ATS2139 - Song writing: How to write a popular song - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Rod Davies


Mr Rod Davies

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


This unit introduces students to the fundamental concepts of popular songwriting. The unit includes weekly lectures focusing on popular composition and creative writing. It also examines the context, methodology and history of song. Visiting artists from the profession teach into the unit and provide students with critical feedback.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive knowledge of strategies and form used in popular songwriting;
  2. Analyse and contextualise their song compositions;
  3. Critically evaluate popular song;
  4. Articulate strategies used by songwriters to convey musical ideas.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study