FdA Music Performance

Welcome to Petroc, one of the largest colleges in Devon, awarded 'Silver' from the Teaching Excellence Framework (July 2017) and rated 'Good with Outstanding Features' by Ofsted (November 2015). Petroc is the South West Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, recognised by the award of a Skills for Health Quality Mark, and plays a key part in the economic, cultural and social development of the county’s rural communities. We offer around 40 degree-level courses from foundation to BA (Hons) level across our three campus sites, making a 'degree on your doorstep' a possibility for hundreds of successful graduates to date.

We have strong links with local employers - so you can gain invaluable, hands-on experience during your degree-level studies. Based at our North Devon, Mid Devon, or at our dedicated University Centre at the Brannams campus, our award-winning courses offer small group sizes, workable and flexible study options, and represent outstanding value. And, when you’re ready to move on, you have a degree from the University of Plymouth – one of the top three modern universities in the UK, as ranked by the Sunday Times University Guide 2017

Visit our Petroc website to find out more, watch our course videos, read case studies of our successful alumni or apply directly for a guaranteed interview.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • MUTE104 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.

    • MUTE106 Recording Techniques 1

      This module explores the technical concepts of sound recording (EQ and timbre, DSP, microphone placement, dynamic processing, A/D converters, acoustics, signal path etc). It will develop the skills needed to organise recording sessions and operate the recording equipment installed in a studio environment. Students will be familiarised with the benefits/drawbacks of a range of recording methods.

    • PERF102 Backing Track

      This module will teach arranging skills, with the emphasis on computer technology. It will cover creating audio or midi or synthesized backing tracks and mixing them through a computer. Styles, techniques, software packages, instrumentation and timbres will be covered. The direction will be towards supporting solo performance.

    • PERF103 Analytical Listening

      The module develops listening skills required to identify and articulate the musical elements present in recordings and live music. It will examine form, arrangement, simple theory, cultural and historical perspectives and development. It will allow students to evaluate music and create it with these perspectives in mind.

    • PERF105B Developing Graduate Skills

      This module is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and employment requiring the exercise of responsibility and decision making, including the ability to relate their professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

    • PERF106 Music Performance 1

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • MUTE207 Project Planning and Realisation

      This module concentrates on developing the skills necessary for the production of significant high profile professional products within the performing arts field. It involves negotiating a project brief and recognising individual roles within the overall project structure. The project can be individual or group based.

    • PERF202 Composition and Arrangement

      Students will be taught to compose and arrange. They will be instructed on various traditional and modern compositional methods that have been used, what constitutes common practice and innovation in music and how composition/arrangement can enhance their performance. The module will expect students to attempt to develop a degree of personal compositional style.

    • PERF206 Event Management

      This module will introduce students to managing an event using concepts in background research, logistical requirements and organization. It will link these to preparing budgets, team communication, staging, evaluating, critically analysing as operational stages, and liaison with relevant supporting bodies. Students will stage events.

    • PERF208 Performance 2

      This module will develop further those skills started in the PERF101. Students will have monitored sessions each week where ensemble performances will be rehearsed. Individual progress will be monitored, performance ideas may be aired within the group, and assessed performances in the form of a short tour will be arranged.

    Optional modules
    • MUTE210 Audio Visual Techniques

      This module explores the processes involved in developing music and sound for film/TV, multimedia including gaming, web and animation from script to screen. It will introduce students to available technologies on their workstations and familiarise them with video editing, manipulation of images and the conventions of the use of sound and music to reinforce them.

    • PERF204 Music in the Community and Education

      The module will look at the importance of music in the community and education. It will examine influences of age, curriculum, and/or social groupings on music, and music projects in particular. It will examine local factors and national or international ones. Company work will incorporate these concepts, and projects will inform individual's work.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with PETROC

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Studying with Petroc

With main campuses in Barnstaple, Tiverton and Brannams, if you decide to study at the combined college, you’ll be able to take advantage of increased resources and the plethora of learning opportunities associated with them.

Find out more about studying at Petroc