Providers of higher education have a legal responsibility to provide accurate information to students. In an increasingly marketized sector, however, promotional imperatives place pressure on providers to ‘sell’ degrees to students. Given the indeterminate nature of popular music careers, not to mention the ‘intangible product’ that is higher education, the implicit or explicit indication of an assurance of career success upon completion of the degree could be regarded as being overstated. This article brings to bear a qualitative linguistic analysis of the terms and constructed meanings implied within promotional literature across a range of performance-based popular music degrees. It suggests that language in this context functions in a performative sense and can perpetuate questionable conceptions of popular music careers and the efficacy of degree courses. The article concludes with suggestions of improvements that might be made across the sector in the promotion of popular music degree programmes.
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- higher education
- music inductries
- popular music