Module Catalogue 2024/25

MUS1018 : Academic Practice for Music Studies

MUS1018 : Academic Practice for Music Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Charlotte Bentley
  • Lecturer: Dr Matthew Ord, Dr Julia Partington
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

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
- 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 completion801:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous or nonsynchronous online if required
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous online if required
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops82:0016:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous or nonsynchronous online if required
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Present-in-Person, can be converted to synchronous online if required
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study951:0095:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce the structure of the module and later introduce students to the portfolio assessment.
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 formative for the Professional Skills Assessment (30%). The online materials will cover 10 topics. Estimated study time for these is approx. 2 hrs per unit, amounting to a total of 20 hrs over the module. The quizzes will constitute a revision aid for students when completing other assessments. The Professional Skills Assessment will take the form of 3 worksheets, which draw on the skills developed through engagement with the online materials and formative quizzes.

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 high 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 assessmnt1A30Three study skills worksheets based on skills developed through Semester 1 formative assessment.
Portfolio2A70Portfolio of c. 2500 words based on development of the workshop-based tasks.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MOnline study skills tasks completed during the module in preparation for Professional Skills Assessment 1
Prof skill assessmnt1MWorkshop tasks in preparation of portfolio.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Professional Skills Assessments (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 three worksheets based on study skills topics. As a formative assessment, students will be able to complete weekly quizzes based on study skills topics which will allow them to practise the skills required for the worksheets.

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


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