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The University of Southampton

MUSI3021 Research Project

Module Overview

This module is based on a topic chosen by the student, completed under the supervision of a member of staff and culminating in a detailed dissertation. The topic may be musical (historical, analytical, critical) or it may relate music to another art or discipline (e.g. music and architecture, acoustics, psychology of music). Alternatively, the dissertation may take the form of a report on project work. The written submission may be supplemented by live presentation (including musical performance) or by the use of other media, for instance videotape or computer software. All projects are subject to approval by the course coordinator.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

provide you with an opportunity to undertake sustained research into a musical subject of your own choosing.  contribute to your understanding of the processes of scholarly research.  contribute to the development of your ability to present and debate ideas.  encourage you to undertake, with appropriate supervision, independent work, including identifying and using appropriate resources.  facilitate further development of your IT, planning and organizational skills.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the subject material chosen for your dissertation, including relevant primary and secondary sources
  • the broader context of the subject in question within music scholarship.
  • methodologies appropriate to your subject material
  • the processes and conventions of scholarly research
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • conceptualise a suitable research project as well as a programme of study to bring it to fruition
  • interpret and criticise primary and secondary sources
  • identify and analyse problems
  • synthesise and integrate your material into a coherent and sustained dissertation argument
  • present and debate ideas, both orally and in writing
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • present and debate ideas, both orally and in writing
  • undertake, with appropriate supervision, independent work
  • research a subject using library resources and Internet tools
  • make use of appropriate resources
  • work effectively to deadlines


The aim of the module is to produce a dissertation that complies with the conventions of scholarly prose and supporting material (e.g. illustrations, music examples). A series of plenary seminars focus on key research skills, including how to choose a topic and title, how to undertake independent research, how to prepare a bibliography, and how to handle primary and secondary sources.

Special Features

The dissertation is the most substantial element of independent study within the musicology curriculum. Coming at the end of your studies, it allows you to put into practice and to integrate virtually all the skills you have been developing in essay-based modules over the course of the programme. The plenary sessions and supervisions help you to develop and refine these skills, and the interim assessments (bibliography, outline and oral presentation) are designed to help you to manage the research process, encouraging you to focus your ideas and to work to an appropriate timescale.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include  Tutorials with supervisor  Plenary sessions on research skills  Feedback on written work Learning activities include  Tutorial discussion with supervisor  Informal open-hour discussions with module convenor Template Approved by Senate – June 2013 University of Southampton 4 Module Profile date module name  Preparing draft chapters for comment  Research for and organisation and composition of dissertation  Individual study

Independent Study289
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

The Chicago Manual of Style. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback  informal feedback on samples of written draft work  discussions with peers during plenary sessions  informal discussions with staff during open hours


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 20%
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 words) 70%
Presentation 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 20%
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 words) 70%
Presentation  (10 minutes) 10%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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