2 years full-time for FdSc (Foundation Degree)
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham
UCAS course code:
- 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.
This course is not suitable for international applicants requiring a Student visa.
Fees and funding:
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.
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.
All course specific software and hardware is accessible on site – however, there are some equipment that you will need to invest in to support your study and help you as you begin your career in the live events industry.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Confetti will supply you with an appropriate hard-hat and reflective jacket when working on sites that require such PPE. You will, however, be expected to provide your own suitable, protective footwear – ie Steel toe-capped shoes or boots. We can make recommendations for where to purchase these at the start of the course. You can expect to spend anything between £20 and £100 depending on your choice of styling and comfort requirements.
Basic Maintenance Kit
You will need to purchase your own basic maintenance too kit. Suggested key items are:
• Basic self-ranging multi function electrical testing meter
• Insulated side cutters
• Sniper nose pliers
• Bull nose pliers
• Electrician screwdriver set.
• Electrical soldering iron
• Insulated 500v electricians work gloves
A kit of this type can cost between £50 and £150 depending on the quality you choose to buy. We can offer advice on these at the start of the course.
Computer equipment / applications
You should budget for a high-speed, high-capacity USB3 memory stick for transferring data between computers and devices. Prices range between £10 and £30 depending on capacity.
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.
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.
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.
This cutting-edge course will give you the opportunity to study in a real-world live event venue, training with professionals and working with industry-standard hardware and software. By the end of the course you’ll have gained the technical, organisational, creative and professional skills you need to work successfully within the technical events industry.
You’ll learn a broad range of disciplines within the live and technical events sector including:
- Lighting and stage design
- Live sound reinforcement
- Sound theory and acoustics
- Electrical principles
- Equipment maintenance and repair
- Live video technologies and pyrotechnics
- Live event planning
You’ll learn in Confetti’s 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 400-capacity live venue, and a 93m2 events production workshop space, as well as PA systems from manufacturers, including Nexo and EV and a range of generic and moving lighting technology from Chauvet.
Classes are a mixture of practical workshops, classroom sessions, seminars and tutorials. Practical workshops take place in our live event production space, giving you a significant amount of regular, weekly hands-on practical time. During these sessions you’ll develop your expertise, working alongside Confetti’s expert tutors who are active professionals.
Our live events students are regularly out working on productions at venues across the region, including:
- Nottingham Splendour Festival
- Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
- The Hockley Hustle Festival
- The Bodega
- National Videogame Arcade
- Nottingham Castle
93% of our degree students would recommend studying at Confetti to others. (National Student Survey 2020)
What our current students think
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."
There is a varied range of assessment methods throughout the course, which includes:
- practical observations
- portfolio work
- technical reports
- critical evaluations
- visual and verbal presentations
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 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 FdSc from Confetti and decided you want to continue your studies, you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of the equivalent BSc degree to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree.
What you'll study in year 1
Stage lighting is one of the most fundamental technologies used in the industry to enhance audience experience and in supporting performance at live events. This module will introduce you to the application of a diverse range of technologies in use, as well as their underlying scientific principles. You’ll study the use of general and intelligent lighting fixtures from manufacturers including Clay Paky, Martin and Robe and Chauvet, whilst also developing a working knowledge of distribution, dimming and control network hardware.
In this module, you’ll develop your understanding of sound reinforcement through the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of sound technology. You’ll study the physical properties of sound, investigating sound wave propagation (frequency, wavelength, and velocity), decibel calculations and their application in sound reinforcement, as well as important health & safety considerations.
An understanding of the principles of electrical systems is fundamental for anyone working in a technical role within the live events sector. This module aims to equip you with a range of practical skills for fault-finding, maintenance and repair of audio visual systems. You’ll learn the fundamental principles of electronics, practical soldering techniques and investigate industry standards and practices.
Working in the live events industry requires an awareness of the huge range of job roles and career paths, alongside an awareness of the historical, cultural and legislative changes that have shaped the live events sector. During this module, you’ll be encouraged to carry out research in the industry, analysing current industry trends and legislation. You'll also develop your future employment prospects by engaging in real project briefs within the local live events industry.
What you'll study in year 2
During this module, you’ll examine the advanced functionality of lighting control systems and instruments. You’ll develop a better understanding of the scientific principles behind lighting for live events and you’ll put these skills into practice in our 400 capacity public facing venue Metronome, creating the lighting package for a large UK festival.
In this follow-on module, you’ll increase your knowledge of sound theory and audio technology. You’ll work with a range of mathematical data to study and evaluate acoustic properties in live venues, investigate loudspeaker designs and carry out sound measurements and calculations.
During this part of the course, you’ll learn about the key technologies associated with live video technology in a live events context. Core areas of study include the design and implementation of LED video wall technology and live vision mixing and video manipulation. You'll also learn about the safety and use of pyrotechnics with real hands-on experience.
During this module you'll 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:
- 400 capacity public facing venue
- A custom-built live production workshop
- Digital and analogue live sound consoles from manufacturers including Digico, Allen & Heath and Midas
- A large selection of microphones from leading manufacturers such as Shure, AKG, Neumann, Audio Technica.
- Extensive backline equipment including Gretsch and Yamaha drum kits, Vox, Fender and Marshall amplifiers
- Lighting consoles and software from Avolites and MA
- A range of intelligent and generic lighting fixtures from Clay OAky, Martin & Robe and Chauvet
- Chauvet LED video wall
- Live sound recording rigs
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.”
Every year we welcome family, friends and industry professionals to watch, listen, test and play the fantastic work of our degree students.
Our Technical Events students spent the time before the big day setting up the stage lighting, sound and controlled the behind-the-scenes technology. All were busy setting up, helping run and recording each stage, including the Acoustic Rooms and Comedy stage from start to finish. Some were assisting with the production of each stage whilst some were liaising with artists and assisting Notts TV with interviews and content creation on the main stage.
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. Have a read of one of our alumnus’ story and how studying at Confetti helped her land a job in the live and technical events industry.
Our students have the opportunity to crew for a number of live events across Nottingham, like BBC Introducing at Metronome, Splendour Festival, Hockley Hustle and Confetti’s Degree Showcase amongst others.
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.
Throughout the year, students are able to attend talks and events, and work on projects with visiting industry experts. In 2019, a group of students helped crew the Television Workshop’s production of Wendy and Peter Pan at Metronome – and did a fantastic job.
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
- Trevor Plunkett - Tour Manager
- Chris Marsh - Ed Sheeran's Front of House engineer
Check out our OnDemand service here.
Continue your studies
Each case will be considered individually, but upon completion you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of Confetti’s BSc (Hons) Live and Technical Events to gain a full BSc qualification.
You can also move straight into your career, in areas which might include:
- Lighting design
- Sound engineering
- Live video technology installation and operation - including LED video screens and projection mapping
All of the above may find you working in live music, theatre, festivals or corporate events in the UK or touring overseas.