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Key Details

  • Available at:
  • Study Mode:
  • Course Length:

    1-2 years

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AS/A Level Music

Full-time (Further Education)


Applying for more than one A Level? You can apply from this page and you will have the opportunity to add your additional A Level subjects at the end of the application process.

Please note: We recommend that you have access to a laptop or Chromebook to enable coursework to be completed digitally at home. There is a dedicated IT Digital Inclusion fund to support those learners who do not have a digital device and are unable to purchase one.

Course Description

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.

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 6 to 8 minutes. You can perform as a soloist/part of an ensemble or a combination of both. An external examiner will visit college to assess the performances.

Unit 2: Composing You will need to compose two pieces of work for your composition portfolio. The composing process is completed on computers using Sibelius and Apple Logic software. Piece 1 - a classical composition in response to a brief set by WJEC. Piece 2 - a free composition in a style of your choice. 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. 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.

Entry Criteria

Applying for A Levels? Click ‘Apply Now’ on any of the subjects you are interested in studying. You will be able to specify your other two A Level choices during the online application process.

The A Level subject grids for each campus can be found in the guides on the A Level section of the website.

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

Your programme will include a combination of:

  • Essential Skills qualifications and/or
  • GCSE resits and/or
  • The Welsh Baccalaureate
Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate is a valuable qualification which is often studied alongside your Level 3 full-time course.

The qualification is graded A*-E, carrying the equivalent UCAS points at Level 3, and equips you with transferable personal and business skills. It is highly regarded by universities and employers alike.

As part of the qualification, you will learn about Global Citizenship, Enterprise and Employability and take part in community engagement and work experience.

Essential Skills

This may include a combination of Application of Number, Communication, Digital Literacy and Essential Employability Skills

GCSE resits

This may include GCSE Numeracy/Maths and/or Welsh/English Language.

Maths & Welsh/English

If you don't achieve a C or above in Maths and/ or English/Welsh, we will support you to retake these subjects as part of your study programme.


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.

Other details

Course type: Full-time (Further Education)

Level: 3

Programme Area:

  • AS/A-Level
  • Music and Music Technology


This programme is available bilingually at the following campus(es):

  • Dolgellau
  • Pwllheli


Music and Music Technology

Learn more about this area and see our course level guide:

Music and Music Technology

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