Wakefield, Jonathan P. and Lawlor, Ian (2010) Profiling of Academically Successful and Unsuccessful Students on Music Technology and Production Degree Courses. In: Forum for Innovation in Music Production and Composition (FIMPaC), 20-21 May 2010, Leeds College of Music, Leeds, UK. (Unpublished)

Academics often have a “gut feeling” about which categories of students are successful or unsuccessful on their courses. Sometimes this is based on ad hoc anecdotal evidence, e.g. citing examples of a few strong or weak students, or sometimes based on back of the envelope analyses. It is not unusual to hear staff hypothesise that mature students do better/worse than 18 year olds or National Diploma entry students do better or worse than “A” level entry students. However, staff experiences with subgroups of students can be misleading and not representative of the true picture of the student cohort as a whole.

This project adopted a systematic approach to identify the characteristics of successful (awarded 1st or 2(i)) and unsuccessful (e.g. fail or withdrawn) types of students on a suite of Music Technology and Production degrees. It extracted data from the University’s Applicant and Student Information System and compared student’s entry profiles with the outcome of their studies.

Whilst the results are arguably specific to these particular Music Technology/Production courses, some interesting results were produced. For example, increasing UCAS points increased the percentage of successful students but it did not decrease the percentage of unsuccessful students as might have been expected.

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