Music NC Level 6
Campus Sighthill Campus
Qualification SCQF Level 6
Study mode Full time
Duration 41 weeks
Course enquiry form
Our level 6 course is a one-year, full-time preparation course for Higher Education study in music. It is designed to give students an opportunity to strengthen their experience in several important areas before embarking on a Higher Education course. These include ensemble playing and singing, solo instrumental/vocal technique, academic work and music theory. A solid background in these areas gives students the best chance of success in degree-level study.
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.
The programme sits at Level 6 within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework – the level directly below the first year of Higher Education study. SCQF Level 6 also includes SQA Highers, and many of our Level 6 students already have Higher Music (and/or Advanced Higher) before they start the course. However, completing the NC Level 6 programme is very different to completing Higher or Advanced Higher Music: because it is a full-time course, we are able to provide a far broader and deeper curriculum than what can be delivered within music at school.
As well as regular one-to-one tuition in a first study instrument from an experienced specialist, students rehearse and perform extensively in supervised groups (bands, ensembles, choirs and orchestras as appropriate).
Performances 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 alongside their preparation for end-of-year recitals.
Students also acquire fluency in using various kinds of music software, gain experience in the recording studio, develop composition and songwriting skills, learn how to write about music, work through an introduction to the industry, and complete a thorough course in music theory.
Please note: we anticipate the Level 6 course will run at both our Sighthill and Milton Road campuses. However, we reserve the right to run it on only one campus, depending on the number of applicants.
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.
** Please read and follow the 'audition instructions' information in the 'interview requirements' section below when applying for this course **What you will learn
- Instrumental/vocal skills
- Group music-making
- Music software
- Composition and songwriting skills
- Writing about music
- Introduction to the industry
- Music theory
How the course is assessed
- A variety of practical tasks, written assignments and timed assessments.
Number of days per week
- 3 days per week
- Four qualifications at SQCF Level 5, including Music and English
- Basic knowledge of music theory
- Grade 4 standard on instrument or voice
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 the 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
- Higher National Certificate/Diploma (Level 8) programme, which can lead to our BA (Music) Honours degree.
- We also support students to make applications to universities or other institutions during the course of the year, should they wish to do so.
- 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|
|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.