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Diploma of Higher Education in Music - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to impart:

  • a critical understanding of musical parameters and structures, and practical knowledge of how to manipulate these compositionally;
  • the ability to read and represent music through music notation;
  • the capacity to communicate clearly about a range of musics using appropriate vocabulary and style;
  • the ability to understand and deploy a range of technologies for producing, manipulating, disseminating, storing, and transmitting music;
  • the ability to produce coherent, well-supported arguments yourself.

Learning outcomes

The diploma provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • scholarly approaches to the study of music
  • a broad and substantial repertory of music, including some works and performances studied in depth
  • the key terms, contexts and notational practices relating to western and some non-western musics
  • some of the principal concepts, theories and analytical procedures used in the study of music and sound.
  • the technologies by which music has been produced, manipulated, disseminated, stored, and transmitted.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • listen to music accurately and critically, read critically, and think logically.
  • communicate sophisticated ideas about music using appropriate vocabulary and style.
  • deploy, read, and interpret a range of musical notations.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • present the results of study in an appropriate manner and in several media, including writing and musical notation.
  • make and notate music in a range of representative repertoires or styles.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Study and learn independently. Assess tasks and make plans across a programme of work and be able to reflect on, plan, and use time strategically in order to fulfil those tasks.
  • Write clearly about music and sound using appropriate terminology.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment, which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups; and community forums.

In the programme a range of types of assessment is used, in accordance with the recommendations of the national music benchmarking statement. Most modules include continuous assessment and an examinable component. The tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that make up the continuous assessment component may take the form of essays, compositions, reflective writing, and reports, depending on the module and the level.

The examinable component may take the form of a traditional unseen examination or a project that demonstrates your ability to engage with music in different ways, such as through an extended piece of writing or a composition.