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Music (A-level)Apply Now »

Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

Course Image
Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

Music is constantly evolving, inspiring creativity and expression in a way that no other subject can.

A-level Music brings listening, performance and composition to life in new and engaging ways, and links to the world around us like never before.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessments at the end of the course.

Entry requirements

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English Language at grade 5 (C/B) and Maths at grade 4 (C).

In addition, you should have GCSE Maths at grade 5 [C/B] or above. 

A recent school report will be required which demonstrates a committed attitude to learning.

It is assumed that students enrol on a two-year A-level programme of study consisting of three or more subjects. However, students will be expected to demonstrate a commited attitude to learning and make positive progress in their first year of study.

Course Content

A-level Music focuses on developing and applying musical knowledge, understanding and skills to enable you to form a personal and meaningful relationship with music. You will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.

The course aims to develop your own strengths and interests, encourage lifelong learning and provide access to higher education and university degree courses in music and music-related subjects as well as music-related and other careers.

The subject content is divided into three components:

Appraising music

Students will be assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate the music heard in the exam and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of musical elements and musical language to make critical judgements.

Performance

Each student must select, following discussion with their teacher, the piece or pieces that the student will perform during the assessment. The performance must meet the specified duration of ten minutes.

Composition

Each student must compose two pieces. One composition must be in response to an externally set brief and the other composition is freely composed by the student.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Appraising music

What is assessed:

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding

How it is assessed:

  • Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.

Questions:

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

This component is 40% of the A-level marks (120 marks).

Component 2: Performance

What is assessed:

  • Music performance

How it is assessed:

  • Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).

Requirement:

  • A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required.

This component is 35% of the A-level marks (50 marks).

Component 3: Composition

What is assessed:

  • Composition

How it is assessed:

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

Requirement:

  • A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

This component is worth 25% of the A-level marks (50 marks).

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

A specialist list of resources will be supplied.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

The A-level Music course supports progression to higher education in music and related subjects, as well as providing you with a platform to inspire a lifelong interest and enjoyment of music.

Apply Now »

Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

Did you find the course information on this page useful?

 

This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Hannah McDonald

Hannah McDonald

Confidence gained in English lectures helps A level student Hannah secure policing role

Confidence gained in English lectures helps A level student Hannah secure policing role Learning how to share her opinion, build her vocabulary and speak more effectively has given former Derby College A Levels student Hannah McDonald a good grounding for a career with the police.
 
Hannah, who is 18 and from Newton, is soon to become a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) following a rigorous recruitment procedure.
 
She has also secured a place on the Professional Policing BA (Hons) degree course at Nottingham Trent University, deferred until September 2021.
 
In her PCSO role, Hannah will be based in Ripley and Chesterfield, supporting Derbyshire Police by going into schools to talk about issues such as knife crime and road safety. 
 
Hannah, who took law, psychology and combined English Literature and English Language A levels at Joseph Wright Centre, found her English lecturers especially helpful.
 
She said: “I’d thought English was all about reading books but it’s about so much more. It’s about being put under pressure and trusting your opinions enough to share them or put them in an essay, because English is so subjective and there’s never a wrong answer. In our English classes we gave PowerPoint presentations to the class, so we got used to sharing our ideas and opinions.
 
The course also enhanced my communication skills. It enabled me to build up my vocabulary to speak more effectively.”
 
These abilities gave Hannah the confidence to volunteer at a local primary school, helping children with maths and English, on her Wednesday mornings off from College – experience which she is  sure led to her getting her PCSO role.
 
She added: “There aren’t many PCSO places so it’s extremely competitive and it was a tough recruitment process. My English lecturers were incredibly supportive in helping me prepare my application, even though we’ve not been at College for months because of lockdown.
 
Going to JWC has definitely been confidence-building and a good grounding for my police career. My English teachers taught me how to speak up for myself and not be afraid to give my opinion.”

There aren’t many PCSO places so it’s extremely competitive and it was a tough recruitment process. My English lecturers were incredibly supportive in helping me prepare my application, even though we’ve not been at College for months because of lockdown.


“Going to JWC has definitely been confidence-building and a good grounding for my police career. My English teachers taught me how to speak up for myself and not be afraid to give my opinion.

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