Surrey University Stag

VOCAL FUNDAMENTALS - 2023/4

Module code: POVM016

Module Overview

This module is intended to provide the student with a sound working knowledge of the anatomical & physiological system relating to the sung and spoken voice. Students will be required to demonstrate this in their own vocal practice, and to effectively impart this knowledge and understanding to others. The study of phonetics will equip the students with a variety of strategies to transcribe and coach accents whilst refining their kinesthetic and auditory awareness. This will support their voice and singing pedagogies module connecting vocal fundamentals of anatomy and accents to the delivery of voice and singing

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

PALMER Chris (GSA)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 75

Independent Learning Hours: 75

Lecture Hours: 100

Tutorial Hours: 40

Guided Learning: 10

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content


  • Anatomy: lecture-based sessions in the study of Vocal Anatomy.




  • Phonetics: IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) System; Cardinal vowels, VPM (voice placement, manner) exploration of vocal tract and airstreams, (pulmonic, oral, pharyngeal, and oesophageal) phonetics, diacritics. History of received pronunciation and the more common usage of Standard Neutral English Accents both Regional and international


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Vocal anatomy examination 50
Examination Phonetics examination 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate research practice and application of practical skills.

The summative assessments for this module are:


  • Summative assessment in anatomy examination 50%

  • Summative assessment in phonetics examination 50%



These assessments allow students to demonstrate applied understanding of key principles of accent coaching through classes and tutorials, learners self-efficacy is promoted through an ethos of independent research and engagement with relevant learning resources and materials

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessments are given to the students in phonetics and anatomy to help prepare them for their summative examinations. Continuous verbal feedback is provided to students throughout the learning journey.

Module aims

  • To provide clear instruction in anatomy and physiology relating to the sung and spoken voice
  • To identify OVF (Optimum Vocal Function)
  • To provide clear instruction of the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) system
  • To provide clear instruction in the phonetics and transcription
  • To analyse and interpret the structure of accents

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key theoretical and methodological developments in the practice of voice and singing CK
002 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the physiology of voice and optimum voice functionality CK
003 Demonstrate an ability to analyze and evaluate pedagogical techniques within context CT
004 Demonstrate an ability to analyze, evaluate, and apply ideas and concepts within a vocal context C
005 Demonstrate an ability to create and communicate advanced understanding and expertise in skills both verbal and written PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning


  • Students will participate in lectures, tutorials, and practical sessions to root and relate theory to personal practice.

  • Lectures in anatomy

  • Workshops in phonetics

  • Guided learning both online and in person

  • Personal tutorials and individual tutorials

  • Space for independent learning


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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POVM016

Other information

GSA delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.

Employability - Students will cultivate a uniquely diverse set of professional level skills that cater to a wide range of related career opportunities. These skills will best equip students with the tools to succeed in meeting industry expectations and allow for career advancement.in a variety of professional settings.

Global and Cultural Capabilities - Students will engage in both study and work relationships that will represent a range of ability, cultural background practice, expectation, and experience. Students will develop and demonstrate sensitivity and respect within all context

Exploring the gender-neutral voice and capturing the ongoing research into voice and gender.

Digital capabilities - Aspects of anatomy and phonetics will be analyzed through digital models, online learning, and accent databases.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Teaching and Practice of Voice and Singing MFA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Teaching and Practice of Voice and Singing MA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory 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 2023/4 academic year.