Students taking A and AS-Level Music – declining numbers

I would like to express immense thanks to my City University colleague Diana Salazar for compiling some of the figures below and drawing my attention to their sources.

The following tables provide figures for students taking A- and AS-Levels in Music, Music Technology, and proportions gaining particular grades, in the UK from 2009 to 2014. These are derived from several sources: this set of tables collated from the figures provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications, which however combine A and AS-Levels in Music and Music Technology into a single figure. Separation of numbers is enabled by subtraction of figures for Music Technology found at Edexcel, the only board to provide this subject.

There has thus been a 16.8% drop in A-Level Music applicants over this five-year period, a 25.6% drop in A-Level Music Technology applicants, and a net drop of 19.7%. The corresponding figures for AS-Level applicants are 8.0%, 13.1% and 9.7%; slightly less drastic but still very significant. There is a clear decline in the numbers of students taking these subjects, which has major implications in terms of future applicants to music degree courses. Unless this pattern changes, those degree courses requiring an A-Level in one or other of these subjects are certain to see a reductions in numbers.

The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, earlier this week made a speech in which she urged young people to concentrate at school on taking STEM subjects rather than the arts and humanities , because of alleged lack of resulting employability (she does not appear to have read articles such as this which stress how employable music graduates are). This decline in those studying in music should, alas, warm Morgan’s heart.


Year
A2 Music
A*-U totals
A2 Music
A*-B
A2 Music, % of total A2 entries
A2 Music Technology
A*-U totals
A2 Music Technology
A*-B
A2 Music Tech, % of total A2 entries


2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
5849
5992
6451
6762
6687
7030
2680
2634
2785
2999
2974
3165
0.70
0.70
0.75
0.78
0.78
0.83
2526
2847
3044
3302
3282
3395
724
814
864
1012
976
964
0.30
0.33
0.35
0.38
0.37
0.40

 



Year

AS Music
A*-U totals

AS Music
A-B

AS Music, % of total A2 entries

AS Music Technology
A*-U totals

AS Music Technology
A-B

AS Music Tech, % of total AS entries


2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
8456
8600
8878
9654
8383
9194
3774
3896
3904
4212
3835
4042
0.60
0.64
0.66
0.68
0.70
0.78
3980
4455
4862
5598
5141
4579
1026
1241
1385
1523
1426
1068
0.28
0.33
0.36
0.40
0.43
0.41
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One Comment on “Students taking A and AS-Level Music – declining numbers”

  1. […] Students taking A and AS-Level Music – declining numbers (13/11/14) […]


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