Module Catalogue 2022/23

MUS3015 : Major Specialist Study: Project

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Nanette De Jong
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

In normal circumstances, where supervision is available, students wishing to take a music education related dissertation or project should typically have successfully completed MUS2196, or be taking MUS3111. Students wishing to take an enterprise related dissertation or project should typically have successfully completed MUS2195. Those undertaking projects in the area of education or enterprise will usually do so as a minor specialist study only, though a major dissertation may be taken in these areas.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



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 conducting a project 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. Online small group 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 project. Students are recommended to arrange regular tutorials with their supervisor - six one-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 assessments, to comprise a project outline (to include methodology) and participation in a UG conference, are designed to contribute to the successful completion of the project. Formative assessments, including an initial proposal written over the summer vacation (submitted during Induction week) and participation in a final research showcase , are designed to further raise student achievement.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students submit a project outline in week 1 and are allocated a project supervisor. Six one-hour one-to-one meetings with the supervisor over the course of the year to support the planning and writing of the project. A series of group workshops in Semester 1 covering various aspects of the Project process, including planning, research, writing and referencing provide additional support, alongside further group sessions in Semester 2, to help facilitate the final writing stages of the project. 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.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. To explore in depth a topic from, or related to, subjects of study, drawing on relevant concepts and theories and demonstrating understanding of these.
2. To apply rigorous research approaches to investigating a research question / topic and use an appropriate framework to do so.
3. To structure a discussion in a coherent and convincing fashion by synthesising the material gathered in the context of the research, summarizing the key arguments, drawing valid conclusions, and related to the research topic.
4. To have acquired knowledge of relevant literature.
5. To have acquired knowledge of scholarly presentation conventions.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. ability to design a research project in music
2. ability to research using relevant scholarly literature, sources and online research resources
3. ability to critically analyse and synthesise information and arguments.
4. ability to deploy knowledge in the construction of a convincing argument
5. ability to present material in a convincing, scholarly and professionally acceptable manner.
6. ability to develop and demonstrate the self-management skills of working independently, planning and organizing, adaptability, decision-making and problem-solving.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00tutorials (PIP or converted online if need be)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching72:0014:00Writing Workshops (PIP or converted online if need be)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1380:00380:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Since this is a project module focused on a topic of the student’s own choice, the bulk of the student’s time is devoted to private study and research. The writing workshops will be whole class events to provide advice and guidance on the approaches/techniques required to undertake the projects. 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) and in preparing their short presentations (demonstrating the progress of their research during a Finalists’ Conference, which takes place during the assessment period at the end of Semester 1). 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 one- hour meetings being the norm) and are expected to attend at least five of the music department's research seminars.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2A7010,000-12,000 words (or equal) (due just prior to assessment period)
Written exercise1M10Extended Outline (approx. 500 words)
Prof skill assessmnt2A2010 minute presentation of work in progress. Digital submission. Presentations discussed at panels at UG conference
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The quality of the project 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 The presentation tests oral presentation skills, as well as providing a 'staging post' to assess the student's progress at the halfway point.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.