At ACC, we offer two music Foundation Degrees in Music Production and Music Performance. We aim to equip all of our students with everything they need to succeed in the creative industries. During your time with us, you’ll go hands-on with state of the art audio equipment. You’ll also hone your creative skills alongside experienced mentors while building industry contacts.
At this level, we’re looking for people who live and breathe music. We’ll be expecting you to work hard and put the time in, but the skills and experience you will gain over the two years will give you everything you need to achieve your aims as a creative in the industry.
Expect a change of pace. We don’t audition or interview for our degree places but these courses are more academically demanding than college level. You should be keen to develop your analytical skills, work at a higher level and take a mature approach to the modules and workload.
Our two Foundation Degrees are offered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University (University of the Year 2023). A foundation degree (FD) isn’t to be confused with a foundation year, they’re very different. Whereas a foundation year is a course you’d take to boost your UCAS points, a foundation degree is actually an incredibly flexible degree-level course that, taken stand-alone, leads to graduation at Level 5 after two years of study.
For many students, two years of degree-level study is enough for them to feel confident in their practice, and ready for industry. In fact, many of our most successful alumni initially graduated with a foundation degree.
Foundation degrees don’t just have to be taken as stand-alone courses, they can also be topped up to full Honours degrees, either directly after graduating, after taking a study break or after entering the workplace. Topping up simply requires completing the third year of a compatible full Honours degree.
It’s that flexibility that makes foundation degrees an incredibly popular choice for our students, and it could be the right choice for you too.
We love NTU. We respect their ethos and values, but more than anything, we respect their focus on engagement with employers.
We believe this is fundamental in creative education and is something we strive to deliver for our students. It was also a vital factor in our choice to partner with them to accredit our degrees.
Now let’s take a deep dive into what’s on offer at ACC Norwich.
The studios at ACC Norwich are equipped with great gear to enable you to meet your creative vision and to ensure you have experience of the technology that will form the basis of your working career. The team has worked hard to bring together the tools that best reflect the real world experience of working performers and producers. You can expect to find the following in each studio:
Performers make regular use of Plug Studios in the centre of Norwich to work on the practical aspects of the course. Our students have exclusive daytime use of Plug’s spaces for timetabled lessons in performance and musicianship skills, songwriting, using technology in performance and rehearsal. The team at Plug are extremely welcoming, supportive and knowledgeable and work tirelessly to provide an environment where your creativity can flourish.
Benefits of ACC
When you join Access Creative College (ACC), you not only benefit from 30 years of experience in creative education, but you also join a national network of like-minded artists, working to become experts in their fields at our seven campuses across the UK.
Norwich has been home to ACC for a long time, and the city is a vital part of our future. ACC Norwich on Magdalen Street in the centre of this historic city is a bespoke, creative space kitted out with the latest in high-specification, professional grade tech. The perfect place for you to hone your craft, ready for your future.
And that national network we mentioned earlier? That means you can collaborate across disciplines with photographers and videographers, graphic designers, software developers, game developers, fellow musicians and more.
Sophielou joined ACC in 2016 on the two year Music Performance course. She had the passion, drive and talent to succeed but felt she needed to polish her songwriting. She worked extremely hard to develop her songs but did not expect to also leave the course a more polished performer.
Dr Paul Francis, HE Course Director, worked with Sophielou on the course. “Sophielou really impressed me when we first met, she had a fantastic rawness about her songs but you could see, and she also knew, that she needed to refine them to become the finished product. We worked on her performance as well, also releasing a number of music videos to improve her confidence and now she’s a mature artist.”
Since completing the course, Sophielou has released numerous EPs. Her first, Out With The Old, reached number 7 in the iTunes R’n’B charts.
Sophielou’s music has reached different cities around the world and led to a huge amount of gigs, two of which saw her supporting UK artists Dappy and Akala. Sophielou is currently working on her debut album with live musicians that she met on the course.
Joss Francis studied Music Production as a drummer with limited production experience, but was eager to pursue a career as a recording engineer. With the support of his tutors and an unwavering dedication to honing his craft throughout his time on the course, Joss challenged himself to develop his skillset, which has enabled him to forge a path for himself in the creative industries in a number of recording and production roles.
“The music production course was a gateway into the music industry for me. Before I started I had no knowledge of mixing, mastering or music production but the course gave me a strong foundation of knowledge in all of these areas to begin a career. Now I’m head sound tech for a Jazz bar in Nottingham and have worked privately with bands 1 to 1, as well as an award-winning London-based producer and engineer. Without this course and the tutors I wouldn’t be where I am today!”
Dylan Barber’s passion for the production industry and the music industry began when he was seven his dad bought him a two channel interface. From there, he taught himself the basics of recording and mixing a song in their home living room.
“Access is a great place to study everybody in the building is like-minded and really wants to work hard to be a member of the creative industry access has got excellent access to industry standard facilities all of the tutors around us are really knowledgeable and it’s a really sort of supportive and a great place to be to be doing a degree.”
With some experience as a live sound engineer, Dylan wanted to turn his focus towards studio engineering and production, which is when he decided that the degree course was exactly what he needed to develop the skills required to meet his career goals.
Our tutors spent one-to-one time with Dylan, looking at how to approach the recording and production process from demo creation to completed masters, providing tailored feedback throughout, ensuring Dylan had an industry facing portfolio of work that would serve him beyond his time on the course.
One of Dylan’s highlights from his time on the course was during an industry week talk with studio engineer Andrew Scheps (Adele, Beyonce, Metallica), hosted by the university, where Scheps offered feedback on one of Dylan’s mixes. Scheps’ positive feedback gave Dylan the confidence to pursue a career as a freelance studio engineer and producer.
Since completing the course, Dylan has gone on to open his own recording studio in Norwich under the name Fine City Recording Studio, win the Production Futures Breakthrough Award for Standout Technical Talent, record and mix projects for NPR’s Tiny Desk, as well as work on projects and shows locally and nationally of various kinds including festivals, conferences, location recording work in unusual spaces, broadcast work and more.
Julie Thompson is an artist, songwriter and vocal producer. During her twenty year career she has collaborated with many top international artists, developed young artists for major labels, written two solo albums, performed on some of the world’s biggest stages and featured on countless releases, including a Grammy nominated album.
Dr. Adam Moore is one of the region’s hardest working guitarists. His performance career has taken him to cities across the world and included performances on BBC and Sky TV. His original music has included contributions for artists such as Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa/Allan Holdsworth), Mattias AI Eklundh of Swedish metal legends Freak Kitchen and B.J. Cole (Sting/ Madonna).
Luke Abbott has been releasing music for over a decade under his own name, and more recently in the group Szun Waves. He is an in-demand remix artist, having remixed people such as Jon Hopkins, Nils Frahm, Todd Terje, Hookworms, Portico Quartet, PVT and George Fitzgerald. An expert in modular synthesis and realtime electronic music performance, Luke also works as a mix engineer for artists such as Gold Panda, Selling, Fort Romeau and Gulp.
Jonny Cole is a record producer, mixer and engineer who has worked with a wealth of talented bands and artists from commercial labels including Island, EMI, DreamWorks, Rough Trade and Fierce Panda. Alongside working with key producers, mixers and masterers including Al Stone (Jamiroquai), Dave Way (Macy Gray, Foo Fighters), Steve Hodge (Jam & Lewis) and Brian “Big Bass” Gardner (Bernie Grundman). His work has received four-star recommended reviews in Q and Mojo magazines, inclusion on the Grammy, Mercury and MOBO nominated Floetry – Floetic, radio airplay on Radio 1, Radio 2 “A list” and BBC 6 Music, and has been featured in Sony Pictures “Running with Scissors”.
Shaun Banham’s musical background lies in producing, recording and mixing. While specialising in Hip Hop, Indie and Electronic music, his experience spans a range of diverse styles and genres from Rock & Metal to Reggae. With a track record of over 1.5 million Spotify streams, his dedication to staying at the forefront of the ever-evolving music landscape is evident through his ongoing releases and collaborations with emerging talents.
Dylan Barber is a lecturer in Music Technology and Acoustics in FE and HE at Access and an award winning sound engineer local to Norwich. Outside of teaching, Dylan is a studio and a live sound engineer and works in a range of venues including Epic Studios & Jazz Cafe with a variety of artists and clients such as Roger Eno & the BBC. Dylan brings his experience from working on projects like this to lectures and practical sessions.
Come and Say Hi
We have dedicated degree open events taking place across the year. The best way to find out more about us is to book a place at one of these sessions.
These events usually take place on Saturdays. They will include a presentation about the courses, tours of the facilities, the chance to meet tutors and students and the opportunity to ask questions. Please check the website for the next event.
Meet and greet
If you can’t make it to one of our scheduled events, or you want a more in-depth chat, then you can book in for a one-to-one meet and greet session at your local campus.
Student Support and Fees & Funding
While studying with us, you will be entitled to access student support at ACC and NTU.
Further information on fees and funding for FdAs are available via NTU’s fees and student finance page
Apply for your course below