Module Catalogue 2022/23

MUS1018 : Academic Practice for Music Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Charlotte Bentley
  • Lecturer: Dr Julia Partington, Dr Matthew Ord
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• To develop students’ understanding of the practices involved in studying music as an academic subject
• To develop students’ reading skills and learn how to approach academic texts confidently and critically
• To develop students’ understanding of the principles of referencing and citation
• To develop students’ understanding of the ethics of academic writing and research
• To help students to manage complex information

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will typically cover:

•       Referencing and Citation
•       Writing Styles in Music
•       Finding and Using Sources
•       Approaching Assignments
•       Critical Thinking
•       Editing and Submission of Work
•       Ethics of Academic Practice

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
• understand the common elements and techniques of academic writing (summary, comparison, introduction, conclusion, sentence and paragraph structure, etc.)
• understand the differences between the main subdisciplines in music studies and how their different methodologies and theoretical bases affect writing style
• recognise different styles of writing about music and their value both within culture and as sources for scholarly research
• differentiate between primary and secondary sources and understand their relative values for researchers
• understand the importance of feedback in its various forms (from both tutors and peers) and know how to give and respond to feedback constructively

Intended Skill Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to:
• distinguish between ways of writing about music in order to evaluate appropriate approaches to future writing tasks
• critically evaluate various forms of academic and non-academic writing on music, with an enhanced ability to identify and assess arguments and construct their own
• recognise the basic research methods in music/wider arts and humanities are (qualitative/quantitative; ethnographic; historiographical and so on)
• find appropriate sources in the library and access physical and digital resources

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion831:0083:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous online if required
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops62:0012:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous or nonsynchronous online if required
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:303:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous online if required
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops deliver core content (such as common elements and technqiues of academic writing, and recognising different styles of writing) in an interactive manner.
Small group sessions provide opportunities to discuss, understand and respond to feedback.
Drop-in surgeries provide larger group discussion of assessments.
Guided independent study will be used to help students navigate the online learning aspects of the module.

The blended component will comprise short readings/video materials introducing threshold concepts in academic practice, supported by discussion exercises and quizzes. Completion of the quizzes will be worth 40% of the final mark and, as a formative assessment, students will be allowed multiple attempts at each quiz. The online materials will cover 10 topics, and each will run over two weeks. Estimated study time for these is approx. 2 hrs per unit, amounting to a total of 20 hrs over the module. As well as contributing to the overall module mark, the quizzes will constitute a revision aid for students when completing other assessments.

Study Skills materials are delivered online for the following reasons:
-Using Canvas for the professional development component enables module staff to draw on a range of methods for delivering information: video materials (including existing good quality content produced by the university), as well as readings, quizzes, and discussion exercises.
-It enables module staff to monitor engagement more effectively and provides an additional channel for feedback.
-Students can engage with the materials in their own time and at their own speed helping them build confidence.
-Quizzes allow students to test, apply, and develop their knowledge through repeated attempts.
-The format allows students to develop a solid grasp of the basics in their own time while reserving contact time for more interactive, exercise, and discussion-based learning.
-The online materials become a cumulative resource which students can access as needed as they go forward.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2A40Portfolio of study skills tasks based on Semester 1 formative assessment.
Portfolio2M60Portfolio of c. 2500 words based on development of one of the workshop-based tasks.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M10 study skills tasks completed during the module.
Prof skill assessmnt1MWorkshop tasks in preparation of portfolio.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Regular Professional Skills Assessment (PSA) test students’ grasp of fundamental academic writing and research skills (e.g., referencing and citation, library skills, and using academic sources). PSA 1 consists of weekly quizzes based on study skills topics. As a formative assessment, students have multiple attempts at the quizzes, allowing them to submit their best work for the summative assessment in Semester 2.

The Portfolio component requires students to develop and submit a selection of short academic writing/research-based tasks demonstrating their command of themed workshop content. The formative PSA (PSA 2) allows students to receive informal feedback on workshop tasks. They then develop the best of these for the summative assessment (Portfolio) in Semester 2.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.