Module code: MUSM053

Module Overview

The purpose of the module is to develop students' knowledge of screen music theory and scholarship as well as providing opportunities for suitably experienced students to enhance their practice in writing for the screen.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

BARHAM Jeremy (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 96

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 2

Guided Learning: 8

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Analytical, historical and critical aspects of the module will address selected issues as they impinge on the functions and analysis of screen music, such as the sound of silent film, surrealism, the notion of diegesis, science-fiction and horror genres, screen music and temporality, pre-existent music, visual music, jazz on screen, film form and narrative structures.

Selected repertoire may include silent film, early non-Hollywood sound film, Hollywood Golden Age (and later), Hitchcock, French New Wave, animation, documentary film, experimental film, horror and sci-fi film, Bunuel, Eisenstein, Kubrick, contemporary Hollywood, film using pre-existent music.

Content is designed to enhance students' historical and cultural awareness

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop new, historical, theoretical, critical and aesthetic concepts and practical skills, enhancing cultural awareness and capabilities.
Together, the assignments offer opportunity for (interim) and final summative assessment, which address all the learning outcomes.

Summative Assessment:

Coursework 1: analysis of the music and sound of a chosen film extract, involving observation in the form of a detailed cue sheet, used as the basis for critical comment on the function, placing, frequency, and structure of the music cues in relation to image, scene construction and narrative content. 

Coursework 2: EITHER an essay investigating a topic chosen from a list (for example a single film, composer, set of related films, idea or concept, historical, analytical, or aesthetic issue within screen music studies); OR a mini portfolio of screen scoring, plus critical commentary outlining the methods and aims of the creative work produced. 

Formative Assessment:

Participation in student-led discussions and the first (observational and analytical) assignment provide opportunities for formative assessment and feedback, and a stepping stone to the wider-ranging second assignment


Timely written feedback will be provided for the assessments, providing opportunity for self-reflection, and for formulating strategies for future personal and academic development

Verbal feedback can also be provided in a tutorial context at the students' request

Module aims

  • - Introduce students to approaches to the historical and technical understanding of screen music as well as socio-cultural issues that impinge on this repertoire
  • - Develop students' resourcefulness in skills of learning, research and writing (including advanced use of digital sources) that underpin the above
  • - Strengthen students' cultural awareness and capabilities through engaging in a scholarly context with the range of topics addressed in the module
  • - Extend students' professional and academic skillset within the topic areas through consideration of creative practice and industry relations, in order to enhance post-degree employability
  • - provide an optional creative opportunity for creative composition of screen music

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
002 The ability to demonstrate independent and self-critical learning in order to enhance resourcefulness, resilience, and employability CT
003 The ability to demonstrate awareness of various aspects of screen music theory and technique such as film form, film and culture, film interpretation and the role of music in film narrative, using a wide range of resources and research skills KCT
004 (Optionally) the ability to develop theoretical and practical understanding of image-music synchronization through editing, synthesis, computer scoring, and screen score analysis, thus enhancing employability and industry awareness KCPT
005 The ability to demonstrate scholarly and practical skills commensurate with advanced undergraduate standards of research and scoting, using a wide range of resources and research skills, including the use of advanced digital research resources CPT
006 Undertake critical evaluation of current research and associated methodologies, using a wide range of resources and research skills KCT
001 The ability to demonstrate understanding and critical/cultural awareness of the historical development of screen media and associated musics, using a wide range of resources and research skills KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, incorporating listening and class discussions as appropriate

  • Tutorials (either individual or small-group)

  • Guided reading and listening

  • Individual research

  • Use of SurreyLearn

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: MUSM053

Other information


The Department of Music and Media is committed to developing graduates with attributes encompassing employability, digital skills, global and culture awareness, sustainability as it relates to music and the wider arts and, finally, resourcefulness and resilience.

This module provides opportunities to engage with these attributes in myriad ways including:

Resourcefulness and resilience:

Resourcefulness in developing skills of learning, researching, discussing and writing (including advanced use of digital sources)

Cultural and global capabilities:

Cultural awareness and capabilities through engaging in a scholarly context with the range of topics addressed in the module.


Professional and academic skillset within the topic areas in order to enhance post-degree employability.

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 2024/5 academic year.