Popular Music Politics MUSIC4081

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the politics of popular music and begins the process of developing students' critical awareness and understanding of these politics.


10 sessions, each of 3 hours duration (1 hour lecture, 2 hours seminar/ presentation/ discussion) as scheduled on MyCampus. This one of the Honours options in Music which may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

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

Excluded Courses

Popular Music Politics (MUSIC4056)

Popular Music Politics (MUSIC5075)




Essay (3,000 words) - 80%

Seminar presentation of 10 minutes - 20%

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:

■ develop student's critical understanding of, the politics of Popular Music.

■ introduce and discuss political theories, beliefs and movements in relation to Popular Music.

■ introduce and theorise the relationship between the state and Popular Music

■ critically examine the development of Popular Music policies, in the UK and beyond.

■ critically evaluate the roles which gender and sexuality play in the production and consumption of Popular music

■ examine the limitations to freedom of expression in popular music

■ develop students' skills (including verbal and written) in the presentation of ideas relating to the politics Popular Music

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ understand and critically evaluate the politics of Popular Music in a range of contexts

■ critique a number of key academic and other texts relating to the politics of Popular Music

■ critically evaluate understanding of key concepts such as politics, gender, race, policy and censorship

■ engage critically with academic texts which deal with Popular Music

■ reflect critically upon the interaction of Popular Music texts and audiences

■ reflect critically upon their own tastes in Popular Music

■ communicate verbally and in writing the different politics of Popular Music

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.