Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to the branch of musicology known as popular music studies. It aims to promote an understanding of popular music genres, forms, and performative traditions from a global perspective through the analysis of musical texts, technologies and audiences. Case studies, Western and non-Western (which may include, for example, swing, reggae, rock, disco, hip hop, electronica, K-pop), and art music are used to exemplify the discussions.

This unit is a compulsory unit in the Bachelor of Music degree. It is also open to students enrolled in other majors and degree pathways who have an interest in music. No prior musical experience is necessary for the unit.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Music Studies; Music: Electronic Music and Sound Design; Music; Music and Society; Contemporary Popular Music major sequences
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) analyse the basic musical characteristics and performative aspects of various Western and non-Western popular music traditions; (2) provide an interdisciplinary perspective on local, national and global music contexts; and (3) illustrate the ways in which music and cultural industries have been informed, modelled and shaped by globalisation.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial activities; (2) research project; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ashley Smith
Unit rules
MUSC3010 Popular Music and Culture
Contact hours
lectures and workshops: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.