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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


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.

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.

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.

Reading Lists