Level 3 Diploma in Music Performance


This two-year vocational course is equivalent to three A-levels, and is all about developing your performance skills and musical style, improving your technique, getting yourself noticed by connecting with the music industry, and steadily building your confidence towards that of a professional musician.

You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the way the music industry works, plus will study music theory, music history, and musicianship skills, such as sight reading and ear training. All in all, it’s a fantastic grounding to understand modern music and the industry that surrounds it.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn in a creative environment where you’ll develop strong connections with fellow aspiring musicians, and will be guided by your tutors and prominent music industry professionals to help steer you towards your future career or study goals.

Successful completion of the course will gain you a nationally recognised RSL qualification, and the diploma is a great gateway to either taking your first steps in a music industry career, or continuing on with study in the form of a music degree at BIMM.

UK and EU students aged 18 and under are eligible for free funding (subject to academic requirements).

So, what are you waiting for? To make your way as a performer, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Awarded by:

Free to UK & EU students age 18 or under
(subject to academic requirements)

more information


Year 1

Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Technical Development

    Good technique is essential if you wish to push your discipline to the next level. In these lessons you’ll develop that technical skill and introduce a logical approach to improving your voice or instrument.

  • Session Styles

    This is where you’ll study different genres that span some of the world’s most influential contemporary musicians. This will enhance your musical knowledge and test your ability by replicating the styles used throughout music history.

  • Ear Training

    Ear training is all about sharpening the ear for in-depth song analysis. In it you’ll be taught various listening and theory skills. These skills will not only teach you new ways of appreciating and understanding music, it will also help you on your way to becoming a better, more employable, musician.

  • Music Industry Career Development

    It’s important to remember that there’s much more to being successful in music than your discipline alone. In this lesson you’ll learn all about the music industry and start to prepare yourself for a future within it.

  • Pre-Production

    In Pre-Production you’ll look at chosen songs in great detail, dissecting and rehearsing the parts prior to your performance in the weekly LPW lesson. The professionalism and attention to detail that’s taught here should set the standard for all performances to follow.

  • Live Performance Workshop (LPW)

    This is where you get to put your hard work in Pre-Production to the test. You’ll meet up with other musicians from the diploma course and perform together in front of an audience. Doing this on a regular basis will help you become a confident, well prepared, professional performer.

  • Performance Preparation

    In Performance Preparation you’ll look at all of the aspects that go towards a great performance. This goes beyond LPW and you’ll be looking at all the factors that make up successful performances, such as band forming, rehearsal techniques, promotion, marketing, tour management, stage management, budgeting and more.

  • Extended Studies

    Extended Studies gives the opportunity to recap and expand on the information covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the music industry.

Year 2

Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Technical Development

    Building on the good habits you developed in Year 1, this lesson will take those skills and you’ll start to apply them to improvised performance.

  • Music in Context

    Music in Context is where you’ll learn about the interaction between music and society. In it you’ll track back through history and study some of the most influential artists and the impacts they’ve had on music, technology, politics and civil rights.

  • Music Theory and Improvisation

    Music Theory is an essential component of musicianship and in this lesson you’ll learn the links between theoretical knowledge and improvisation.

  • Recording Preparation

    You’ll build on the skills you gained in Performance Preparation last year and apply these to a studio recording session. Band, song choice, instruments and recording techniques will all come into play as you learn what it’s like to record in a studio environment.

  • Pre-Production

    Pre-Production will act as the platform for your Live Performance Workshop… only this year you’ll be looking in great detail at increasingly challenging tracks.

  • Live Performance Workshop (LPW)

    Live Performance Workshop is still where you’ll get your chance to perform live in front of an audience, only now the standards are raised and professional quality will be the goal.

  • Research and Investigation

    This lesson offers students the chance to undertake an investigation into an area of interest within the music industry. Whilst doing so, you’ll develop your academic study skills that will help you prepare for higher level study or research.

  • Music Industry Career Development

    In this year’s classes you’ll continue to explore the music industry and the different roles and functions within it. You’ll also begin working on your own business plan that will help you to forge a path into the music industry.

  • Extended Studies

    Much like in Year 1, Extended Studies continues to give the opportunity to expand on content covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the music industry.

The option modules advertised as available for BIMM Institute courses are subject to variation dependant on minimum student numbers and the availability of specialist resources at each college (Please refer to our terms and conditions for further detail).

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Minimum requirements

Five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language and Maths and Grade 4-6 equivalency playing skills.

After this course:


Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry, or can continue their study with a BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship in Guitar, Bass, Drums or Vocals at BIMM.

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How to apply

All diploma applications can be made directly via the BIMM Admissions Team. To request an assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students will be invited to attend an individual assessment.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Length of course:
2 years
Awarding institution:
New College Swindon
Teaching institution:
BIMM Bristol
Language of study:
Final award and exit awards:
Level 3 RSL Extended Diploma for Music Practitioners
Admissions criteria:
Five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language and Maths and Grade 4-6 equivalency playing skills.
BIMM Bristol

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From launching the career of Oasis and scoring nine Top 40 singles with the band Sleeper, to winning a Mercury Music Prize as part of Gomez and knocking Take That off the top spot, our BIMM tutors have done it all. One even has the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as her real life godfather! Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Making it in music:

Success Stories

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with many forging a career in the music industry as performers and music industry professionals.

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