TOPIC STUDY 1B - 2017/8

Module code: MUS1034

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

WILEY C Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK: ESSAY (3000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Non for Music and Tonmeister students.

Module overview

The purpose of this module is to acquire knowledge of approaches to research, discussion, and writing about popular music at FHEQ level 4. This is pursued through the study of a single album or group of tracks and its/their various contexts. The module provides a foundation for the study of popular music at FHEQ 5 and 6. An indicative case-study is Adele’s 25, studied from a range of perspectives including musical analysis, video analysis, the canon, gender and sexuality, and fandom and celebrity.

Module aims

Acquire knowledge of approaches to the cultural and technical understanding of popular music.

Acquire skills and confidence in discussing popular music in oral and written form to a level suitable for further study at FHEQ level 4.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Discuss the main cultural and technical issues identified regarding the album of tracks examined in the module. KCT
Undertake the research required to complete the coursework essay. CT
Construct a cogent argument in written form. KCT
Demonstrate the ability to access physical and online research resources in the library and through the library webpage. PT
Cite and reference the work of others correctly. PT
Compile a bibliography following departmental guidelines. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Ways in which understanding popular music might be different from understanding music from the Western Classical tradition.
The relationship between lyrics and music in popular genres.
Selection of appropriate approaches for the study of popular music tracks.
Examination of a selected album using a variety of approaches.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop awareness of some of the intellectual means by which understanding of popular music is sought and achieved, and to develop the ability to employ some of these means to inform discussion of the selected track(s). This will involve directed reading and listening, class discussion, and the formation of critical responses to secondary literature in the coursework essay. The strategy will also reinforce techniques and styles of academic writing and analysis introduced in the Semester 1 modules Encountering Music History and Music Project 1A that are critical to student success in FHEQ levels 5 and 6.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, incorporating class discussions as appropriate (2 hours per week x 11 weeks)
Guided reading and listening
Use of SurreyLearn

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding academic study of music through engagement with selected work(s) and their contexts.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A coursework essay with a maximum length of 3000 words (100%), to be submitted by the Monday of week 12. (Addresses learning outcomes 1–6.)

Formative assessment

An essay plan and bibliography, to be submitted by the Monday of week 7.


Detailed written feedback will be provided within three weeks of both the submission of the formative and summative assessment.

Verbal feedback will be given to contributions during class discussions as well as individual tutorials on coursework essay plans.

Reading list

Reading list for TOPIC STUDY 1B :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology Bmus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mathematics with Music BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)/BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.