A Level Course Listing


A Level Music provides a contemporary, accessible and creative education in Music. There are three main elements: Performing, Composing and Appraising.

A GCSE in Music would be helpful, but not essential if you have previous experience in performing and composing. Equally, some experience of Grade 5 theory will be beneficial but not indispensable to completing the course successfully.

Where can it lead?

This A Level in Music is highly valued by all university faculties as it offers you the development of a wide range of skills including analysis, criticism, creative expression, verbal, written and musical communication, discipline, initiative, teamwork and the application of ICT. Few other subjects cover such a range of disciplines, so Music is recognised as an excellent preparation not only for music-related careers but also for progression into other fields. It can lead to further study in Music, and can be used as part of a joint Honours degree.

Careers using music can be found in various fields such as Publishing, Theatre, Sound Recording, Artist Management, Advertising and Marketing, Teaching and Education, as well as the more obvious areas of the music industry and performing.

Areas of Study

There are thirteen set works chosen from six areas of study:

i. Vocal music

ii. Instrumental music

iii. Music for film

iv. Popular music and Jazz

v. Fusions

vi. New directions

Course Outline

Examination board: Edexcel A Level Music (Code: 9Mu0)

Entry Requirements

At least a grade 6 at GCSE.


The A Level qualification in Music is 100% externally assessed, and consists of one written paper and two non- examined assessments (performance and composition).


30% of the qualification, non-examined assessment – 60 marks.

Recital with audience present.

i. Total performance time of eight minutes and up to 10 minutes.

ii. Performance can be solo and/or ensemble.


30% of the qualification, non-examined assessment. Complete two compositions and record them.

iii. One must be in response to a brief set by Edexcel, two minutes duration – 20 marks.

iv. One Free Choice or Set Brief – four to six minutes in duration – 40 marks.


40% of the qualification – 100 marks.

v. One written paper of 2 hours and 10 minutes, responding to extracts of music on an audio file.

The content of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language is taught through six areas of study, each containing two set works at A Level. The paper will comprise three questions related to the set works, one short melody/rhythm completion exercise and two essay questions.