Music Performance
BTEC Level 3

Awarding Body: EdExcel, Pearson

Qualification Level(s)

Available as:

  • Certificate (1 year, equivalent to an AS level)
  • Subsidiary Diploma (2 years, equivalent to an A level)

Course Description

This course is designed for students who play an instrument and/or sing. You will focus on solo performances but will also make significant contributions to group performances in a range of styles and disciplines. You will develop your teamwork skills and expand your knowledge and experience of musical genres.

You are required to have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Music or have achieved a Merit on a level 2 vocational music course. However, students without these qualifications, but experience outside of school, may also apply.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

The course explores all aspects of popular music and the music industry. There will be extensive opportunities to practise and develop your skills on the instrument you play. You will also learn about professional use of microphones, instruments and PA equipment. The performance aspects of the course lead to many gigs throughout the year, organised by the group, at which you showcase your talents. You will be taught music theory, to enhance your understanding of melody, harmony and rhythm. This will also give you the tools for success at music college or studying a music course at university.

On this course you will develop your skills as a musician. Instrumentalists and singers that play various instruments can develop all of those skills in this course. You will increase your versatility throughout the course, as well as understanding the context of the music you are playing. Performance skills such as interaction with the audience, knowledge of how to use your equipment, and how to deal with problems on stage professionally are explored regularly on this course.

Music evolves through the way cultures interact, and how social and political changes affect the motivations and passions of the songwriters writing the songs. These influences will be analysed throughout the course. Students that are interested in pursuing music at a degree level will be given the opportunity to study music theory as a separate class after college, and the chance to enter the Grade 5 Music Theory Exam in June of the 2nd year.

This course is assessed through 100% coursework, that will be marked and verified internally. Part of these assessments will be at the Portsmouth College gigs, of which you are expected to prepare for and attend.

There is a vibrant and enthusiastic Rock Choir that you can join as part of your E6 Programme, in which we sing rock and pop songs every week, and perform at a few gigs throughout the year. These gigs include the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival, held at Portsmouth Guildhall. You will explore many aspects of the world of work within this profession area which are also transferable to other employment.

There are many life skills that you will develop from this course, such as problem solving, improvement in confidence, working as a team and taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Academically, there are an enormous range of degree courses around the country that develop this course further, at universities and at specialist music colleges, such as the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.

Careers in the music industry cover a whole range of lifestyle choices. For a performer, there are opportunities for sessions performing on tour, session recording, music composition, music composition for films and games, music composition for advertising and marketing, vocal and instrumental private coaching, and teaching and community workshop organisations.

Key dates for the course include the following:

  • October 11th – 2nd year gig, Studio Theatre, Portsmouth College
  • December 17th – 1st year gig, Edge of the Wedge, Albert Road
  • December 18th – 1st year gig, Edge of the Wedge, Albert Road
  • January 10th – 10 year celebration of music gigs at Portsmouth College, Wedgewood Rooms, Albert Road