The first year of this course involves solo and ensemble performances, composition and a final written exam based on listening and the analysis of music studied throughout the year. During the second year, you will continue with solo and ensemble performances in an 8 minute recital and study composition and compositional techniques. There is a final written exam based on more in-depth and academic analysis and listening. Many students study both Music and Music Technology as the courses are very different in content.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop your performing, compositional and aural skills.

You will develop analytical skills of Western Classical Music, although there is also some world music, pop, and jazz in the content.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 - Coursework: Performing (Minimum 8 minutes - 30%)

  • Section A: Performance of one or more pieces as a recital (solo or ensemble).

Component 2 - Coursework: Composing (Two compositions of total minimum 6 minutes - 30%)

  • Section A: Composition from list of briefs relating to area of study/free composition of at least 4 minutes.
  • Section B: Composition from list of briefs showcasing compositional technique of at least 1 minute.

Component 3 - Examination: Appraising (2 hours - 40%)

  • Section A: Areas of study & dictation. (questions relating to set works & melody/rhythm completion exercise).
  • Section B: Extended response (2 essays linking set works to external music, and evaluating musical elements, context and language).

Where does the course lead?

Music College is the destination of choice for outstanding performers. Alternatively, onto University to study for a Music Degree with a view to a future career in performing, teaching, arts management, music management, the recording industry, composition, music therapy or many other rewarding careers.

Exam Board


Head of Department

Anna Power

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent)

Grade 6 or above in Music and English Language is desirable but not essential.

You must be at least grade 5 standard on your instrument/voice and grade 5 standard in music theory. It is essential that you can read written music fluently.

Assessment Breakdown

Coursework = 60%, Examination = 40%