Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Music Production - full-time FdA (Foundation Degree)/BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Code: HE0051-1C Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2019 Duration: 2/3 Years

This course is taught by music industry professionals in one of the most comprehensive educational music studio complexes in the UK. 

Our specially designed 22-room studio complex has the technical spec and acoustic performance of big commercial studios.

Key features

  • Extensive state-of-the-art facilities to rival top commercial studios 
  • Professional software and plugins
  • Taught by industry experts
  • Creative freedom on assessed projects
  • Optional third year to gain the BA (Hons) degree

See a 5-minute video walk-round our studios >

See a 4-minute video of our facilities in use >

See list of all our creative industries degrees >

Course entry requirements

Interview and portfolio.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.

Course aims

This course is aimed at music producers wishing to develop the skills necessary for professional music production. Using our brand new suite of purpose built studios complete with a wide range of high quality equipment, you will be taught and supported in your studies by tutors who are industry professionals and are happy to share a wealth of professional experience.

Using a combination of analogue and digital technology you will develop your knowledge and practical skills from recording through mixing to mastering with an emphasis on developing your ability to make well considered production decisions. Students are set industry briefs and have the opportunity to work at College events and gigs in Brighton as well as renowned festivals such as Wild Life.

There are numerous freelance industry links with alumni with positions in Brighton/Sussex based; live sound companies, live venues, festivals, promoters, recording studios, music publishing and media companies, digital marketing, management companies and independent labels as well as the rest of the UK.

We have a regular series of lectures from prominent music industry figures, including record labels, publishers, artist managers, music lawyers and performing artists.

Years 1 - Skills acquisition

The first year is all about the recording and programming skills you will need for the whole degree up to the third year. Using our world class studios and Logic, Pro Tools and Ableton you will be introduced to key concepts including:

    Gain staging

These topics are explored fully in a range of assignments. Alongside this you will be tested in your ability to manage the rigours of desk operation for large recording sessions as well as having a grounding in key cultural and organisational aspects of the music Industry.

Year 2 - Initial explorations

The second year is about applying skills to various real world situations and then evaluating the results along with your tutor and peers. You will also be introduced to more advanced processing and synthesis concepts along with explorations of the mechanisms of sound including:

    Working with clients
    Sound for film and computer games
    Keyboard skills (basic music theory)
    Professional presence (via a blog or website)
    Digital audio
    Analogue audio
    Acoustics and psychoacoustics

Assignments over the year are a 20 minute music portfolio, industry briefs (range of projects for clients) and library music all designed to give you the best range of feedback to enhance your skills.


Our custom-designed studio complex features: Four high-spec control rooms, five acoustically-balanced live rooms, three digital/post suites, oine DJ room and ten pre-production booths, five computer clusters, three classrooms and a large lecture/performance space.

Using industry standard Logic, Protools, Ableton with a wide range of plugins such as Ozone, Native Instruments -

Hardware includes SSL, TL Audio and Audient desks, for processing Empirical Labs (Distressors), Dbx, Drawmer, TL Audio and many other platforms in studios and production rooms. Access to East West, Sonox plugs, Focusrite, Neve and SSL pre-amps, huge range of microphones and synthesisers, DI boxes, soundcards and headphones.

Years 1 and 2 both involve the making of significant amounts of self-directed music in the form of a project each year, meaning you will be building a significant body of current work.

Year 3

The optional third year BA top-up course offers students a chance to perfect their previously learnt skills from years 1 and 2. Students specialise in their own area and produce ambitious projects to help carve out a career in their chosen field.  With extended access to studio facilities and equipment, final year degree students can realise highly professional work that represents the very best of their ability and creative drive. See the final year course page here.


On successful completion of the two-year FdA course, students can either progress to the third year BA (Hons) top-up course, or enter employment.

Potential careers

  • Music producer
  • Studio engineer
  • Live sound engineer
  • Mastering engineer
  • DJ
  • Audio for games
  • Film sound (foley, location, composition, dialogue recording)

Potential Careers

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