Why study Music?

The varied nature of the course enables students to develop desirable skills in areas such as self-management, creativity, analysis, performance, teamwork, problem solving, and communication, all of which makes them an attractive prospect for potential employers. Rather than limiting your career prospects, a music degree opens doors to a wide range of careers both within and outside the arts.

Exam Board:

AQA: www.aqa.org.uk

Course Outline:

The course offers a varied balance between performing (35%), composing (25%) and listening and analysis (40%).

Listening and Analysis

  • Unfamiliar listening for:              

-              Baroque concertos

-              Mozart opera

-              19th Century piano music             

-              Jazz

-              Music for Theatre

  • Analysis and contextual understanding of set works

-              Baroque concertos (3 full works)

-              19th Century piano music (3 x 2 PIECES)

-              Jazz (5 named artists)

-              Music for Theatre (5 named composers)

  • Theory (Grade 6 equivalent) - Harmonising, Modulations, Counterpoint, Melody, Development Techniques etc.


  • Instrumental or Vocal
  • Solo and/or ensemble
  • Minimum 10 minutes
  • Audio Recorded and submitted for external assessment
  • Approx. Grade 5-8 standard required


  • Composition 1 (Brief – choice of 7, always one chorale)
  • Composition 2 (Free)
  • 4.5 minutes combined, no maximum

Programme notes of 100 words (intentions, audience/occasion)

How you are assessed:

  • 1 written exam (2.5 hrs) – 40%
  • 10 minutes of performance, recorded at end of second year and externally assessed – 35%
  • 2 compositions, minimum 4.5 minutes, externally assessed – 25%

Studying this subject could lead to a career in:



Music technology/recording technician


Arts Administration


Most careers in the creative sector

Subject requirements:

At least a grade 6 at GCSE and/or ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory.  If students do not have ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory at the start of the course, they will be expected to complete it (with support from the Music Department) as soon as possible.

Useful web links:

AQA subject homepage:


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