MUS10150 Writing about Music

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module examines some of the key principles in writing about music. Those principles include style, tone, persuasive argumentation, and appropriate structure. In the initial part of the course students are instructed in these principles through the tasks of writing reviews. Students will receive feedback on a draft version of each assignment and can then revise the draft before submitting it for grading. During the second half of the module students will develop these principles in an academic context through planning, researching, and writing an academic essay of 1,500 words. That task is divided into a number of steps: putting together an annotated bibliography and essay outline; drafting a section of the essay and finally completing it. Formative feedback for the first two steps step (including peer feedback by other students) is intended to improve the final product. In this way the module equips students both with a general understanding of the different ways of writing about music and the more specific techniques necessary to produce good academic work. The options and dangers of using AI tools such as ChatGPT will also be discussed and demonstrated.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will
• Analyse different genres of academic, journalistic and other texts on music to assess their structure and style;
• Practice how to find relevant information (and distinguish it from irrelevant information);
• Develop an understanding of different writing styles suiting different tasks;
• Practice writing in a clear, comprehensible, and informative style;
• Practice adherence to a given word count;
• Assess and compare the work of other students in class;
• Plan and structure an academic essay;
• Develop their stylistic security and versatility.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- lectures
- case-based learning
- peer and group work
- critical writing
- reflective learning

The final essay will be due on Friday, 16 December.
There will also be a tutorial accompanying the classes with several slots to choose from.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Song Review Week 3 n/a Graded No


Essay: Essay (1,500 words) Week 12 n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Drafts will receive individual formative feedback from other students, and from tutors and the lecturer. Students will then revise their texts on the basis of this feedback. The final versions will receive summative feedback from tutors and lecturer.

Name Role
Ms Kayleigh Watkins Tutor