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Module UXS-4717:
Music Industry

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Steffan Thomas

Overall aims and purpose

In this module, students will be given the opportunity to analyse the development and the current state of the music industry. The way in which the industry and its practitioners are perceived and understood, and the relationship between the industry and its consumers will be presented. There will be a particular emphasis on funding, distribution, promotion and marketing, data and digital convergence.

Course content

This module will give the students an opportunity to study the key issues relating to the concept of the ‘music industry’ in an academic and professional context. The ways in which the music industry has developed on a global scale will be examined, with specific examples used to reflect the wider issues being considered.

The most significant characteristics of the industry will be studied, and comparisons will be made between different areas of the business within the industry. Media convergence, cultural convergence, intellectual property rights and the emergence of hubs will also be addressed.

As well as assessing the main theories relating to the industry, the module will give students the opportunity to appreciate and analyse key issues from the perspective of practitioners operating within the industry.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+


Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence

  • Evidence of knowledge and understanding of key concepts is limited and weak.
  • Evidence of awareness of relevant critical issues is limited.
  • Literature base is insufficient and/ or insufficiently current.
  • Over use of unsubstantiated generalised assumptions.
  • Evidence of analytical and critical thinking is weak and lacks depth.
  • Literature used superficially.
  • Ability to apply theory to practice is limited and weak.
  • The writing tends to be disjointed and lacking in structure.



Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials.

  • Evidence of a good level of critical understanding of main concepts.
  • Evidence of good understanding of relevant critical issues. The writing is contextualised within recent research/ professional literature.
  • Strong ability to apply theory to practice.
  • The writing has a clear logical/systematic structure.



All unit learning outcomes achieved at an excellent/outstanding level

  • Evidence of deep knowledge and insightful understanding of key concepts and problems/issues at the forefront of the area in terms of academic and professional knowledge and understanding.
  • Fluency and confidence in use of the literature and current thinking/ research/professional literature.
  • Presents counter arguments; identifies key issues/problems and justifies conclusion.
  • Excellent ability to apply theory and practice, with insight, rigour and consistency.
  • Insightful observations into standard and unpredictable situations.
  • The writing is fluent coherent, well-structured and reads well

Learning outcomes

  1. Systematic knowledge and critical understanding of the development of the music industry.

  2. Systematic knowledge and critical understanding of new and emergent methods and their relation both to their social context and their earlier forms

  3. The ability to engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field

  4. A critical awareness of the economic forces that frame the music industry and the role of the industry in specific areas of contemporary practice.

  5. Practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Music Industry Case Study 80
Music Industry Presentation 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Seminar 12
Private study

This time should be used to research, read and prepare thoughts for the weekly seminars as well as reflecting on the lectures.

Lecture 24

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Daniel, Ryan. "Digital Disruption in the Music Industry: The Case of the Compact Disc." Creative Industries Journal (2019): 1-8. Web. Bourreau, Marc, Romain Lestage, and François Moreau. "E-commerce and the Market Structure of the Recorded Music Industry." Applied Economics Letters 24.9 (2017): 598-601. Web. Burnett, Robert. The Global Jukebox : The International Music Industry. London ; New York: Routledge, 1996. Print. Communication and Society (Routledge (Firm)). Cohen, Marci, and Grover Baker. "Takin’ Care of Business: Music Business Reference." Music Reference Services Quarterly 18.3-4 (2015): 157-63. Web. Davis, Laing, and Laing, Dave. The Guerilla Guide to the Music Business. 2nd ed. New York: Continuum, 2006. Print. Barrow, Tony., and Julian. Newby. Inside the Music Business. London ; New York: Routledge, 1999. Print. Career Builders Guides.