Module Catalogue 2022/23

MUS3009 : Case Studies in 21st-Century Music

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Elliott
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aims of the module are:

• To familiarise students with the scale, history and social significance of the global recording industry in the twenty-first century
• To introduce students to a range of themes and topics that characterise global music cultures of the historical period under study via a series of contemporary case studies
• To encourage an understanding of the critical approaches to the study of global popular musics.
• To extend student knowledge of, and appreciation of, different repertoires and approaches to contemporary global music cultures
• To improve student communication and critical thinking skills

Outline Of Syllabus

The module typically covers a range of topics related to the dissemination and reception of contemporary global musics, which typically includes:

• The importance of musical media (and especially digital media) and related technologies to the global networks of contmporary music
• Discourses of the new, the retro and the present as encountered in twenty-first century musics and critical reponses to them
• Music, place and mobility
• Concepts of journeying in and via sound
• 21st century reappraisals of 'world music' and 'global pop'
• The challenges of curating global pop musics in a fast-moving, hyper-networked world
• Cosmopolitans and cosmopolitanisms
• Features and repertoirese associated with global music genres such (e.g. global rock, hip-hop and DJ cultures

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will have gained:
• A familiarity with and critical understanding of a range of concepts related to contemporary global music genres, styles and cultures
• An understanding of various scholarly approaches to studying contemporary musics of the world
• Critical awareness of the student’s own position with respect to contemporary global music and its recent history
• Practical experience of researching, analysing, curating and discussing contemporary global music repertoires of the present and recent past

Intended Skill Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should have gained:
• An ability to critically engage with the cultural context of contempoary global music styles, artists and repertoires
• Improved critical, analytical and self-reflexive skills
• Improved written, bibliographical and disccographic skills
• Advanced research skills
• Curatorial skills

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Synchronous, present-in-person lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Non-synchronous materials
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Synchronous and present-in-person
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion101:0010:00Non-synchronous materials and tasks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Synchronous, present-in-person or online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study771:0077:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures materials present and discuss key critical concepts, musical examples and set texts and explore materials and methods of investigation. Seminars enrich and deepen student comprehension of key concepts and issues in contemporary music and significantly enhance teamwork, communication and critical skills through small group discussions with staff and other students. Tasks set for small group teaching sessions focus on practical skills relevant to the analytical and curatorial aspects of the module. Student independent learning for this course involves listening, reading and reflecting on key sources and texts, which helps to develop and enrich knowledge of contemporary musical repertory and scholarly perspectives on the role of popular music in society.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M20Case study presented as research poster. 500-750 words of text plus illustrations.
Case study1A70Choice of essay or creative project - 3000 word essay or non essay assessment to be agreed with module leader
Prof skill assessmnt1A10Series of short Canvas-based tasks to be completed during module and submitted at the end of the module.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Poster assesses:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lecture materials
•       research skills developed during PSA tasks and seminar preparation
•       reflective and critical skills
•       creative skills (presenting case study in concise visual format)

Written essay (Case study option 1) assesses:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lecture materials
•       research skills developed during PSA tasks and seminar preparation
•       reflective and critical skills
•       ability to apply theories and concepts to a case study

Creative project (Case study option 2) assesses:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lecture materials
•       research skills developed during PSA tasks and seminar preparation
•       reflective and creative skills
•       ability to creatively respond to a case study

Professional skills assessment assesses:
•       comprehension of topics presented in lecture materials and independent study
•       reflective and summative skills
•       tasks associated with small group sessions
•       continued engagement with module


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.