SCQF Level 10
Music & Sound Production

Course Overview

** Course subject to validation **

Our BA (Hons) top-up degree, validated by Kingston University London, is delivered over one year, as opposed to the two years typically required in Scotland. This new and innovative programme is led by you.  You will design and deliver individual professional projects in your specialist area, equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to create something of your own in the industry.

Through a range of lectures, seminars, individual supervision and one-to-one instrumental tuition, you will be able to explore a wide range of music styles. You’ll develop your practice in different areas including performance, improvisation, composition, arranging, songwriting, music technology and music education.

There are numerous performance opportunities in both staff and student-led ensembles, including an orchestra, a concert band, a traditional music band, choirs, string ensembles, a big band, and various chamber ensembles. Equally, students may focus on jazz, pop or original music. Whatever your aims, you will be able to draw on our 600+ music, sound production and music business students to achieve ambitious creative projects and build your network. Each year, we showcase performance work at some of Edinburgh’s best venues in our Glow Festival; there is no better place to study than in Scotland’s capital city.

Edinburgh College has one of the largest music and sound production departments in Scotland. You will benefit from superb facilities across two campuses, including two 125-seat auditoriums, suites of rehearsal rooms, sector-leading recording studios and production facilities and brand new fully equipped music technology spaces. You will also be able to borrow a range of equipment including high-quality microphones, recording devices and instruments, as well as having access to industry-standard audio and video-editing software.

Employability and the transferable skills required to succeed in a rapidly changing industry are at the core of the programme. Drawing on a wide range of industry partners and stakeholders, we know the industry requires agile and confident graduates who can thrive in both existing and emerging employment streams. This course will prepare you for an exciting future.

BA students specialising in performance students receive 12 hours of one-to-one tuition per year; those specialising in other disciplines receive the same allocation in individual supervision sessions. We have outstanding lecturers and instrumental and vocal teachers, all of whom bring extensive industry experience to bear on their work at college.

What You Will Learn

Professional Project (60 Credits)

Students will undertake a self-designed professional project with significant individual creative freedom and choice, providing the opportunity to extend and develop their individual practice within a professional context. Creative innovation and network development opportunities are heightened by the bringing together of Audio Production, Music, and Music Business students in this shared capstone module. The wider community of musical specialisms that share this module opens further to enrich and broaden possibilities for project outcomes, providing a counterpart to the specialist modules that define each distinct degree. It is envisaged that, where possible, projects will take place in the public sphere (exhibitions, performances, and external agencies) in contexts that provide the students with as realistic an experience as possible. Authentic assessment and professional alignment are at the heart of project and assessment design.

Working with an assigned project supervisor and drawing on a series of lectures, seminars and workshops, students will devise and complete projects that build on established professional practices and emerging trends with a focus on innovation, creativity, and establishing an identity in their field. Students pitch their own self-designed project to align with their specialism and it is hoped that this autonomy allows the student to create a springboard to the profession or the higher education institution to which they aspire. Just as an artist’s sketches complement final works of art, the module recognises that reflection on the artistic product is interesting to audiences/ stakeholders/ employers. Thus, students will also be asked to find creative and organic ways to engage these parties with key decisions and stages of project development alongside the project’s delivery.

Module Aims

  • To locate professional practice in music, audio production, or the music business in an authentic real-world setting
  • To develop a depth of understanding of a specialist field including established and emerging trends and practices
  • To begin establishing a network as a bridge to professional opportunities.
  • To create artists with initiative and independence
  • To create artists who can effectively engage audiences/ employers/ stakeholders

Creative Arrangement: Shapes, Structures and Styles (30 Credits)

Through studying this module, students will develop their ability to analyse and arrange music and deepen their stylistic awareness. The module will reflect industry practices of both traditionally notated arrangements and arrangements that may be realised in performance from alternative notations (or no notation). This will enable students to articulate their understanding of each discipline or to focus primarily on one. Students will attend a series of lectures that encompass a variety of case studies and models from a diverse range of music styles. There will also be an introduction to a range of creative practical and analytical strategies which will equip students with the necessary skills to create effective arrangements.

For assessment, the emphasis is on authentic scenario-based arrangements that correspond to potential areas of employment e.g., a brass musician might arrange for a brass ensemble, or a guitarist might arrange for a typical function band line-up. The student will be asked to critically reflect on their arrangements, articulating key artistic decisions made and demonstrating the models and techniques that contribute to the creative output.

Module Aims

  • Equip students with applied aural, analytical, and theoretical skills
  • Develop stylistic awareness and sensitivity
  • Provide students with authentic, industry-appropriate arranging skills
  • Prepare students to communicate their creative processes effectively
  • Equip students with a range of creative arrangement strategies and techniques

Engagement in Music Making: The Emerging Practitioner (30 credits)

Through this module, students will gain an awareness and understanding of music education and community music practices across the UK. There is a recognition that, in both education and community arts practice, there are transferable knowledge bases, skill sets and strategies that challenge the distinction between the two disciplines. Critically engaging with these will help students to devise and deliver the most appropriate music activities for learning and engagement with their chosen target group. The emphasis of the module is to equip students with authentic practical experiences that translate to the variety of opportunities in the workplace.

Assessments will be in the form of a mini project which provides an opportunity for students to research, design, deliver and reflect based on a setting relevant to their professional ambitions on exit from the degree. In the first assessment, students will be asked to engage with literature and professional practice in order to demonstrate their understanding of relevant issues for consideration. Following this, students will then attend a placement in a setting from a pre-defined list, culminating in a summative assessment on the design and delivery of two short lessons or workshops. Reflective activities will consolidate knowledge and develop the student's capacity to engage with feedback, cultivating the attitude of lifelong learning that would be an asset in multiple employment routes.

As the module is core to the music degree and will therefore be taken by students with a wide range of backgrounds, interests and ambitions, it is important that the assessment is not restricted to one practice nor biased towards one discipline or field. Thus, a variety of scenarios will be proposed and provided by the module leader in advance (see assessment 2). As an FE and HE institution, Edinburgh College is uniquely positioned to provide in-house opportunities across its courses. The FE environment allows for those studying the module to devise and deliver the lesson and workshop plans at relevant levels in safe and controlled conditions across a wide range of scenarios.

Module Aims

  • Explore music learning and engagement activities within music education and community settings
  • Extend knowledge and understanding of current educational and community practice through critiquing theoretical concepts and models.
  • Apply understanding of frameworks and models while undertaking placement activities
  • Explore the design and delivery of music-making activities appropriate for a chosen setting
  • Develop self-awareness and responsiveness to feedback and criticism
Placement Information

Placements will suit your area of interest. They may be completed in primary or secondary schools, in community music projects or within other music organisations as appropriate.

Entry Requirements
  • HND Music 
  • SQCF L8/RCF L5 equivalent i.e. FdA Music (please contact our admissions team for more information)
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 6.5 required.
  • Further information regarding IELTS levels and certification is available from our admissions team
How the course is assessed
  • Project based course work (50%)
  • Written assessment (20%)
  • Practice-based assessment (30%) 
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements

External applicants are asked to provide a portfolio of work appropriate to their chosen Professional Project specialism.

For those wishing to specialise in performance, your portfolio will consist of a video or videos of you introducing and playing or singing two contrasting pieces. These should be of Grade 8 or post-Grade 8 standard, but please note that they need not be taken from a current syllabus.

For those wishing to specialise in composition or songwriting, your portfolio will consist of recordings or scores of at least two of your finished pieces/songs as appropriate.

For those wishing to specialise in academic writing, your portfolio will consist of one or more substantial essays or written projects with appropriate referencing.

For those wishing to specialise in recording or other technology projects, your portfolio will consist of at least two contrasting samples or finished pieces of appropriate work (with descriptions).

Applicants who wish to specialise in performance:

Please record a video in which you

a) introduce yourself and b) play or sing two contrasting pieces on your first instrument.

In your introduction:

· give your name and say where you are from

· say a little bit about your musical experience (including how long you have been playing or singing, and any experience of playing with other people in bands or ensembles)

· say which pieces you are going to play or sing, and (if you can) say why you chose them

In your playing or singing:

· please use backing tracks or live accompaniment as appropriate.

The video should be uploaded to YouTube as per instructions here:

Please be careful to upload the video as ‘unlisted’ rather than ‘private’. Please then send the link to your video to

All other applicants

You may send files, or if these are too large to send by email, please send links, to

Our staff will review your application and, in some cases, they will follow up by giving you a phone or video call. If you don't get a call, don't worry! It will be because the staff have got all the information they need from your video and the rest of your application.

Progression And Articulation Routes
  • Post-graduate teaching programmes (in secondary music teaching or general primary teaching)
  • Post-graduate performing programmes 
  • Post-graduate academic programmes
Career Opportunities

Possible careers include performing musician, instrumental music teacher, music producer, composer, songwriter, community musician, classroom teacher (after further study) and music therapist (after further study).


Number Of Days Per Week
  • 15 hours per week taught
  • 7 hours per week student led-learning 
Course Cost And Funding Options
Start Date and Time

Full Time

This course will start week commencing...
  • Monday 30/08/2021
End Date

Full Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 17/06/2022
Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
x x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

Why is creativity important to employers
Music staff profiles

Edinburgh College's Music Department is fortunate to have a large and diverse Staff group, each one of whom has extensive experience of working in the industry.

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

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