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Music AS/A Level at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Course description

A-Level Music allows students to study music as a practical, intellectual and creative subject. Music A Level is a phase two reform subject and as such the specifications are currently only available in draft form. The information below is taken from the QCA as indicative content and as such, may change.


Course content


Component 1: Performing – Assessed on the recording of your performance

An assessed performance of 10-12 minutes, either solo or in a small ensemble. The minimum required standard for this component is grade 6 ABRSM or equivalent.

Unit 2: Composing – Assessed externally on your recording and score

You will compose 2 compositions, both testing your ability to compose to a brief and free composition.

Unit 3: Developing Musical Understanding – Assessed by examination

This component will test your musical understanding through advanced listening tests as well as essay questions on prescribed set works, which will require a good understanding of music history from 1550 to the present day.

Entry requirements



  • At least five GCSEs at grade C or above, to include English Language
  • GCSE Music, or a good musical ear and the ability to play a musical instrument to approximately Grade 5 (Associated Board) is also essential
  • It is essential to be able to read music fluently and all students will be auditioned
  • Grade 5 Music Theory would also be a useful qualification
    • Performance is an essential part of the examination
    • The examination board assumes musical literacy


Unit 1

Assessed on the recording of your performance

Unit 2

Assessed externally on your recording and score

Unit 3

Assessed by examination

Future opportunities

Our students are high-performing academically as well as musically, and progress onto courses at Oxford, Bristol and Southampton University as well as selective music colleges such as Royal Academy.

Further information

Over the years, we have developed an impressive reputation for excellence across the creative arts and our results are outstanding. Music students are taught in our £1.5million Music Centre, a state of the art building which allows students to practice in a dedicated space with access to professional equipment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richard Taunton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2016

Key information