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Contemporary Music Performance Level 6

Course Code PRH

NFQ Level 6*

Duration 2 Years

Award Year 1: Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Music (General)

Award Year 2: Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma in Music (Artist Development)

* The Higher National Diploma is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6

Develop self-expression, musical composition, songwriting, instrumental skills, presentation and live music performance in Contemporary Music

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Why choose a HND in Contemporary Music Performance?

This course is suitable for aspiring professional musicians who want to learn more about the music industry.

This is an exciting course which will develop your knowledge, understanding, skills and performance techniques as a musician for successful employment in the music industry or progression to further Your lecturers are experienced musicians and industry practitioners who will give you invaluable insights into the music business.

During this course both theoretical and practical musicianship skills are covered. These skills are learned in a working environment where you can develop skills of self-expression, music composition, presentation, and performance.

As an artist you are actively given the freedom to develop and create new music. This is supported by live performances in the college and city centre venues which are an exciting and integral part of the course.

What will you study?

Year 1

  • Performance
  • Instrumental Technique
  • Songwriting
  • Applied Music Theory
  • The Music Industry
  • Marketing and Promotion for Musicians
  • Professional Development
  • Music Production Fundamentals

End of Year 1 Certification Higher National Certificate in Music (General)

Year 2

  • Developing as an Artist
  • Advanced Performance Skills
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Musical Direction in Practice
  • Advanced Composing Using Technology
  • Live Arrangement Skills
  • Creative Research Project

End of Year 2 Certification Higher National Diploma in Music (Artist Development)

Course Facilities

  • Fully equipped Rehearsal and Recording Studios
  • Professional software includes: Pro-tools, Logic Pro, Ableton and Reaper
  • Professional hardware includes: Amplifiers from Orange, Fender, Marshall, AER, Roland, Ampeg and more. Audio interfaces from SSL, Neve and Universal Audio. Drums kits from Gretsch and Pearl
  • Professional TV Broadcasting Studio
  • Purpose Built Performance Venue
  • Professional back line and P.A. Systems
  • Multi-Media Computer and Music Production Rooms

Course Features

  • International Band and Business Camp in Germany

What do you need to apply?

In addition to the Entry Requirements, applicants will also be required to complete an audition and supply a demo featuring a vocal or instrumental music performance. This recording may be a solo performance or as part of a group.

Year 1 Higher National Certificate

Year 2 Higher National Diploma

  • Students who have successfully completed year 1 and have achieved a Higher National Certificate in Music (General), can progress automatically to year 2.
  • Applicants with an equivalent Higher National Certificate and subject to module compatibility may also apply directly to Year 2, Higher National Diploma in Music (Artist Development).

Progression Opportunities

  • Graduates who achieve a Merit/Distinction profile may apply for entry to the BA (Hons) in Media Production Management in BCFE.
  • Graduates of this course may also apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to higher and advanced certificate and degree programmes at national Institutes of Technology, Technological Universities and Universities, where graduates gain exemption of one or two years from music degree courses in Ireland, (applicants should confirm linked awards and eligibility requirements with the relevant Higher Education Institution).
  • Graduates may also gain exemption of one or two years from other Music degree courses in the UK.

Students' Work

The Vagabonds at the Grand Social on 2nd March 2016
BCFE student Sam Martin and his band Odd Morris have released their debut single


BCFE offered the space for me to start writing songs myself. In addition to that I got the chance to gain experience and learn about live performance in a band setting. I’ve experienced so much creativity, so many talented musicians with unique styles and what spoke to me the most was the support of artistry. The main focus lay on every artist being unique and refining their individual styles instead of making them into something they are actually not.
Vera Gsenger, Musician and Performer
Higher National Diploma in Music – Contemporary Music Performance (PRH, 2013-2015)

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On successful completion of Year 1 of a two-year Higher National Diploma (HND) an Higher National Certificate (HNC) will be claimed for each 1st Year HND student. It will be included as part of the overall HND award on successful completion of Year 2.