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Music – A Level

Special Entry Requirements

Music is a demanding course and is a strong A Level for applications to competitive universities. We prefer you to have studied GCSE Music and any instrument or voice to at least Grade 5 standard, as well as ABRSM Grade 5 theory, which can be taken during the first year of the course, if necessary.

Course Introduction

The new Eduqas specification develops listening, performance and composition and values all music styles, skills and instruments. This flexibility means you can focus on areas of personal interest, play to your strengths and be assured of an accurate measure of your achievement. The course supports progression to higher education in music and related subjects, as well as providing all students with a platform to inspire a lifelong interest and enjoyment of music.

Preparing for A Level Music

We have created some transition packs on our website to show you the kind of work that you will be doing at level 3 and to help you prepare for September.

If you have any questions about the course, please email admissions@s6f.org.uk

Course Modules

Component 1: Performing Music

Here you will perform music in one or both of the following ways: Instrumental/vocal: as a soloist, and/or as part of an ensemble.

You will have support from your instrumental teacher to devise a recital programme of between 6-12 minutes depending on which option you choose, at the end of the A Level course. The performance is assessed by an external examiner from Eduqas.

Component 2: Composing Music

Here you apply your knowledge and understanding of the musical elements, leading to the composition of two pieces. You may use Sibelius, Logic or other computer software, if you wish.

One composition is to an externally set brief: The briefs will be set by the exam board and the composition must reflect the musical language, techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition.

Depending on which option you choose you will either submit 2 or 3 pieces, one of which may be a ‘free’ composition. These are notated, recorded and submitted to the examination board.

You will also submit a composing log, detailing:

  • Your compositional intention, including the intended audience/occasion.
  • Details of the software and hardware used in the compositional process.

Component 3: Appraising Music

Here you will develop listening, analytical and essay writing skills, culminating in a written exam paper.

The areas of study can also provide a rich source of material to work with when developing performance and composition skills.

There are seven areas of study, of which three are studied:

  • Western classical tradition 1750–1900 The Development of the Symphony (compulsory). This includes studying set works from the Classical and Romantic periods.

The group will then choose one of the following areas of study;

  • Rock and Pop music (1960-2000)
  • Musical Theatre (6 composers)
  • Jazz (1920-1960)

And one from:

  • Into the twentieth Century
  • Into the Twenty-First Century


As with all linear A Levels, you will complete your coursework and written exam in the final year of study, meaning you have plenty of time to develop your skills and understanding and practice the techniques for appraising, performing and composing music.

Career Opportunities

Music 3

Career Opportunities