Module code: MUS3050

Module Overview

This module seeks to advance individual compositional practice to a professional level.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

ARMSTRONG Thomas (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The following is an indication of the likely topics to be covered:

• Contemporary harmonic, rhythmic, motivic, structural and instrumental technique

• How to develop an effective independent compositional practice.

• How to write about your practical work.

• Content related to student work.

• Presentation and discussion of student work.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop their compositional skills through engagement with contemporary compositional techniques, theories and awareness of relevant creative practice.

The formative assessment and feedback for this module consists of:

  • Weekly compositional exercises exploring particular techniques

  • Feedback from performers in workshops

Summative assessment for this module includes

  • An oral presentation (worth 20% of the final grade) no longer than 10 minutes, detailing some aspect of the student’s work, or of a relevant artist or piece(s). This is assessed on communication, knowledge and contextualisation. (Learning outcomes 3-9)

  • A portfolio of works (a suggested number of 3 pieces, with a total duration 7-15 minutes), with scores, audio realisation and a commentary of 1500-2000 words. The portfolio is assessed on theoretical knowledge of the module concepts, idiomatic, imaginative and effective musical application of module concepts, contextualisation and reflection of creative practice, score and commentary presentation and writing style, and idiomatic realization of the works (Learning outcomes 1-8). The portfolio is worth 80% of the final grade.

Detailed feedback on the presentation and portfolio is given (with a breakdown of strengths and weaknesses) in order to enhance continuing compositional practice.

Module aims

  • Develop professionalism in approach to and quality of work.
  • Independently develop coherent and convincing compositions relevant to contemporary practice

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 To create idiomatic and innovative work of a professional standard. P
2 Independently conceive, develop and realise your work. KCPT
3 Provide a written and oral account of your practice that is contextually aware, theoretically informed, and insightfully reflective. KCPT
4 Demonstrate significant theoretical and analytical skills. KCPT
5 Carry out research and analysis in support of creative practice. KCT
6 Have an improved set of instrumental, technological and production skills. PT
7 Improve your listening skills, and the understanding and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles. PT
8 Develop a critical attitude towards the sources of knowledge you draw on during your studies and learn how to manage the information they contain in order to meet the demands of your assignments. CT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

  • Lectures.

  • Seminars.

  • Tutorials.

  • Workshops.

  • Guided reading and listening.

  • Responding to questions in class.

  • Preparing and giving class presentations.

  • Producing a portfolio of individual compositional work and commentary.

  • Module content addressing 1) instruments & idioms 2) particular artists/genres and 3) broadly applicable compositional techniques 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUS3050

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mathematics with Music BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.