Course Outline

MUS201 Music and Pop Culture

Course Coordinator:Lachlan Goold ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this course, you will study the history of popular music and culture in 20th and 21st Century Western traditions. You will use this knowledge to engage in analytical and creative tasks that include songwriting, production and recording. These tasks will culminate in a sound recording reflective of your historically informed approach to songwriting and studio production.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 11 times

Course Topics

Blues, Jazz, Tin-Pan Alley, Rock n Roll, Funk, Soul and Disco, Punk, Country, Hip-Hop, Electronica, Critical listening, Musicology, Music Production, Recording studio

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Analyse and assess the connection between key historical events, cultural contexts, politics, music and popular culture Sustainability-focussed
2 Examine and participate in critical discussions regarding popular music and its cultural and social context using key academic frameworks. Creative and critical thinker
3 Develop an intermediate knowledge of song and lyric writing based on the practices of relevant historical periods in popular music. Knowledgeable
4 Develop an intermediate knowledge of record and music production based on the practices of relevant historical periods in music recording. Knowledgeable
5 Produce a recorded music artefact of your own creative work taking into consideration particular historical music production processes. Engaged

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


MUS100 or MUS101


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

An opportunity exists in every workshop to produce and perform creative work individually and/or in small peer groups. Using assessment criteria and an assessment rubric, provided to students prior to commencing, students will self-assess and peer assess throughout the entire course. This assessment will be moderated and finalised by the Course Coordinator.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Creative Individual 30%
5 minutes + slides with references
Week 5 In Class
All 2 Written Piece Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual and Group 40%
2-5 minute recording and 500 words
Exam Period Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Presentation of a Producer and Production Innovation
In this assessment, you will present your research on a producer or particular production innovation from the 20th and 21st-century recording industry.
Product: Artefact - Creative
You will select and research a music producer and/or innovative production technique and develop a 5-minute oral presentation discussing the historical context, technical information and reasoning of your choice. You must submit your slides/visuals including references.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Analysing and situating knowledge of topic with relevant research.
Developing technical understanding of the topic.
Developing an understanding of the creative application of topic.
Developing an engaging and concise presentation including digital presentation tools.
All - Assessment Task 2:Analysis of a Song of your Choice
In this assessment, you will select a song from a particular time period and research, analyse and discuss the work and its social and cultural context.
Product: Written Piece
You will select a song and use critical listening to analyse the production aspects of the work. You will situate this analysis with reference to the cultural and social context and how production choices contribute to meaning making. You need to provide a reference list.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Analysing and situating your song with relevant research.
Developing analysis of music production using critical listening.
Examining the cultural and social context of music production as an act of meaning-making.
Evaluating songwriting practices and music production approaches based on relevant historical periods.
All - Assessment Task 3:Historic Production of Original Song
This assessment aims to apply your knowledge as a songwriter and producer to create an original work using a historically informed production approach.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
You will create a recording of an original song individually or as a group that demonstrates an applied knowledge of specific historical production and songwriting practice. This recording will implement technical knowledge of relevant historical production and songwriting practice to create a sound recording. You will outline your contribution to the songwriting and production choices detailing your approaches as social and cultural acts in a 500-word brief.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Developing appropriate technical processes in the music production.
Producing an artefact demonstrating creative approaches to historical music production.
Examining songwriting and production decisions as social and cultural acts as outlined in the written brief.
Developing song and lyric writing based on the practices of relevant historical periods in popular music.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

It is recommended that students have basic DAW competency for this course.

Students are expected to make themselves available for autonomous recording sessions. Students must therefore consider their availability on evenings and weekends as well as normal working hours.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all studio and laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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