Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Film Music MUSIC4073

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce Honours students to the critical study of music and sound across the history of feature film, by critically considering a series of case studies extending from the 'silent' era to the latest blockbusters in light of selections from the relevant theoretical literature. A combination of lectures, assigned viewings/ readings, and discussion classes will prepare students to submit one scholarly essay and give one presentation.


2 hours (1 hour lecture, 1 hour discussion class) per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This is one of the Honours options in Music and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Music (BMus, MA and BEng), and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

MUSIC 4047




Essay (2,000 words) - 40%

Seminar presentation of 15 minutes (plus 5 minutes for questions) accompanied by a script 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ introduce the interdisciplinary challenges raised by the study of music as an integral and interactive component of film

■ supply the tools to negotiate these challenges critically through written scholarly argument and oral presentation

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ write a critical essay that identifies and assesses the distinct contributions of music to a film or films, drawing effectively on appropriate terminology from the historical and theoretical literature.

■ evaluate the degree to which expert musical knowledge can contribute to the critical assessment of the interaction of music, sound and image in film.

■ identify and assess the critical methods of film music scholars, weighing the importance given to authorial intention, audience reception, theoretical frameworks, and cultural-contextual concerns.

■ research, design and deliver a well-timed presentation that incorporates relevant scholarly references and multi-media illustrations to articulate a considered critical assessment of the use of music in film.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.