Music Performance HND (Year 1)

Music Performance Course

Our music performance course is the perfect choice for musicians who are looking to build a successful career as a professional performer.

The combination of practical learning and academic study of the theory and history of popular music makes this course an exciting route into the music industry. You will have frequent access to our commercial quality studio and rehearsal facilities and will collaborate with other musicians whilst working on the song-writing, recording and live performance modules.

Partial funding towards course fees is available from SAAS. Please see the fees and funding section for full details.

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You may have already undertaken some formal music schooling or be completely self-taught, we look for students who have a passion for music performance and can demonstrate ability on the guitar, drums, bass, vocals or keyboards. You will have the opportunity to further develop your playing technique through individual study and one to one sessions with our tutors.

The live performance portion of the course will give you the opportunity to build your musical skills as part of a group, develop a professional stage presence and learn about the practical aspects of gigging and the entertainment industry.

“Our students learn about the opportunities open to them in the music industry, and learn how to work together effectively as musicians.”
Jamie Cameron
Music Performance Senior Lecturer

We also now offer an HND in Traditional Music Performance!!!

Riverside Music College features one of the most celebrated studios in Scotland, offering an unrivalled environment for our students to make the most of their talent and creativity. The campus is located in Busby, just south of Glasgow, with excellent transport links to the city and surrounding areas.

To receive a hard copy of our prospectus, simply get in touch with your name and address. To view a digital version, just click here

Fill out our online application today for the music performance course, or read more below about the individual modules that you will study.

(SCQF Level 7)

Entry Requirements

Minimum of One Higher (Band C or above, music is highly desirable) or equivalent plus passes in at least 2 other subjects at NAT 5 or equivalent. Students must demonstrate ability on at least 1 instrument, or voice.

Course Content


Working in the Creative Industries DJ3A 34

Our students will learn the inner workings of the organisational aspect of the music industry giving them the background and knowledge to build a successful career within it. Through networking and good practice students will also focus on turning business ideas into positive opportunities within the industry.

Creative Industries Infrastructure DJ21 34

Within this unit students will learn about the commercial organisations that form the Creative Industries and give an overview of their working practices and structure. Organisations such as; PRS, MCPS, PPL, MU and many others play a vital role in the music industry, this unit allows our students to develop an in-depth understanding of how these key organisations operate and how to access them. Focus is placed on providing information on the opportunities for promotion and networking in order to build a successful career within the industry.

Professional Practice for Musicians H1LV 34

Candidates will learn the practical aspects of maintaining a career as a professional musician with focus placed on the legalities and obligations of being self-employed.

Music First Study: Instrument F603 34

In this unit students will receive focused one to one tuition in order to develop a high level of proficiency on their chosen first instrument.

Music: Live Performance Skills 1 J01M 34

Candidates will develop the skills necessary to perform in a live situation including all the practical aspects involved and an understanding of appropriate technology. Students will work towards performing at a live gig as part of the assessment.

Songwriting 1 DJ35 34

This unit is designed to enable the candidate to develop the skills required by a songwriter. This will be achieved through listening, analysing and researching existing songs. The candidates will work through a series of musical examples and research into their chosen genre in order to assist the creative process and assimilate the necessary underpinning knowledge/skills. Candidates should then undertake the process of songwriting based on the conventions of the chosen genre.

Digital Audio Workstations H1M4 34

This Unit is designed to give you an understanding of a digital audio workstation specification and the ability to record and manipulate audio and MIDI for sound production. It is designed to give you the underpinning knowledge required to utilise the main functions of a digital audio workstation and to take an audio engineering project to a conclusion by creating a final production master.

Recording Techniques for Musicians 1 H1LW 34

This Unit is designed to give candidates an insight into the multi-track recording process, related terminology, and key factors concerning the recording of music. It is aimed at candidates who have no prior knowledge of recording equipment.

Music Sequencing & Programming DJ2Y 34

This unit should give the candidate an understanding of computer systems for the purpose of creating music. This Unit would be suitable for musicians with an interest in the more technical aspects of music production and technicians who wish to gain a greater understanding of musical conventions.

Music Theory H1M7 34

The focus of this Unit is the rudiments of music and the relationship of the written symbol to sound. The Unit is for candidates who perform and/or compose and aims to promote knowledge and understanding of musical theory in context.

Music: Graded Unit 1 F508 34

This Group Award Graded Unit is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following principal aims of HNC Music:

  • an ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study
  • an ability to develop study, organisational and research skills
  • an ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas of their choice in line with their preferred career aims
  • an ability to prepare candidates for progression to further study in music
  • an ability to adopt innovation and creativity in their work and be able to respond quickly to the challenges posed by changes in the music or audio industries

Candidates will plan and produce a portfolio of work that could be used to showcase their ability in, for example a job application or interview situation for either employment or further study. They will also evaluate their effectiveness when planning and producing the portfolio.


1 academic year
August - June
18 hours

Can lead to

Successful completion may constitute the first year of an HND or Undergraduate