Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel


The aims of the course are as follows:

  • Further develop technical and musical skills in order to become an even more accomplished musician.
  • Undertake composing projects to become a competent writer/arranger.
  • Expand students’ knowledge of music theory.
  • Learn musical history in terms of composer, genres, and style and develop an ability to critically analyse different works in detail.

Entry Requirements

Students should have Grade 4 or higher in GCSE English and Music, or the equivalent grade/mark in their national system of secondary education. Instrument or voice to the equivalent of Grade 5 exams (e.g., ABRSM and Trinity) and some keyboard or piano skills are desirable. It is also preferable that students have passed Grade 5 theory.

Course Structure

Year 1

  • Performing – Solo performance
  • Composition – Free composition
  • Appraising – Schumann, The Beatles, Bach, Vaughan Williams

Year 2

  • Performing – Ensemble performance
  • Composition – Brief composition
  • Appraisal – Batman Returns, Shankar, Debussy, Saariaho, Stravinsky


  • Performance — 30 % of the total mark.
  • Composition — 30 % of the total mark.
  • Appraisal Paper — 40 % of the total mark.

Core Text

Pearson Edexcel – A Level Music.

Careers and Opportunities

Students may study Music in higher education as a performer, composer, and/or musicologist. There are also vocational courses available such as the BTEC National Music and Music Technology. Students can also find employment opportunities in a related sector as a performer, composer, arranger sound engineer and/or music producer.