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Music AS & A Level at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

Music combines creativity imagination and academic study in a way that no other subject does. This course is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to study Music in depth. The specification extends the skills of Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising, in ways which emphasise your interdependence.

The course guides you through the history of music, from the baroque and classical periods, right up to jazz and 21st century music. There are no limits on the instruments/voices and types of repertoire which may be presented in performance, encouraging study of the widest possible range of music from folk, popular and classical traditions of non-Western origin as well as those of the Western classical and popular traditions. Based on the firm foundation of musical knowledge, you can explore your creativity in composition.

The course consists of a broad selection of fundamental Musical concepts which build on ideas learnt at GCSE and ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory.

During practical lessons you will take part in a range of activities: 1:1 coaching, group work, master classes, workshops, discussions and research activities. Theory classes will engage with the set works and performances we have heard and seen. This will involve analysis and discussion, listening exercises, answering essay questions in preparation for the summer exam. Progress in learning will be monitored using regular assignments that will be completed in class.

Entry requirements

Usually five or more A* - C (9 – 4) grades at GCSE, including maths and English. A new grade scale is in operation for maths and English which is numerical. The equivalent to a B grade will be a 6 and the equivalent to a C grade will be 5 for entry requirement purposes.

For Music the ability to perform at Grade 5 (ABRSM) standard on an instrument or voice. The ability to read music is essential and Grade 5 Music Theory is advised.


Assessment is comprised of a written examination at the end of two years of study, a performance recital and composition.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances.

Future opportunities

Music is highly regarded by universities for the breadth of skills that students develop and it is a great complement to other subjects. Successful completion of this course along with other A Levels will give you a great chance of being accepted onto a related University course or one of Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s Higher Education courses.

Further information

You will get a range of opportunities for trips and visits. You may take part in concert and theatre visits both locally and further afield. You will benefit from a high degree of one-to-one attention, which is essential when studying a creative subject. We subscribe to on-line interactive resources that will give you instant access to listening and music theory resources, so you will be able to work on, and improve, your skills at any time.

If you have any specific queries, you may email the course leader, Harriet Johnson, at:


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 17 November 2016
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