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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS5331M Researching Performance

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Professor Michael Allis

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

This module replaces Professional Studies within the MMus Performance Programme.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

On this module students will explore how to find and reference source materials relating to their performing interests appropriately, and how to present their ideas effectively in verbal and written form. They will also be introduced to a range of topics relating to performance research, focusing on pertinent methodologies, and encouraging them to situate their own repertoire enthusiasms within a wider academic context. Assessment will be via a presentation/lecture recital (60%) and bibliography/critical evaluations (40%), supported by group and individual tutorials, and the attendance of selected concerts/research events to provide models of presentation.


The module enables students to contextualise their performance interests by engaging in and developing an awareness of issues in performance research. They will explore how to identify relevant source materials, how to evaluate them critically, and how to reference them appropriately; they will also develop skills in presenting their research ideas through the exploration of a particular performance-related topic, negotiated with staff members.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an awareness of how issues relating to performance research can be presented effectively.
2. Demonstrate an awareness of appropriate methodologies pertaining to performance research, along with relevant contexts (whether historical, cultural, or in terms of specific performance traditions) within which their performance interests might be situated.
3. Demonstrate an ability to find, evaluate and reference source materials appropriately.

Skills outcomes
Identifying musical sources; evaluating musical sources critically; referencing musical sources; presentation skills.


In addition to sessions focusing upon how to identify and reference sources appropriately, how to approach these sources critically, and how research ideas might be presented effectively, the syllabus will explore discrete areas relating to researching performance, likely to include: the significance of recordings; performers’ writings; the importance of editions; and the historical significance of individual performers (involving practice-led and more conventional methodologies).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Research Class51.507.50
Small Group Learning42.008.00
Private study hours259.50
Total Contact hours40.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Private study (c.259.5hours) will involve independent bibliographic research and critical evaluation connected with a chosen area of study, the studying of referencing systems, the identification and appreciation of selected texts/recordings, creation of presentation/lecture recital materials, the practising of presentation delivery, attendance at selected research colloquia and concerts, use of support resources such as skills@library, preparatory/post-lecture reading, and reading and studying the Minerva pages for the module which include the range of documentation associated with it.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The group tutorials and individual tutorials will allow students to discuss the development of their bibliographies and presentations (and will include some formative assessment), as part of the preparatory process for both assignments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment3000-3500 words; this will take the form of a list of c.30 source materials related to a particular topic (representing a range of source types), plus detailed critical evaluations of 4 specific sources (2 of which should be recordings).40.00
Practicala 20-25 minute presentation/lecture recital60.00
AssignmentFormative bibliography assignment0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The Presentation/Lecture Recital will take place after the Easter vacation. Resits will be offered later in the year if needed.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 02/08/2021 11:04:16


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