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Foundation Certificate Popular Music & Music Technology Course Overview Foundation Certificate Popular Music & Music Technology  Course Overview

Our course is ideal if you want to strengthen your existing music skills and address any weaknesses, so you are prepared to fully engage with degree-level music training.

The course develops your practical experience at the same time as building up your theoretical knowledge. You form and join bands, perform at our regular gig nights and collaborate on creating and recording new material as you develop a working knowledge of songwriting and production. You finish with the skills and ability required to study at higher education and with an understanding of what it takes to be a successful music practitioner. 

What You Will


  • Year 1

How You Will


  • One-to-one instrument tuition
    One-to-one instrument tuition
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Practical Projects
    Practical Projects
  • Performances
  • Independent Study
    Independent Study
  • Group Work
    Group Work
  • Masterclasses

How You Will Be


You are constantly assessed to monitor your progress. There is a minor component of written work with study logs and critical evaluations of practical work.

Practical/written work ratio 

80% practical work / 20% written assignments 

Validated By:

Liverpool John Moores University

On successful completion of your award, our validating body Liverpool John Moores University will issue you with one certificate. The graduation ceremony for this programme will be arranged by LIPA.

What Our

Graduates Do

Most of our graduates go on to study at degree level, either with us or other specialist institutions. Some have gone straight into work as singer-songwriters, band members, session musicians, producers and as writers and arrangers. Their career achievements have included:

Bronnie Hughes (2016)

Singer-songwriter who has released four EPs and a stream of singles. Toured the UK, Europe and USA and supported Little Mix.

Lill Scheie (2017)

Member of the band I See Rivers. They released their debut album, Deep and Rolling Green, to critical acclaim in 2020.

Gemma Dunleavy (2014)

Her song Up De Flats was nominated for RTE (Irish national broadcaster) Song of the Year 2020. Recent collaborations include DJ Simon Raymonde and a Dr Martens campaign.

Edvard Førre Erfjord (2008)

Part of studio team with fellow graduate Henrik Barman Michelsen who produced and co-wrote UK number one singles for Little Mix and Jess Glynne. Has also worked with Take That, Olly Murs, Aurora and Jessie J and Don Diablo.

Phil Gornell (2008)

Owner of Steel City Studio in Sheffield, he works as a producer from the studio and his base in LA. Touring mix engineer for 5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low and Bring Me The Horizon. Co-wrote tracks on All Time Low’s 2020 album Wake Up, Sunshine.

Malin Pettersen (2008)

A long-time member of the band Lucky Lips, her debut solo album References Pt.1 won Best Country Album at 2019 Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy Awards).

Josefine Jinder (2007)

As Swedish pop artist Little Jinder, won Best Pop Album award at the Swedish GRAMMYs in 2015. Nominated in three categories in the 2019 awards.

Micheal Bruce (2006)

Composer, lyricist and musical director, including productions for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Was composer in residence at the Donmar Warehouse.




UCAS tariff points required from level 3 qualifications

For example: 

  • Two A-Levels at grade D
  • BTEC Diploma – Merit, Pass
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own (Pass, Pass, Pass) and combined with other qualifications
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own or any other combination that equates to 48 UCAS Tariff points in a relevant subject
  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own (48 points) and combined with other qualification

You also need 5 GCSEs grade 4/C or above including English and Maths or Level 2 equivalents. We prefer it, if one of your Level 3 qualifications is a Music or Music Production qualification. 

Mature applicants (aged 21+): if you do not hold the qualifications listed but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis. 


IELTS or above

You need to meet our English language requirement - a minimum of IELTS 4.0 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening). We also accept other English language examination equivalents. You can find out more about English Language requirements here 

You also need academic qualifications at the same level as UK applicants. You can find out more about qualifications from specific countries here

Mature applicants (aged 21+). If you do not hold the academic qualifications but have relevant work experience, you are welcome to apply.  

Educational qualifications are important but limited in what they can tell us about you.

Your natural ability, your fit with what and how we teach, your growth and your potential are also key factors in our admission process. We can’t evaluate these solely on your educational achievements, so no matter which course you are applying for, we look for the following attributes on your application and at the interview stage.




Knowledge, Ability and Experience

Students come to us with a diverse range of experience, so tell us about what you’ve been doing. This could be one or more of the following: music performance, songwriting, or music production.



We want to find out how you’re seeking your own opportunities to develop your skills outside of your school or college environment. However, we understand that distance or cost may have made this difficult. We’re also interested to see how much you read about music and have tried to experience other peoples’ music. 


Ability To Work Effectively with Others

While you’re with us (and in your professional work) you’ll work with a range of people – students, teachers and industry professionals, so it’s essential that you can work well with others. We’d like to see that you can take direction and feedback well, listen to others and offer support and constructive feedback. 


Broad Interest and Engagement

We look for evidence that you are curious about the world around you and want to engage with all aspects of the course you’re applying for and the wide range of opportunities we offer. 



We’d like to know why you’re applying to us and how you think the course you’re applying for will help you to grow and achieve your career aspirations. We’d like to see that you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how we can support you. 


A Spirit of Enterprise

We want you to be able to work on your own initiative and see that you’re interested in creating your own opportunities. You may have been involved in creative projects which weren’t part of your regular school/college curriculum, or if you haven’t had the chance to do this, you might have ideas and ambitions which you can tell us about. 

  • "There’s absolutely nothing like LIPA in this country. It’s a genuine incubator of creativity for future players of the music industry because graduates leave with instantly applicable and viable skill sets."

    Mark Ronson
    Grammy Award-winning producer, DJ and musician

    Mark Ronson Quote Icon
  • "When I came and spoke at LIPA, it was one of the greatest days of my life. The feeling in the room was incredible. I love this institution."

    Nile Rodgers
    Award-winning composer, producer, guitarist and arranger. Co-founded pioneering disco band Chic. Production credits include David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran and Mick Jagger.

    Nile Rodgers Quote Icon
  • "LIPA students are the most intelligent people I have ever met or taught. They taught me so much about life."

    Toyah Willcox
    Musician, actor and writer. She’s co-written 28 albums and appeared in more than 40 plays and 20 feature films.

    Toyah Willcox Quote Icon
  • "LIPA is the most wonderful place to learn. When I came here to give a talk, I was struck by how focused everybody was."

    Chris Difford
    Co-founder of Squeeze and Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter

    Chris Difford Quote Icon

Course Changes

For information on possible changes to course information, see our course changes information

View the programme specification on the LJMU course catalogue here