Level Four Higher National Certificate in Music (General)

This course will provide an opportunity to develop the intellectual, creative and technical skills required to be a successful contemporary practitioner in the music industry.

Students will explore a range of recognised music applications integral to the art of songwriting, performing and recording with opportunities throughout the course for performance at a range of venues both locally and regionally; as well as opportunities to develop their artistry to a professional level. This will take place at the music department based near Hull's town centre. Designed as an artist development course, this provision will offer real opportunities to develop your musical skills with free and extensive use of its  state-of-the -art recording studio complete with its own, in house record label, ERC Academy Records; culminating in the second year with an album being recorded, and the HNC/D band being potentially signed by our label.

The course is naturally aimed at musicians who would like to take the opportunity to extend their skills and an understanding of what is required of them in the music industry today while working on a full-time basis to a recognised higher education qualification.

What will I study?

  • Song writing & Performance
  • Music technology fundamentals
  • Compositional skills
  • Music business, marketing and promotion

For a full list of specific units see programme spec (button on right)

How will I be assessed?

The delivery is entirely modular with no set exams. It is designed to be supportive to the student’s career with targeted projects for practical and academic development. This means you will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, work-based assignments, work experience, practical assessment, video portfolio development and presentations.

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer to the HE Assessment Policy (section 5) and the programme spec for course-specific information.

How will the course be delivered?

It will be delivered using a mixture of rehearsal workshops and instrumental tuition, lectures, autonomous learning and work-based assessment including Cubase, Sibelius and music performances.

All programmes are led and taught by experienced teaching staff who are vocational specialists.  They are qualified, and often have extensive experience within the industry or the sector being studied. All teaching staff meet or exceed the requirements set by the awarding institute or body.  

Staff profile:  Martin Jones

Martin has a BA in Education and Training and over twenty years experience in the music industry worldwide, including a residency in London’s West End, television work and work as a session musician and live performer.  His research interests include synaptic plasticity in situated cognition and extrinsic motivation and dopamine production within pedagogy. 

Staff profile:  Adam Dowd

Adam Dowd has over 15 years of music industry experience. Most notably in the regional area working with ‘The Colour Line’ and ‘Ravenface’ and continues today as a session musician and bassist in ‘Fly the Train’. Adam is educated with a first class honours degree in music performance and is a specialist in music technology, with research interests in musicology, digital media and digital marketing.

Staff profile: James Coggin

James has been a working and touring drummer for over 15 years with numerous UK tours and Festivals performances to show for it. With a BA Hons in Music Performance, he has gained attention for his work with 'The Colour Line', 'Dividium' and most recently 'Naiver Gene' as a showcase of his playing in various styles. His specialty lies in rehearsal skills with research interests being photography and videography.

Entry requirements

  • Four GCSE passes at grade 4/C or above including English language


  • A level three qualification in an appropriate subject/64 points UCAS tariff


  • Successful audition and interview

A typical offer for this course would ask for the entry requirements to be met, however, all offers take individual applicants’ experience and qualifications into account. 

What next?

Level Five HND Music at East Riding College Music Academy, Hull

Freelance work within music industry.

Additional information

To find out more about ERC Music, see our taster page or to arrange an informal visit and tour of the facilities please email:
[email protected], or call the tutor office on 01482 390971


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Key statistics

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