music both individually, and as a part of a band. This course would best suit learners who are interested in all aspects of Popular Music. If you are passionate about Music, and are interested in developing your skills as a musician and a technologist through practical study, then this course is for you!

Some of the topics you will study include:

  • Music Production 
  • Music Engineering
  • Performance Skills
  • Live Sound Engineering
  • The Music Business

How will I learn?

You will study a series of modules which require you to undertake practical projects in different areas of Music Technology. The emphasis of the course will be on your ability to apply the theory and techniques of Music Technology to your own project work. You will study both independently, and in small groups fulfilling different industry roles.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a total of 18 units during the two years of the course. All of the units are assessed by coursework – and this may include the production of portfolios, presentations, practical projects, and staff observations. None of the units require you to sit a formal examination.
For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass (P), Merit (M), or Distinction (D) grade. As this qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels, you will also be awarded an overall grade consisting of three grades – such as PPP, MMP, or D*DD.
Students must complete and pass the first year to be awarded a 90 credit diploma and progress to the second year and full Extended Diploma.
We are aware that Edexcel is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.


The two most obvious progression routes are either a Higher National Diploma in Music Production or a Foundation Degree in either Music Production or Audio Engineering; on completion you will usually have the option of a further two years of study to gain a BA or BSc respectively.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. Alternatively if you have studied at level 2 you should have achieved a merit or above. Vocational courses are an ideal qualification for students who prefer coursework. 

You will be able to have demonstrated purposeful study of music, for example through GCSE, BTEC, NCFE Music Technology or graded exams such as Rock School or Associated Board.

Course costs

A number of CDs will be required for recording performances and compositions.
A 4-8 GB flash memory stick will be required for the storage and transfer of projects between workstations.
Whilst students will need to reference a wide range of textbooks over the course of the programme the following texts are highly reccomended:
• Sound and Recording an Introduction; Rumsey, F. McCormick, T. (2005) - Focal Press
• Sound Synthesis and Sampling; Russ, M. (2008) - Focal Press

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.