Duration:
2 years full-time for FdA (Foundation Degree)

Upon successful completion of this course you'll have the option to join our BA (Hons) Music Performance and top up to a Level 6 qualification

Location:
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham

UCAS course code:
W310

Institution code:
N91

Entry and admissions criteria:

  • A-levels – DDE; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP; or
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSE - English and Maths Grade C / 4
    We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.
  • You will also have at least one of the following music qualifications:
    • A-Level in Music
    • BTEC Extended Diploma in Music (or similar, e.g. RSL Awards)
    • Music Theory Grade 5 (ABRSM, Rockschool, Trinity or equivalent)
    • If you don’t have one of the above music qualifications, we’ll ask you to submit examples of your work.
  • This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Fees and funding: 
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Depending on the instruments you choose to work with, you should also budget a minimum of £250 to cover the instrument costs associated to your course.

Library books
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

How to Apply

This degree is validated by Nottingham Trent University and all applications must be submitted through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Our Music Performance degree is tailored to your musical goals allowing you to develop technical mastery of your instrumental and vocal skills, whilst also broadening your understanding of other subject areas and ways of thinking about songwriting, composition, performance and music management.

This foundation degree is focused on providing you with a range of live performance experiences, so you’ll spend plenty of time on stage, working with our Technical Events students to put on performances, both on a local and regional level. This will enable you to develop your identity as a professional musician, whilst ensuring you gain a broad set of practical skills to aid your future career.

The Denizen artist management company also works with our students to nurture talent and facilitate development.

You’ll learn in our music and live events hub – Metronome - designed by world-renowned audio architects White Mark Ltd – who have designed studios for clients including Jay-Z and Damon Albarn and have access to a range of modern and vintage equipment from manufacturers, including Fender, Vox, Marshall, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Gretsch, and production facilities running Logic X, Ableton Live suite, Native Instrument Komplete and Sibelius.

To top off these incredible recording facilities, Studio 1 now houses a 48 channel SSL Duality console as used by Abbey Road, Steve Mac, Chemical Brothers, Pete Townshend and many, many more.

Teaching and learning are designed around developing your practical and technical skills, whilst also enhancing your critical and analytical thinking. Classes are a mixture of rehearsals, live performances, workshops, seminars and tutorials. During these sessions you will develop your expertise, working alongside Confetti’s expert tutors who are active professional musicians who have performed with some of the world’s biggest artists on some of the world’s biggest stages, such as Glastonbury.

The course will involve a number of performances at a wide range of events, at both local and nationally recognised venues, such as Splendour. In some modules you’ll work on ‘live’ projects, where you’ll be required to complete work for industry clients, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your developing professionalism and build a portfolio of work that will support your future career.

Guest lectures from professional musicians, promoters and producers will also help enhance your knowledge and experience of the music industry. In addition, you’ll have direct access to the Confetti Media Group’s in-house record label and artists management company Denizen who will offer help and guidance throughout your studies.

93% of our degree students would recommend studying at Confetti to others. (National Student Survey 2020)

Trips

There are opportunities to go on some great trips during your studies, too. Take a look at one of our past trips where students visited Tileyard Studios.

What our current students think

"The facilities are fantastic! You’re spoilt with industry-standard hardware and software options with luxury facilities as a bonus."

Adam Wilde

Advice from our alumni

"Confetti was excellent at supporting my growth personally and professionally. The tutors were committed to creating a supportive learning environment, so I always felt able to ask questions and take my time."

Miranda Stewart

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout.

Forms of assessment include:

  • practical tests
  • written research
  • technical papers
  • presentations
  • independently led coursework
  • projects

To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credit points each year. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

A two year Foundation degree is a great choice if you want to have the option to graduate with a Level 5 qualification and start your creative career early. With an accessible UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more practical approach to your studies.

After completing two years you will graduate with an FdSc/FdA qualification and choose whether you want to continue and enroll on a top up year for a full BSc/BA qualification or whether you would rather stop your education and start your creative career.

Topping up your existing qualification

Each case will be considered individually, but if you have passed an FdA from Confetti and decided you want to continue your studies, you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of the equivalent BA degree to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree.

What you'll study in year 1

This module aims to develop your understanding of composition and music arrangement. You’ll be given grounding in music theory, arrangement techniques and composition, whilst developing hands-on skills in music production software. During this module you’ll study different approaches to composing. You’ll work both individually and collaboratively on projects that show a developing understanding of music genre and create a body of work that demonstrates your developing practice as a composer, arranger and producer.

This module aims to develop your performance techniques, focusing on several key areas. You’ll develop technical competence in playing an instrument, through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, as well as listening skills and improvisation. You’ll develop your skills as a performer in solo and group contexts, considering the communicative nature of musical performance, your relationship with the audience and exploring the performance environment. This module also deals with the various technical demands of the performing musician, including instrument maintenance. You’ll carry out research to inform your developing practical skills, giving you an appreciation of contemporary theories and techniques.

Advancements in technology mean that more and more musicians are recording their own music and ‘self-producing’. In addition to this, the ability of musicians to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas about their work with sound engineers and producers can be an invaluable asset. Consequently, this module aims to develop your understanding of sound recording practices to aid you in your future career as a professional musician. You’ll also study the historical development of recording technology and its impact on musical styles, as well as the wider influence on society and culture.

During this module, you’ll develop knowledge and understanding of how changes in industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. In addition, the module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional, so there’ll be a strong emphasis on completing work for clients as part of your study. You’ll also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for employment in industry.

What you'll study in year 2

This module aims to further develop your performance techniques, enhancing your technical skills whilst broadening your contextual understanding of musical performance. You’ll continue to develop a technical mastery in your first instrument – performing individually and collaboratively to develop your stage craft and hone your skills as a performer. As well as a focus on traditional musicianship, you’ll also explore the integration of different technologies in performance. You’ll research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance, and use this research to inform the integration of technology into your own work.

This module focuses on composition for visual media. A composer for visual media must be able to work collaboratively, taking direction from others in the development of their work. It is also important to understand the emotive impact music can have and how to write music that enhances the viewing experience. You’ll explore the application of compositional tools for specific themes such as horror, romance, drama, sadness, suspense and comedy. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflection – through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work and analysis of your own work.

Music plays an integral part of everyday life across a diverse range of cultures and societies. In many ways, music provides the touchstones of human experience. Music can transcend language and cultural barriers. It can have an effect on individual and social identity, politics, fashion and technology. This module encourages you to examine the historical significance of music and its impact on global cultures and societies. You will also study the fundamental aspects of the psychology of music and its effect on the human brain in terms of emotive response to music and sound.

During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.

On this course you’ll study in Metronome - our brand new contemporary music and live events hub designed by world-renowned audio architects White Mark Ltd – who have designed studios for clients including Jay-Z and Damon Albarn. You’ll have access to:

  • High-end recording facilities
  • Our own dedicated performance rehearsal spaces
  • Production facilities running Logic X, Ableton Live suite, Native Instrument Komplete and Sibelius
  • A range of modern and vintage equipment from manufacturers such as: Fender, Vox, Marshall, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Gretsch, Mesa-Boogie, Electro-Harmonix
  • Access to a recording and development label (Denizen)
  • Links to promoters and venues around Nottingham and the UK

On a recent visit to Metronome, Jools Holland OBE commented:

“I am honestly amazed at the mind bogglingly brilliant facilities you have here. The studios I have seen are better than any I have seen anywhere.  And the students I met were so engaged because they love what they do. They have such great opportunities. I haven’t seen anything like this before and I am sure this place will soon be on the global map.”

Degree Showcase

Every year we welcome family, friends and industry professionals to watch, listen, test and play the fantastic work of our degree students.

Confetti Album

Each year, a selection of our Music Performance and Music and Audio Technology students are selected to feature in our Confetti Album, released under our record label - Denizen. Our students write, perform, record, mix and even master the tracks!

At Confetti, we offer students the chance to ‘Do It For Real’ – get out into real industries and experience working in various roles that take their interest.

Our Talent Development team work closely with Course Leaders to link students with opportunities across the music industry. Some of our alumni have gone onto do great things in the music industry – have a read of their stories here.

Metronome

Metronome is a national centre for music, moving image, video games, live performance and spoken word situated on Confetti’s campus. Confetti students have access to state-of-the-art studios within Metronome, as well as the 400-capacity (228 seated) venue where free student membership awards up to 50% discounts on many events.

During a visit in 2019, Jools Holland described the facilities as “mind bogglingly brilliant”, before going onto say “The studios I have seen are better than any I have seen anywhere”. Have a look at the facilities on our website.

Confetti Album

Each year, a selection of our Music Performance and Music and Audio Technology students are selected to feature in our Confetti Album, released under our record label - Denizen. Our students write, perform, record, mix and even master the tracks!

Guest speakers

Throughout the year, students are able to attend talks and events, and work on projects with visiting industry experts. Recently, one student had the opportunity to work on his single with Bring Me The Horizon’s Producer, Al Groves – a huge opportunity for the budding songwriter. Read the story here.

Industry Week

We also hold an annual Industry Week, where guest speakers and mentors from the music industry are invited in to talk to students. Our students have the opportunity to learn from people working in the industry right now, and can make invaluable contacts during this week.

Past Industry Week guests have included:

  • Michael Eavis - Glastonbury founder
  • Kim Hawes – Tour Manager
  • Alan McGee - Creation Records founder
  • Nick Raphael - Co-President at Capitol Records

Performance opportunities

Splendour Festival
Each year, a number of Music Performance students get to perform to thousands in the crowd on the Confetti and Courtyard Stages at Nottingham's Splendour Festival.

BBC Introducing 
The platform for up-and-coming artists has regular shows at Confetti's very own venue Metronome.

Confetti Album
Music Performance students have the opportunity to record, master and release their own tracks on an album, with promotion and marketing from the Confetti team.

Continue your studies

Each case will be considered individually, but upon completion you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of our BA (Hons) Music Performance to gain a full BA qualification.

Future careers

You can also move straight into your career, in areas which might include:

  • Singer/songwriter
  • Band member
  • Session musician
  • Record producer
  • Composer for the film and TV industry
  • Music teacher
  • Music journalist

Open Days