Music, A Level

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code 601/8304/4
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Music is constantly evolving, inspiring creativity and expression in a way that no other subject can. That's why we are offering a relevant and contemporary A-level qualification that offers students the chance to study a wide range of musical genres. Our A-level brings listening, performance and composition to life in new and engaging ways, and links to the world around us like never before.

We know that every student has different learning styles and musical tastes, which is why our A-level values all music styles, skills and instruments. Broaden your students’ minds and foster a love of all music with a qualification that students of all abilities and backgrounds will enjoy. Pupils will enjoy many additional opportunities whilst studying Music at Silverdale. We perform in several concerts in the wider community and have a highly successful range of musical ensembles. You can look forward to being able to use a variety of facilities from our recording studio through to our well stocked practice rooms. At Silverdale we aim to offer you the best chance of success in a supportive and creative environment.


Component 1: Appraising music

Pupils listen to a wide variety of genres and will be able to choose from a vast range of study areas from Jazz, Musical Theatre, Music in Media, Western Classical Tradition, Art Music, Pop Music and Traditional Music. 

Component 2: Performance 

A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required.  Performing as a solo and/or ensemble as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).

Component 3: Composition

Writing two compositions, one to a brief and the other a free one.  A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.    

How will it be delivered?

Component 1: Appraising music - This component is 40% of A-level marks (120 marks).

Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks)

Component 2: Performance - This component is 35% of A-level marks (50 marks).

A musical piece as an instrumentalist, vocalist and/or music production (via technology) performed as a soloist or as part of an ensemble.  This is a non-exam assessment (NEA) but will be externally marked by AQA examiners.  Work must be completed and sent/uploaded to AQA between 1st March and the deadline specified by AQA.

Component 3: Composition - This component is worth 25% of A-level marks (50 marks).

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be externally marked by AQA examiners.  Work must be completed and sent/uploaded to AQA between by the deadline specified by AQA.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 or above in GCSE Music or a Merit or above in BTEC level 2 Music. If Music has not been studied at key stage four students can still access this course if they play a musical instrument to grade 5 standard or above. We also welcome pupils who DJ or use music technology to create performance pieces.

Your next steps...

There are many employment opportunities for successful ensemble practitioners in the areas of live performance, session music, musical theatre, community music and commercial bands. The qualification supports entry to higher education courses in a very wide range of disciplines, depending on the subjects taken alongside. It could lead to university courses such as Performing Arts, Music Industry Management, Music Business and Arts Management, and Popular Music Performance.