Exam Board: Eduqas

This course covers the three main areas of Music: Performing, Composing and Listening. It builds on content covered in KS3 as well as introducing variety of new genres. Topics that are covered in the course include Pop music, Jazz, Film and Video Game music, Musicals and Music History. The GCSE Music course also helps to develop a wide variety of skills:


The GCSE Music course is assessed in 3 components:

  1. Performance – Scholars will record a minimum of two pieces, lasting between 4–6 minutes on their chosen instrument. One piece must be a group piece. ABRSM Grade 3 is the equivalent level of performance, and full marks can be gained if a piece of this standard is played perfectly.
  2. Composition – Scholars will compose two pieces. One piece is in response to a set brief from the exam board, the other is in any style the scholar wishes.
  3. Appraising – Scholars will sit a 1hr 30min listening exam covering 4 areas of study:

    AoS 1: Musical Forms and Devices
    AoS 2: Music for Ensemble
    AoS 3: Film Music
    AoS 4: Popular Music


You must have an interest in Music and be enthusiastic about new musical experiences and styles. Whilst some topics will be familiar to scholars (such as pop music), others will be less familiar and require an open mind.

You must also be able to play a musical instrument (or sing), even if you are only beginner, and be able to dedicate time each week to private practise at home.

Where can it lead?

A GCSE Music qualification can lead directly to several higher-level courses as well as create routes to all other careers. When business leaders across the world were surveyed, they voted creativity as the most important workplace skill for new employees. This means that the study of creative subjects, like Music, is becoming even more important and relevant to young people. As well as being a must for anyone looking to go into the entertainment industry, a GCSE in music will show employers of all professions that you can think creatively, perform in public confidently, and empathise with a variety of cultures and traditions.