Useful Links

Useful Links

A Level Music

A Level Music

Creativity, composition, performance, history, theory and analysis – all in one course!

Exam Board


Why should I study Music?

This course is ideal if you have a passion for learning about, composing and performing various genres of popular and classical music. It is an eclectic subject where you will study the creative elements of performance and composition in conjunction with the more analytical and historical aspects of theory and musicology.

Our friendly and experienced staff will help you tailor the course to suit your individual strengths. We provide you with excellent facilities including well-equipped performance rooms, a recording studio and iMacs with industry- standard music production and notation software.

This course delivers a real mix of academic and practical learning which will help you to develop transferable skills and prepare you well for a wide range of careers, whether that be within the music industry or further afield. Indeed, many business graduate programmes recruit from the arts because they value these well-developed transferrable skills in their employees.

What will I study?

You will study music from the past as well as current musical works to help you understand the technicalities of the music and the conventions that have developed during particular periods of music and within specific genres.

The main content for lessons will be split between:

  • Music theory lessons to ensure you have a solid understanding of the technical construction of music
  • The development of your compositional style through tutorial lessons
  • Periodic performance seminars to review work from your peripatetic lessons & support recital preparation
  • Studying the core unit for the exam – the development of the Western Classical Symphony
  • Studying the popular music optional unit for the exam which will be chosen from

Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre or Jazz

  • The contemporary music optional unit for the exam which will be chosen from:

Into the Twentieth Century or Into the Twenty-first Century

You will also attend free weekly vocal or instrumental lessons with a specialist peripatetic teacher who will help you to develop your performance style and prepare you for your recital.

There will be opportunities for you to take part in workshops with professional musicians, attend gigs and visit university music departments. We have a strong and varied extracurricular activities programme; you will be able to sing with our highly regarded choir, form your own band or perform in public concerts. You will also complete theory, instrumental and/or voice examinations, both of which will earn you extra UCAS points for university entrance.

How is A Level Music assessed?

A Level Music is assessed through:

  • A performance recital to a visiting examiner
  • 2 compositions, one of which is written to a brief issued by the exam board
  • A written, listening exam lasting 2¼ hours which will test your understanding of the core and specialist optional units.


What can I study with Music?

Music combines well with a wide range of subjects due to the variety of skills required to be successful, from the technical and analytical to the more creative and performance based skills. It most naturally links with other creative subjects such as performing arts, art, photography or media, but it equally complements subjects such as maths and physics because the technical elements of the subject are very much based on complex mathematical patterns.

Where does a qualification in Music lead?

The course provides secure foundations for progression to music-based degree courses. Previous students have gained places to study music, popular music, song writing and studio production. It also forms a strong basis for becoming a professional session singer, instrumentalist or stage artist in musical theatre; however, it is a strong, well established and respected academic subject that provides transferrable skills which will cross over to any profession or degree course. Employers and university admissions tutors alike look for the skills that studying music provides, such as independent learning, teamwork, analysis, active listening, creativity, good communication skills and working to deadlines.

Subject specific entry requirement:

Grade 6 in music and proficiency in at least one instrument or voice.

If you have not taken a music qualification in year 11, don’t worry. We can assess your playing ability and musical understanding at interview. So long as you have a good understanding of music, basic reading skills and can play an instrument or sing to a good standard, we will make sure we cover the rest at the start of the A Level course.

DACA Music Alumni:

Name: Rebecca

High School: St Wilfrids

Subjects: Music, history, psychology and EPQ

Currently enjoying reading music at the University of Salford.

“Studying A Level Music prepared me well for studying in more depth at university. It has given me a good understanding of music history and analysis, and enabled me to really develop my technical ability and theoretical understanding through the study of composition.”

Oliver: Now studying BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship (Drums) at BIMM, Manchester. “Studying in the Sixth Form was a fantastic experience. The staff were all really supportive, and wanted the very best for the students.”