History and Practice of Songwriting (W3097)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module explores the history and practice of songwriting from practical, cultural and critical perspectives. Techniques and topics investigated will include: the singer/songwriter, songwriting teams, genre, interpretation, demos, covers, songwriting as a professional activity, authorship.

The module will also draw current thinking in the fields of gender studies, critical race theory and technology studies. Examination of the work of seminal songwriters, songs, groups and styles from the last century will support practical and/or critical exploration of the craft of songwriting.


50%: Lecture
50%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 126 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: