COURSES & QUALIFICATIONS
1. What course is the most suitable for me?
Our aim is to offer music courses which suit a wide range of interests and abilities:
- If you are a beginner then check out or Level 1 Music course. This course offers music making alongside wider life and employability skills for those aged 16-18.
- If you already have some music skills and experience then either Level 2 or Level 3 courses may be for you. We offer options in Music Performance, Music Technology - Music Production, Music Technology - Sound Engineering, Music Business and Artist Development. We also have a course in Songwriting in London.
- New for September 2017 start are Games Design courses at Levels 2 and 3 for anyone interested in creating computer games.
- New for September 2017 start are Digital Media courses at Levels 2 and 3 for anyone with an interest in video, graphics, web design, digital photography, vlogging etc.
- New for September 2017 start are theatre courses in Acting, Performing Arts and Technical Theatre.
- If you are looking to study at undergraduate level, then we have a range of options with our Birmingham City University degrees: BMus Popular Music Performance and BA (Hons) Music Business. We also have a range of degrees with Staffordshire University.
2. How can I match my current skills to a course?
The following is a guide to match your current skills and experience to the right type of course for you:
- Beginner guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist or keyboard player (or other instrument): Level 1 Music
- Beginner producer/digital musician: Level 1 Music
- Guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist or keyboard player (or other instrument) with some skills and experience of playing: Music Performance (Level 2)
- Producer with some experience of creating music using digital audio software: Music Technology (Level 2)
- Sound engineer with some experience of working with sound: Music Technology (Level 2)
- Guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist or keyboard player (or other instrument) with more developed skills and experience of playing: Music Performance (Level 3)
- Producer with more developed skills and experience of creating music using digital audio software: Music Technology (Production) Level 3
- Sound engineer with more developed skills and experience of working with sound: Music Technology: Sound Engineering
- Technical event person interested in sound, light and stage design: Technical Theatre (Level 3)
- Entrepreneur looking to set up a music or creative business, or work in the music industry with some skills of business work: Music Business (Level 3)
- Video producer, graphic artist, web designer and photographer looking to develop their skills: Creative Media (Level 3)
- Artist or designer or programmer interested in developing computer games: Games Design (Level 3)
- Actor, dancer interested in acting or performing arts: Acting (Level 3) or Performing Arts (Level 3)
- Artist with repertoire and experience looking to develop their music and brand for professional work: Artist Development
- Experienced musician looking develop their performance skills: BA (Hons) Popular Music Creation & Performance or BMus Popular Music Performance
- Entrepreneur looking to set up a music or creative business, or work in the music industry with more developed skills of business work: BA (Hons) Music Event Management or BA (Hons) Music Business
- Experienced producers looking to develop their music tech skills: BA (Hons) Music Creation and Production.
3. What skills do I need to get on a course?
That depends on what course you are interested in. However, for our further education courses we have no formal academic entry requirements, unlike college BTECs which ask for 4 or 5 GCSEs (grades A*-C) for entry to Level 3. Instead we assess your creative potential and skills through an interview/audition. As a rule of thumb we are looking for a passion for your chosen subject area and a dedication to developing your potential.
4. What qualification will I achieve?
That all depends on what course you have chosen.
- Our further education courses are assessed through bespoke music and media qualifications accredited by RSL, the UK's only dedicated creative awarding body, and Pearson BTEC. We can ensure that our courses are up to date and relevant to today's creatives. All our qualifications are government-approved and are offered free of charge to 16-18s. > More Information
- Our further education qualifications are offered at levels 1 to 3, which is equivalent of GCSE (grades D-G) up to A Level standard. Level 3 courses offer progression to undergraduate courses at universities.
- Level 3 qualifications generate UCAS points in line with A Levels and BTECs for progression to university. Our 2-year Level 3 courses generate the same UCAS points as a Level 3 BTEC or 3 A Levels.
- While studying on our further education courses you will also gain additional qualifications to develop your life and employability skills. What you will do will depend on your previous qualifications, but it may cover English and Maths GCSE or functional skills.
- Our undergraduate degrees are accredited by Staffordshire University and Birmingham City University. Other Level 4 courses are accredited by RSL.
5. What can I do with my qualification?
Again this will depend on what course you are on:
- Level 1 and Level 2 courses allow you to progress on to the next level to further develop your skills.
- After Level 3 courses you can progress to one of our undergraduate courses or to a course at another university or college. Alternatively you may go into self-employment or paid work in the music or creative industries or to another job area.
- Our Level 4 and degree courses will enable you to progress on to further learning at a higher level, or into employment or self-employment.
6. What career options are available afterwards?
There are a wide range of career opportunities available for someone with music, media and creative skills. Indeed, the creative industries are currently the fasted growing sector in the UK economy. Many opportunities in the music and creative industries are based on self-employment, or employment in small businesses. At Access to Music we help you to develop your self-employment and freelance skills.
- Artist-related work: this includes working as a recording and performing artist (e.g. original band or singer/songwriter to covers or tribute artist), a producer (creating original and remixed digital music for commercial and media), or as a graphic artist/web designer/video artist in related fields.
- Session work: working as a session musician for original artists for tours and recordings and in musical theatre and cabaret.
- Sound engineering work: working as a sound engineer or producer in recording studios and/or at live venues and festivals.
- Event management: organising and promoting live events from gigs and club nights to corporate events and festivals.
- Event production: working on the production side of events covering aspects such as PA, lighting, staging and rigging, instrument technicians, costume, catering, security etc.
- Marketing and promotion: working for agencies marketing and promoting artists and services, or setting up your own marketing and promotions company.
- Merchandise: working for merchandise companies working with artists and record companies, or setting up your own merchandise company. These days more money can often be made from selling branded clothing than from digital sales of recorded music.
- Artist management: managing and developing artists' careers through product development and promotion. Can also include tour management which involves all aspects of national and international touring.
- Record label work: either working for major or independent record labels in areas such as A&R, product development, marketing and promotion, royalty collection etc or setting up own physical or online labels.
- Publishing work: working for music publishers who license artist's music.
- Digital service companies: there are an increasing number of digital service companies supporting artists in the music and creative industries such as digital distribution companies and PR and promotion services.
- Retail and service companies: working for, or setting up, music retail businesses (e.g. music instrument or record shop) or other businesses such as rehearsal studios, multi-media arts centres etc.
- Music education: working as a music tutor either privately, or in a college, school or university.
7. Do you teach English and Maths?
Access to Music is committed to providing you with the best opportunities and so delivers wider life and employability skills alongside music. Students aged 16-18 with a GCSE grade D in either English and Maths will be given support to improve their grade. Students with lower than a grade D will do Functional Skills and then potentially move on to do GCSEs. Both options include exams.
8. Can I study and work part-time?
At the moment all our courses are offered as full-time, daytime provision. However, we are looking to develop a range of part-time options to suit learners who want to study in the evenings and at weekends or holiday periods.
9. Do you offer online or summer courses?
We don't offer online or summer courses at the moment, but this is something we are currently developing.
10. Is there a lower or upper age limit?
You must be aged 16+ on 31 August of the year of entry to be eligible for our further education courses.
You must be 18 or over to undertake our undergraduate courses. There is no upper age limit.
11. Do you offer courses for international students?
Yes Access to Music has a range of courses which are suitable for international students, particularly those coming from outside the European Union. Find out more
12. Do you offer support for disabled students?
Yes we offer personalised support for students with any physical or learning disability. We will ask you for details when you apply and if you choose to come to us we will put in place resources and faciltiies to assist your learning. For more advice and guidance please email email@example.com for more information or call 0800 28 18 42.
CENTRES, FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT
1. Where do you run your courses?
Our courses are un in England in the UK from the following centres:
- Access to Music Birmingham (West Midlands)
- Access to Music Bristol (South West)
- Access to Music Great Yarmouth (East England)
- Access to Music Lincoln (East Midlands)
- Access to Music London (Kilburn) (North West London)
- Access to Music London (Stratford) (East London)
- Access to Music Manchester (North West)
- Access to Music Norwich (East England)
- Access to Music York (North East)
2. What facilities do centres have?
Most of our centres have the following facilities for music creation:
- Band rehearsal rooms equipped with PA systems, drum kits and bass and guitar amplifiers. Keyboards, microphones and other instruments are available.
- Technology suites with Apple Mac computers running music software such as Garageband, Reason, Logic, Pro Tools and Ableton.
- Media/games suites equipped with Apple Macs for research and study.
- Recording studios: digital recording studio with control and live rooms.
- Lecture and tutorial spaces
- Some centres also have production pods and performance spaces.
- Theatre courses are run in partnership with leading local theatres, such as Norwich Theatre Royal.
3. What computers and software do you use?
Our technology suites are equipped with Apple Mac computers running software such as Garageband, Reason, Logic, Pro Tools and Ableton. For media course we run Adobe Creative Cloud on Apple Macs and for Games we have Unreal Engine on iMacs. We also have PCs with internet access running Windows software.
4. What equipment do I need to bring with me?
You will be expected to bring in some equipment for your music-making:
- Guitarists: guitar, leads, pedals/FX, spares
- Bassists: guitar, leads, pedals/FX, spares
- Drummers: cymbals, sticks
- Keyboard players: keyboard, leads, pedals/FX, spares
- Vocalists: microphone, XLR lead
- Producers: USB flash drive
Our centres offer storage facilities for your equipment while on site. However, we recommend that you take out musical instrument insurance to cover your equipment while on site and in transport.
5. Do you offer accommodation?
We don't have dedicated student accommodation, but we can advise and help you to find accommodation should you need it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or call 0800 28 18 42.
6. Do you offer childcare facilities?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer childcare facilities at our centres. However, we will be happy to help and advise you with regard to childcare. Please email email@example.com for more information or call 0800 28 18 42.
1. How do I order a prospectus?
You can order a printed copy of our Further Education Prospectus by calling 0800 28 18 42 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or filling in an Enquiry Form. Alternatively you can view our Further Education and Undergraduate Propsectuses online, or you can download them.
2. What is the difference between and Open day and a Taster Day?
- Our Open Days offer visitors the opportunity to gain more information about what we do through meeting students and staff, getting a tour of the centre with demonstrations and having the opportunity to ask questions. There are also chances to apply online. Open Days take place either on Wednesday or Thursday evenings between 6-8pm or on Saturdays between 11am-1pm.
- Taster Days are usually run over week days in holiday periods and are an opportunity to get a taste of what it's like to be on one of our courses with practical music-making activities.
- Under 16s can attend either event and parents are welcome.
3. How do I book an Open day or Taster Day?
It's easy to book an Open Day or Taster Day. Simply fill in the form linked to each event.
MONEY MATTERS & SUPPORT
1. How much do your courses cost?
Further Education Courses
Please visit Further Education Student Money Matters
Please visit Undergraduate Money Matters
Courses for International students
Please visit International Student Fees
2. What financial support is available?
You can apply to our Learner Support and Bursary Fund to gain financial support towards travel and learning materials, if eligible. Please visit the Money Matters pages (links above) for more information. You will also find advice and guidance on other financial support such as loans, accommodation support and childcare assistance. Adults aged 19+ can now get an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of their course.
3. Can I pay fees in instalments?
Yes we offer the facility to stagger your fees payments in monthly instalments.
APPLYING & ENROLMENT
1. How do I apply?
The best way to apply for Further Education courses is using one of the our online application form. It is easy to fill in and won't take too long to complete. Once submitted we will get back to you as soon as possible with an interview date.
Please note that degree courses require application through UCAS.
2. Is there an application deadline?
We don't have a deadline for further education courses, but because of demand, we recommend that you get your application in to us as soon as possible. We start to process applications in October of the year prior to entry. The deadline for our degrees is 15th January (UCAS deadline). However, we may still accept applications after these dates.
3. Can I transfer to an Access to Music course?
You can transfer to an Access to Music course if you are studying a similar course elsewhere, but are finding that experience to be unsatisfactory. Typical courses you may transfer from are BTECs in Music, Music Technology and Creative Media, as well as GCSE and AS and A Level Music and Music Technology.
4. Will I need to have an interview?
We interview/audition all our applicants, unless you are an international student, in which case you need to supply links to video and other files as requested. We will contact you as soon as possible after you application with an interview date which you will need to confirm, or rearrange. You interview/audition will take place at your selected centre.
5. How can I prepare for my interview?
We want your interview/audition to be as successful as possible. With this in mind we have produced comprehensive guidance to help you prepare for your interview. > More Information
6. What happens after my interview?
If you are successful we will send you an offer letter which you will either need to accept or decline. If you accept your place at Access to Music, then we will send you your enrolment information. You will need to fill this in carefully, sign it and return to us.