Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE Music if taken and Grade 5 on an instrument or singing and Grade 5 music theory.
Applicants without will need to attend an audition.
Grade 5 in GCSE mathematics and grade 6 in GCSE English language.

Course Content

Why music?
A level music will give you the opportunity to explore a fascinating practical, creative and academic subject. You will learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music, developing critical and creative thinking, cultural and aesthetic awareness, and the ability to make music individually and as part of a group.
Many Woodhouse students have gone on to study music or a closely related degree course at Conservatoires, Oxbridge, Russell Group and other universities.A good degree in music will give you the necessary grounding to thrive in a highly competitive profession with many different career paths.The three-waytransferable skills (practical, creative, academic) also make this adesirable subject for those who intend to study other subjects at university.There are many opportunities to perform in concerts, both on and off campus, learn how to use modern notation software, and to take part in extra-mural music activities including choir and a range of ensembles.
Course content
You’ll learn to perform music at Grade 7 level with control and continuity, using appropriate tempi, and show critical understanding of the music chosen.You’ll study the processes involved in creating music, and develop the technical and expressive skills needed by a composer.You’ll be encouraged to explore a range of compositional starting points and investigate a variety of techniques for developing and manipulating ideas.You will then turn these ideas into completed pieces of music.You will engage critically with music, develop an understanding of its place in different cultures and contexts, and learn how to analyse and evaluate music in aural and written form.
Mark scheme
Externally assessed (visiting examiner) - 35% OR 25%
  • Option A: Performance 10-12mins - 108 marks
  • Option B: Performance 6-8mins - 72 marks
Externally assessed - 25% OR 35%
Option A: 2 compositions with a total duration of 4-6mins - 72 marks
Option B: 3 compositions with a total duration of 8-10mins - 108 marks
Written exam - 2 hours 15 mins - 40%
Appraising - 100 marks

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

Do I need to have taken music GCSE to take the A level music course?

No – while GCSE music is useful it is not essential.
We understand that some schools don’t offer music in year 11. If you have not studied GCSE music you must be confident that you have a good understanding of traditional music theory – treble clef, bass clef, rhythmic notation, score reading etc. to be successful on the course.
You might need to attend an interview/audition for your aptitude to be tested.

Do I need a Grade 5 certificate in performance to take the course?

If you have taken graded examinations then you will have a good idea of how developed your skills are in performance.
Students must be able to play pieces of at least a Grade 5 standard to pass the course. If you have not taken graded exams then you must be confident that you can perform to a Grade 5 standard.
We typically have many students who are self-taught who do very well on the course without ever having taken graded exams.

Do I need to buy anything for the course?

No – most resources for the course are provided by college. You will need a USB drive to store your electronic work during the course and potentially you may have to pay a professional accompanist for your final recital in the second year if you need one.

Are there instrumental teachers like I had at school?

No. Most music students have instrumental/vocal tuition outside college to support their performance work. We can can help students organise teachers in the area, but this is funded by individual students.

Can I choose what I learn on the course?

The course has mandatory elements of performance, composition and composers from the Western Classical tradition, but students can choose three Areas of Study from the following topics: Rock and Pop or Musical Theatre or Jazz; and 20th Century or 21st Century.

Does Woodhouse have performance opportunities?

The department holds regular informal concerts and two major concerts per year. Smaller student-led ensembles take place during lunchtimes such as Jazz Band and students are encouraged to organise their own ensembles and collaborate with other musicians on the course and from the wider college community.

Will this course get me onto a music course at university or conservatoire?

The department specialises in progression to top UK universities and conservatoires. Staff will support you every step of the way if you wish to take music to the next level.

How many people will be in my class?

We are a small department with one group per year, with typically around 10-12 students in a group.

What styles of music can be performed and composed on the course?

The EDUQAS A level course allows music from any style to be explored in the performance and composition components. The department usually has a lively mix of classical, jazz and pop musicians each year and differentiates teaching to accommodate such diversity of musical backgrounds.
Whitmore High School
“I really enjoy the sense of freedom we have in our music lessons. We get to choose which area of music we want to focus our studies on, such as rock, pop, classical, jazz… As composers and musicians, it is important to find your own sense of style. Instead of being pushed in one direction, we are encouraged by our music teachers to develop our own ideas and shape our musical identity.
I chose to study music A level because it’s my way of expressing myself. At the age of six I started to learn piano, and then later violin and guitar. Ever since I’ve wanted to become a piano teacher. During my teenage years I’ve also became very interested in psychology and discovered music therapy and hope to combine them as a profession. I am going to study piano in conservatoire next year and received lots of support from the music department, especially during the stressful auditions.
I came to Woodhouse because I wanted a fresh start. I wanted to challenge myself in an unfamiliar yet friendly environment where independence is encouraged. The staff provide a great support system and the teachers treat you with respect - like adults. It’s a great transition to university. There are also events and activities that my secondary school didn’t have such as pyjama day or culture day so it is easy to socialise. I have made lots of friends here. ”

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