Course specification: WJES Eduquas GCSE (9-1)

GCSE Music is an enjoyable and rigorous course, concentrating on enjoying music-making through practical elements such as performing and composing, as well as listening and appraising activities which encourage students to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music.


Choir performanceThe course involves studying all types of music from Baroque to Modern, including popular styles and music from other cultures and traditions. The course is structured around four Areas of Study, which determine the content of the course, and students study two ‘set works’ and a range of associated music within each area of study. The areas of study are as follows:

  • Area of Study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
  • Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble
  • Area of Study 3: Film Music
  • Area of Study 4: Popular Music

Key skills

  • Do I need to play the piano? NO
  • Do I need to play more than one instrument? NO
  • Is singing accepted as an instrument? YES

We recommend that students starting the course are approximately Grade 3 standard or above on their chosen instrument/voice and have some knowledge of Music theory. Students also need to be committed to having instrumental or singing lessons for the duration of the course and are also expected to participate in at least one extra curricular musical ensemble per week.


During the course students will produce two final performances (one of which must be an ensemble performance, and two final compositions (one following a brief set by Eduquas and one free composition).

The combined duration of the compositions must be between three and six minutes. This will constitute 60% of students’ final marks. The listening/appraising examination, taken at the end of the course, assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of Areas of Study 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the associated set works. This is worth 40% of the final
marks. The two performances and two compositions are marked internally and moderated externally. The listening/appraising examination is externally assessed.