MUS8169 : Studies in Popular Music


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module will introduce the students to the advanced study of popular music and Popular Music Studies, through the in-depth consideration of selected topics and case studies, based on the most recent scholarly literature.

The aims of the module are:

- to introduce students to advanced Popular Music Studies theories, methodologies and approaches;
- to encourage the students to explore the historical and cultural complexity of popular music;
- to consider and critically examine key, up-to-date Popular Music Studies works;
- to further improve critical thinking about the nature and role of popular music.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module typically covers a range of topics related to popular music and Popular Music Studies, including:

- Authenticity debates;
- History / historiographies;
- Technology and sound recordings;
- The politics of popular music;
- Genre in popular music;
- Place in popular music;
- The live music industries;
- Popular music and fiction;
- Taste and consumption.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion381:0038:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading104:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce issues, approaches and concepts, and give the opportunity to discuss and explore these further. Based on selected, preparatory texts, lectures will furthermore focus on the detailed analysis of such works; on key issues that arise in the course of such study; and on the various approaches that Popular Music Studies scholars may take on the topic considered. After every second session by one of the lecturers, there follows a session of student-led discussion and presentations on the topics covered up to that point.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The purpose of the essay is to present a well-informed debate that recognizes advanced theoretical perspectives on Popular Music Studies. The students should aim to debate thoroughly key critical issues, using if they wish comparative case studies, discussing one or more topics among those considered in the module, where appropriate. The students should present a coherent argument and should show their ability to bring together information from different sources in a creative manner. The essay should therefore represent a synthesis of their readings and ideas, demonstrating the depth of their understanding of the examples and issues considered during the module.

Reading Lists