SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Directed Study in Creative Industries

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year

An extended essay, in which students develop, research and write up individual topics in global popular music, working in consultation with a supervisor. Topics and themes may focus on (but are not limited to) the following themes as they relate to specific case studies:

  • the role of popular music in defining and articulating (sub)-cultural identities.
  • relationships between music and global and local forces including political power structures, gender, nationalism, and transnational flows.
  • roles of musicians and relationships with audiences.
  • circumstances surrounding musical performance, recording and dissemination of music.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • To give students experience of independent, in-depth research on a specified topic in popular music.  
  • Students develop an in-depth understanding of a selected global popular music style, related industries, and cultures and communities which form around it.
  • Students develop the ability to engage in independent research, involving combination of library work, fieldwork and possibly relevant work or performance experience.  
  • Students develop critical and writing skills, including  analysis, synthesis of sources, evaluation of concepts, problem solving, critical literature review, resource discovery (electronic and print) etc.


Three one hour tutorials spread across the year.

Scope and syllabus

This module forms part of the 3rd year of the proposed new programme Global Popular and Contemporary Music. It builds on the theoretical and regional taught courses taken in years 1 and 2, and allows students to apply the subject-based research and analytical skills they have learned on these modules in the context of a substantial piece of supervised independent research.

Method of assessment

One 5,000 words essay (worth 100%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules