Why choose Music?

Practical music-making is integral to this course.

Music A level provides an excellent all-round education in the varied aspects of music-making. Skill areas cover performing and composing as well as aural, harmony and historical analysis. It is a creative subject which provides opportunities to work in your own preferred styles, whilst retaining a focus on traditional Western classical music.

The course has a large coursework element which enables you to work at length and in detail on your coursework submissions. Practical music-making is integral to the course; solo and/or ensemble playing is required so you must be having regular lessons with a suitably qualified professional on your main instrument or voice. Within the department there is an excellent and varied extracurricular programme including the following groups: chamber choir, College choir, folk/roots group, jazz choir, jazz orchestra, symphony orchestra and wind orchestra.


You are required to be part of at least two of these groups. Instrumental award ensembles are given coaching by professional musicians and there are regular extension events including trips to concerts/operas, workshops, careers talks, university talks and concert tours.

Please see our list of events including music concerts and complete the ticket form to order your concert tickets.

Music A level provides an excellent foundation for further study of music (either at a conservatoire or university) and it is a highly regarded academic subject.

You will receive weekly lessons in the different skills of the course: aural, history, harmony and composition. There will also be coursework performance assessments and it is vital that you are having lessons at least once a fortnight on your main instrument or voice with a suitably qualified teacher. Each skill is likely to have a weekly homework assignment set, although in composition this will become a longer coursework project.

“Music lessons are so interactive - there is always a limitless amount to do, but in a way that's fun and exciting! The whole department has an atmosphere of open-mindedness that's really conducive to good music-making!”

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 or B in Music [plus grade 5 instrument or voice and basic keyboard skills]

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 13

Draft Specification - Music Component 1

Performing - solo and/or ensemble performance (8 minutes) 30%

Music - Component 2

Composing - two compositions, one to a set brief and the other either free composition or also to a brief 30%

Music - Component 3

Appraising - listening and written questions on set works 40%.
Proposed areas of study to include:

  • Instrument Music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Vocal Music
  • Fusions
  • New Directions