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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/04/2021 17:14:56

Title of Module: Music: Academic Writing

Code: MUSC08019 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:Jennifer  Kirby

Summary of Module

This module creates an opportunity for students to study, read, discuss, critique and write using different aspects of the theoretical fields comprising the transdisciplinary subject of Popular Music/Music Industries/Commercial Music studies. It is envisioned the module will be team-taught, affording the opportunity for students to explore key issues and debates from a multiplicity of perspectives. The module forms part of a strand of related existing modules spanning levels 7-10: Studying The Music Industries (L7), Music Research Practice (L9) and Commercial Music Research Project (Dissertation) (L10).

Students will engage with scholarly writing about popular music/music industries studies in three interrelated ways:


  • Understanding of research design and methodology for popular music/music industries study from cultural studies and musicological perspectives;

  • Understanding of various critical discourses of understanding popular music/music industries studies, chiefly cultural studies and musicological

  • Critical engagement with and writing responses to current scholarship on key subjects within popular music/music industries studies

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. Identify, research and critique a range of key issues in Popular Music/Music Industries/Commercial Music studies

L2. Identify, research and critique key characteristics of and between academic, popular/journalistic and industry writing about popular music

L3. Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of original ideas through engaging with and creating scholarly writing about Popular Music using appropriate research, methodological and discursive processes

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.

Whereby the student can demonstrate a broad knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas of the subject/discipline. This incorporates a detailed knowledge in some areas, an understanding of a limited range of theories, principles and concepts. In addition, it includes a limited knowledge and understanding of some major current issues and specialisms, and an outline knowledge and understanding of research and equivalent scholarly/academic processes.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Where the student can use a range of routine skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline, a few of which are advanced or complex. In addition, they will possess the ability to carry out routine lines of enquiry, development or investigation into professional level problems and issues, as well as be able to adapt routine practices within accepted standards.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Where the student will be able to undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues that are within the common understandings of the subject/discipline. Also, they will be able to use a range of approaches to formulate evidence-based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems/issues, as well as critically evaluate evidence-based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems/issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

The student will possess the ability to use a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills associated with a subject/discipline. These include conveying complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes, being able to use a range of standard applications to process and obtain data, as well as the ability to use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to measure progress and achieve goals/targets.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

The student will be able to exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level and take significant managerial or supervisory responsibility for the work of others in defined areas of work, as well as
manage resources within defined areas of work. They will also possess the ability to take the lead on planning in familiar or defined contexts, and take continuing account of own and others’ roles, responsibilities and
contributions in carrying out and evaluating tasks. In addition, they will be able to work in support of current professional practice, under guidance and deal with ethical and professional issues in accordance with current
professional and/or ethical codes or practices, under guidance.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning activities will be primarily in the form of lectures, directed study activity, where applicable, and tutorials.

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 Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study164
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:

Caroll, R. and Hansen, A., eds. 2014. Litpop: Writing and popular music. Farnham: Ashgate.

Everett, W., 2008. Expression in pop-rock music: Critical and analytical essays. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.

Herbert, T. 2001. Music in words: A guide to researching and writing about music. London: Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music.

Murray, R. and Moore, S., 2006. The handbook of academic writing: A fresh approach. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Woodworth, M. and Grossman, A.J. (eds.) (2015) How to Write About Music. London, Bloomsbury Academic

(**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
ModeratorKenny Forbes
External ExaminerP Saxe
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Through directed class study/exercises and individual tutorials, students will have the opportunity for formative and peer-based feedback before the submission of both written, summative assessments. Students with specific requirements will be fully accommodated in accordance with university guidelines.

Assessment 1: A portfolio of writings (equivalent of 1,500-word), for any popular music-related research field or discipline (pending lecturer approval). The portfolio will contain a range of different music writings, including media-based reviews and journal-based reviews, press releases and technical writing. The portfolio should demonstrate writing abilities in academic, popular/journalistic and industry writing about popular music.

Assessment 2: A 2,000-word scholarly essay based on the subject presented in assessment 1 or any popular music-related research field or discipline (pending lecturer approval) incorporating engagement with at least ten independently researched scholarly secondary sources, of which at least five need to be physically or electronically located within the UWS library system.
(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
Portfolio of written work check mark 4016

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck mark check mark6020
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.