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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUS5132M Applied Research Methodologies

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Bryan White

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally a first degree in an arts subject; demonstrable knowledge of music and musical terminology; you are advised to consult the module leader if you wish to consider this as an optional module.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module trains students in the theory, history and practice of applied research methodologies such as archival studies, editing, fieldwork and transcription. Students will explore the qualities and properties of different methodologies, and the range of source materials to which they may be applied. They will select one or more methodologies suitable to a source-based research project of their own devising (guided by tutors), which will be developed with the support of a series of small group and individual tutorial. The final project will take the form of a written output that presents, contextualizes and interprets the material with which they have chosen to work.


This module explores the ways in which applied methodologies (e.g. archival studies, editing, fieldwork, transcription. etc.) used in finding, collecting, presenting and interpreting primary sources have been developed and practiced in musicological contexts. Students will build an understanding of the range of materials (notated scores, text documents, audio/visual recordings, newspapers, interviews, etc.) to which such methodologies are applicable, and develop skills in searching for, locating and collecting them. Students will collect primary sources relevant to their interests and will use applied methodologies to contextualize, interpret and present the material to a scholarly standard. The module will draw upon the wide range of applied methodologies employed by researchers in the school, and will expose students to active research projects (and may, in appropriate cases, allow students to contribute to research projects). Students will have access to the archival resources of the School (e.g. the Trevor Jones screen-music archive), and the Special Collections of the Brotherton Library. In the wider city important archival sources are held by Leeds Public Library, the West Yorkshire Archives, etc. Students will be encouraged to seek out areas of research that suit their interests, and the types of primary sources which inform that research.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Engage critically with the development and theoretical implications of primary source-based methodologies;

2. Devise and execute a project employing primary source-based methodologies;

3. Engage critically with primary source material

4. Produce well informed and appropriate commentary on musical and/or documentary sources within the field of musicology;

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

5. Find and interpret primary source material


In a short lecture series relevant applied methodologies will be explored for their theory, history, and practice in relation to differing types of source material and musicological outcomes. Students will specialize in one or more methodologies in project work relating to source materials with which they wish to engage in research. In a series of small group/individual tutorials, students will create and develop a project, outlining the sources they will investigate, the mode by which the material will be investigated, and a suitable final mode of presentation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours285.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be offered in group and individual tutorials. The project methodology report will be marked and returned before the final project is submitted, and thereby will provide formative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectProject methodology report (1800-2400 words)25.00
ProjectFinal project (5500-6500 words)75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/01/2024


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