A Level

Type of study
Examination board


If you’re passionate about music and talented with an instrument, this is the course for you. You’ll study music creatively, practically and theoretically, with an emphasis on performing and composing.

This course balances coursework with examinations, and you’ll need to assist your classwork with instrument practice and independent study on your own compositions. Throughout the course, you’ll study a range of topics including Performing Music, Composing, Developing Musical Understanding and Composition and Technical Study. This is a dynamic course, as you’ll enjoy concerts, recitals, examinations and auditions throughout your study.

You’ll have to audition for this course so, while you don’t need a practical music grade, you’ll need to perform at around the standard of grade 5 on an instrument or voice.  Music theory is important too, and you should aim to be at grade 5 theory standard at the start of the course.

This course often progresses onto further music study at university or conservatoire and into employment that includes Teaching and Performing, Music, Music Theory and into the broadcast media.

Availability & Details

Music, A Level HSDC-SD-AP2MUS

HSDC South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2017-18 (1 year)
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A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above. You will be around grade 5 standard on an instrument and have passed GCSE Music (although this is not essential)and/or grade 5 Theory.

On this course you will study:

  • Performing music via weekly perfromance lessons in addition to your private lessons
  • Composing
  • Developing musical understanding through studying six areas of study – vocal music, instrumental music, music for film, pop music and jazz, fusions and new directions.

You will attend classes in composition, performance, listening, understanding and harmony. In addition, you will study rudiments. All students are expected to be in the College Choir.

Assessment is by final recital performance, coursework composition to a choice of brief given by the exam board and a written paper based on the six areas of study.

Contact us

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student

I focused and worked hard to get the grades. I had some support from my lecturer during a stressful time. South Downs College is really good and supportive.

Natasha Boerer, BTEC student

The teaching and support was absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have done anything more or anything better, if I had any questions my lecturers would always stay behind to help me if I needed it and their emails were always open, it was second to none. South Downs College is the best by far.

Amber Searle, BTEC student


Exceptional performers can continue on to a music conservatoire course, or you may study for a degree in music or other subject at university. Typical careers include teaching and performing, music theory, music and the media.

What to do next

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