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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUS1001 Music and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 105

Module manager: Ariana Phillips-Hutton

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

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module helps you think critically and creatively about music in society. Rather than offer a chronological overview of music history, the module explores musical themes across historical and contemporary Western and global contexts (including the musical cultures of Leeds), with consideration of how musical practice reflects and shapes society. It also develops academic research skills, enabling you to engage with the materials and address the challenges to which they give rise.


This module aims to introduce you to a range of practices from Western art, ‘world’, and popular musical styles and to situate these in their historical, social, cultural, economic, and institutional contexts.

You will learn to think about music and society through the lens of critical perspectives drawn from religion, politics, gender and race, and interrogate ideas around technology, creativity and musical value. The learning activities will encourage you to apply these concepts to different musical contexts. They will also develop skills in academic research and include opportunities for presenting your research in audio and written formats.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Discuss music in a range of historical, critical, global and ethical contexts.

2. Describe responses to music and sound using appropriate frameworks.

3. Use concepts and paradigms from history, sociology, critical theory and other relevant disciplines in a range of musical contexts.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

4. Locate, validate, and reference relevant scholarly work.

5. Present work in ways that are engaged, organised and relevant to the material and format under consideration.

6. Use digital tools in an effective and ethical manner to access information, communicate with others, and manage your own learning.


Themes covered on this module may include:
Ways of Listening
Music and the Word
Musical Bodies
Instrumental Technologies
The Social Life of Genres
Music and Power

Through each theme you will study a variety of musical practices from different geographical areas and historical periods.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours162.50
Total Contact hours37.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1x soundwalk and response (200-300 words OR 3-4 min audio recording). Group feedback from staff in tutorial; purpose is to think about how to organise/articulate responses to sound and to scaffold the source analysis (LO 2, 5, 6).

1x critical response to an article (600–750 words). Peer feedback in tutorial; purpose is to develop skills in reading and critique for summative project (LO 1, 3, 4, 5).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Source Analysis700-800 word critical response to listening30.00
Project8-10 min podcast OR 2000-word essay on topic drawn from a selection70.00
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: 26/01/2024


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