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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUS5131M Issues in Musicology

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr James Mooney

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module focuses on a range of theoretical work by prominent scholars associated with a variety of critical viewpoints in current musicology and musical culture. It is designed as a thorough grounding in the principles and philosophies that have shaped the discipline of musicology, concentrating on European and American approaches. The module is taught via staff- and student-led seminars, and aims to enable students to develop the critical skills necessary to evaluate differing theoretical premises and to respond and contribute to advanced musicological discourse.


The main objectives of the module are to expose students to different ways of thinking about issues in musicology, and to cultivate their critical and interpretative skills when dealing with musicological texts. Furthermore, the module supports students in developing the confidence to identify and discuss aspects of musicological theory and practice found in scholarship, and to apply appropriate approaches in the course of their own work.

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

1. Evaluate critcally a representative selection of musicological texts, and the standpoints they represent;

2. Assess the relationship between modes of thought and musicological practice;

3. Identify the ideologies and assumptions inherent in a range of theoretical approaches and cultural practices;

4. Make insightful use of both new and traditional musicological approaches;

5. Discuss often controversial areas of musicological theory and practice with confidence, respect and objectivity.

Skills Learning Outcomes

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

6. Exhibit intellectual confidence an independence of thought;

7. Take a proactive and self-reflective role in working through the evaluation of own and others’ ideas;


This primarily seminar-based module explores a range of musicological issues influenced by the research expertise of our academic staff. Through these seminars, lecturers also address aspects of selecting and applying relevant research methods and frameworks to the investigation of musicological issues. Students will then have the opportunity to consolidate and interrogate these approaches to musicological research through group tutorials and assessments.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours181.50
Total Contact hours18.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminars are constructed with a discussion on set readings followed by the lecturer discussing how they have responded and/or further developed the theories and ideas in the key texts. In the last four seminars, students are tasked with responding and/or developing the theories and bringing these with them to the seminars. Students will receive feedback in each of these sessions. Students will also receive feedback and the opportunity to apply assessment criteria to their appraisal of their peers’ work in a peer review session.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayEssay (4500-5000 response to selected article and/or published musicological debates)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The practical session is run as a peer-review session on a formative draft of their assessment responses.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:18:37


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