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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/07/2022 16:18:57

Title of Module: Songwriting Workshop (20 Credit)

Code: MUSC11020 SCQF Level: 11
(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

Songwriting Workshop replicates the authentic environment of the professional ‘song-house’ common within the music industries. Students are supported to undertake an intensive series of songwriting workshops where they will work collaboratively as well as solo to meet daily briefs. The student-centred approach in this module allows flexible learning and centres around hybrid approaches to teaching. Students will attend workshops; respond to a series of tasks designed to support the development of effective songwriting practice; collaborate within and across MA cohorts; produce a range of new song materials; engage in extensive and detailed critique sessions with tutors and peers; reflect on their practice and their learning across the module. This will focus on (but not be limited to) developing:

• Professional (collaborative) practice

• Time-limited creativity

• Revision and rewriting

• Building professional portfolio

• Reflective and critical practice

Learning and teaching in Arts & Media aligns to principles set out in the UWS Curriculum Framework 2022. Module and programme design is therefore guided by a flexible, hybrid and student-centred approach. We design module assessments to be authentic both in terms of their academic rigour and relevance to the creative industries. The journey through your chosen programme of study is designed to be simple and coherent, developing a full range of academic, creative and conceptual skills required to develop exciting and sustainable careers in the creative industries. 

  • Professional collaborative practice

  • Time-limited creativity

  • Revision and rewriting

  • Building professional portfolio

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. Demonstrate extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of songwriting practice, including collaborative songwriting practice.

L2. Use a range of specialised skills, techniques and practices (including lyrical, melodic and harmonic development) that are at the forefront of the discipline of songwriting.

L3. Apply critical analysis and evaluation to self-generated creative music works in the context of established collaborative arts practice and with reference to personal development and research.

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 11.

Students will gain comprehensive experience and understanding of collaborative songwriting practice

Students will gain a critical understanding of specific theories, principles, concepts related to the skills of songwriting

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Students will use a wide range of the principal skills, techniques and practices associated with collaborative songwriting practice

Students will practice in a wide variety of professional contexts including working to briefs and collaborating and negotiating within creative partnerships

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

The range of assessment tools and taught experiences will enable students to develop original and professional responses to creative issues and problems, making informed judgements and exercising autonomy.

Students will critically review self-generated creative music work in a series of writings, consolidating and extending knowledge in the discipline of collaborative songwriting practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communication will be a central theme of the module and all assessment parts will demand and facilitate professional-level communication with collaborators and supervisor.s

Students will use a range of software to support creative work, including recording software and other web based technologies.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Students will exercise substantial autonomy and initiative at a high level of professionalism in terms of self-directed work and through peer collaboration.

The written work in the module will give students the opportunity to draw on critical reflection on personal and collaborative songwriting practice, and the responsibilities and ethical issues associated with this.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The intensive songwriting workshop is an example of immersive practice as exemplified by professional ‘songhouse’ events that require songwriters to deliver work to order and in collaboration with a varied range of writers. The events will consist mainly of writing sessions but may be supplemented by a variety of lectures and master classes delivered by industry professionals and performing artists and resulting in the collation of a range of song outputs. Finally students will carry out a process of academic engagement with their practice which will form the basis of in-depth critical reflections on students' own songwriting work.
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)
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop45
Asynchronous Class Activity4
Independent Study151
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) ‘Collaborative songwriting – The ontology of negotiated creativity in popular music studio practice’, Journal on the Art of Record Production, 5. Available at: (Accessed: 14 March 2022).

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

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

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 and Media
ModeratorRebecca Wallace
External ExaminerNeil McSweeney
Accreditation DetailsJAMES
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Portfolio of practical work (90%)
A portfolio of work formed of the results of songwriting briefs undertaken across the intensive ‘songhouse’ sessions, representing a body of student-centred, self-determined, original and inventive work. The work produced will be simply documented and submitted digitally.
Presentation:Presentation (10%)
A short presentation to provide critical reflection on the production of the portfolio.
(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 practical workcheck markcheck mark 9057

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation  check mark106
Combined Total For All Components100% 63 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 the VLE, 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.