Accessibility links

Music A Level (Block B) at Walton High School

Course description

From 2016 Music courses will follow the new structure for post 16 examinations. This means that

  • AS and A level are linear − assessments are in the year of certification
  • AS is a standalone qualification − AS results do not count towards A level.

AS and A Level have common components and will be taught concurrently in Y12.

  • Component 1: Performing (30%)
  • Component 2: Composing (30%)
  • Component 3: Appraising Music (40%)

Course content

There are 6 areas of study: at AS students study 2 set works in each area, A level students study 3 set works in each area. 

All areas are compulsory for all students.

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Fusions
  • New Directions

In addition, students will need to demonstrate their ability to analyse unfamiliar music related to each area of study in the final written examination.

Entry requirements

GCSE Music Grade B or its equivalent is required.  It would be an advantage if   students had studied music theory to approximately Grade 5 standard prior to the course.

In order to be accepted onto the course, s student should be a confident performer either on an instrument or as a singer.  The expected performance standard for AS is approximately equivalent to ABRSM Grade 5/6 and for A-level approximately equivalent to ABRSM Grade 7. 


Component 1: Performing

Externally assessed (60 marks, 12 marks available for difficulty of pieces)

Students may perform in any style or genre and on any instrument (or combination of instruments) and/or sing.

  • AS students perform for a minimum of six and maximum of eight minutes.
  • A level students perform for a minimum of 8 and maximum of 12 minutes.

Performances must be recorded (usually in school) between 1 March and 31 May in the year of certification.

If the student’s performance is less than the minimum time it will not be accepted.

Component 2: Composing

Externally assessed (60 marks – each piece worth 30 marks)

Students must compose two pieces:

  • Composition 1 – free composition OR composition to a brief set by the board
  • Composition 2 – at AS this may be to another of the briefs set by the board, at A level this must be from a list of briefs assessing technique.

AS has a minimum of 2 minutes for each piece with a total time of 4½ minutes

A level has a minimum of 4 minutes for the first piece and one minute for the brief assessing techniques, with a total time of 6 minutes

Edexcel will release the briefs on or as near as possible to 15th September in the year of certification.

If the student’s compositions are less than the minimum time they will not be accepted as assessment evidence.

Component 3: Appraising

External Examination

AS 1½ hour paper (80 marks)     A-level 2 hour paper (100 marks)


Further information

Please select one subject per option block (A, B, C, D and E - listed in Course Title) to ensure there is no clash on your timetable.

By and large most students will follow 3 academic A Levels plus will have the opportunity to add to this with the Extended Project and our Enrichment Programme.

A few students may be able to follow a 4th A Level with advice from our Sixth Form Management team.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Walton High School directly.

Last updated date: 05 January 2017
Provider logo

Key information