Surrey University Stag


Module code: MUS3083

Module Overview

This module enables students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the major currents of 20th- and 21st-century music in the Western classical tradition through the exploration of key composers and repertories as well as key documents in the critical reception of the repertoire. It draws on analytical skills acquired in previous modules and consolidates the students’ experience of 20th- and 21st -century music encountered elsewhere on the programme, as well as complementing their studies of other areas of music history and culture.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

WILEY Christopher (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W300

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 96

Lecture Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None for Music and Tonmeister students.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Topics in modernist and postmodernist music will be introduced in lectures, focussing on issues of technique and style, ideology, historiography, and reception. Composers discussed may include:

















Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK (3000 WORDS) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the central issues pertaining to the aesthetics and techniques of modernism and postmodernism.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework essay of not more than 3,000 (addresses outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4).

  • Online (Open Book) Exam within 4hr window (addresses outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4).

Formative assessment

Submission of an essay plan.


Verbal feedback in tutorials and lecture discussions; written feedback on formative assessment (essay plan); formal feedback on the summative coursework.

Module aims

  • Develop knowledge of the 20th and 21st century musical repertoires
  • Develop knowledge of the history of 20th and 21st century music
  • Develop an understanding of 20th and 21st century aesthetics
  • Develop and understanding of 20th and 21st century musical styles

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe stylistic and aesthetic features of a range of music that might be identified as modernist and postmodernist. KCP
002 Explain the relationship of selected modernist and postmodernist works to wider historical and cultural currents. KCPT
003 Formulate a cogent written argument. CPT
004 Demonstrate critical thinking. CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Increase students’ knowledge of, and critical engagement with, modernist and postmodernist works and the scholarly reception of them. Issues raised by the lecturer will be discussed in class, supported by the students’ individual listening and critical reading.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • One two-hour lecture per week.

  • Individual and/or small group tutorials

  • Guided reading and listening

  • Use of online learning environment 

  • Coursework and feedback

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: MUS3083

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music BMus (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2022/3 academic year.