Music (Popular) — Foundation Degree (FdA)

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Course information

This course specialises in popular music and its professional applications,
and includes a work placement underpinned by an agreement drawn up between the
student, the placement employer and the College.

Level 4 Modules:

  • Music Theory & Keyboard Skills (20 credits)

  • Practical Musicianship 1 (20 credits)

  • Studying Popular Music 1 (20 credits)

  • Sequencing / Notation Software & Composition (20 credits)

  • Practical Musicianship 2 (20 credits)

  • Music in the Community & Education (20 credits)

Level 5 Modules:

  • Advanced Harmony & Arranging (20 credits)

  • Advanced Practical Musicianship (20 credits)

  • Studying Popular Music 2 (20 credits)

  • Developing Professional Practice (including work placement) (20

  • Performance Project (20 credits)

  • Session Styles & Recording (20 credits)

Skills and Knowledge Developed: The course is designed to develop specialist
knowledge and skills in music performance, composition and arranging to a high
level so that they can be applied in the music industry and in other contexts
such as education and music in the community. The course also develops the
skills and knowledge involved in the academic study of popular music in its
historical and cultural contexts, to provide a wider and deeper understanding of
the subject and as preparation for further study (at Level 6 and above) or music

Teaching Methods: Teaching methods vary depending on the module and subject
being taught, and include classroom activities, seminars, practical sessions in
studios and rehearsal rooms, and workshops (which may occasionally be delivered
by visiting music professionals). There is a strong vocational element to most
of the teaching and learning, and some of the learning takes place in the
workplace (when on placements) and many activities and assignments are designed
to be as ‘real world’ as possible to reflect the requirements of the music

Assessment Methods: Assessment methods vary according to the nature of each
module. There will be some written work required for most modules, which could
be in the form of a report or essay, or a different form of written assignment
such as a presentation or musical composition or arrangement. The more practical
modules may require you to keep some sort of log of your activities, and there
are periodic exams in music theory and solo performance.

The programme handbook for this course is available to applicants online:

FD Popular Music Programme Handbook (19-20)

Please note: this course will only run when it has a sufficient number of applicants.

Course validated by The Open University.


Foundation Degree (FdA) Popular Music. This is a level 5 qualification in the National Qualifications Framework.

This course leads to...

Successful completion of this course results in a Foundation Degree, which is a recognised HE qualification in its own right, and good preparation for working in the music and entertainment industry. For those students wishing to continue their HE studies in music, the College offers a one year top up course which will enable students to gain a BA (Hons) Popular Music.

Entry Requirements

Indicative requirements: DMM grade profile (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma) or M grade (RSL Extended Diploma) in subjects including music.
A good level of competence on an instrument or voice (around grade 6 ABRSM, Rockschool or equivalent) and a good basic grounding in music theory (preferably around grade 5).
All applicants will be auditioned and assessed on their theory knowledge (a sample paper will be sent when invited for audition).
Appropriately experienced applicants will be considered in line with the Open University’s APEL/Credit Transfer guidelines and CoLC’s APL procedure, which considers individual cases on merit at the interview/audition stage.

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Further Information...

Need more information or can’t find the course you’re looking for? We can book you in to speak with our dedicated Advice & Guidance team about your options at The City of Liverpool College. With hundreds of courses and flexible learning, we’re sure to have something to meet your needs.

You can contact us online via or call us at any point on 0151 252 3000 with any queries you may have – we’re here to help.


Course ID: 158390

Course Year: 19/20

Course Duration: 2 Years


This course is only available to learners aged 18 and over. Fees are payable by all students unless sponsored by an employer, but you may qualify for a student loan through Student Finance England towards the cost of your course and living costs. Find out more at, or contact our HE team at

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