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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS1920 Introduction to the Psychology of Music

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Hyunah Cho

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

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

MUSS1520: Introduction to the Sciences of Music

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module aims to provide students with a foundation in the subject of the psychology of music. It will provide an introduction to the main approaches within the subject (e.g. cognitive, developmental, and social psychological approaches), and key methods used to explore the aspects of musical behaviour that can be investigated by these strands of research. Skills training in critiquing empirical and theoretical music psychology research will be provided, as will guidance on writing in a domain-specific psychology style. Lectures will be supplemented by small seminar groups.


This module aims to:
1) Introduce students to the main branches of music psychology research
2) Introduce students to the main methods used to conduct music psychology research
3) Introduce students to the relationship between theoretical and empirical contributions to music psychology research
4) Introduce students to the basic principles of evaluating such research and research methods

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be better able to:
1) Describe the mechanisms involved in the perception of music
2) Give examples of empirical and theoretical work in the musical sciences
3) Demonstrate awareness of the relationship between theoretical and empirical contributions to music psychology
4) Demonstrate a basic understanding of the main branches of music psychology research and the main methodological approaches used within the discipline
5) Evaluate and integrate literature and research into a logical textual argument
6) Locate and evaluate primary source materials
7) Reference according to APA style guidelines

Skills outcomes
Students will be introduced to the main approaches used within music psychology research and trained in critiquing and evaluating this work: as such they will be introduced to basic experimental design, and quantitative and qualitative study designs and data types, as well as broader areas surrounding ethical responsibility in research.


Music perception; the psychology of performance and performers; musical development and the origin of musical ability; the role and uses of music in everyday life; musical meaning and emotion.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Set readings will be assigned for each lecture, and students will be directed to additional reading that can support their learning of the particular topics and approaches discussed in each class. Private study hours are also allocated for preparation of coursework, and preparation for the skills-based seminars that complement the lectures and more explicitly focus on training students in critiquing articles and writing in a domain-specific psychology style.
- 85 hours course reading
- 50 hours preparation for the portfolio of article critiques assignment
- 45 hours preparation for the interactive group portfolio assignments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided in response to contributions to lectures, and specifically in the skills-based seminars which are more explicitly aligned with the coursework that students will be completing. A non-assessed article critique task will be included in Semester 1 and will provide the opportunity for students to engage in peer feedback in the seminars and help to prepare them for the first assignment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayPortfolio of 2 x 675-825 word Article Critiques50.00
Group ProjectInteractive Group Portfolio50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:43:20


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