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Foundation Degree in Music Production and Live Sound

Level 4-5
Course Code:
HEB002 / PW33
Brannams Campus
Two years

Get your foot in the door of the music industry with The Factory, Petroc. The programme, along with our 800-capacity venue, fully-equipped recording studio and Apple Mac suite, provides you with the practical, creative, and professional skills you need. Focusing on the skills that professionals use on a day-to-day basis, the programme covers live sound, record producing, composition and much more.

It gave me the chance to try out different roles within the music industry which let me see first-hand which ones were for me and which ones weren't. - Former student


During this Foundation Degree in Music Production and Live Sound you will study the following modules:

Year 1:
1. Live Sound Engineering - This module introduces the student to a broad spectrum of skills and techniques necessary for the development of a professional live sound engineer.

2. Recording Studio Engineering - The student will be introduced to a broad spectrum of skills and techniques necessary for the development of a professional recording engineer. Students will operate within a professional recording studio environment with the view to confidently create a multitrack studio recording.

3. Computer Music - Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the tools and techniques available to them with the view of creating a portfolio of computer music compositions. Students will look at how computer music has had an impact of contemporary music production and how music they create on computer fits within commercial markets.

4. Mixing & Mastering - Students will look at the study of music and audio production techniques. This modules' core focus is to give learners a view into the contemporary mixing and mastering practices that go into record production.

5. Music Business - This module concentrates on organisations involved in regulating the music business, safeguarding intellectual property and royalty collection. Lectures will introduce contract law, copyright issues, developments with music promotion/distribution through traditional means and the Internet, also entrepreneurial/freelance aspects of employment in the music industry.

6. Research & Context - This module is designed to enable students to gain knowledge of theory and principles relating to their area of study and transferable skills necessary to support an emerging professional practice. The application of that knowledge will embrace written responses and portfolio building.

Year 2:
7. Sound & Music for Film/TV/Games - This module introduces learners to the professional sound creation skills and practices behind large scale film, TV and game productions. Learners will research and analyse professional techniques surrounding the module topics and develop their own projects demonstrating their ability in either Sound Design, Foley, Composition, or a combination of the three.

8. Live Sound Recording & Practice - This module continues the study of Live Sound from Live Sound Engineering to the roles and professional applications necessary to operate full-scale professional live sound public-address systems. Students will reinforce previous knowledge and progress their skills to the heights required within the Live Sound industry developing new skills and techniques along the way such as live sound recording.

9. Record Production - This concentrates on the practical, and business skills required to engage in the role of a Record/Music Producer. The students are required to experience the organisational and managerial responsibilities, technical and artistic requirements necessary to instigate and execute a recording project that could be considered for commercial release.

10. Sampling & Synthesis - Students will develop a comprehensive study of the tools and techniques behind computer music production, with a specific focus on Sampling and Synthesis. Students will develop a range of advanced techniques and practices with a view to developing their own Sampler instruments and Software Synthesis.

11. Technical Stagecraft - This module develops students' critical awareness of a broad spectrum of roles necessary for successful technical stagecraft. Students will undertake the role of stage manager as well as other technical stagecraft roles such as lighting and AV operator.

12. Music Project - This gives the students the opportunity to culminate their learning over the last 2 years with the development and realisation of their own Music Project.
Your performance in a module will be assessed during the academic year, normally through a combination of coursework and end of year examinations. You must pass the assessments in order to be credited with that module for your Foundation Degree. In addition, some modules may have to be passed as pre-requisites for others taken later in your programme.

The method of assessment varies between modules and your lecturers will advise you of the method(s) to be used. This reflects the need to develop a range of different knowledge, understanding and skills. During your programme, you may experience some, or all, types of assessment, including coursework essay/report research projects, group presentations, practicals, in-class tests, portfolios, and a research project.

In all cases, these are chosen and designed to assess your achievement of the particular learning outcomes for the module. You will be given assessment criteria which are used to judge the extent of your achievement.
Please note that ALL assessment marks and results are provisional until confirmed by the Subject Assessment Panel and verified by the Award Assessment Board. If you do well enough, i.e. you average a mark of over 70% over all your modules at the end of your programme, then you will qualify for the award of a Foundation Degree with Distinction. You should note, marks of 70% and over are awarded for outstanding work only.
Applicants should show evidence of a previous Level 3 qualification and also hold previous experience in Music Production & Live Sound.
At interview we would like to see a portfolio of your productions.
Students who successfully pass their Foundation Degree may progress to Stage 3 of BA (Hons) Music, or BA (Hons) Music: Technology pathway at the University of Plymouth. You must do this within three years.
We have a dedicated state-of-the-art recording studio, current model Apple iMacs with industry-standard recording and sequencing software, and other sound creation software packages. 800-capacity music venue, with state-of-the-art P.A and stage monitoring system and lighting rig.
You will need to provide good quality enclosed headphones, a good sized hard drive or memory stick, and an ambitious attitude.
Please contact the HE Team on 01271 852335 for more information.
Q: How much will this course cost?
A: For more information about course fees, please visit

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