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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 28/04/2022 17:09:57

Title of Module: Advanced Songwriting & Performance

Code: MUSC09019 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Jo   Collinson  Scott

Summary of Module

Advanced Songwriting and Performance is modeled on a range of professional songwriting practices, providing the student with an opportunity to explore and expand creative skills with a focus towards working as a professional writer / performer.The module is in two parts; first an intensive collaborative songwriting workshop that culminates in a live performance then a solo assignment in response to a set brief. In the course of the intensive songwriting week students will apply techniques demonstrated in areas of collaborative practice, melody writing, harmonic arrangement and lyrical structure, moving towards the performance of new co-written songs in a performance event. Students will experience creative negotiation / positive compromise, working within tight professional deadlines to deliver finished work. They will also engage critically in extended feedback sessions. The solo songwriting brief will challenge students to reflect on techniques explored during the workshop and apply those to a new song along with a 300-word artist statement.

  • Key Content:

  • Collaborative songwriting

  • Time-limited working (professionalism)

  • Building collaborative performances

  • Writing to briefs

  • Critical reflection

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 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Demonstrate awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities in the creation of collaborative musical works within professional time constraints.

L2. Use a range of the principal professional techniques and practices associated with the discipline of songwriting, a few of which are specialised

L3. Critically analyse the development of song material from stimulus to completion, evaluating personal strengths and areas for creative development.

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 9.

An understanding of: The principles of melodic and harmonic creation, development and arrangement; the synthesis of language into poetic, lyrical expression and the working practices of the professional songwriter / performer. The ability to: Develop materials into well-formed and coherent musical statements, develop performance strategies and critically analyse the process with reference to the market.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Use demonstrated principles of song creation, bringing those techniques and practices to bear on the creation of new song material. Demonstrate depth of research, analysing classic examples of songwriting and bringing that research to bear on personally produced material. The ability to practice in professional contexts, including creative collaboration, teamwork, conflict resolution and, in performance, to react positively to the challenges presented by an audience.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Compare and evaluate sources in carrying out research for writing songs. Operate within professional time limits to deliver creative work.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Use a range of recording equipment, including computer based DAW to support and enhance the production of professional standard work. Present finished work in a live performance context suitable to a music audience.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and self-reflection. Work effectively as part of a creative team, taking into account shared responsibility. Demonstrate creative autonomy, developing work independently at a professional level. Work under guidance with industry professionals.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The delivery of the module will take place in one immersive workshop usually over the period of a week. Activities will include collaborative songwriting, master classes, critique sessions and rehearsals.

Students will be expected to develop assessment material throughout the course of the module, utilising the studio spaces available on campus. A wide range of texts in the fields of songwriting, music production, studio technology and performance will be incorporated in the module.

Study will also be supported by material on the Aulasite.

Advanced Songwriting & Performance is modeled on a professional practice workshop and students are assessed day-to-day, therefore attendance is mandatory. However in exceptional circumstances (e.g. certified illness) students will be offered the chance to make up for loss of marks through non-attendance with an equivalent task.
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
Asynchronous Class Activity44
Independent Study120
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:

Bennett, J (2011)[Online] Collaborative Songwriting – The Ontology Of Negotiated Creativity In Popular Music Studio Practice Available at

Perricone, J. (2018) Great songwriting techniques. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pattison, P (2012) Songwriting Without Boundaries. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest

Webb, J (1998) Tunesmith: inside the art of songwriting New York: Hyperion

West, R. (2016) The art of songwriting. New York: Bloomsbury.

Williams, K. & Williams, J. (ed.) (2017) The singer-songwriter handbook. New York: Bloomsbury.

Zollo, P. (2003) Songwriters on songwriting. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo.

(**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

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelArts & Media
ModeratorRebeccaa Wallace
External ExaminerB Challis
Accreditation DetailsJAMES
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1: Focuses on the collaborative creation of new musical compositions and performances. (60%)
Assessment 2: Submission of recorded song accompanied by an artist statement (40%)
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Performance/ Studio work/ Placement/ WBL/ WRL assessmentcheck markcheck mark 6030

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of practical work  check mark406
Combined Total For All Components100% 36 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.