DEVELOP YOUR CAREER Music Performance Foundation Degree FdA


Two Years


Foundation Degree

Curved top


If you want to gain the musicianship and business skills to work as a professional musician or vocalist, then this foundation degree offered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University is for you!

We’re now recruiting for 2021 in Norwich.

. you will...

Engage with a variety of composition, arrangement and performance projects, working individually and collaboratively. Explore new creative avenues when learning how to compose music for visual media, while continuing to develop as a songwriter and performer.
Develop musicianship including sight reading, listening skills and improvisation. Perform in a variety of situations, both solo and in groups, and learn how to effectively integrate technology into your performances.
Work in recording studios with other musicians, sound engineers and producers. Understand the development of recording technology, its impact on music and how you can use it to get the best out of your compositions.
Assess all the options and routes available to you in the industry. Work on commissions from clients and on self-directed projects as you develop your industry practice.

Discover MORE...

  • Reasons to choose us
  • Develop your creative career
  • Year one modules
  • Year two modules
  • Industry experience
  • Your qualification
  • Duration & Fees
  • Entry Requirements and Signing Up
Reasons to
choose us
  • Delivered in partnership with 2017 University of the Year, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), which has excellent satisfaction and employment rates.
  • Practical, vocational content. Foundation degrees are less ‘academic’ than full degrees.
  • Flexible study options – you can hop off and on.
  • You can top up to a full degree with Nottingham Trent University which can lead to a Masters.
  • Entry requirements are lower than for a full degree – 64 UCAS points which is a pass/pass/merit grade on a Level 3 RSL or BTEC extended diploma.
  • Industry practice is integral to both programmes with unique industry opportunities
  • Benefit from being a student with NTU, including student union membership and access to online library facilities.
  • Dedicated library in each centre.
  • Professional environments and taught by industry professionals.
  • Industry standard equipment.
Develop your
creative career

Choosing this Music Performance foundation degree FdA is a great way to break into the creative industries.

The creative sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the UK economy and a great and exciting place in which to work.

This foundation degree can lead onto:

  • A top-up one year course leading to a full BA degree and then on to a Masters if you wish.
  • Employment, or self-employment, in the creative industries. This may be as a freelance musician, or it may be into another area of the music or creative industries.
  • A creative higher apprenticeship as a stepping stone to work.

Composition and Arrangement: 40 Credits
Here you will develop your understanding of composition and music arrangement. You’ll be given grounding in music theory, arrangement techniques and composition, while developing hands-on skills in music production software. During this module you’ll study different approaches to composing. You’ll work individually and collaboratively on projects as you develop your understanding of composing for a range of genres, creating a body of work that demonstrates your developing practice. 

Performance Techniques: 40 Credits
This module aims to develop your performance techniques, focusing on several key areas. You’ll develop technical competence in playing an instrument through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, listening and improvisation. You’ll develop your skills as a performer in solo and group contexts, considering the communicative nature of musical performance, your relationship with the audience and exploring the performance environment. 

Recording Studio Practice: 20 Credits
New technologies are enabling more musicians to record their own music and self-produce. However, the ability of musicians to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas about their work with sound engineers and producers is still an invaluable asset. You’ll develop your understanding of sound recording practices to aid you in your future career as a professional musician. You’ll also study recording technology and its impact on musical styles, as well as the wider influence on society and culture. 

The Music Industry: 20 Credits
You’ll develop knowledge and understanding of how changes in the industry impact consumer trends and working practices. This module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional, so there is a strong emphasis on completing work for clients as part of your study. You’ll also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for employment in the industry.

Applied Contemporary Musicianship: 60 Credits
You’ll develop your performance techniques and enhance your technical skills, while broadening your contextual understanding of musical performance. You’ll continue to develop technical mastery on your first instrument – performing individually and collaboratively to develop your stagecraft and hone your skills as a performer. As well as a focus on traditional musicianship, you’ll also explore the integration of different technologies in performance. You’ll research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance and use this research to inform the integration of technology in your own work. 

Composing Music for Visual Media: 20 Credits
A composer for visual media must be able to work collaboratively, taking direction from others to develop their work. It is also important to understand the emotive impact music can have and how to write music that enhances the viewing experience. You’ll explore the application of compositional tools for the specific themes, such as horror, romance, drama, sadness, suspense and comedy. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflection through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work and analysis of your own work. 

Contextual Studies in Music: 20 Credits
Music Plays an integral part in everyday life across a diverse range of cultures and societies. In many ways, music provides the touchstones of human experience. Music can transcend language and cultural barriers. It can have an effect on individual and social identity, politics, fashion and technology. This module encourages you to examine the historical significance of music and its impact on global cultures and societies. You will also study the fundamental aspects of the psychology of music and its effect on the human brain in terms of emotive response to music and sound.

Industry Practice: 20 Credits
During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources required to begin your career in the creative industries.

Get Industry experience

Being at Access is so much more than just doing a course. You will have the chance to get first-hand experience of the music and creative industries.

Here are some of the opportunities you can take advantage of:

  • EVENTS: You’ll have unique opportunities to showcase your work. These range from a local gig to the chance to perform on a festival stage at events such as Latitude organised by partner, Festival Republic.
  • MUSIC GLUE: Music Glue is a global direct-to-fan platform used by 26,000 artists worldwide to sell tickets, merchandise, music and more direct to their audience from one customisable website.
  • DISTRIBEAT: A partnership with worldwide distribution company, Distribeat, which allows you to market your music through all major online stores including iTunes.
  • MASTERCLASSES: Access promotes industry masterclasses by artists represented by Tri-Tone and 7pm Management. These enable you to gain advice and guidance from working musicians and producers.
  • TWINE: All our students get free Twine membership, which is an online platform allowing creative people to collaborate on projects and earn money!
  • FOCUSRITE: Access is proud of its partnership with Focusrite. You will have the chance to get your hands on over £500 of FREE Focusrite audio plug-ins, supported by special Focusrite workshops.
Get a qualification

On successful completion you will get a recognised qualification which you can add to your creative CV:

  • Foundation degree in Music Performance FdA accredited by Nottingham Trent University (NTU).
  • You can upgrade your foundation Degree into a full BA by undertaking a top-up year at Nottingham. This can lead on to a Masters if you wish.
  • Nottingham Trent are 2017 University of the Year.
  • 94% of graduates and 95% of postgraduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving.
  • 93% of students would recommend studying at NTU.
Day to Day practicalities
  • The Music Performance foundation degree FdA lasts for 2 years.
  • It is delivered 3 days per week, from September to June.
  • You’ll develop your skills in dedicated HE facilities, such as rehearsal rooms and recording studios. You will also gain exclusive access to extra facilities in the evenings.
  • Tuition fees are £9250 per year.
  • A non means-tested, a tuition fee loan may be available and is linked to the cost of your course. You can apply to borrow some of or all of the cost of your tuition fees and if you apply and are granted a loan, this will be paid directly to your Higher Education institute by Student Finance England. You don’t start repaying this loan until you have graduated and are earning over £25,000. Payments come directly out of your salary, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Entry Requirements and Signing Up

For 2023 entry click on your location below to apply via UCAS and Nottingham Trent University



  • You will be required to provide evidence of your prior qualifications (achieved or predicted).
  • Candidates must be at least 18 years of age on 31st December on the year of entry.


  • A-levels – DDE; or
    BTEC Extended Diploma – Merit, Pass, Pass; or
    64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
    GCSE – English and Maths Grade C / 4
    We also consider equivalent qualifications and combination
  • You will also have at least one of the following music qualifications:
    A-Level in a music related subject, or where music is a key component.
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Music (or similar, e.g. RSL Awards)

    If you don’t have one of the above music qualifications, you will be asked you to submit examples of your work.

  • Mature candidates (21+ years of age) with non-standard qualifications and/or substantial experience in the music or related industries, are encouraged to apply and will be considered if the demonstrate appropriate ability through interview.
  • Students who do not have English as a first language are required to achieve the equivalence of a minimum of 6.0 overall with no band below 5.5 from a Secured English Language Test (SELT), the most common being IELTS, PTE or CAE. A student may be advised to undertake additional language courses or receive language support toward achieving the required standard by the start of the course, during the first term or by the end of the first year, as the situation demands.



Please note that we do not interview candidates for this course. Instead a decision will be made from your UCAS application and prior achievement.


Access Creative College is committed to providing an environment for students that actively offers equality of opportunity, freedom from discrimination and values the diversity of all students and prospective students.

The college seeks to broaden the pool of potential applicants by raising awareness and expectations in line with its commitments to widening participation. By combining knowledge of Higher Education and career routes, with insight into industry gained from our network of employers, we aim to challenge preconceptions, raise attainment and help people to develop the skills and knowledge to meet their aspirations.

Access Creative College values highly the diversity and range of experience that prospective students contribute to college life. Applications are welcome from all candidates irrespective of background. Recruitment and admissions processes aim to match the abilities, aptitude, and aspirations of the candidate to the programme of study and accepts a range of appropriate Level 3 qualifications. The college is committed to recruitment and admissions processes which are fair, explicit and implemented consistently across the higher education provision.

Candidates will not be excluded from entry to any course as a result of discrimination, which includes, but is not limited to: age, race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, health, disability, religion or belief.

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