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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS0040 Introduction to Music Studies

40 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr Hyunah Cho

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students wishing to take performance in this module need a minimum of ABRSM, Trinity, Guildhall or Rockschool Grade 8 merit/Grade 7 distinction (or demonstrate that they are of equivalent standard)

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides students with an overview of ways of engaging with Music in Higher Education, focusing on critical reading and writing, responding to live performances, developing notational skills and enhancing individual practice.


On completion of this module, students should have developed an awareness of the academic research skills and practical knowledge necessary to begin study of music at degree level.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to
(1) engage critically with key musicological texts
(2) engage critically with musical performances
(3) be familiar with basic music notational, theoretical and terminological conventions
(4) demonstrate heightened engagement with their chosen area of practice


The module introduces students to ways of studying Music in Higher Education. It consists of three strands: (1) an introduction to ways of engaging with musical material; (2) an introduction to music theory; and (3) individual development of practice in music.

The first of these strands is delivered through a blend of 1-hour seminars and concert attendance. The seminars will introduce students to ways of engaging critically with texts and live performances through guided reading exercises and class discussion.

The second strand introduces students to the rudiments of music theory, and ways of describing these materials, through a series of seminars and/or online material.

The final strand, ‘individual development of practice in music’ provides students with one-to-one lessons in a practical area of music (one of performance, composition, or technology).

All students are supported by an individual tutor with an overview of their studies.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours357.50
Total Contact hours42.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Preparation for seminars: 7.5 hrs per seminar = 150 hours
Preparation for tutorials: 47.5 hours
Preparation for individual practical lessons: 10 hrs per lesson = 100 hours
Preparation for assessment: 60 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The delivery of this module is such that students get regular, and often multiple, points of contact during the week in order that formative (primarily verbal) feedback can be given frequently in seminars, practical lessons, and individual tutorials. Written feedback may also be provided in these sessions (e.g. annotations to work presented during contact time).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PortfolioPortfolio of weekly seminar tasks (equivalent to 1500 words).25.00
PracticalPractical work: equivalent to 3000 words. Depending on the nature of the individual practice, this may take the form of a recital (c. 10 minutes), a composition portfolio or a technology project.50.00
ReportTeacher’s report on progress in practical component0.00
PortfolioPortfolio of tasks25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students failing the practical element have the chance to resit by the same format. Students failing the portfolio component will be given the opportunity to resit by means of a new, related task (testing critical reading skills and response to performances). The teacher’s report is pass/fail; should it indicate a failure, students will have the chance to submit work as a resit (composition/technology routes) or give a mini-recital (performance route) in order to pass the component.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/09/2023


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