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The University of Southampton

MUSI6035 Individual Research Project

Module Overview

In-depth study of a specific area in music analysis, history, theory, music technology or creative practice. The subject area of your research project is chosen in collaboration with the MMus Coordinator (within the range of topics for which the Department can provide expert supervision). The topic is negotiated individually between you and the tutor whose expertise most closely matches your interests (i.e. music analysis, history, creative practice, music technology) and is agreed by the end of the second week of the semester in which the module is taken and recorded on your module selection form (returned to the MMus Coordinator). Assessment is by means of a 4000 word essay (a project involving score based work could have a reduced word limit to be negotiated and agreed by week 2), or a creative based project or music technology project that is commensurate in scale. This module provides you with a short, highly supervised 'bite' of original research and encourages you to develop your own approach or method and to draw your own conclusions as appropriate. It can be used to replace a subject-specific module in each of the three MMus pathways (Musicology, Composition, Performance) if this is advisable in order to prepare you for your final work (dissertation, composition portfolio, professional recital).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • a specific topic in music analysis, history, critical theory, music technology or creative practice chosen by you in collaboration with the MMus Coordinator and specialist tutors
  • analytical and investigative methods appropriate to the topic of your choice
  • methodologies of advanced musical analysis
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • structure a research, creative practice project or music technology project
  • evaluate primary and secondary literature and sources in the field of your topic
  • determine appropriate modes of presenting the results of your research
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • plan and execute a research, creative practice project, or technology orientated project within a limited time frame
  • organise and manage basic research tasks, which may include reading and analysing a wide range of repertoire, primary and secondary literature and sources
  • highly developed problem-solving and analytical skills 

  • IT skills appropriate to advanced research
  • the ability to read and make judgements about a variety of written materials


Examples of projects undertaken in this module include: • Essay on late Mozart and early Beethoven piano concerto first movements • Essay on Genesis: Dialectics of continuity and change, 1970-1993 • Essay on hybridity and the expression of Jewish-American identity • Video demonstrations of possibilities afforded by Digital Audio Workstations Ableton Live and the Novation Launchpad S. • Orchestration of a Debussy piano prelude

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • independent or small group tutorials Learning activities include • individual study/research • managing and writing up a project Tutorials with your IRP supervisor will help you to choose your project and manage your research over the semester. Discussion of your reading and/or listening will sharpen your evaluative skills. Your knowledge and understanding of your topic will develop through independent study and feedback from tutorials, and will be assessed in your project work for the module.

Independent Study146
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback verbal feedback from the tutor during tutorials or in optional, one-to-one, meetings during his/her office hours or by appointment, including feedback on essay plans


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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