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The University of Southampton

MUSI6045 Musicology Dissertation

Module Overview

The Dissertation is the final stage of the MMus in Musicology, completing work started in the Preparation for Final Project module. The aim of this module is to complete a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words or equivalent on a topic of your choice.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Develop knowledge of primary and secondary literature related to your topic
  • Develop your own personal approach to the analytical or critical problems you have identified in relation to existing material
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Show evidence of synthesising existing scholarly writing in your area
  • Demonstrate an original personal analytical or critical approach to your topic
  • Argue and substantiate your conclusions to the research questions you have identified
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Manage a large-scale independent research project
  • Present the results of independent research in a standard humanities format
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of specialist materials appropriate to your topic


The Dissertation is the final stage of the MMus in Musicology, completing work started in Preparation for Final Project module. Most of this work takes place over the summer, and should be largely independent; students should, however, meet their supervisors over the summer for supervision or exchange drafts and comments via emails. Students may submit a complete draft of the dissertation to the supervisor for comments, by a date mutually agreed with the supervisor. Supervisors’ comments will primarily address questions of organisation, emphasis and argument. In addition, supervisors may supply detailed commentary on prose style for a short section of the draft to act as a model for prose revision in the remainder of the dissertation. (Supervisors will not, however, edit prose style for the entire dissertation, principal responsibility for which remains with the student.)

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Individual tutorials • written comments on draft material Learning activities include • independent study and writing Individual tutorials provide regular intensive sessions that are designed around student need and demand. Independent study and writing develops the ability to make autonomous decisions about research questions and priorities, aiding the development of an original approach to the chosen dissertation topic.

Independent Study594
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. 

The PhD Writing Handbook. 

Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music. 

The Chicago Manual of Style: For Authors, Editors and Copywriters, 17th edition. 


Assessment Strategy

- Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback - Tutor comments on draft material (including chapter outlines, working bibliographies, material to be included in appendix)


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Where possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. Current printing and copying costs can be found here. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Printing for Students The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.


Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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