If you dream of playing on stage in front of thousands of people, creating a seminal masterpiece in the studio, or dropping beats at legendary dance clubs around the globe, The Manchester College should be your number one choice.

At the No.1 College in Greater Manchester for achievement* we offer courses for singers, musicians, DJs and studio engineers that will take your skills to the next level.  Our focus will be to get you ready for a successful career in this tough, but exciting industry.  

In our state-of-the art facilities, you will learn from experienced DJs who still perform all over the world and gigging musicians that tour the length and breadth of the country, as well as receive masterclasses from some of the best in the business. 

Based in the heart of Manchester, with its legendary music scene, you will perform regularly for the public and have lots of opportunities to network. 

*NARTS 18/19

  • Still looking for an amazing place to study this year? We’ve got you!

    There’s still time to enrol with us today, drop in to campus or visit our enrolment page to find out more.

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    Want to apply to join us in September 2022? We’ve got you!

    View our range of Music courses and apply to study at the No.1 College in Greater Manchester online today.

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  • Building Excellence

    From September 2022 our Industry Excellence Academy for Music and Centre of Excellence for Music will be based in our amazing, brand new, state-of-the-art, four-storey City Campus Manchester that is currently under construction next door to the AO Arena.

    You will be among the first students to benefit from these industry standard facilities that have been developed specifically for your course that will mirror the world of work, providing the perfect setting to help prepare you for a future career.

    In order to develop your skills and have a successful career in the music industry, you will have access to:

    • Two state-of-the art band teaching rooms
    • Three adjoining practice rooms
    • A DJ classroom with four booths
    • Three control rooms with mixing desks
    • Two live rooms.

    These amazing new facilities will provide you with access to everything you will see once you enter the workforce, giving you the best possible chance to prepare for a future career.

    Explore our amazing new facilities

  • Play for the masses

    Our students regularly light up venues across the city, including at the relentlessly successful and highly innovative Band on the Wall, where our musicians host and collaborate on a whole range of pro-level activities and real-life industry standard activities and performances.

    We don't just send you out on stage with no preparation. You’ll get to spruce up your material in our suite of rehearsal rooms and purpose-built theatres; The Sackville and The Waterside. That's if you’re not putting your talents to use in one of the recording studios.

    Take a look at the full list and imagine yourself playing to a room full of Manchester music fans and letting rip in some of these iconic venues!

  • Experience a career

    When you study music at The Manchester College you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world-renowned Manchester and North-West music scene.

    Our music department has a long-standing links with a full ensemble of industry partners, and we work in perfect harmony to open the doors that enable you to experience an exciting career in this thriving sector. 

    We work with a broad range of the City`s venues, seeing us create an impressive backlog of gigs that we have supported our students to produce. And for all the fun this can be it is also an amazing opportunity to experience what working in the industry is like!

    Some of the music industry partners and venues we work with include:

    • Band on the Wall
    • The Castle: Oldham Street 
    • Cotyso Studios
    • Warehouse Project
    • Neighbourhood Festival
    • Amplify Sounds
    • Albeton Live

  • When you take a music course at The Manchester College, you’ll be taught by a team that doesn’t just talk the talk but has actually walked the walk. With experience that spans decades, and touches almost every corner of the music industry, your tutors still maintain close industry links that keep that at the cutting edge of the sectors latest developments.


    Stuart Steen - Assistant Principal

    Stuart is Assistant Principal for the Creative Industries department which includes Creative and Digital Media, Music, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. He is passionate about developing staff and students and their ability to become successful in whatever they do. He manages a team of experts across the Creative Industries department that are experts in their field and focused on ensuring our students develop the best possible knowledge and skills to equip and prepare them for their chosen career.

    Emma Burgess - Head of Department

    Emma joined The Manchester College as Head of Department for Music, Creative and Digital Media in 2021. She possesses more than 12 years’ experience in music education and has a degree in Visual Arts as well as a PGCert in Further and Higher Music Education and an MA in Educational Leadership. Emma is focused on ensuring that the student voice is heard and used to continuously improve the student experience on their course, while maintaining quality standards She is passionate about music and the creative industries, spending much of her time outside of her role collecting records, attending gigs and visiting art galleries.

    Steve Smith - Team Leader Further Education

    Steve Smith - Further Education Team Leader

    Steve has worked on several projects throughout his career as a freelance sound designer and computer games composer, as a studio sound engineer and an events manager working in partnership in the live sound festival circuit for the communities of Manchester. Steve has also released music close to his heart that is Jungle / DnB and cannot pass a set of decks without “having a go”. 

    Phil Moody - Adult and Higher Education Team Leader

    Phil Moody - Adult and Higher Education Team Leader

    Phil is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter and composer whose performance career has included extensive European touring and studio recording through record deals with BMG and Chrysalis. For ten years he owned and ran a commercial recording studio in Leeds, producing and engineering many artists and bands. Phil has a long history of composing and song writing for his own bands, other artists, radio and media. He has a Masters Degree in Music Production and over 15 years’ experience in music education.

    Sean Bennett

    Sean Bennett playing guitar live on stage

    Sean is a Level 2/3 Music Performance tutor who specialises in electric guitar. Alongside a PGCE, Sean completed a BA(hons) degree in ‘Popular Music & Recording’ at The University of Salford. Since then, he has actively worked as a guitarist in the North-West/online music scene; honing his skills in live performance and instrumental technique. With over 16+ years of experience playing guitar, Sean has performed at numerous radio shows, festivals and venues including the 02 Academy Liverpool.

    Tom Auld

    Tom Auld playing an electric guitar

    Tom specialises in studio recording and live sound techniques.  He is an experienced sound recording engineer and has worked with a broad range of recording artists such as beatboxer Dub FX and 60’s beat group the Dakotas. 

    Tom also performs, composes and produces his own music. He has performed at venues such as the Royal Festival hall in London and played at festivals across the United Kingdom and Europe.

    Paul Beevers

    Paul Beevers playing an acoustic guitar

    Paul specialises in guitar and performance. He has been involved in the Lancaster music scene for longer than he cares to remember, and has played in various bands over the years at festivals across Europe. 

    Paul currently plays numerous gigs each year as guitarist and bouzouki player in North West-based ceilidh band Price of My Pig. 

    Dave Fortune

    Dave Fortune DJ set

    Dave is a DJ, producer and teacher of music technology. As a DJ he regularly performs in Manchester at various bars and clubs, and has also played at numerous events outside the city including an appearance at Soundwave Festival in Croatia.

    As a producer he has released a number of tracks commercially, his music has been played on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music, and by a host of club DJs both in the UK and internationally. He has managed an independent record label which has released music in the UK, Europe, USA and Japan, and he has promoted music events in Manchester.

    Rosie Giles

    Rosie Giles singing

    Rosie has worked at the college for over 10 years and specialises in vocal technique and group performance.

    She brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the classroom where she shares her first hand and current experience of the music industry with learners. She is an accomplished vocalist who performs regularly with funk, soul and disco band, Dreamer, playing floor fillers from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s at major venues across the North West. Rosie continues to attend courses and masterclasses, ensuring she is best placed to teach and coach vocalists to ensure they stand out from the crowd.

    Lee Gizon

    Lee Gizon playing an electric guitar

    Lee has over 25 years of experience playing and recording in live bands all over Europe, including established acts such as Muse, Arctic Monkeys and the 1975. 

    His music and videos have been played all over the world most recently on Radio 1, 6 Music, Radio Lancashire and MTV2.

    As well as teaching Music Performance and Technology, he is still recording and performing all over the UK.

    Mark McKinley

    Mark McKinley DJ set

    Mark started his DJing career at the age of 15 playing venues such as Sequins, Fantazia, Mythology and the legendary Hacienda, where he won the North West DMC DJ Championships. He’s also DJ’d across the world in Malia, Ibiza, Brussels and in the US as well as at Glastonbury.

    Mark has produced his own music with his DJ group, The Mix Factory, who charted in the UK singles chart and also gained success in the American charts.

    Andy Prentice

    Andy Prentice playing bass guitar

    As a freelance composer and producer, Andy has written music for Western Union, LA Fitness, Volvo, Axa Insurance and Major League Soccer, as well as having placements on UK, US, Australian, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Korean TV.

    As a session bass player and guitarist, he’s played with many bands and artists over the years from funk, neo-soul, rock, jazz, reggae and musicals to function work and studio sessions.

    Josef Ward

    Jo Ward playing a trumpet

    Josef plays trumpet and keyboards and has performed with professional bands and artists such as Sam Lee, Aim, Mr Scruff, Roy Ayres and many more, both in the studio and on tour.

    He has performed at many professional venues and festivals including Glastonbury Festival, Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Ronnie Scotts and at Maida Vale for the John Peel Show on Radio 1.

    He also specialises in music production and has released albums and remixes, and he continues to work in the studio creating original music.

    Chris Thomas

    Chris is a soulful DJ, electronic musician and artist from Bradford who has been providing music to the jazz, soul, house and funk crowd for several years. Chris enjoys making and selecting exciting and danceable music which can keep people moving all night. He is also an avid vinyl collector with thousands of records, as well as large digital music collections.

  • In addition to courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, we also offer courses for adults in Music Technology and Music Production which will enable you to start from Level 1 and progress all the way through to degree level.

    Our Level 1 and 2 courses are delivered one evening per week with two intakes each year: September to December and January to May.

    Our Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology is delivered over three-days a week and can give you enough UCAS points to progress onto university and degree level study.

    Find out more about our adult courses and apply today:

    Level 1 Introduction to Music Technology and Production

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    Level 2 Music Technology and Production

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    Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology and Production

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  • Find out even more about our Music department in our subject area guide or on our YouTube playlist:

    Download our subject area guide

    Watch our YouTube playlist

    Stay up-to-date with everything that's going on in our NAME department via social media:

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  • Go further with our Centre of Excellence for Adult Education and study a 19+ adult course starting in 21/22! 

    Browse our wide range of courses and apply today.

    Browse 19+ adult courses

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Available Courses

Industry Excellence Academy - Music Events Management

Level 3

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Introduction to Music Technology and Production

Level 1

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DJ Experiences


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Top Careers Opportunities

A mixing desk


Average salary: £25k

A portrait image of a man smiling in front of an audio mixer

Sound Engineer

Average salary: £40k

Musician with headphones on playing the guitar


Average salary: £29k

Tido Nguyen

My time at The Manchester College helped me to find my strengths and weaknesses in music and made me realize what I actually want to do in the music industry. The Manchester College was the perfect environment to experiment with my interests in song writing, producing and audio engineering.

Tido Nguyen • Pulse Music Group Songwriter and Producer
Gaby Zacara

Shena Simon was great for me. The people I met and support I had was invaluable. I was taught every skill I could possibly have needed to make it myself out there in the industry, and my confidence grew so much for it all.

Gaby Zacara • Musician, Songwriter and Lyricist

In one of The Manchester College’s 19 Centres of Excellence you’ll develop the skills and gain the qualifications that you need to take the next steps towards your dream career.

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In our unique Industry Excellence Academy you’ll benefit from a programme of study that has been co-developed, and is co-delivered, with one of our industry partners.

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