Key Stage 4

Students who opt to study music follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus.


There are three units with units 1 and 2 completed under controlled conditions.

Unit 1: Performing Music (30%)

Students perform one solo and one ensemble piece to fulfil the demands of this unit. Students can perform on different instruments and in any style.

Unit 2: Composing Music (30%)

Students can fulfil this unit in a number of different ways. They can create two compositions or two arrangements, or even one composition and one arrangement.

Unit 3: Music – Listening and Appraising (40%)

Students study twelve pieces of music, ranging from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 to Moby’s 'Why does my heart feel so bad?' These twelve works are divided equally across four areas of study:

  • Western Classical Music
  • Music in the 20th Century
  • Popular Music in Context
  • World Music

This 90-minute exam is taken in May of Year 11.