MUS3017 : Minor Specialist Study: Dissertation


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To enable students to:
1. engage in an extended research project
2. consolidate and develop research techniques, critical skills, and scholarly imagination
3. demonstrate professional scholarly practice and develop skills in writing and presentation appropriate to the chosen medium
4. assume autonomy, choice and responsibility in the academic study of music

The focus on this module is very much on the process of learning and of developing academic and professional skills through a dissertation that is embedded within their prior and continuing study in the academic modules of their music degree, focussed on a topic of the student’s own choice. The bulk of the student's time is devoted to private study and research. At the same time, they will receive appropriate support and guidance to enable their success. Writing workshops offered through this module will introduce students to the writing process and will help them develop the skills required to undertake a supervised research dissertation. Students are recommended to arrange regular tutorials with their supervisor - six half-hour meetings being the norm - and are expected to attend at least five of the Music research seminars over the course of the academic year.

Additional assessment, to comprise a dissertation outline (to include methodology), is designed to contribute to the successful completion of the dissertation. Formative assessment, comprising an initial proposal written over the summer vacation (submitted during the first week), is designed to further raise student achievement.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students submit a dissertation proposal in week one and are allocated a dissertation supervisor. They are expected to arrange six half-hour one-to-one meetings with the supervisor over the course of the year to support the planning and writing of the dissertation. A series of workshops in Semester 1 covering various aspects of the dissertation process, including planning, research, writing and referencing provide additional support, alongside one further workshop in Semester 2 to help facilitate the final writing stages of the dissertation. These writing workshops are organized to introduce and help students develop appropriate research approaches and methods, and the process tools and skills that will enable students to be successful.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Writing Workshops (PIP or converted online if need be)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching60:303:00Tutorials (PIP or converted online if need be)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1189:00189:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MUS3013Major Specialist Study: Dissertation
MUS3015Major Specialist Study: Project
MUS3019Minor Specialist Study: Project
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Since this is a dissertation module focused on a topic of the students own choice, the bulk of the student’s time is devoted to private study and research. The workshops will be whole class events to provide advice and guidance on the approaches/techniques required to undertake the dissertations. These workshops are aimed at developing students’ research and writing skills, and to guide the students in the writing of their extended outlines (to provide an overview of their proposed course of study and research). Tutorials are in the form of supervisory sessions (individual) and are to ascertain progress, provide formative feedback and feed forward, and facilitate problem solving and supported independent learning. Students are recommended to arrange regular tutorials with their supervisor (six half- hour meetings being the norm) and are expected to attend at least five of the music department's research seminars.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2A905,000-7,000 words (due just prior to assessment period)
Written exercise1M10Extended Outline (approx. 500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The quality of the dissertation tests all the learning outcomes. The ‘extended outline’ tests the student’s planning and preliminary research skills and acts as an early ‘staging post’ to assess the student’s progress.

Reading Lists