• The Level 3 Music Performance Diploma is open to those with both GCSE English and maths at a grade C(4) or above, or a relevant full Level 2 qualification at Merit level or above, with an 100% attendance record in both English and maths.

    If you’re a passionate guitarist, bassist, vocalist, drummer and keyboard/piano player and love to play, but are open to improving your technique and skills as a musician and performer, then over your two years with us, you’ll develop a broad understanding of the music industry as a whole and will graduate as a well-rounded musician and performer.

    Having studied music theory or music at GCSE level is not reqired, but you must have a passion for music and a reasonable level of technical ability on your chosen instrument. You don’t need to have had formal music lessons before or have reached a certain examination grade on your instrument. There are no auditions for this course, but you’ll be asked to attend an interview before you enrol so you can be assessed on your chosen instrument.

    Music diploma courses are free for UK and EU students aged 18 or under* and there are also funding options available for those aged 19+.



    • Undertake an exciting two-year study program, replacing the traditional sixth form study pathway with music
    • Gain a professionally recognised music qualification
    • Suitable for vocalists, guitarists, bassists, keyboard/piano players and drummers
    • Perform live with your chosen instrument and explore different techniques for different purposes
    • Learn from fully qualified professional musicians, all active in the industry
    • Gain music tech and production abilities, such as Logic Pro X and Ableton Pro
    • Learn in professional facilities with equipment by Roland, Yamaha, Marshall, Mapex, Shure, Orange, and more
    • Experience the music industry first-hand, with guest speakers and enrichment tours
    • Free for UK and EU students aged 18 and under*

    Music Skills you’ll develop

    • Gain a thorough overview of the global contemporary music industry
    • Learn technical skills on your chosen instrument
    • Get experience rehearsing and performing live
    • Understand musical styles and influences from the history of modern music
    • Learn to compose and arrange music
    • Become proficient in digital music production platforms, including Logic Pro X and Ableton Pro
    • Learn recording skills
    • Become skilled at setting up backline for live and studio sound environments

    Where is it taught?

    Awarded by RSL, this two-year course is delivered at each of our HCM sites across Hertfordshire – Ware and Letchworth – and in Buckinghamshire at Milton Keynes College and is fully accredited by Ofqual and the Department of Education. If you’re keen make music every day, so you can ultimately make music your career, then this course will provide you with everything you need to make that happen: the best professional equipment; a collaborative atmosphere to help you find your creative voice; and an aspirational environment in which to learn about the music industry.

    What will I learn?

    Each course unit has been developed based on the realities of the contemporary music industry, and across the two years you’ll study topics including improvisation, live performance, rehearsal skills, music technology, sound reinforcement, songwriting for film, TV and adverts, music business, DAW (Logic Pro X), event management, audition strategies, and more. All your assessments will be based on coursework rather than exams.

    How will I learn?

    During your studies at HCM, your learning will be highly practical and hands-on. You’ll divide your time between instrument-focused lessons on your chosen instrument and other functional classes, such as acquiring Mac-based DAW and sound reinforcement skills. You’ll perform regularly in collaborative groups across many different styles and genres, including at end-of-term concerts held in popular live music venues in front of family and friends.

    You’ll also experience the real-world of the music industry thanks to opportunities to participate in performance and songwriting masterclasses, backstage tours of gigs, festivals, West End shows and instrument manufacturers such as Marshall, Yamaha drums and Orange amps, and Q&A sessions with music executives, artists, musical directors, managers, technical wizards, teachers, and more. At the start of your studies, you’ll be asked for a small ‘enrichment fee’ contribution which helps to make the programme of subsidised music industry trips, activities and events we have planned for you possible. All our courses are taught ‘paper free’, so you’ll have 24/7 online access to your course content wherever you are via the ‘cloud’.

    Who will teach me?

    At HCM Music College, we make it our job to guide you towards a career in music. Our talented and experienced specialist music tutors all play an active role in today’s music business as artists, professional musicians, DJs and producers. They’ll work hard to understand your personal goals and aspirations, offering a learning journey which is totally unique to you. They love music above everything else and their endless energy and knowledge of the creative arts will enthuse and inspire you.

    What are HCM’s facilities like?

    All three HCM campuses have fully equipped rehearsal rooms, performance areas, lecture theatres and iMac suites, all kitted out with the very best industry-standard gear. If you’re a guitarist or bassist you’ll be expected to bring your own instrument, but the college works closely with leading manufacturers in the industry, so you’ll have access to a whole range of instruments, equipment and software from brands including Orange, Yamaha, Shure, Marshall, Mapex, Roland, Vox, Line 6, ProEL, AKG, Peavey, Lewitt, JBL, Apple, Ableton and Logic.

    What can I do after this course?

    When you graduate from the Level 3 Music Diploma, you’ll be well-placed to launch a career in the music industry as a musician, performer, songwriter, educator or one of many other roles in the music industry. If you’d prefer to continue with your studies, the course is equivalent to three A-levels in terms of UCAS points, and allows for progress into higher education in the form of a music degree at HCM’s London-based partner college, the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP London), or another university. During your time at HCM, you’ll visit ICMP Music School in London on multiple occasions, to tour their facilities and experience degree-level musical education first-hand. You’ll have opportunities to ask questions about continuing to study music after your graduation from HCM Music College, so you can decide whether it’s the right path for you.

    *Conditions apply.

    If you’re ready to apply for a music diploma course at HCM Music College then you can complete our online diploma application form by clicking the button below.  If you still have questions, no problem, you can either complete our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours or alternatively you can get in touch with the team directly on 01920 460646 or by email: learn@h-c-m.co.uk – we’re here to answer all of your questions.