Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Social Psychology of Music
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Workshop 1 x 9 Hour Workshop
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 3 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Presentation  oral presentation on an original research proposal (students will be assessed on their presentation skills & research proposal content - length: 15-mins plus 5 mins for questions)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination  seen exam  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  If students fail the module overall, any failed component must be re-sat or determined as the Examination Board sees fit.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate an understanding of what music psychology is in general, in addition to developing a more specialized focus that draws on social psychology approaches to music.
2. Identify the key researchers and current debates in the field.
3. Identify further, and engage with, more specialized areas of social psychology that have not previously been explored.
4. Identify the ways in which social psychology can aid our understanding of musical behaviour and experience by discussing the relevance of social theories to music.
5. Identify the methods used in social music psychology research.
6. Critically reflect on the role that music plays in everyday life.
7. Demonstrate advanced and effective communication skills through an oral presentation of an original piece of research and a written critical analysis of contrasting
topics in social music psychology.

Brief description

Our level of exposure and engagement with music is diverse and complex. Most of us will have clear musical preferences and tastes, and a large number of us might have played, or continue to play an instrument to varying standards. Even with little or no engagement with music, we may be able to comment on the music we hear in our environment, or whether a musician displays particular talent, for example.
Music psychology is a fast developing branch of psychology that aims to examine what is meant by musical experience and behaviour. In this module, students will begin to explore what music psychology is in general, before following a more specialised pathway that looks specifically at applying social psychology research to our understanding of music. Students will revisit some of the social psychology material taught previously but will be expected to demonstrate an ability to assess its relevance within the context of music. In addition, students will also be exposed to new theories not previously taught, thus developing their knowledge base in social psychology more generally.


Indicative Content: Introduction to music psychology, Adolescents’ musical engagement, Music and motivation, Musical role models, Musical identities, Music in multimedia, The social in music performance, Functions of music in everyday life, Music and consumer behaviour

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not directly applicable although students will need to have an understanding of the statistical analyses used in the research papers.
Communication Each lecture will require students to contribute effectively to class discussions and research activity seminars, in addition to demonstrating appropriate listening skills. All students will be required to demonstrate good communication skills in both their oral and written work.
Improving own Learning and Performance Successful completion of the module is very much dependent on a high level of engagement with the literature and personal critical reflections of the material in relation to students’ own musical experiences. The on-going blogs and class discussions, in particular, will encourage a developing critical mind that will allow students to demonstrate a variety of learning styles, under the guidance of the module co-ordinator.
Information Technology Successful completion of the module relies on full engagement with bibliographic resources (e.g., Web of Knowledge and Primo), and students will also be encouraged to organize their references through the use of Endnote. All assessments require the use of Microsoft Office (both Word and PowerPoint) or equivalent, as well the VLE BlackBoard.
Personal Development and Career planning The varied nature of assessment allows for students to develop their analytical and reflective skills, communicated through both their spoken and written work. This applied module will enhance students’ ability to think beyond their degree programme and to consider, in more detail, how psychology might be applied to other specific domains within a real-world context. Through the various assessments undertaken in the module, students will be able to enhance their transferable skills (e.g., oral presentation, written work, analytical, critical, and reflective thinking).
Problem solving Lectures will elicit problem solving skills as research questions are posed and students are required to engage in critical discussion. The sessions, in particular, will require effective group management as students work towards the goals set, and with the coursework assessment, students must demonstrate independent research skills and an ability to work effectively on their own. Using empirical research, one overriding question that students must be able to address throughout is the extent to which social psychology can aid our understanding of musical behaviour and musical experience.
Research skills Each week students will be required to conduct and critique their own literature review for each topic. Although students will not be collecting data, they will be required to demonstrate the appropriate skills necessary for conducting independent research. These skills will be particularly prevalent in their research proposal assessment.
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and research publications presented on the module. These subject specific skills include: * Developing an understanding of research methods in the social sciences and of those used in music psychology research * Demonstrating a comprehensive awareness of the appropriate literature sources in psychology and how to incorporate them into each assignment. * Be able to think critically about how psychological theory might be applied to other areas of music, not covered in the course, and in other similar domains (e.g., sport, performing arts). * Assess the relevance of psychological theory to understanding musical behaviour and musical experience. * Be able to provide appropriately supported arguments in assessments as well as demonstrating a good scientific writing style required in psychology.
Team work Each lecture, research activity seminar and blog relies heavily on students being able to work well in a team. Students will need to demonstrate effective group management that includes an awareness and sensitivity in how they respond to their fellow students’ contributions. This will be of particular importance in the blogs where students are encouraged to make more personal reflections on the role that music has in their lives.


This module is at CQFW Level 6