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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS5030M Professional Studies

30 creditsClass Size: 75

Module manager: Dr Matthew Pritchard

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally a first degree in which music was a major part, and/or demonstrable knowledge of music and musical terminology

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is compulsory for all taught Masters programmes in the School of Music, is accessed by admission to those programmes, and is taught by a combination of: lectures, seminars with student contribution, programme-based group tutorial, and individual tutorials. 50% of the assessment is determined by a semester 1 bibliography assignment (including critical evaluations of key sources), and 50% by student-centred presentation tasks. All assessed elements will be agreed with relevance to the programme of study in mind.Teaching support focuses on:• finding and citing source materials in both hard-copy and electronic form;• production of a bibliography related to individual students’ research interests (this bibliography should be presented in a logical and consistent format, and should include critical descriptions of ten items, suggesting their value to scholarship);• a range of presentation techniques used in academic and professional environments (for e.g. formats such as conference paper, pre-concert talk, lecture demonstration, PechaKucha, poster, technical or project briefing);• student delivery of two presentation items, in formats chosen from a specified list within agreed parameters; one of these will entail live oral delivery, the other a submission in paper or electronic form.


This module develops research, presentation and professional skills, together with broad awareness of musical scholarship within the context of students’ own specialisms and programme orientation. Assessed elements focus on bibliographic practice, critical commentary, dealing with source information, and presenting scholarly and professional work in oral and written mediums. Delivery is also configured to support professional and careers development (and will typically include sessions from Careers and Library services); engagement with the research environment; individual and collective/peer reflection.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to find and cite primary and secondary sources on paper and in electronic form effectively and accurately, discuss research issues with peers and professional researchers in an appropriate and scholarly manner, convey aspects of their own research and knowledge through concise and clear forms of presentation, and place their own work in a broader context of musical research. They should also have a broader awareness of scholarly and professional practice.

Skills outcomes
• The ability to find and cite source materials effectively and accurately.
• The ability to engage with a range of texts critically as part of a discrete research area.
• The ability to discuss research issues with peers and professional researchers in an appropriate and scholarly manner.
• The ability to convey aspects of their own research and knowledge through concise and clear forms of presentation.
• The ability to place their own work in the broader context of musical research.


Sessions will typically introduce: a range of bibliographic and citation methods, with a focus on the MHRA style; intellectual property, copyright and plagiarism; finding electronic sources; preparing applications (e.g. grants, scholarships, and other competitive processes, and for project proposals); presentation skills and reflective practice; professional development (with support from Careers Service). Students will engage with a wide range of research presentations (including some from PhD students) through attendance at the School’s research seminar series.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning11.001.00
Private study hours250.20
Total Contact hours49.80
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Private study time will include: independent bibliographic research and literature review connected with a chosen area of study; study of referencing systems; critical appreciation of selected texts; creation of a presentation materials (including planning materials); practising of presentation delivery.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Individual tutorials in each semester allow monitoring of student progress in relation to each assessed element. There is also a formative practise exercise in each semester (relating to each assessment: in sem1 a formative mini-bibliography submission, in sem2 a short formative practice presentation in class).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentBibliography project, equivalent to 3500 words50.00
PresentationTWO presentation elements, one of which will be verbal delivery, the other appropriate supporting written materials. Assessment weighting of the two elements is normally two thirds: one third.50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Bibliography project will be submitted in hard copy and electronically via the VLE. Presentations will be recorded.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/08/2017


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