Milton Road Campus
Qualification SCQF Level 8
Study mode Full time
Duration 41 weeks
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Course enquiry form
Our HND programme makes up the first two years of a full Honours degree in music offered at Edinburgh College. Students may leave after the first year with an HNC, after two years with an HND, and after three years with a BA Honours degree. Our HND is awarded by SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority).
We welcome applicants from all musical backgrounds and disciplines, including classical, popular, traditional, and jazz.
Students wishing to focus on classical, traditional or jazz music should apply to our Sighthill campus. Those wishing to focus on popular music can apply to either Sighthill or Milton Road.
HN students receive eighteen hours of instrumental, vocal or composition lessons over the course of each academic year. A range of classes and activities supports the individual lessons; these depend on students’ first study instruments and interests.
Students have many opportunities to rehearse and perform with other musicians in supervised groups such as bands, ensembles, choirs and orchestras as appropriate; they also gain experience as both performer and engineer in the recording studio.
Performance classes for students focusing on popular music involve two-three hours a week of rehearsing and performing in bands, typically involving a singer, two guitars, bass and drums, with regular input from a lecturer; there are also opportunities to rehearse independently. Students work through a wide range of different genres, and there are opportunities for individuals to take increasing ownership of their material as they progress through the years. Classes culminate in gigs in our excellent in-house spaces and in some of Edinburgh’s favourite music venues. Many students also take their learning into bands outside the college.
Performance classes for students focusing on classical music involve regular rehearsal sessions with an accompanist, and numerous opportunities to perform to lecturers and classmates. Many students work towards ABRSM or Trinity grade exams or diplomas alongside their preparation for ambitious end-of-year recitals. There are also opportunities for solo roles in our larger ensembles.
Jazz improvisation is a real strength at the college. Many students are introduced to elements of improvisation in the earlier years, and the discipline can become a major focus in the later ones. There are dedicated improvisation classes in the second year of the HND programme: students work in both small and large groups, learning from each other as well as lecturers.
Our HND also offers the chance to hone skills in various other practical and creative disciplines: keyboard skills, songwriting, composition, audio for multimedia and instrumental instruction.
Students work through a comprehensive introduction to the industry and develop academic skills through researching, writing and presenting about subjects pertinent to their own instrument and practice. They may also train towards external music theory exams (awarded by London College of Music and/or Trinity/Guildhall); these are important benchmarks highly valued by ourselves as well as by universities.
Our music department has a large and diverse staff group, with extensive industry experience. You can read all about us in the downloadable pdf at the bottom of this page.
** To apply for this course please read and follow the 'audition instructions' information in the interview requirements section (below) **What you will learn
- Instrumental/vocal skills
- Group music making
- Keyboard skills
- Audio for multimedia
- Instrumental instruction
- Industry awareness
- Music theory (including optional external exams)
- Where possible, work placement is offered as an HND unit. We have numerous creative and cultural partners across the city and region, offering a range of placement opportunities.
How the course is assessed
- You will be assessed through a variety of practical tasks, written assignments and timed assessments.
Number of days per week
- 3/4 days per week
- SQA Higher Music (or equivalent experience) and two other Highers
- Instrumental playing or singing at Grade 6 level
- Some band or ensemble experience
Information on Tests / Auditions / Interview Requirements
When you submit an application, please specify your first study instrument (or voice), and whether you wish to study classical or popular music, at the beginning of your personal statement
Audition Instructions February 2022
Please record a video in which you
a) introduce yourself and
b) play or sing two short 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 if any music exams you have done (within school and/or outside school)
- 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 make every effort to use backing tracks/accompaniment where appropriate. If you can’t source backing tracks/accompaniment, please play or sing unaccompanied.
The video should be uploaded to YouTube as per instructions here:
Please be careful to upload the video as ‘unlisted’ rather than ‘private’.
Please name the video in the following format:
your name – your chosen course and campus – your instrument, e.g.
Laurie Crump HND Music Sighthill recorder.
Please then put a link to the video within the personal statement section of your application.
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.
If you can’t submit a video because you don't have an instrument at home (e.g. if you are a first study percussionist), or for any other reason, please let us know and we arrange an interview with you by phone or video call.
Please note: you may be offered a place on a course of a different level than the one you applied for. The staff team will place you on the course that they believe will best suit your needs and allow you to develop and progress within the department and beyond.</English Proficiency Requirements IELTS 5.5
Progression and Articulation Routes
Students who successfully complete our HND with an A or B in Graded Unit 2 are guaranteed a place on our BA (Music) honours degree, delivered in partnership with Kingston University, London. Our degree is unique in that only 1 year of study is required to top up the HND to a BMus (Hons) due to being validated by an English university.
We also support students to make applications to universities or other institutions during the HNC or the HND years, should they wish to do so. In recent years, music students have progressed to Aberdeen, Abertay (Dundee), Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow and Manchester universities; University of the Highlands and Islands; and conservatoires including Leeds College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
- Performing musician
- Classroom teacher
- Instrumental or vocal teacher
- Community musician
Discover the Creative Industries Faculty
Our Creative Industries faculty offers a variety of courses which help prepare students to stand out from the crowd in their chosen field, be it art and design, broadcast media and photography, music and sound production, performing arts or computing.
|Campus||Study mode||Start date||Duration|
|Milton Road Campus||Full time||29/08/22||41 Weeks|
|Sighthill Campus||Full time||29/08/22||41 Weeks|
Funding & Fees
When you are thinking about starting college, one of the most important things to consider is funding and how you intend to pay for some of the costs that come with being a student.
If you are thinking about applying for a course at Edinburgh College we have provided a number of resources to guide you smoothly through this process.