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Music A-level

For keen musicians from all musical backgrounds, ranging from the classical to the more popular.

The course involves performing, composing, and history and analysis of music from the 1600s to the present day, including jazz, big band, blues and popular music. It will be demanding both practically and academically and is well respected by all universities for entry to many different courses. If you are a keen and able musician this would be an excellent course to study.

Why Music?

Music skills are well respected and highly regarded by the academic profession.

The qualifications demonstrate that you have good self-discipline and application to a demanding course.

Music can be studied at university or at a Music Conservatoire. Many colleges and universities also offer music as a subsidiary study.

Music is an exciting and enjoyable subject with a lot of practical work and the opportunity to take part in many musical activities with others.

Any special requirements?

You do not need to have a GCSE in music to study this course although that would certainly be a good basis from which to start. You should be a competent player on your chosen instrument of about grade 5 in standard and be able to read music, even if only to a very basic level. It is expected that you will have some knowledge of basic composition.

What will I study and how will it be assessed?

  • Unit 1 - Performing (35%) - 10-minute recital, minimum of three pieces with one as a focused study. The performance is recorded in year two of the course and is examined.  
  • Unit 2 - Composing (25%) - Coursework portfolio of two compositions one based on an own choice brief and the other on a brief set by the exam board and based in one of the areas of study. Candidates can choose one brief from four.
  • Unit 3 - Examination (40%) - based on six set works in both classical and jazz music. Students study the instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, the beginning of Jazz, big band and blues music and then choose two from either, Programme Music, Innovations in Music, the Development of Jazz or Religious Music of the Baroque Period. 

Purpose and Provision

Download a copy of the Music Departments Purpose and Provision document here.