HND Music Technology and Sound Engineering

Higher Rhythm College of music and media

Study inside a REAL
music industry company

Learn from expert tutors
and industry-leading pros

Access pro-level recording studios

An industry-leading org for over 20 years

Link to our music industry networks

Grow a career in the music industry on our HND Music Technology and Sound Engineering

The UK music industry contributes £5 billion to the economy, employing over 190,000 professionals. Building a successful career in the music industry relies on growing your professional network. The wider your network, and the more people know what you’re good at, the more opportunities you get.

The best way to develop the skills needed to succeed in this competitive industry is to learn from professionals who already work in it. You also need access to the kind of equipment real professionals use. 

At Higher Rhythm you get to learn from and work alongside, experienced professionals in a real industry setting. You also get access to professional studios kitted out with the very best pro-level equipment. And, because we only accept 12 students each year, you get maximum access to our resources and plenty of one-to-one support.

You’ll establish your professional reputation quickly, as you develop your network and gain real-industry experience as an integral part of this industry-rooted course.

Complete the EOI form below to book a free tour and introductory session. 

Why study at Higher Rhythm?

Firstly, we’re the real deal… we’re a professional music industry organisation. We run studios, a record label, a radio station, and live events, and our tutors and guest lecturers have worked with the biggest names in music. These include, Sir George MartinThe Rolling StonesPhil SelwayUNKLE, Idlewild, Skinny PelembePaul van DykSister BlissEditorsLou ReedSting, and many more….

Secondly, instead of being burdened with 3 years of debt from a college course, then spending another few years building the industry experience you need to get regular work, you can get a qualification, grow your network, and build professional experience at the same time, on our HND Music Technology, graduating industry-ready in just 2 years.

Most importantly, Higher Rhythm has been a prominent music industry player regionally and nationally, for over 20 years… So, our team aren’t just qualified tutors, they’re established industry-pros. With us, you get study in REAL recording studios filled with high-end equipment (such as the SSL Origin console shown below). We’re proud of our reputation of producing highly-skilled pros who go on to work in all sectors of the industry.

At Higher Rhythm, we don’t just want to get you through a qualification; we’re committed to giving you the skills and experience you need to be at the front of the queue for work opportunities as soon as you graduate from the course.

HND Music Technology recording studio

Our HND in Music Technology and Sound Engineering (qualification number 603/2274/3) will give you the relevant professional skills, whilst opening the door to the UK music industry

Start Date: September annually
Duration: 2 Years
Timetable: 2 Days per week
Places: 12 per cohort
Location: Higher Rhythm HQ in Doncaster
Course Tuition Fees: £6000 per Year 
Tuition Fee Loan Available: Yes
Maintenance Loan Available: Yes

HND Course Structure and Units

The Music Industry

The music industry is ever-evolving with a variety of areas that interact with each other. Students wishing to earn money must be aware of the complexities and the structure of the industry, and potential income opportunities available.

Marketing and Promotion

This unit will provide students with a ‘toolkit’ of information about freelancing and marketing activities they can use to further their career in the music industry.

Professional Development

Students will explore the potential avenues of employment related to their specialism. In addition, they will also build an awareness of how to present themselves to the market place and embark on the journey of professional development.

Live Sound Techniques

Students will develop skills around planning, set-up and operating a live sound system, using this equipment to achieve high-quality front-of-house (FOH) and stage monitor mixes.

Applied Sound Principles

Topics in this unit include the properties of sound waves and the harmonic series, the anatomy of the human ear and how sound is perceived, calculating room dimensions and standing waves, creating and applying impulse response samples.

Recording Technology

Students completing this unit will develop competence with the audio equipment used to record audio to industry standards and be comfortable with the pre-production planning that helps make a recording session successful.

Creative Software Techniques

Topics in the unit include, MIDI sequencing, virtual instruments, audio recording and editing, software synths, mixing in the box, beat programming and loop-based sequencing.

Sound Engineering Fundamentals

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of sound engineering concepts and practices. This includes, the role of a sound engineer, and becoming accustomed to fundamental techniques used by professional sound engineers.

Creative Research Project

This core unit will equip students from any area of interest with core research skills. Completion of this dissertation will demonstrate the academic requirements to progress into Level 6.

Advanced Sound Engineering

Students will develop skills planning, setting up, problem solving and delivery capabilities of the sound engineer, and produce two high-quality productions.

Advanced Music Production

Topics include DAW operation, critical listening and analysis, advanced sequencing, editing, manipulation and arrangement, virtual instruments and effects, advanced synthesis and sampling.

Mixing and Mastering

The techniques examined will give the students experience of preparing an audio product to a professional standard for multiple systems and media formats.

Creative Portfolio

The creative portfolio will act as an industry CV. Students will also be supported to showcase product ideas to an industry panel.

Live Mixing

Students will be able to create stage plans and technical rider for music artists, build a complete PA system suitable for the performance of music, and demonstrate the ability to create a front of House (FOH) and monitor mix.

Advanced Sound Design for Interactive Media

Topics included are sound design for non-linear media, understanding games and game parameters, sound spatialisation in interactive environments, interactive mixing, file compression and memory budgets.


What equipment will I need? None, because we have it all! (Including a number of iPads and MacBooks which can be booked out.
What does a timetable look like? Two full days per week over two full academic years, plus additional learning enrichment and professional development activities (2400 total qualification time / 960 Guided Learning Hours).
Are there any other costs? We have a library but you may wish to buy your own copies of specific books which we can recommend.
Are there any entry requirements? A level 3 qualification (BTEC or A-level) or 64 UCAS points. Mature applicants (aged 21+) with suitable experience may be accepted without qualifications. An interview is conducted before offering you a place.
What support is available? The course leader and Higher Rhythm staff will support you throughout the course. We are also experts at supporting additional learning needs. If you need additional support, just let us know.

What could I go on to after the course?


Progression onto a one year top-up degree or employment in the music industry. Jobs include: studio engineering, music production, live sound, events promotion, creative media, music publishing, AV industries, artist management… the list keeps growing.

Meet some of our team below

Andy Seward - Lecturer

Andy is an award winning producer, engineer and musician who has worked for decades, with some of the biggest names in the industry. This has earned him a long list of production and playing credits on huge selling records and is a holder of a prestigious, Sony Gold Award. Andy will bring the real industry into every session and give you expert tips that would take 30 years in the industry to discover yourself. Time after time, clients working with Andy in our studio have said that they “learned more in a day in the studio than they did in their 3 year degree…” This makes Andy the perfect lead tutor for our HND.

Yve Robinson - Guest Lecturer

Yve’s career spans decades at the highest level of the recording industry, managing Air Studios in Montserrat for Sir George Martin. Air Studios studio recorded dozens of platinum selling albums such as, The Police’s Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity, Dire Straights’ Brothers in Arms, and The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels (to name just a few…). This means there’s nothing Yve doesn’t know about managing a studio and working with top tier artists. Yve, who is from Doncaster and also a member of Higher Rhythm’s board, and will bring her vast expertise around managing high-value recording commissions and working with clients with, often challenging, technical (and personal…) demands to create award winning music.

Ellie Giles - Guest Lecturer

With a previous background working in A&R for major labels, Ellie has carved a successful career managing artists / music producers for the past decade, and founding her own agency, Step Music Management, who manage award winning producers who have worked for artists such as Adele, Jake Bugg, Iggy Pop, Beyonce, Liam Gallager, Paul McCartney, Placebo and countless others! Ellie will bring her vast experience around artists, labels and producers to deliver master-classes on how these industry sectors all fit together to create the music you listen to.

Skinny Pelembe - Guest Lecturer

Skinny Pelembe was born in South Africa, raised in Doncaster, and is now based in London. Skinny first signed with Giles Peterson’s Brownswood Label, and is now signed to Partisan Records. He is cited as one of the UK’s most promising artists. Skinny racks up daily plays on BBC national radio, has played sell out tours and major festivals, has remixed for Blue Note, and performed with artists ranging from James Lavelle and UNKLE to Grace Jones. Using DIY production for the unique video and graphics which accompany his own music, Skinny will deliver sessions around using techniques and basic tools to present music and video as a product.

Stew Baxter - Guest Lecturer

Drummer of the Hull based band, LIFE, Stew has played venues and festivals around the world as a successful music artist and has a long background in music industry development in his own city and beyond. Stew will guest lecture on where music artists fit in, within the various parts and levels of the industry, to help develop a broader understanding of how the wider industry functions around its ‘most important product’.

Stewart Taverner - Guest Lecturer

Stewart is one of the world’s top repairers of vintage ribbon microphones, servicing mics for artists such as LCD Sound-system and leading studios worldwide. Stewart recently launched Extinct Audio, manufacturing his own ribbon mics. Extinct Audio are outperforming the most established brands and have received rave reviews in respected industry mags Sound on Sound and Tape Op. Stewart will deliver workshops on the importance of electronics in audio production, looking at equipment in detail to reveal the secrets behind achieving the highest quality sound reproduction.


Dan Jones (PRS for Music) - Guest Lecturer

Dan Jones is PRS for Music’s Outreach Manager for the North of England. He has worked in Membership at PRS for Music for over a decade. Dan is a point of contact for members, speaking at music industry seminars, and hosting PRS for Music events and advice sessions. Dan will bring his vast expertise around music royalties and publishing to our HND as a guest lecturer.

Suzanne Chesterton - Guest Lecturer

A multi-award winning music & radio producer with 20 years industry experience including working for the BBC and Capital FM. Suzanne has worked with artists such as Paul van Dyk to produce some of the world’s biggest radio shows.  Suzanne works at Distorted Productions, producing content that reaches audiences of 8 million per month across 450 radio stations and outlets worldwide. Suzanne will bring her expertise around digital content distribution and radio promotion to our HND as a guest lecturer.

Sofia Genders - Guest Lecturer

Sofia Genders is an artist manager, promoter and label executive and is co-founder of the award winning, End Of The Road Festival. Sofia will bring a wealth of knowledge and professional music industry experience. Sofia will deliver guest-lectures focussing on the independent spirit that can help establish a successful and rewarding music career.

Help Musicians UK - Guest Lecturer

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) is the leading UK charity for professional musicians of all genres. HMUK help’s at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support, they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career. The charity will provide the HND with sessions on how to apply for grant funding, as well as sharing information about services that can help to maintain wellbeing as a music industry professional.

Timm Cleasby - Guest Lecturer

Operations Director of Tramlines festival and a tour manager who has worked on world tours with artists such as the Arctic Monkeys. Timm has enjoyed a high profile career in and around live music. He will bring his expertise through guest-lectures exploring the mechanics of the live music industry and running successful music events.

Neil McSweeney - Guest Lecturer

Neil teaches the MA Music Management at Sheffield University. He has a background as a touring songwriter and performer, alongside co-founding independent label Hudson Records. Neil’s guest lectures will explore opportunities for music makers and managers to proactively shape the future of the music industry.

We are a registered provider with Office for Students (OfS) and our HND Music Technology and Sound Engineering will launch in September 2024.

Provider UKPRN:10020118

For students to be eligible for funding from Student Finance England, they must be studying on an eligible course at a provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS). for more information.