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About the course

Got a passion for the latest music technology? Hoping to pursue a career as a live or studio sound technician? This intensive popular music production programme will allow you to top-up your existing music production qualifications into a full honours degree in just one year. Students spend the year working on both studio recording and live sound production techniques while undertaking intensive academic study of music history, popular culture and industry best practises.

Our music courses ranked 15th out of 66 other UK institutions for student satisfaction (NSS 2019).

Students will learn technical production skills by working alongside our experienced course team on a range of different equipment. Available facilities include:

  • five recording studios and four mix workstations, all equipped with Pro|Tools HD and NI Komplete,
  • three ICON DCommand worksurfaces,
  • an analogue studio with Audient ASP8024,
  • outboards by Neve, Lexicon and Universal Audio,
  • microphones by Neumann, AKG, Coles, Rode,
  • plug-ins by Waves, McDSP, Sonnox,
  • Yamaha M7 and LS9 digital live mixers,
  • and a Music Technology Lab with 25 Apple Macs, Pro Tools, Logic and Sibelius.

At the heart of Solent University’s popular music production top-up programme is the ability to customise the curriculum. Students are encouraged to develop specialisms related to their future career paths by taking part in practical projects and choosing from a range of optional units. These optional units cover topics including freelance practice, popular music history, songwriting, and advanced live music production. Optional units focus on helping students to underpin their technical skills with a firm grasp of wider industry contexts.

Each section of the curriculum is delivered by our experienced course team, many of whom are active industry experts with a wide range of on-the-job experience. Staff also regularly engage with on-going research in music composition, performance and production, putting them in an ideal position to aid students who are looking for work experience opportunities throughout the course.

Students may also have the chance to collaborate with creative students from other disciplines, creating music and sounds for a range of media projects.

You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree.
Professional memberships
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up degree

The industry-standard facilities on offer include nine recording studios, four large rehearsal rooms, digital and analogue workstations, vocal booths, a 200-seat performance space and the latest Apple hardware.

What does this course lead to?

Previous graduates have gone on to roles including assistant artist manager, audio engineer, marketing and promotion executive and record production assistant at organisations including Bang Post-Production, Sony Music, Columbia Records, Metropolis Studios, EMI Music Licensing and Stage Miracles.

Who is this course for?

This top-up course is the ideal way for students with a relevant qualification at HND level (or equivalent) to upgrade their qualification and earn a full honours degree in one year.

Applicants should aspire to careers in live and outdoor sound production, studio engineering, music publishing, label administration or other related roles.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 1 Year Standard Entry W390
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2017/18 costs were:

Optional USA study trip: opportunities will be advertised to students and costs will be calculated based on current air fares and hotel prices.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with merit overall (55 per cent average)

  • or 240 CATS points from a relevant three-year degree
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the link below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  1 year  Apply 
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Advanced Music Production
  • Music Strategies and Entrepreneurship
  • Major Project
  • Live Project Brief


  • Film Music
  • Songwriting Portfolio
  • Experimental Music Production
  • Advanced Live Music Production
  • Advanced Mixing and Mastering
  • Creative Sound Design
  • Popular Music: Technology and Production

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures


Assessment by coursework


Practical exams

Meet the course team

Toni Diaz academic profile Toni Diaz Course Leader View profile
Daniel Pennie academic profile Daniel Pennie Senior Lecturer View profile
Simon Fisk academic profile Simon Fisk Senior Lecturer View profile
Jenna Barker academic profile Jenna Barker Senior Lecturer View profile
Annie Sanger-Davies academic profile Annie Sanger-Davies Lecturer View profile
Paul Statham academic profile Paul Statham Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


The University provides excellent learning resources and facilities to its students, from campus-wide wireless to extensive library services and dedicated student working spaces with plenty of laptop points. Students also have access to: 

  • Nine recording studios including four mix workstations, all equipped with Pro Tools HD, NI Komplete
  • Three ICON DCommand worksurfaces
  • Analog Studio with Audient ASP8024
  • Outboard by Neve, Lexicon, Universal Audio
  • Microphones by Neumann, AKG, Coles, Rode
  • Plug-ins by Waves, McDSP, Sonnox. Yamaha M7 and LS9 digital live mixers
  • Music Tech Lab with 25x Apple Mac, Pro Tools, Logic, Sibelius.
  • Yamaha M7 and LS9 digital live mixers.

Students learn from experienced musicians with a wealth of knowledge in producing and performing music professionally. Popular music production students collaborate with students from other creative disciplines, mirroring industry working practices.

Your future

The creative industries encompass a vast range of employment areas, and this course helps you understand the diverse career opportunities in the music and sound industries. You will be able to start building your network of like-minded creatives in television, events, film, animation and more.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Live and outdoor sound
  • Studio sound engineering
  • Music publishing
  • Music promotion
  • Arts and entertainment industry administration
  • The SMILE annual music festival was an excellent opportunity to meet people on track to do some exciting work in the music and media industries in the future. I look forward to a return visit.

    Nick Halkes, Incentive Music, A&R for The Prodigy

Industry links

The course team has close ties to the local music scene, enabling you to undertake a live brief of your choosing from an external client, negotiated with a tutor. 

We also have a programme of guest lectures from the industry, with recent speakers including:

  • Mike Moran – composer, musician
  • Trevor Horn – Grammy-winning producer
  • Rob Da Bank – DJ and festival organiser.
  • Gary Langhan - sound engineer, War of the Worlds.


The course team will support you in finding work experience opportunities, both internal and external, to help you stand out in this competitive industry. Recent examples include the Glastonbury festival and Camp Bestival, live sound touring in the UK and abroad, synthesiser sound design, and community and education mentoring projects.

You’ll also have opportunities to collaborate on extra-curricular projects with students on other popular music courses – for example, recording an album, attending concerts and club nights, and working at festivals.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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