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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 01/04/2021 19:00:38

Title of Module: Commercial Music Strategies

Code: MUSC08010 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Allan  Dumbreck

Summary of Module

The student sets up a hypothetical music company working through every step necessary to complete a fiscal “year”. Beginning with an initial strategy the student progresses their company in an accelerated time frame (one fiscal year completed in the 12 weeks of one trimester). This includes company registration, identifying accommodation, lawyer, accountant, business associates, suppliers and clients, completing one year of business with a set of final accounts. Student also has to undertake a negotiation exercise and complete a final report.

CMS delivers team skills, negotiation skills, industry research skills and self-employment and business start-up skills to a higher level.

  • The student will hypothetically manage the career of a real act or artist by completing a series of development tasks towards a record release.

  • The student has weekly tasks to complete utilising real industry facilities and agents researching real industry prices to gain realistic knowledge of artist development.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Research, identify and analyse an entrepreneurial / innovative strategy to compete within a changing business environment

L2. Undertake a series of hypothetical business activities including financial recording and negotiated agreement within a changing business environment

L3. Demonstrate personal interaction ability in negotiation leading to an agreement.

L4. Undertake critical analysis and evaluation including reflection on actions, decision making and outcomes in a practical context including self-analysis for a final report.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

A broad knowledge of the management and functions of a music company. Music business research.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Use of a range of routine skills including negotiation skills, project management, Industry research.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertake critical analysis / evaluation including reflection on actions / outcomes, decision making in practical context, self-analysis within final report.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Negotiations exercise (conveying complex information). IT use / numerical content / negotiation and presentations skills (use and evaluation of numerical and graphical data)

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Autonomy and initiative: Self-assessment / reflection on project outcomes. Project management skills. Team or associate interaction. Strategic decision making.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Teaching activities: Each week the lecturer explains the task for the week ahead giving real-world examples and defining parameters for the students. Students work in teams of two persons who effectively research an emerging act, then (hypothetically) contract, record, release and promote music. The work is divided into 10 individual tasks which map the trajectory of artist development. Simultaneously the team must manage the (hypothetical) budget and project financial returns.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity4
Practice Based Learning110
Independent Study50
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Arden, D (2021), Win Win: How to get a winning result from persuasive negotiations, Pearson education, Harlow, UK

Harrison, A. (2018), Music : The business, London, Virgin.

IFPI (2019), Global Music Report, London : IFPI

Passman, D (2020). All you need to know about the music business. New York; RosettaBooks.

Riches, N. (2012), The Music Management Bible, London : SMT

UK Music (2019), Music by Numbers

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelArts & Media
ModeratorJim Prime
External ExaminerP Saxe
Accreditation DetailsJAMES
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1 : Strategy Report
Word count : 2500 words
Weighting : 75%
Assessment 2 : Negotiations exercise
Word count : NA (3 x 10 minute negotiations)
Weighting : 25%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation  check mark 254

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck mark check mark7536
Combined Total For All Components100% 40 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.