Music - AS

L3 Level 3
Full Time
7 September 2020 — 25 June 2021
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

This Music AS Level is a one-year course which should be taken alongside two or three other subjects as well as the Welsh Baccalaureate or as an add-on to an A2 programme. This course is also open to part-time students.

All topics are studied from a practical and theoretical perspective and students will need to reflect critically and make personal judgements on their own and others’ music.

What you will study

Aims of the Course:

No prior knowledge of the subject is required, however students able to read music and perform at a level equivalent to Grade 5 (ABSRM) are at an advantage.

The aims of the course are:

  • To develop performing skills to demonstrate understanding of musical elements, style, interpretation and expression.
  • To develop composing skills to demonstrate understanding of musical ideas and the use of conventions.
  • To appraise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop a coherent awareness of musical chronology.

During the course, the following areas will be covered:

Unit 1: Performing

A performance of at least two pieces, either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble (or both). One piece should reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study: The Western Classical Tradition (1760-1830), Rock and Pop (1965-1990), Musical Theatre, or Jazz (1940-1965). The other can be chosen by the learner. The entire performance should last between six and eight minutes.

Unit 2: Composing

The creation of a portfolio consisting of two pieces:

  1. A piece of at least one minute in length using techniques associated with the Western Classical Tradition. This piece should respond to a brief set by examiners.
  2. A free composition of at least two minutes in length, demonstrating techniques chosen by the learner.

Unit 3: Appraising

Exploring two areas of music (one compulsory, one chosen):

A. Compulsory: The Western Classical Tradition.

This will involve an in-depth study of Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 “The Drumroll” together with the social, historical and cultural context of the period 1760-1830.

You will explore:

  • Structure, tonality, melody and thematic development
  • Instrumentation and orchestration
  • Important composers and compositions
  • Reading and writing musical notation

B. Optional: (Choosing one of the following)

  • Rock and Pop, 1965-1990. This will involve study of four rock and pop genres between 1965 and 1990
  • Pop (including Funk and Disco)
  • Rock (including prog rock and heavy metal)
  • Soul
  • Country.

You will explore:

  • Structure, tonality, melody and timbre
  • Melody, harmony, tempo and rhythm
  • The use of musical technology and the effect of audience and performance
  • Important artists/bands in each genre
  • How rock and pop have changed over time

A. Musical Theatre

This will involve study of four musical theatre composers:

  • Cole Porter
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Claude-Michel Schönberg
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber.

You will explore:

  • Structure, tonality, melody and timbre
  • Types of song and genre of musical
  • The relationship between lyrics, music and character
  • The effect of audience and place on performance
  • How music for theatre has changed over time

B. Jazz, 1940-1965

This will involve study of three genres of jazz popular between 1940 and 1965:

  • Big Band (including Swing)
  • Be-bop
  • Cool.

You will explore:

  • Structure, tonality, melody and thematic development
  • Instrumentation and timbre
  • Important composers and compositions
  • The effect of audience and place on performance
  • How jazz has changed over time

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade A* - C including English Language and Maths.
  • Interview.

Individual subjects may require higher grades. 
Mature learners without these qualifications may be accepted after an interview with the subject tutor.

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

7 September 2020

End date

25 June 2021

Time of day

Day Time

Full Time

4.5 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions

Course code



WJEC Level 3 Advanced Subsidiary GCE in


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studied A Levels in Maths, Chemistry and Welsh Baccalaureate

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE