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BTEC Music

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Level 3 in Music

Entry Requirements

4 GCSE A* - C including English 

Students must be approximately grade 3 on their solo instrument and have experience of performing as a soloist or as a group.  

 GCSE grade C in music would be advantageous and good academic skills to be able to write essays and project work.

Course Content

In this two year course, students will gain skills in performing, composing and other areas of music such as leading a community music project. Students are assessed continually throughout the year and given a pass, merit or distinction for each unit of work 

 Students will learn how to perform three solo pieces and three ensemble pieces to a live audience. Students will learn how to practice on their instrument, researching playing technique and exercises.   

 Community music is a chance for students to gain confidence in managing and planning a project for other people to enjoy. They will practice and research how to lead a music session and will go on to plan their own project to manage and lead. Students are encouraged to use this opportunity to improve their Serviam and go out into the Community. 

 Composing music involves trying a number of styles to compose for, and settling on three styles to continue making. Students will try composing pop music, film music, instrumental music for their own instrument/ voice and rhythmic patterns. They will complete a number of different music exercises and show that they can compose using different techniques and mediums. Students should expect to use Sibelius music software, LogicPro and be able to compose using notation. 

 Other units that students might choose in year two must consist of three different units. These units will vary depending on the strengths and interests of the students but may include units such as Pop Music in Practice, Performance Techniques, Music Project, Jazz Techniques, Solo Musical Performance and/or Working as an Ensemble.  


The assessment for this qualification is all based on coursework which is different for each unit. Students gain points at each level; pass, merit, distinction which count towards your final result.  

Assessments are held throughout the course and each unit is assessed on their individual Learning Objectives. 

Coursework is built up of sound and video recordings, written evidence/ logs, practice diaries, essays, projects and statements. 

 Students are assessed continually throughout the year and PPEs are integrated into these assessments termly. Feedback is given at the end of the unit and if there is room for improvement, students have ten days to resubmit their work.

Career Pathways

Students may want to specialise in performing, composing, music technology, music production or community work following this course. 

If students decide to go to university or college they could take a degree or BTEC Higher National in subjects such as music, popular music, music management or music technology.


Students perform in many school events such as the Sixth Form Presentation Evening, Choral Concert and Mass. Performance opportunities will also include students organising a concert for other students to showcase their work. This is a great opportunity for students of all ages to share their passion of music. 

 Trips are often taken to see concerts locally such as the Canterbury Festival and further afield to London for Concerts at The Royal Albert Hall. It is also encouraged for students to make contact with outside groups and organisations to visit Community Music Projects in the Local Area. 

 The Sixth Form Community Music Project in 2016 resulted in the final composition made being published on the BBC Website and entered into the BBC Ten Pieces Competition.