Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module MUSI40590: Musicology Dissertation

Department: Music

MUSI40590: Musicology Dissertation

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 90 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.


  • None.


  • New Orientations in Theory and Musicology.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To facilitate student research into, and presentation of, an extended piece of written work in a chosen specialism.


  • The module content, to be negotiated between course tutor and student, will reflect the student’s interests and the tutor’s expertise. The module is intensively student-centred, with guidance provided by the tutor.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • 1. Deploy critical awareness and reflection in response to texts and other sources considered relevant to the chosen topic.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • 2. The ability to appraise the views of scholars on particular topics, and to make effective use of these views in formulating original insights.
  • 3. Interdisciplinary knowledge in textual and score analysis.
Key Skills:
  • 4. Read, assimilate, reason, and articulate critical positions consistently and coherently in a substantial piece of work.
  • 5. Manage a substantial piece of work, and integrate arguments in a persuasive, coherent manner.
  • 6. Work independently, taking the lead in the research topic and communicating this to the tutor.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The supervisor will guide the student through the initial research process, and discuss the planning of the dissertation with the student at every stage. The supervisor will also discuss the substance of the chosen topic with the student, so that the latter may be encouraged to formulate responses to texts and subject matter from the outset (LO 1, 2, 3). Regular supervisory meetings will be an opportunity for the student to present current research and ideas to the tutor, and to learn from the tutor’s expertise in the subject. The successful management of a dissertation reflects a student’s organisational ability, and the well-paced approach to research and writing from the outset. (LO 4,5, 6) These skills are key to the effective transmission of original ideas in the work itself: these skills further prepare students for doctoral study by enhancing their faculties of self-reflection and critique.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Attendance at Guest Lectures (compulsory) 10 4/4/2 1 hour 10
Individual Tutorials 10 fortnightly 2 hours 20
Preparation and Reading 870

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 20,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment takes the form of regular feedback from the course tutor throughout the year, and feedback on drafts of work.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University