Higher National Diploma in Music Production (HND)

Level 6 Edexcel/BTEC Award


This is a Full time one year course


This Higher National Diploma course gives students the opportunity to acquire a wide range of skills in Sound Engineering, Music Production and other aspects of the music industry such as running a music business, understanding the science of sound, legal and health issues. Taught by professionals working in the industry, this course will prepare students for careers in the media, entertainment and music fields. Students will work with performers and musicians in a purpose built industry standard professional recording studio. Editing, mixing and production take place in a state-of-the-art all iMac digital sound production facility. All workstations are equipped with software including Pro Tools and Ableton Live. Read more about our iMac lab facilities. 

September 2021 to May 2022: Only Year Two of the Higher National Diploma is available.  Students who have completed the modules from Year one at DFEi may apply.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Applicants who have completed Year One modules at DFEi
  • Applicants who have completed HND Music Production Year One modules elsewhere
  • Full Higher National Certificate in Music (BTEC)

Course Modules

  • Creative Research Project
  • Advanced Music Production
  • Advanced Sound Engineering
  • Advanced Composing using Technology
  • Music and Brands
  • Artist and Repertoire
  • Creative Portfolio
Module Information

Module Information


Areas of Study - Year Two (September 2021)

There are no Theory Examinations.  All assessment is carried out by continious assessment through assignments.

1) Advanced Sound Engineering: Produce recordings to professional standards by developing your practical and theoretical skills.  You will select an artist or band and work with them over the course of the year to produce two high-quality music tracks - both a live recording and a studio-based track.

2) Advanced Composing using Technology: Learn more about the music composition, production and audio features made available by modern computers.  Develop a high standard of competency in Ableton Live.

3) Advanced Music Production:  Explore the finer points of music production, with a focus on greater control and manipulation of material; throughout the creative process.  Advanced techniques for the manipulation of audio and MIDI are explored, as well as mixing, mastering and workflow.  Develop an advanced level of ability across a range of connected fields providing a platform for progression into the creative industries.

4) Creative Research Project: This unit is designed to make you confident in the use of research techniques and methods.  It addresses the elements that make up formal research including preparing a proposal, choosing methodologies, carrying out the research itself and presenting your findings.  These skills are essesntial for academic progression.

5) Music and Brands:  The aim of this unit is to develop an understanding of the relationship between the music business and brands.  In today's music industry this relationship can open up new revenue streams to musicians and artists.  By the end of the unit, you will have learned how brands and the music business can form mutually beneficial partnerships and you'll understand how to pitch ideas to brands from a music business position.

6) Creative Portfolio:  This unit provides an opportunity for you to create a unique portfolio of work which will act as your industry calling card.  Not only will you be helped to build a portfolio, you'll also get an opportunity to showcase your work to an industry panel.

7) Artsist and Repertoire:  You'll learn how the work and Artist and Repertoire (A&R) has helped both major and independent labels to create their own identies.  You'll have the opportunity to explore the relationship between artist and label by playing the role of A&R yourself.  You'll get hands-on experience in the development of an artist and the process involved in getting a product ready for market.  By the end of the unit, you'll construct a campaign and organise a release on DFE's own record label.


  • Edexcel/BTEC Award: Higher National Certificate in Music Production or Higher National Diploma in Music Production

Special Features

Second year students run a music enterprise managing their own label. They record original music and take charge of all aspects of the project, from recording and production, to running live events, design and marketing.

Progression Opportunities

While the HND course has a strong practical element, students are also armed with the academic expertise and qualifications required to gain advanced entry into degree programmes both here in Ireland and in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the HND will usually require just one more year in a UK University to gain their degree.

Progression Examples

BA in Creative Music Production

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology

BA in Music Production

Pulse College Dublin

One Year Top up Degrees

BSc in Creative Industries Popular Music Technology (PH10)

University of South Wales

Advanced Entry Links into 2nd or 3rd Year of Degree Programmes

BA in Creative Music Technologies (4F74) 

University of South Wales

BSc in Music Technology (J931)

University of South Wales Trinity Saint David

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Music Technology Advanced Entry into 2nd Year

Institute of Technology Tralee

Career Paths

Opportunities exist throughout the music industry and beyond: TV and radio, live sound, theatre, recording studios, music marketing and management.

Thank You

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Rachel Johnston

2018 Graduate. Employed in DLR's Grainstore as resident sound engineer.

I started off on the Sound Engineering course in DFEi and then I progressed in to Music Production. It’s a very  “hands on” course.  So you get time working in the…

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Rachel Johnston

2018 Graduate. Employed in DLR's Grainstore as resident sound engineer.

I started off on the Sound Engineering course in DFEi and then I progressed in to Music Production. It’s a very  “hands on” course.  So you get time working in the studio. It is less about the academic side and more about putting your hands to the test. You get a chance to see how a label works and how the industry works. We made an album in DFEi and we brought events outside the college to venues like Grand Social and The Underground. We learned how to promote the event and put our technical skills into practice.

 I am delighted to be working as the Sound Engineer in the Grainstore.  (DLR’s  Youth Arts Facility)  I may return to study in the future but for the moment I am getting great experience and enjoying the job.

Course Coordinator

Patrick Wall

Patrick Wall

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly