BTEC Music

Course Introduction

The BTEC Extended Certificate in Music is designed to support progression to higher education when taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels. The programme gives a broad overview of the sector, with a focus on performance, including musical skills development and professional practice. The qualification is equivalent in size to one A Level.

What will I Study?

Learners taking this qualification will study three mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony
  • Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry
  • Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance.

Learners choose one optional unit.

These have been designed to support progression to more specialist music courses in higher education and to link with relevant occupational areas, such as:

  • composing music
  • improvising music
  • solo performance.

How will I be assessed?

Four units, of which three are mandatory and two are external.

Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (58%).

Internal assessment – Learners could be given opportunities to:

  • write up the findings of their own research
  • use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations
  • carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes
  • demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate instruments and techniques.

The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the music performance suite are:

  • performance – learners prepare for assessment over an extended window and demonstrate skills that generate some non-written evidence
  • set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task.

Additional activities

The school offers a wide range of additional opportunities to be involved in music such as the school band, choir and musical production. It is expected that students that take this course as an option will be involved in music in their own time.
Where does the course lead?
In addition to the music sector-specific content outlined above, this qualification gives learners
transferable and higher-order skills that are valued by higher education providers and employers,
for example performance techniques, communication skills, team working. It also gives learners an opportunity to focus on their personal vocal/instrumental technique.

The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers
as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses, if it is taken alongside other
qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning, and it combines well with a large
number of subjects. It will support entry to higher education courses in a wide range of disciplines,
depending on the subjects taken alongside it.

For learners who wish to study an aspect of music in higher education, opportunities include:

  • BA (Hons) in Performing Arts, if taken alongside an A Level in English Literature and a Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts
  • BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management, if taken alongside a Business course
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