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Entry requirements

Please see our Entry Requirements page for general entry requirement guidance. You should be able to play an instrument, including voice, to at least grade 5 standard and be at, or working towards, grade 5 standard in music theory. (If you have not followed the grading route, applications will still be considered.) Students are required to do an audition and interview.

music a level WEB


Two years.

What will I study?

If you have a keen interest in music or are looking to pursue a career in music, A Level Music teaches students to develop performance and composition skills and to further develop knowledge of a variety of music including classical, film, jazz and popular music.

The course is designed to extend the GCSE skills of performing, composing, listening and appraising. Throughout the course students also develop skills in the handling of music technology.

The course is aimed at those who have previously attained some knowledge in music or aspects relating to it, either through a GCSE qualification or an instrumental/vocal/music theory qualification. Students may have also acquired suitable experience through less formal means as a performer or as an attentive listener.

Year 1

Performing (30%)

Students will perform a 6-8 minute recital made up of playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

Composition (30%)

Students will demonstrate their ability to create and develop musical ideas with technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources by creating two compositions. One will be set to a brief and one to a brief written by the student.

Listening Exam – 2 hours (40%) (100 marks)

A written exam including aural extracts, covering the following areas of study

  • Area of Study 1: Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
  • Area of Study 2: Popular Song: Blues, Jazz, Swing and Big Band
  • Area of Study 3: Developments in Instrumental Jazz - 1910 to the Present Day
  • Area of Study 4: Religious Music of the Baroque Period
  • Area of Study 5: Programme Music 1820 - 1910
  • Area of Study 6: Innovations in Music - 1900 to the Present Day

The exam will include the following elements

  • Analysing and evaluating music
  • Familiar and unfamiliar pieces
  • Prescribed works
  • Questions based on aural extracts

The second year follows a similar pattern to the first year, including performing, composing and a written/listening exam based on general listening skills and the six areas of study.

Good course combinations

Music Technology, Media Studies, Film Studies, Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies and Maths.

What could it lead to?

The course provides a sound foundation for music courses in higher education with students progressing on to study at university and some of the country’s top conservatoires. Employment possibilities include the music industry, teaching and other related careers.


A materials contribution of £20 is applied to this course.

Need some help?

If you have any further questions about this course, or would like us to help you with your application, please contact the Schools Liaison team on 01904 770239 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.

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