BTEC Level 3 Music

This course is for experienced and talented students who are looking to develop further their all round musicianship. Lessons have a  practical, theoretical and vocational focus and students will be required to take part in a variety of performances throughout the course. The BTEC course has the flexibility for some units to be selected to suit student needs with each new cohort. The National Extended Certificate in Music (equivalent to one A level) consists of 4 units (3 of which are mandatory plus one optional unit.) The National Diploma in Music (equivalent to 2 A levels) has  8 units, 6 of which are mandatory over the 2 year course.  Both  courses cover a broad basis of study with a focus on performance, technique development, music theory and professional practice.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this course are 5 GCSEs at grades 4-9 (or BTEC equivalents), with a minimum GCSE Music grade 6 or a BTEC Level 2 with at least a merit.  Applicants will also be required to attend an audition.

Course Content

Year 1                   

  • Ensemble Music Performance Techniques (marked externally)

  • Professional Practice in the Music Industry (marked externally)

  • Music  Skills Development  (marked internally)

  • Practical Music Theory and Harmony (marked internally)

Year 2

  • Music  in Context (marked externally)

  • Optional Unit 1 (marked internally)

  • Creating a Music Product (marked internally)

  • Optional Unit 2 (marked internally)

Optional units include arranging, composition, music promotion, theory and harmony, live performance session styles.


Assessment is continuous and some of the course will be monitored externally. Evidence for assessment includes portfolio work; research/written assignments, video/observations of practical performances, recordings etc., all graded at Pass, Merit and Distinction. All units are assessed individually; the final grade is an aggregate of the grades achieved in the units.

Approach to Teaching and Learning
  • Lectures

  • Group work

  • Class discussion

  • Study packs

  • Individual reviews with your teachers

  • Individual research

  • Workshops

  • Live performances

  • Visits

Future Prospects

On successful completion of a BTEC in Music, students can progress into employment and/or continue their study of popular music at appropriate higher education establishments. The natural progression into employment would be as musicians, music teachers, music journalists, working on TV and radio, in the theatre, sound engineering, events management, music marketing, etc. This course would complement other arts subjects, particularly acting and media.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon | Tel: 01925 853500
© 2018  Birchwood Community Academy Trust

Birchwood Community High School
Brock Road, Birchwood
Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 7PT