Entry Requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6


Course specific requirements:

GCSE Music grade 9-4 AND audition at enrolment AND grade 5 in instrument/voice or equivalent

Grade 5 Music Theory highly desirable


A Level Music

Do you enjoy appraising and creating music?

This course offers opportunities for practical musicians and is also designed to challenge students who wish to deepen their musical understanding and technical skills.

Why not come and see a show at Loreto and see us in action?

Click here for the Loreto Box Office 

What is Music?

Component 1: Performing

Percentage of total mark: 25% – 35%
Method of assessment: Performance, assessed by a visiting examiner

Students are funded for 1-2-1 lessons on the instrument/voice they choose to work towards a recital.

Component 2: Composing

Percentage of total mark: 25% – 35%
Method of assessment: practical composition, assessed by an external examiner

Students create a folio or 2 or 3 compositions, supported by a series of 1-2-1 tutorials in the 2nd year.

Component 3: Appraising

Percentage of total mark: 40%
Method of assessment: Written exam 2 hours 15 mins

Students will explore three areas: The Development of the Symphony, Musical Theatre and Music Into the 21st Century.


The aim of the specification is to provide a balanced course in Music and at the same time give scope for the development of individual interests and aptitudes. Students are encouraged to: Listen to and appreciate a wide range of music genres; study and practice critical listening; develop performing skills.




There are direct opportunities in music administration, performing, teaching, composing, arranging and editing, publishing, recording and production, and music therapy. The transferable skills embedded through A-Level Music can apply to virtually any work sector.


Can you take A-level Music if I haven’t done GCSE Music?

Yes, we will always have a few students taking A-level Music who
didn’t have the opportunity to take GCSE Music at school. However,
we would expect that you have achieved ABRSM Grade 5 Music
Theory in lieu of GCSE Music.

Do I need to be able to read music to take A-level Music?

Yes – reading music is vital for the analysis, theory and composition
elements of the course. We will be sight reading music in class from
the very first lesson.

What kind of software do we use in A-level Music?

On our iMacs we run Sibelius, Logic & Garageband. Some students
choose to use other platforms on their own computers.

What kind of extra-curricular music can I do?

We run every kind of ensemble catering for all instrumentalists,
singers, rappers and producers exploring a diverse range of musical
styles. There are further details on each of the groups in the music
brochure. Enrichment groups work towards performances in college, and external performances at venues such as RNCM and Band on the Wall.

Do I have to take A-level Music to take part in extracurricular music making?

No – all enrichment groups are open to all students at Loreto College. There are many groups where most of the musicians are not A-level music students, and many students from across college also take 1-2-1 instrumental/vocal lessons in college.

What types of music do we study in A-level Music?

The main areas of study we look at in class for the written exam are; ‘The Development of the Symphony’, ‘Musical Theatre’ and ‘Music Into the 21st Century’. However, as many areas of the course are personalised to you, we will look at numerous other styles and musicians when we study composition techniques and your instrumental/vocal teacher will explore music relevant to your tastes and strengths as a performer.

Do I need to have taken ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory to take A-level Music?

Only if you have not taken GCSE Music. For those students who start A-level Music without ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory, there is a separate class dedicated to achieving the qualification.

Will I get 1-2-1 instrumental/vocal tuition as part of A-level Music?

Yes – all A-level Music students are provided with weekly 30 minute
lessons on an instrument/voice of their choice. Some students will
choose to take their 1st study instrument/voice in college, whereas
as some students will continue with a teacher outside of college and take up a 2nd instrument/voice in college.