Higher Music

Course Specification

Explains the structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.

Past Papers and Marking Instructions

Access all past papers by subject/level

Specimen Question Papers

Illustrates the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers candidates will sit (includes marking instructions).

This is a redacted version of the specimen question paper, due to the use of copyrighted material. A full, unabridged version is available from the SQA secure website. Please note there are no changes to the Higher Music question paper for session 2018-19, however we have made some minor edits to wording in the specimen question paper. 



This section provides information on marking instructions and/or the coursework assessment task(s). It includes information that centres need to administer coursework and must be read in conjunction with the course specification.


Information on the production and submission of SQA-assessed coursework for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

Understanding Standards (Sept 2021)

Additional resources session 2021-22

New - new materials not previously published

Updated - published in 2020/21 but amended for 2021/22

Carried forward - published in 2020/21 carried forward to 2021/22

Please note: For session 2021-22 there are modifications to this course. Understanding Standards materials should therefore be viewed along with the National Course modification summary available in the Course information 2021-22 section.

Examples of candidate evidence with commentaries (question paper component)

Further examples of candidate evidence and commentaries for the assignment and performance can be found on SQA's secure website and you can access these through your SQA co-ordinator.

Course assessment overview

Video overview of course assessment from session 2019-20

Changes to understanding standards materials

Please note: Understanding Standards materials are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain up to date.

Course reports

Provides information on the performance of candidates - which is useful to teachers, lecturers and assessors in their preparation of candidates for future assessment.

Course Reports

2021 Key Messages

The Alternative Certification Model included a national quality assurance activity, carried out in May 2021.
This report provides information on any common themes and key points from the evidence submitted.

Verification Reports

There was no round 2 verification activity at this level in 2017.


Additional CPD support

Where any particular areas of concern are identified, which are not addressed by our Understanding Standards events or support materials, we will offer free continuing professional development (CPD) training, subject to request. CPD support is subject-specific and can be tailored to cover one or more qualification level. To find out more about this service visit our CPD page.

Ushare open learning resources