Sound Engineering/Sound Production - Level 5

Level 5 QQI Award


This is a Full time one year course, which runs from September to May, 4 days a week. Exact details of the timetable will be given out to students during the induction process prior to class commencement in September.


This course is for students who are interested in a career in music and sound engineering or music promotion. This course provides a combination of practical and theoretical tuition in all aspects of digital sound engineering and music production and is delivered by staff who are talented musicians.  Students will record performers and musicians in an all iMac digital sound production facility, fully equipped with a comprehensive selection of state-of-the-art equipment. This course features a high level of training in a wide range of industry-standard music production software including: Pro Tools, Ableton Live and Adobe Audition. Students will also gain practical experience setting up sound facilities for live performances and location recording.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent
  • A Full Level 4 QQI Award (or equivalent)
  • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English require level B2 competency on the CEFR language framework. Applicants may be required to undergo English language testing to establish their language competency.

Course Modules

  • Sound Engineering and Production
  • Music Technology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Event Production
  • Radio Programme Production
  • Desktop Multimedia Audio Production
  • Work Experience
  • Communications
  • Music Performance (DJ Skills) (One of the optional subjects to choose from)
  • Music Performance (Live Music Skills) (One of the optional subjects to choose from)
Module Information

Module Information

Sound Engineering/Sound Production

Level 5 QQI Award: Sound Production (5M2149)

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)


Sound Engineering and Production 5N1900

Gain the knowledge, skill and competence to work independently and under supervision in a typical recording studio environment. Learn how to work effectively in a live sound or location recording scenario.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).


Music Technology 5N1640

Learn how to make music using a range of different methods and technologies. Using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) learners will develop the practical skills and theoretical knowledge associated with sequencing and audio recording. They will also develop the skills required to create musical compositions using modern technology.

Assessments: Project (60%), Examination - Theory (40%.


Ethnomusicology 5N1443

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to appreciate the musical diversity of ethnic groups, enhance their awareness of the socio-cultural and historical growth of music and use field studies as a form of research in ethnomusicology.

Assessment: Assignment (50%), Project (50%).


Radio Programme Production 5N1379

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to produce radio programmes and other radio broadcast materials to a standard suitable for a range of services at a local, regional and national level.

Assessment: Assignment (30%), Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Examination - Theory (20%).


Event Production 5N1374

This module equips the learner with the knowledge and skills necessary to plan and stage an event covering areas such as understanding a client brief, roles of responsibility, scheduling, risk assessment, budgeting, logistics, promotions and communicating effectively as part of a team. Having completed this module the learner will be able to project manage events of different scales and types including live music concerts.

Assessment: Project (40%), Skills Demonstration (30%), Learner Record (30%).


Desktop Multimedia Audio Production 5N2148

This module aims to equip learners with the skills and knowledge required to work in an electronic music environment using modern technology. The practical aspects of the program will be delivered using Ableton Live software along with a range of hardware MIDI controllers. Learn to program beats, control synthesizers, edit audio and manipulate samples within the software.

Assessment: Project (40%), Skills Demonstration (30%), Examination - Theory (30%).


Communications 5N0690

Gain the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and work-related situations, operating independently and under general direction.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).


Work Experience 5N1356

Prepare for a work placement under supervision for a limited time. This comprises a skills audit, achievement audit, rights and responsibilities, vocational area study, an evaluation of work placement and future career roles. A Work Placement of 10 working days must be arranged.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (60%), Skills Demonstration (40%).


Optional Subjects (Choose one)

(1) Music Performance (DJ Skills) 5N1301

The purpose of this module is to equip the student with the knowledge, skills and competence to perform as a DJ in a variety of contexts, learning techniques such as beatmatching, cueing, effects and looping. The module is predominantly practical based and is delivered on Pioneer DJ equipment. 

This module is suitable for those with an interest in electronic music and/or hip hop.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Learner Record (30%), Assignment (10%).

(2) Music Performance (Live Music Skills) 5N1301

This module covers every aspect of staging a live musical performance. A variety of performance areas are covered in this module including performance techniques, audience expectations, planning a rehearsal phase, collaborating with other musicians, stage plans, technical specification lists (tech specs), communicating with a venue and promoting an event.

Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of practical skills including operating a live mixing desk; music performance skills including keyboard and guitar lessons; and multimedia elements including running a stage lighting rig and projection set-up.

On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to plan, promote and execute a successful showcase.

This module is suitable for those with an interest in live music events and festivals.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Learner Record (30%), Assignment (10%).


  • Level 5 Award Sound Production 5M2149

Special Features

Specialist Module Options

(Choose One)

  • Music Performance (Live Music Skills)
  • Music performance (DJ Skills)

As well as learning about in-studio recording, students will get the opportunity to gain invaluable experience organising gigs, setting up sound facilities for live performances and doing on location recording.

This course is supported by FIT, which offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment. Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation.

Specialist resources include:

• Sound Production Studio with iMac Digital Sound Studio. Our new iMac Lab replicates real-life industry experience. Read more.

• Digital Radio Studio with Adobe Audition

• Internal live venue with stage and sound booth

Free Full Suit of Adobe Creative Cloud Software for all students on this course for one year to facilitate assessment work.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement is usually for a period of 10 days or a minimum of 60 hours.  Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

Additional Information


Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Portfolio/Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination - Written or Practical
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See for more details

Progression Opportunities

DFEi: Graduates may progress to the Level 6 QQI Advanced Certificate in Television and Digital Film or the Sound Engineering/Sound Production Level 6 at DFEi.

Elsewhere: Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

Progression Examples

BA Arts (DN520)

BA Humanities (DN530)

University College Dublin -

BA Creative Music Production (DL838)  There is an option to do QQI Level 5 Mathematics module if a student does not have the LCE Mathematics requirement.

IADT, Dún Laoghaire -

BA Commercial Modern Music (BIMM assessment/audition) (TU961)

Bachelor of Music (audition) (TU963)

BA Media Production and Digital Arts (TU982)

BA Creative Digital Media (TU981)

Technological University Dublin -

BA Music (audition) (DK860)

BA Audio and Music Production (DK865)

Dundalk Institute of Technology -

BA in Music Technology (MH101). There is an option to do QQI Level 5 Mathematics module if a student does not have the LCE Mathematics requirement.

BA Arts (MH101)

BA Media Studies (MH109)

BA Psychology (MH106)

Maynooth University -

Higher Certificate Music and Instrument Technology (AL605)

BEng Music and Sound Engineering (AL718)

Athlone Institute of Technology -

BSc Music Technology and Production (LC270)

Limerick Institute of Technology -

Career Paths

Career prospects would include: Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Music Producer, DJ, Sound Designer, Artist Manager, A&R, Label Owner, Promotor, Music Publicist, Studio Manager, Radio Producer, Podcast Producer, Mastering Engineer, Singer/Songwriter, Session Musician.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly

Richard Gill

2021 Graduate of Sound Engineering
Currently working in Conferences Services as an Audio/Video Technician

My teachers were excellent and I found it very easy to learn from them. Their passion for music and audio in general was infectious…

Read More

Richard Gill

2021 Graduate of Sound Engineering
Currently working in Conferences Services as an Audio/Video Technician

My teachers were excellent and I found it very easy to learn from them. Their passion for music and audio in general was infectious and really pushed me to do my best. The course gave me a well-rounded skill set to work in the music industry. I wouldn’t  be in my current job had I not done the course.

I'm currently an Audio/Video technician with Conference Services.

 I am thoroughly enjoying my new career path and I owe a lot of that to DFEi for providing the work experience and facilities like the recording studio. 

Course Coordinator

Patrick Wall

Patrick Wall

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly