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2 Years
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Here at Kendal College, we have a culture of high expectations, creating an environment in which A-Level learners can thrive.

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Course Overview

If you have a keen interest in music or are looking to pursue a career in music, A Level Music teaches students to develop performance and composition skills and to further develop knowledge of a variety of music including classical, film, jazz and popular music. The course is designed to extend the skills of performing, composing and listening. Throughout the course students also develop skills in the handling of music technology.

The course is aimed at those who have previously attained some knowledge in music or aspects relating to it, through either a GCSE qualification or equivalent. Students may have also acquired suitable experience through less formal means as a performer or as an attentive listener.

Course Structure

Year 1

  • Performing (30%)

Students have to perform a 6-8 minute recital made up of playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

  • Composition (30%)

Students will demonstrate their ability to create and develop musical ideas with technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources by creating two compositions. One will be set to a brief and one will be a free composition.

  • Listening Exam (40%)

This will be based on both familiar and unfamiliar music.

Students will study 12 set works within the following 6 areas of study:

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Fusions
  • New Directions

The exam structure is as follows:

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (45 marks) Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score provided) One short melody/rhythm completion exercise

Section B: Extended response Two essay questions - essay one (15 marks) and essay two (20 marks) Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract Essay 2 gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study.

Year 2

The second year follows a similar pattern to the first year, including performing, composing and a listening exam based on general listening skills, the six areas of study, the set works studied in the first year and an additional six pieces of music.

The course can be taken in the following ways:

  • Within KC Sixth with another two, possibly three A-Levels, tutorial and optional EPQ and Core maths
  • As an 'add on' to a Full Time Level 3 Study Programme at the College, for example alongside a BTEC Extended Diploma
  • As a stand-alone part-time course

If you would like to study a full-time programme of A-levels, please complete a full-time application form.

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above in any examined subject, including English Language and Maths

All applicants will require an audition with an instrument or instruments of your choice.

You should also ideally have a Grade 5 or above in Music Theory; applicants without these qualifications can still apply, providing they can demonstrate relevant experience and commitment to the study of music at interview.

After Your Course

An A level Music qualification can enable you to progress to Higher Education either through the College's HND/HND or through direct application to external HNC/D and BA Degree courses.

The qualification also provides a platform to progress into the music industry in a number of different ways; there are great benefits to having the practical and theoretical skills and knowledge in Music within the production, marketing and performance routes of a music led career path.



Course fees are per year. The current fee information is related to the 2019/20 academic year and is subject to change before the start of the course. Fees for 2020/21 will be updated in the Spring Term. There may also be additional costs associated with the course.

This course is funded by the government and may be free if you are:

  • Aged 16-18 on 31/08/19
  • Aged 19-23 on an Entry Level or Level 1 course with intent to progress to a Level 2 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first full Level 2 or Level 3 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first Level 4 course (if you haven’t already got a Level 3 qualification)
  • Aged 19+ on Functions Skills or GCSE English or Maths
  • Unemployed and in receipt of JSA/ESA(WRAG)/Universal Credit or another eligible state benefit on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course
  • Member of a low income household & in financial hardship on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course

Level 3-6 Courses for Adults

Advanced Learning Loans are available for students aged 19+ and studying an eligible Level 3/4/5 and 6 Course. If you are on an Access course, the loan will be written off if you complete a degree.

Please speak to Student Services for more information on course fees.

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27 June 2019 17:00-19:00