Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners

Single (equivalent to one A Level)

Board: RSL
Syllabus: Level 3 (601/7691/X)

About the subject

This is a fully accredited music technology course that includes live performance and elements of music business. RSL is a subsidiary of the internationally successful Rock School company who have produced most of the contemporary music graded exams since the mid 1990s. The Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners course has been running successfully since 2005 and the subsequent level 4 and 5 courses by RSL are used in many contemporary music colleges such as ACM, BIMM and WaterBear.

The Subsidiary Diploma is 100% coursework, takes up one block on the college timetable and is run in a similar way to a BTEC. It is ideally suited to students who wish to go onto a degree level course in any subject that asks for UCAS points as an entry requirement as the points are very generous (D* = 84, D = 72, M = 48). This course is also perfect for students intending to pursue further study in the area of contemporary music, develop existing skills in this area and/or pursue a career in the music industry in the technical, performing, composing or business areas.

The majority of the course content is done by all students, but there is some flexibility allowing students to specialise in performing OR sound engineering in certain Units e.g. singers and musicians can be assessed on their live performance (Unit 359) and students who don’t sing or play an instrument can be assessed on their sound engineering of those singers and musicians (Unit 333).

Learning styles

  • Practical Workshops.
  • Live performances.
  • Research based projects.
  • Seminars and presentations.
  • Supervised recording sessions.

Subject Combinations and Progression

The Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners works well other artistic subjects such as Dance, Drama and Music due to the artistic nature of the performance and harmony units. It works equally well with subjects such as Business Studies and Travel & Tourism with cross over in the Planning a Career unit. The technical units have shared syllabus content with Physics and Electronics and thus combines well with these subjects too.

Subject Modules and Assessment

  • Live Sound Recording & Sound Reinforcement (388) – externally assessed
  • Planning a Career in Music (349)
  • Music Sequencing and Production (366)
  • Using Equalisation & Filters (383)
  • Using Dynamic Processors (381)
  • Live Engineering OR Live Music Performance (333 OR 359)

Students will submit work via a variety of methods including live and studio recordings, videos/photos of live performance/equipment set-up, written logs.

Minimum Subject Entry requirements

GCSE English Language and/or Literature Grade 4 or above. An interest in contemporary music and a willingness to learn some of the technical aspects. If choosing Unit 359: Live Music Performance, an audition will be necessary; in addition – a graded exam (e.g. Rock School) run in parallel with the Subsidiary Diploma is recommended.