Popular Music

Popular Music



On this course we will rehearse and perform in groups to explore a breadth of music from the 1950s-2000s playing in all the pop music genres: Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock, Indie, Reggae, RnB, Hip Hop and mainstream Pop.

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You will also cover the skills of working as a session musician and explore case studies on careers in the music industry. You will also learn about music production using software to create original music. It is 100% practical and coursework based. You will showcase your talents on the QE YouTube channel. The course is best suited to singers, drummers, piano, bass and guitar players and there is no requirement to read music or have a GCSE in Music.

Course Content

Two years – 4 units 

  • Performing as an Ensemble
  • Musical Styles
  • Creating Music using Music software
  • Music Industry Case Studies

UCAS Points Subsidiary Diploma 

  • *Distinction 84 UCAS points
  • Distinction 72 UCAS points
  • Merit 48 UCAS points
  • Pass 24 UCAS points

(Exam board – Pearson) 

(Qualification number: 600/3072/7)

How it is Taught
  • You study influential artists across a range of genres and styles.
  • You work in ensembles to build a strong musical repertoire.
  • You work with Ableton to create original music to a brief.
  • Your performances are captured on video and broadcast on the QESFC Youtube channel.
  • You keep detailed log of your performances and projects.
  • You learn the musical ingredients of many genres of Pop music.
  • You research case studies about different aspects of the music industry.
Assessment Information

100% practical/coursework assessment. Equal to 1.5 A level.

You are assessed on a practical skill: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums.

Entry Requirements

You do not need GCSE Music.

  • You don’t have to be able to read music.
  • Singers should have basic skills on either guitar or piano
  • There will be a practical musical audition during enrolment

Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.

Careers & HE Information

The college has close links with the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM). They offer practical degree courses in popular music at Brighton/ Manchester/ London. Many students have progressed to Leeds Conservatoire too.

Several ex-QE students work professionally in the music industry.

Useful Subject Combinations

Popular Music combines particularly well with Film and Media.

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