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Music A Level at St Paul's Catholic School

Course description

A-level Music builds on what you have studied at GCSE in terms of performing and composing music. The remainder of the course involves analysing a wide variety of pieces in different styles and from different eras as well as developing your listening skills. Check out the music specification at

Course content

AS Level

Unit 1: Performing Music – 15% This unit gives you the opportunity to perform in any style as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. The required standard is grade 5. This unit is assessed through a five to six minute performance and is marked by your teachers and moderated by the exam board. You will need to perform in front of other A-level students in concerts.

Unit 2: Composing – 15% In this unit you need to compose a 3 minute piece in response to a given brief (out of a choice of four). You also need to write a CD sleeve note describing aspects of your piece (including its influences). The unit will be completed under controlled conditions and marked by Edexcel.

Unit 3: Developing Musical Understanding – 20% This unit focuses on listening to familiar music (set works) and understanding how it works by studying the scores. You will also need to add alto, tenor and bass parts to a given soprano part (4 part harmony). There will be a 2 hour exam marked by Edexcel.

No details on A2 Year.

Entry requirements

5A*-C grades at GCSE or their equivalent. These must include a grade C or above in GCSE music. It is also preferred if a candidate has a grade 5 or equivalent standard on an instrument or voice as this is the standard for the Unit 1. Knowledge of music theory would be an advantage e.g. the ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs.


See course content.

Future opportunities

Music is a recognised academic A-level with gives access to a variety of subject areas at higher education. Closely related subject areas include performing arts, education, music production and music technology.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Paul's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 25 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years