HND Music Production

Programme Title:                                        

TRW Sound Engineering & Music Production Diploma

Awarding Body:                                             Edexcel
Teaching Institution:                                    The Recording Workshop
Title of final Award:                                                Edexcel BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Music (QCF)
Mode of Study:                                               Full time
QAA Subject Benchmarks:                          NA
Accrediting Professional Body:                  JAMES, APRS, the Music Producers’ Guild
Date of Specification Production: 17/01/2017
Date of Revision:      17/01/2018







Criteria for Admission to the Programme:


Students must be 18 or above.

All students must have an interview with one or more members of the course team. The college initial assessment system is used where an applicant has no formal qualifications. Potential students must demonstrate an enthusiasm for the subject, willingness to study outside course hours, as well as an overall commitment to the course.


Educational aims of the programme


1. To provide a theoretical and practical foundation for a range of creative and technical careers in the sound and music industries and/or to provide a progression route to an advanced programme of study – either to a degree, or a professional qualification related to audio production.

2. To provide flexibility, knowledge, and skills and promote motivation as a basis for future studies and career development within music production and related disciplines.

3. To provide a thorough conceptual foundation in aspects of music production and impart an understanding of the impact of current developments and changes in technology on the industry.

4. To foster creative and imaginative abilities through practical and theoretical work.

5. To develop skills of independent study, production management and team work.

6. To provide unique opportunities for students at this level to study all aspects of audio production.

7. To develop a range of skills, techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in professional working life.

8. To enable learners to develop a portfolio of work which can be shown to potential employers or Higher Educational Establishments.













How students will learn


Enquiry-based graduate study is very important.

This will involve students engaging in a range of active learning situations and processes that are relevant to students chosen subject area.


Academic staff will define the area of learning involved but then it is up to students to read around the subject using such sources as the academic text, journal or professional articles and material on the news.


Students are required to be reflective and critical in developing evidence-based solutions to questions founded on both theory and referenced opinion from other sources.   This will allow them to actively demonstrate their understanding, interpretation and judgement.

These are all skills needed to be a successful employee.


Assessment can take a number of forms including logs, group work, presentations and assignments.

Employers have indicated specific attributes they feel graduates should demonstrate, such as being good communicators, team workers, problems solvers, critical thinkers, having good interpersonal skills and the ability to think and act independently.   This qualification is specifically designed to enable students to develop these qualities.

Intended Learning Outcomes and the means by which they are achieved

Knowledge and Understanding
On successful completion of the course the student will:

1. Be aware of musical and technological factors that define specific music productions and genres.


2. Understand a range of procedures and techniques that ensure an efficient and safe approach to the recording and mixing process.


3. Be conversant with production and post-production recording, editing and mastering techniques.


4. Have an understanding of the organisations within the UK sound/music industry and their functions.


5. Appreciate the financial implications of freelance work and self-employment.

Learning and teaching methods
Teaching and learning of knowledge and understanding occur through lectures and demonstrations and are embedded through practical workshops, tutorials and projects involving both individual and group work. Students are encouraged to consolidate knowledge and understanding through further reading and independent study.
Assessment strategies
Assessment of knowledge and understanding is continuous and covered by specific projects staged throughout the year. Evidence may be written, spoken, practical artefacts or a combination of all three.

Students are given written and verbal feedback and action points with emphasis on formative assessment. Each unit is graded using Pass, Merit and Distinction using the criteria shared with the students.


Skills and other attributes


Cognitive Skills On successful completion of the course a student will be able to:

1. Present reasoned arguments and apply judgements in spoken and other contexts

2. Analyse and critically evaluate practical problems and provide logical solutions

3. Evaluate his/her own work

4. Demonstrate a capacity to develop knowledge, understanding and subject specific skills

5. Engage critically with key theoretical concepts and apply them to his/her own academic and practical work

6. Appreciate the construction of a range of live and computer-based productions

7. Take a critical approach to production analysis

Learning and Teaching methods

Cognitive and analytical skills are developed through discussion and debate during class-based sessions, individual tutorials, lectures, seminars, independent research, written reports, presentations and essays.

Critical faculties are enhanced by visits to trade shows and seminars from guest speakers from the sound and music industry.
Assessment Strategy Cognitive skills are assessed by essays, reports and/or presentations.


Professional/Practical Skills

By the end of the course students will:

1. Be able to select and position a range of microphones for a variety of recording and live applications.

2. Be able to sequence sound using a variety of industry standard Digital Audio Workstations.

3. Be able to record and manipulate sound using both analogue and digital hardware.

4. Have an essential understanding of the nature of hearing, the acoustic properties of musical instruments, reverberation and psychoacoustics. Students will be able to apply this understanding to their own production work.

5. Be able to identify, diagnose and correct sonic problems in a variety of music productions.

6. Have a basic understanding of the post-production processes for audio-visual media.

7. Have an appreciation of the entrepreneurial opportunities within the sound and music industries.

8. Be able to work safely and effectively as a member of a team in all stages of the recording and mixing processes.

9. Be able to meet deadlines and operate within the professional expectations of the sound and music industry.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Students learn practical skills by means of lectures, demonstrations, practical workshops, group projects and tutorials. Visits from guest speakers and visits to industry seminars enhance this learning.
Assessment strategy Students are assessed by direct observation and group and individual practical projects supported by written reports and/or presentations.









Do students need to attend to be assessed?


It is important that sessions are attended to ensure students are able to submit

appropriate work for assessment. If students are absent from a unit on four consecutive

occasions in a teaching block for reasons other than personal illness students may be

deemed to have withdrawn from the unit, students registration on the unit will be

withdrawn and students will not be able to submit work for assessment. Students should speak with the student’s tutor if students are having problems attending. For further information, please see the College’s attendance policy on this page:

What happens if students fail a unit?  

All students are entitled to one re-submission opportunity if the work they initially

submit is judged to have failed. If students fail to submit by the published deadlines

without extenuating circumstances students will be withdrawn from the unit and may

fail the award. If the submitted failed work or non-submission is covered by a

successful extenuating circumstances claim then the re-submitted work is considered

‘as if for the first time’ and can receive its full awarded mark.. For further information, please see the College’s extenuating circumstances policy on this page:





The College has formal procedures for appeals if students have grounds for believing that students work has not been assessed fairly. For further information, please see the

College’s appeals policy on this page:

















Programme structure, units offered, mode/pattern of study  

The programme is delivered over 2 years with each year consisting of 9 months. Each year students receive up to 540 guided learning hours.


The course comprises 15 units, 4 of which are mandatory core subjects. The remaining specialist units are selected by the course team to reflect both the course aims and the ethos of the Joint Audio Media Education Services (J.A.M.E.S.) who accredit the programme. Each unit is allocated a fixed credit value, and learners must achieve a minimum of 245 credits to achieve the qualification.

Delivery is planned so that necessary skills and knowledge are imparted first, underpinning expertise needed for more advanced specialist units. In the first year of the course students acquire practical and analytical skills via a series of portfolio-based projects preparing for final projects issued in year 2.


Mandatory Core Units Description Year Level Credit
Unit 15

Creative Arts Research Skills

A self-devised research project culminating in appropriate method(s) of presentation 2 5 20
Unit 16

Critical Music Listening

An exploration of the characteristics of typical productions and an examination of creative and corrective production techniques 2 5 15
Unit 30

Music in Context

An examination of historical and current

developments influencing contemporary

music production

2 4 15
Unit 42

Preparation, Process and


A self-devised major practical production

project drawing upon and extending skills

acquired during the first year of the course

2 5 20
Specialist Units Description Year Level Credit
Unit 3

Applied Production


An exploration of, and experimentation with

successful production methods and

innovative techniques

1 5 15
Unit 1

Accessible Music Technology

An exploration, and experimentation with

available and developing technology in music. This includes inclusivity developments using current technology.


1 5 15
Unit 34

Music Production Analysis

An exploration & examination of production techniques in order to recreate techniques used in the creation of landmark recordings.


1 4 15
Unit 49

Sound Creation & Manipulation

Creating and manipulating sound in contemporary music production using appropriate technical skills supported by relevant theory. 1/2 5 15
Unit 13

Computer Music Systems

An exploration & experimentation on how to exploit the possibilities of computers in music composition, production and sound creation. 1 5 15
Unit 36

Music Technology

An introduction to the creation of sound and music in contemporary production


1 4 15
Unit 28

Music Composition Techniques

Using accepted and experimental techniques to produce coherent musical compositions 1 4 15
Unit 35

Music Studio Production

The production of recordings to professional standards. A variety of genres and instrumentation are covered. 2 5 15
Unit 12

Computer Music

Composition and Production

Using modern digital audio workstation

hardware and software to create and produce music

1/2 5 15
Unit 43

Principles of Musical Sound

An introduction to the nature of hearing,

acoustics and psychoacoustics

2 4 15
Unit 46

Research Project

2 5 20
Unit 51

Studio & Facilities Management

Organising & managing personal and equipment for a real recording session. 1 4 15
Unit 52

Studio Recording and Engineering

An introduction to the recording studio,

professional equipment and accepted

recording techniques

1 4 15







Programme title:
Edexcel BTEC Higher National Certificate in Music Production Level 4  

  1. Accessible Music Technology (15 credits),
  2. Applied Music Production Techniques (15 credits),
  3. Computer Music Composition & Production (15 credits),
  4. Computer Systems (15 credits)
  5. Music Production Analysis (15 credits),
  6. Music Studio Production (15 credits),
  7. Music Technology (15 credits),
  8. Sound Creation & Manipulation (15 credits),
  9. Studio Recording & Engineering (15 credits),



Programme Title:
Edexcel BTEC Higher National Diploma in Music Production Level 5  

All the units for level 4 +

  1. Creative Arts Research Skills (20 credits),
  2. Critical Music Listening (15 credits),
  3. Music in Context (15 credits),
  4. Preparation Process & Production in the Creative Arts (20 credits),
  5. Principles of Musical Sound (15 credits),
  6. Research Project (20 credits),
  7. Studio Facilities & Management (15 credits).




Additional information  

Support services for students

In addition to students subject tutors, students will be assigned a personal tutor whose key role is to support students during students time with us. We encourage students to discuss issues linked to and outside of students primary learning which impact upon students well-being with them. Students timetable will also include a weekly slot for students group which is linked to tutorial and pastoral issues.

Students will have full access to the support facilities offered by The Recording Workshop.

Students will also have access to support with advice and guidance on work experience opportunities, enrichment opportunities (including volunteering), careers advice, employability support and disability services.

Equal opportunities and harassment policies

Our staff are committed to facilitating equal opportunities for all students irrespective

of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, disability or creed. If students consider that any form of discrimination or prejudice is occurring either to themselves or to another student. They are encouraged to raise this with the student’s personal tutor or the Course Leader for the student’s course.

We have a strict anti-harassment and bullying policy. If students believe that students are being harassed either by a member of staff or by another student They are encouraged to raise this with the student’s personal tutor or the Course Leader for the student’s course.

Students can access the College’s policies relating to equal opportunities and harassment by clicking this link:

Safeguarding and health and safety

All students and staff are required to comply with safeguarding and health and safety

requirements at their various places of practice and learning.

Click this link to find the The Recording Workshop safeguarding policy

The Recording Workshop information about health and safety can be access by clicking

this link


Support for students with additional needs

We aim to ensure that individual needs are met before starting a course and during

the course of study.

Students are asked to tell us as soon as possible if their situation changes at any time during the course and students feel students they need support as a result.   Students would normally discuss their needs with their personal tutor.

Core staff at The Recording Workshop are informed of any additional needs of students because of the potential impact it may have on students ability to study and complete unit requirements. For example, the college needs to know which students have been diagnosed with dyslexia so that work is not automatically penalised for non-standard spelling or grammar. Students are asked to discuss this with the student’s personal tutor if it is an issue for them.






Quality improvement: Listening to student’s views

The college aims to make students experience both worthwhile and enjoyable and to continually improve the quality of its awards. Therefore the college values student’s feedback about the quality of our programmes. Consultatives will be held every term and a nominated representative from students group will attend these to provide feedback on students experience. An end of course review will also be carried out to obtain students feedback.


The validation process

The Recording Workshop qualifications are validated by Edexcel. The purpose of award validation is to establish through peer judgement whether the award is of an appropriate curriculum standard and whether the award title is justified by the proposed content.





Professional body recognition

Learners possessing an Edexcel BTEC Level 4 HNC and/or Level 5 HND in Music will hold a qualification/s recognised by:

·   Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS)


·   Music Producers’ Guild

·   UK Screen Association

There is the opportunity for the Edexcel BTEC Level 4 HNC and Level 5 HND in Music to provide some of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for the following NOS:

·   Recording Studio Sound Engineering

·   Radio & Media Sound Engineering

·   Technical Theatre

·   Live Events and Promotion