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The University of Southampton

MUSI6046 Professional Writing and Presentation Skills

Module Overview

This module introduces you to methodological approaches to musical studies and provides you with the professional skills necessary to write about music in different contexts

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the construction, description and use of musical materials such as print and manuscript scores, audio and audiovisual recordings, performances
  • non-musical primary and secondary sources, and the research tools appropriate to them
  • procedures for generating material for a research area new to you
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate bibliographical tools and their uses for musical study
  • compile source material (primary and secondary) for a research project using appropriate tools and methods
  • critique musical editions, recordings, performances, and studies with an awareness of source issues they raise
  • summarise source material for annotated bibliography
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use online bibliographical tools and bibliographical software
  • read and annotate texts critically
  • present word-processed bibliographies in a standard humanities format
  • develop presentation and advocacy skills
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use online music bibliographical and discographical aids such as RILM and Music Index to generate music bibliography
  • use printed music bibliographical aids (eg RISM) to locate sources and generate bibliography
  • identify the appropriate methodologies for your new research area


The range of topics that may be covered in this module includes: • describing and formulating a critique of a performance • generating research questions • professional writing skills including abstracts, CVs, grant applications • exploring methodological approaches to diverse musical practices • Active note taking and summarising • Presentation skills • preparing a bibliography

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • seminars • presentation • individual tutorials Learning activities include • individual study, including take-away tasks from weekly seminars • seminar discussion • accessing online resources

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Chicago Manual of Style.

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

Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music.  Author(s): Herbert, Trevor Year of Publication: 2001 Publisher: Oxford University Press


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Skills questionnaire in Week 1 • supervised bibliographical search in the Music computing cluster


MethodPercentage contribution
Annotated bibliography  (1500 words) 40%
Essay/report  (500 words) 20%
Oral presentation  (10 minutes) 20%
Short essay /assignment  (350 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 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

Students are responsible to cover the costs incurred in printing and photocopying material. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. Printing for the collation of a student’s portfolio will be the responsibility of the student.


You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.


Students can decide to purchase some of the textbooks and scores used during this module, even though most of them will be available also in the library

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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