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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS1125 Music Research Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Ross Cole

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

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will enable students to develop an awareness of the academic research skills necessary to study music at degree level. They should develop a knowledge of what is expected of them in written and oral presentation, and have had a chance to practise these skills; have examined aspects of organising and presenting research as arguments and evidence; have engaged with specified set research-questions and shown an ability to find and research relevant texts independently; cultivated skills in articulating opinions and observations about music both orally and in writing; have some experience of peer-group teamwork activity; have some experience of tutorial and seminar group interaction; and have an awareness of how objectives, skill agendas and learning outcomes described in this module connect and integrate with other music modules. It will be assessed by a group presentation (c. 10 minutes, 30%,) and a research project (70%).


Students are taught the basic skills of music research, and the support and construction of academic arguments. In conjunction with the International Concert Series, students will engage with live performance to contextualise the research problems which are subsequently discussed and evaluated through group discussion and peer feedback. Students are assessed through a group presentation which trains them in researching and constructing arguments in verbal form, and a research project which allows them demonstrate their understanding of the research mechanisms which support, evidence, and structure a coherent piece of academic work.
• develop skills in peer-group teamwork.
• gained some experience of tutorial and seminar group interaction.
• listened to, and critically appraised, a diverse range of live music.
• reflected on their employability by examining their skills across a range of literacies.
• laid the foundations of the academic research skills necessary to study music at degree level; having an awareness of how their degree study is supported by these skills.
• Developed their skill(s) in written English expression including aspects of grammar, syntax, spelling, style, referencing, and other aspects of technical accuracy in written English as appropriate.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should have:
• passed the online Academic integrity test.
• demonstrated an ability to find and research relevant texts independently.
• demonstrated skills in structuring argument and interrogating music, both orally and in writing.
• reflected on their employability through the Employability Tool.

Skills outcomes
Music criticism and evaluation.


Analysing questions. Researching appropriately. Structuring arguments and appropriate supporting evidence. Team collaboration and presentation skills. Tutorial techniques. Skill-mapping and learning objectives. Understanding what makes a music graduate: the relevance of skills with respect to a programme of study, employability, and lifelong learning, listening/concerts. Written presentation skills and scholarly style, including: grammar, prose style, bibliography and referencing skills (especially of musical works and texts), presentation standards.
This module is supported by its own specially developed course handbook. It contains detailed reference material, examples and exercises.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning121.0012.00
Library Session11.001.00
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Private study hours159.00
Total Contact hours41.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

12 hours presentation preparation: including meetings with peers, and presentation rehearsals.
110 hours preparation for research project; including researching topics.
37 hours concert reflection and research.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar sessions are designed around specific tasks achieved through group-interaction and monitored by tutor. Students receive formative feedback both from peers and tutor each week. Formative and summative assessments are approached cumulatively, with multiple opportunities for formative feedback in previous weeks: e.g. the group presentation will have a practice week where students present an outline version of their presentation for feedback on argument/structure/support.
There are a range of formative online tasks including short tests which give students instant feedback on their learning. Blackboard Collaborate tool will be used for moderated discussion of module content with specific (and explicit) learning goals.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentOnline Academic Integrity test (400 words equivalence). This element is pass/fail.0.00
Online AssessmentOnline Employability Tool (400 words equivalence). This element is pass/fail.0.00
Presentationgroup verbal presentation - 10 minutes30.00
Presentationgroup verbal presentation (formative) - 5 minutes0.00
Projecta research project, 2200–2500 words70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Research Project topics may be set by staff involved in the delivery of the module. The assignment may take the form of an annotated bibliography. Resits for the group verbal presentation component will normally be a solo presentation. Online tests are the Academic Integrity test (sem 1), and the Employability Tool (sem 2).

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:43:20


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