When applying for A Levels there is no need for you to enter all of your preferred subject choices.

Important Entry Requirement & Application Update

College is still accepting online applications for courses starting in September 2020.


Interviews are cancelled to help to limit social contact during this time.

Instead, you will be invited to a college welcome event to meet the tutors before the start of the course. If you do not meet the entry criteria you will have the opportunity to discuss an alternative programme during this event.

Is this course right for me?

Are you passionate about music? Would you like to develop your knowledge, as well as your ability to perform and create music? This course allows you to learn about many different types of classical, jazz, rock and pop music from Wales. You will be encouraged to develop your performing and composing skills, through practical and theoretical work. You will also develop your listening and analytical skills, helping you to engage further with written, performed and recorded music.

The course requires you to have performing skills, to at least grade 3 standard, on a musical instrument or as a singer. You must also be musically literate and able to read music to a good standard.

The course can be taken as part of a full-time programme of study in conjunction with other AS subjects or with a BTEC Diploma at Level 3. The course can also be taken on a part-time basis by mature students. Both an AS Level and a full A Level are available, so after the first year you can choose whether to continue the subject.

Entry requirements:

In order to qualify for this course, you will need the following:

  • 6 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English or Welsh 1st Language
  • GCSE Music or Theory grade 5 and experience of performance and composition if GCSE Music not studied

As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview to give you the opportunity to discuss the course.

Progression to A Level is based on your performance at AS Level.


The course is delivered through a blend of the following:

  • Presentations
  • Group work
  • Classroom-based learning
  • Tutorial support
  • Educational visits
  • MOODLE (virtual learning environment)
  • Instrumental/Vocal tuition


The course is assessed through a blend of the following:

  • Written and practical examinations at the end of the year
  • A portfolio containing your composition course work.


Whether you gain the full A Level or just the AS Level, the course adds to your qualifications and helps you to progress. You will gain UCAS points and be able to apply for a range of Higher Education courses at many institutions.

If you wish to continue studying music, you could proceed onto an HND or university degree course. Your career options would include working professionally as a musician or singer, working in the music industry, or being employed within the media, education, publishing and theatre sectors.

Additional campus/course information:

  • Dolgellau

    The AS course consists of the following modules:

    Unit 1 Performing: In this module you will develop your performance skills, with help from your singing/instrumental teacher. You will prepare a 6 to 8 minute recital on either voice or instrument, which will be assessed by a visiting examiner in May.

    Unit 2 Composing: In this module you will compose two pieces of work and present them for assessment. The composing process is completed on computers using Sibelius and Apple Logic software. Your final portfolio will contain a score and a CD copy of your two pieces. Total playing time for both pieces should be between 3 and 6 minutes.

    Unit 3 Appraising: This module deepens and improves your understanding of music. There will be a detailed study of a number of specified pieces of music. These will include examples of both ‘classical’ music and ‘popular’ music. Your knowledge of these pieces and your wider listening skills will be assessed in a final listening test, taken in June.

  • Pwllheli

    This course will build upon the skills established at GCSE and the units follow the same pattern. 

    Unit 1: Performing

    With the help of your singing/instrumental teacher you will prepare a recital for your performance exam.

    This performance will be at grade 5 or above and should last about 7 minutes. You can perform as a soloist/part of an ensemble or a combination of both. 

    An external examiner will be coming to the college before Easter to listen to the performances. 

    Unit 2: Composing

    You will need to compose two pieces of work for your composition portfolio. 

    Piece 1 - a classical composition in response to a brief set by WJEC.

    Piece 2 - a free composition in a style of your choice. 

    At the college we use Sibelius software for composing piece 1.  You can use any software you choose for piece 2. 

    The work will be marked externally. 

    Unit 3: Appraising

    This unit involves listening to music and the set pieces build upon the work you studied for GCSE. 

    We will be studying the Classical Symphony and Rock and Pop between 1965 and 1990.

    We will look in detail at Symphony Number 103, Drum Roll by Haydn.

    There is a set number of Rock and Pop styles to study, and you will also have an opportunity to select some pieces yourself. 

    This unit will be assessed through a written examination that require short answers and essays. 

    This is a varied course that will provide an opportunity for you to develop a range of musical skills and become a well-rounded musician.