Music NC Level 6

What is special about this course?

You have a passion for working in the challenging yet exhilarating music business. You want to tailor your learning to meet your creative needs and be taught by some of the best industry professionals around. This course will set you on the right musical path from DJing to Scottish traditional.

You will prepare performances, record your own music and play gigs while working on theory and contextual study in class. Students need to be driven and enthusiastic to achieve the qualification.

With tutors currently working in the music industry, you will have direct access to real industry knowledge and experience about current trends while building a solid skill set for an exciting future. 

Entry requirements

You should have at least 3 Standard Grades including Music at SCQF level 4 or National 4 or equivalent practical experience. If you don’t meet our entry requirements, your previous experience may still qualify you for this course. Mature students will be considered on merit. All candidates will attend an interview.

  • Live performance: work together in groups with the opportunity to perform in front of audiences in a range of events throughout the year
  • Digital DJing: an introduction to understanding the technology and learning to perform your own mixes live OR
  • Solo performance on one instrument or voice: receive a one to one lesson from your tutor and learn new repertoire and techniques
  • Compositional techniques: take the first steps towards composing your own music
  • You will undertake a creative project which could include releasing an EP or making a radio programme
  • MIDI Sequencing: create your own compositions/arrangements using a specially set up computer workstation
  • Music Literacy: read and write music, understand harmonies, bass lines and chord progressions
  • An introduction to the UK Music Industry: learn about the career paths available to you
  • Appreciation of Music: listen to and understand different genres of music
  • Core skills: Numeracy, ICT and Communication

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

Each week will comprise of scheduled, connected learning time and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning activity to fit around your work, caring and personal commitments.  Some flexible learning must be done on a weekly basis. 

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers, students and others. Connected learning happens at a scheduled time in a practical workshop, an online-classroom, a studio, a specialist classroom, the workplace or in the outdoors.

Flexible learning covers lecturer directed learning and self-directed learning
Lecturer-directed learning is weekly learning activity, for example:
• posting your idea in a discussion forum,
• completing a quiz,
• practising a task, activity or idea
• watching a video or reading,
• discussing and working on a solution with another student,
• researching and gathering information,
• completing an assignment or project-based task.

Self-directed learning is your decision about further study and focus.  We encourage you to take ownership of your learning and areas of interest. You can ask us to help you to determine areas for further development.

As and when it is appropriate and safe to do so, your connected learning will take place in the music studio.  However, during periods of social distancing restrictions, some of your learning may need to move to an online-classroom.  This will include a combination of video conferencing, interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

This full time course is available in Fort William, students will attend college 3 days a week for 34 weeks.

How will I be assessed?

    Throughout the year.

Where can I study my course?

    • Fort William

Start date

October 29th


Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please read our Fees & Funding information pages for more information regarding residency, previous study and bursary rates. Please contact if you have any further questions.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or not. However you must complete an application even if you know that you’re not entitled to EMA.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.


Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

With NC Music under your belt, you will be able to pursue a variety of opportunities in the music industry, or further your studies with HNC Music or Sound Production, either within UHI or further afield or BA (Hons) Applied Music.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

We get lots of creative freedom on this course. I am making the most of spending time with other musicians: discussing ideas and jamming. We are also recording a 4 track EP as part of our creative project.

I didn’t have music qualifications before I started but I have played rhythm guitar for several years and I knew I wanted to develop that, move on to lead playing and also learn bass and gain more confidence in writing and singing my own songs. The specialised instrument lessons we get really helps with that.

This course has opened doors for me and I want to pursue music as a career. I plan to come back next year and study HNC Music.

Iain Macdonald

Apply for Music NC Level 6

I want to start in 2020/21

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.