UCAS code


Start date

16th September 2024

Course length

1 Year


The one-year CertHE Audio Engineering and Production course will equip you with the essential skills to begin a career as an audio engineer, music producer or podcast engineer in a professional recording studio.

Working in ICMP’s cutting-edge studios and Mac labs, and using our impressive selection of up-to-date industry-standard equipment, this highly technical course will build your confidence as well as your skillset.

While you’ll receive a strong introduction to recording studio techniques, you’ll also explore more conceptual topics, such as the theory of music production and audio engineering, as you drill down into acoustics, psychoacoustics and musical language. These ideas underpin more operative aspects of the industry, such as audio signal processing, mixing techniques, digital audio workstation (DAW) use, studio design, modular synthesis, live sound reinforcement and capture, and microphone technology and application.

Getting hands-on with our production equipment, you’ll come to understand audio engineering fundamentals such as the theory and science of sound recording and mixing.

All our teaching spaces and rehearsal rooms are equipped with exceptional gear, including the very best instruments, controllers, PAs, microphones, vocal processors, effects pedals, loop stations and more. As an ICMP student, you can book to use these without charge, seven days a week, outside of class hours.

Each of your lessons will be directed by our expert ICMP tutors – highly experienced industry professionals, ready to guide you with practical skills and advice. They’ll provide you with extensive insight into the modern music industry and the business and entrepreneurial side of engineering and producing, too.

As an in-demand audio engineering student at ICMP, you’ll benefit from frequent opportunities to collaborate with fellow audio engineering students, as well as musicians, songwriters, music producers and film score students from other ICMP courses. You’ll also have access to our renowned calendar of music events, including gigs, masterclasses, guest lectures, songwriting circles, careers days, industry conferences and more.

With newly honed musical instincts, industry-standard technical skills and robust theoretical understanding, you’ll graduate ready to take on any number of professional recording roles. Or if you choose to further progress your studies, successful completion of the CertHE Audio Engineering and Production will give you direct access to the second year of ICMP’s BA (Hons) Audio Engineering and Production programme.


Studying music at ICMP in London is great value, as well as great fun, with fees for our music courses the same as those at many traditional universities.

Course Fees: UK Students

Student Finance: Please visit our Fees page for information on accessing to Student Loans. UK students eligible for Loans are able to borrow the full course fee. 

Course Fees | Programme Specification | Programme Handbook

Click to view the full terms and conditions of applying to study at ICMP.

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Successful completion of the CertHE Audio Engineering and Production course leads to the award of Certificate of Higher Education by The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.


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Key facts

  • Industry-focused one-year course for emerging audio engineers, music producers and podcast engineers.
  • Opportunity for direct second-year entry to ICMP’s BA (Hons) Audio Engineering and Production and BA (Hons) Creative Music Production degree programmes.
  • Learn to work confidently in a range of studio environments – from professional studios to your own ‘home studio’ set up.
  • Develop professional skills in production, engineering, recording and post-production.
  • Operate in a professional music production environment using world-class industry-standard equipment and facilities.
  • Build your understanding and knowledge of the modern music industry.
  • Opportunities to assist and collaborate in recording sessions using ICMP’s impressive in-house studios.
  • Develop your professional network across ICMP’s talented student and alumni communities.
  • Acquire business, entrepreneurial and networking skills, learning how to promote your own portfolio career.
  • Connect with global music scene professionals at events and masterclasses.
  • Contact with the London music business makes it easy to build a notable network of industry professionals.
  • Apply Now


Course Ambassador

Cam Blackwood

Acclaimed music producer and songwriter Cam Blackwood is the ambassador for this course.


Cam’s impressive writing and production credits include George Ezra, Tom Walker, Lewis Capaldi, Dua Lipa, Jack Savoretti, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Skunk Anansie, Birdie and Astrid S.


Cam is an invaluable resource for ICMP students looking to get ahead in the worlds of studios and production.



This CertHE will provide you with an introduction to the essentials of audio engineering and music production – from a practical, technical and theoretical point of view. You’ll investigate concepts like critical listening and signal processing, while exploring hands-on recording studio techniques including audio editing, sequencing and microphone technology. After your year with us, you’ll have a strong idea of the music production and audio engineering employment options you’re keen to pursue, and an entrepreneurial knowledge of the music business, specific to those career ambitions.


In this module, you’ll explore a range of industry-standard audio software used in recording and making music, and discover how to use it in creative ways. An essential skill in studio work is planning, managing and delivering an organised and effective digital audio workstation (DAW) session – you’ll learn this and many other hands-on techniques as you experiment with computer-based music production approaches and explore the craft of audio editing. You’ll also learn how to use sample libraries to create authentic-sounding performances.

  • Develop skills and knowledge of DAW use
  • Sequencing, sampling and synthesis
  • Using sample libraries
  • Session management and organisation
  • Midi and stock instruments
  • Windows and controls
  • Track types and menus
  • Basic plugins
  • Basic recording
  • Importing and exporting audio
  • Editing tools
  • Tempo and Beat Detective
  • I/O setups
  • Auxes, routing and summing
  • Automation
  • Elastic audio
  • Advanced freehand editing


During this module, you’ll focus on the core principles of audio theory within the setting of a professional or personal music recording studio. You'll master the utilisation of industry-standard recording and production equipment, becoming adept at the recording and engineering processes. With a focus on practical application, you'll gain proficiency in utilising various industry-standard production and recording tools,  applying the essential principles of audio engineering to a project of your choosing. The methods acquired during this module are geared towards flexible and professional recording and engineering practices, from foundational basics to advanced professional studio techniques


  • Professional recording studio methods
  • Home studio recording techniques
  • Recording studio hardware and software
  • Audio theory fundamentals
  • Signal flow
  • Professional recording processes
  • Editing techniques
  • Professional engineering practices


This hands-on module offers extensive collaboration opportunities, as you’re introduced to industry-standard sound engineering techniques in a live context. Regularly working in groups, you and your peers will complete weekly exercises and creative tasks, engage in critical listening activities, and give and receive feedback on original work. From monitor positions and mic placements to sound behaviours in a live environment, you’ll develop strong technical skills for live sound recording. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to perform a soundcheck for a live band, and recognise and apply live sound techniques as you engineer a performance at an ICMP event.

  • Venue acoustics
  • Stage monitoring
  • Stage setup and protocols
  • PA setup and implementation
  • EQ for live sound
  • Technical specifications and band riders
  • Signal processing
  • Front of house vs monitor mixes
  • Mic setup, technique and placement
  • Live mixing for venues
  • Effects for live sound
  • Live recording
  • Wireless, in-ear and RF technology


Developing a thorough understanding of the creative industries and the relationship between creative practice and business is crucial for your music career. In this module, you’ll explore the music industry specifically from the perspective of an audio engineer and producer. Through a combination of case studies, seminars and applied projects, you’ll learn about current industry models, processes and practices as you build an understanding of music copyright, revenue streams and the roles played by professional organisations and trade bodies. By the end of the module, you’ll appreciate how each area of the industry interconnects, and can use this knowledge to map out your evolving portfolio career.

  • Understand the framework of the modern music industry
  • The role of management in the music industry
  • Professional membership organisations
  • Collection societies
  • Recorded music
  • Music publishing
  • Music trade bodies
  • Marketing and self-promotion
  • Music revenue streams
  • Sales and distribution
  • Music rights and royalties
  • Exploring industry transformation
  • Future developments in the music industry


To excel as a music producer or audio engineer, you’ll need a deep knowledge of how sound behaves – how it transmits, and how it’s captured, perceived and heard. While this module focuses on the fundamentals of audio theory, you’ll have plenty of hands-on practice as you develop the technical skills to capture any recording with the clearest and cleanest possible signal. You’ll examine the theory of sound and explore how various processes have evolved over time – from early manual capture to current DAW practices. You’ll then become familiar with a wide variety of studio recording equipment as you arrange, mix and master sound.

  • The history and evolution of recording and recording equipment
  • The building blocks of sound
  • Amplitude, perceived loudness and Fletcher-Munson curves
  • AD/DA conversion
  • Frequency, pitch and harmonic series
  • Complex sine waves and digital waveforms
  • Noise floor and signal-to-noise ratio
  • Bit depth and sample rates
  • Decibels, level metering and headroom
  • Phase coherency
  • Phase definition and theory
  • Signal chain and signal flow
  • Configurations of the signal path
  • Recording console and the patchbay


In this module, you’ll gain an understanding of the methodologies and technologies used for programming a variety of instruments. You’ll explore audio programming using different digital audio workstations (DAWs) and the software used in professional music-making environments. Your focus will be on practical experience as you answer real-world industry briefs, and develop skills in quantisation, articulations, automation, velocities and using sample libraries. Finally, you’ll explore how to use programming to create authentic-sounding performances in a range of contexts, while expanding your portfolio and technical know-how.

  • Programming for DAWs
  • Technical programming exercises
  • Responding to creative briefs
  • Quantisation and swing
  • Automation
  • Articulation mapping
  • Odd groupings
  • Tempo and time signature automation
  • Midi sequencing
  • Midi editing tools
  • Rhythmic and harmonic analysis
  • Programming workflows
  • Expression controls
  • Copy, paste and loops
  • Producer points
  • Analysing different instruments

Teaching and Learning

You will be taught at our campus in Kilburn and Queen's Park, utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music. 

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one-to-one instrumental tuition. 

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding and more. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub;, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

Teaching and Learning

On the CertHE Audio Engineering and Production programme you will be taught through a variety of lectures, seminar, workshops and demonstrations.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.

Throughout your year of study, you'll be in timetabled teaching activities, such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, for typically 10-12 hours a week. You’ll also have personalised one-to-one tutorials scheduled throughout the year.


Your knowledge and thinking will be assessed through reports, workbooks, presentations, essays, examinations and recordings. Your practical skills will be assessed through recordings and practical examinations, and your skills for life and work will be assessed through project pitches, coursework and presentations.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

33% Written | 50% Practical | 17% Coursework


Applicants will typically have AlLevels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, International Baccalaureate equivalent to 48 UCAS points, or an ICMP Higher Diploma.

In addition, you should hold a GCSE Grade C or 4 or above in English, or suitable equivalent, such as Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

We also welcome applications from mature applicants who may have no formal qualifications but can demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

Please note: International students, who require a visa to study in the UK, are not eligible to study on this course. Instead we encourage you to apply for either our three-year BA(Hons)  Audio Engineering degree.

All applicants will be invited to attend an audition.

UCAS code CHEPUni code i25


 Please apply via the "APPLY NOW" link below.

At any time during the application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 

By phone:
020 7328 0222

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