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Unit information: Portfolio / Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Portfolio / Dissertation
Unit code MUSIM0021
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Farwell
Open unit status Not open

Completion of relevant mandatory units in TB1 and TB2 and progress at the June Progress Board



School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The 'dissertation equivalent' assessment for the MA in Composition of Music for Film and Television (MACMFTV) is a portfolio of original media compositions. Students build their media portfolio throughout the year, but the main body of work is during the summer period following completion of the taught units. The portfolio often includes collaboration with film-makers taking the MA in Film and Television in the Department of Film and Television, and with a range of other internal and external collaborators in varied forms of screen media (for instance, optionally with students creating original computer games in the department of Computer Science). Guidance on the portfolio is provided by the Programme Director or other expert tutors.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. sophisticated compositional responses to a variety of screen forms
  2. nuanced choices in music selection and placement
  3. advanced skill in recording, sequencing, mixing and musical post-production
  4. advanced skill in the integration and delivery of the polished media product
  5. sophisticated understanding of up-to-date genres, practices and professional expectations for the media composer
  6. the ability to write cogent critical/descriptive prose accounts

Additionally, for the portfolio option:

A1. the ability to compose in varied musical styles and genres, at the same time as showing an original personal 'voice'

A2. the ability to create and nurture collaborative partnerships

A3. the ability to select and organise multiple elements into a compelling portfolio

Or, additionally for the film + dissertation option:

A4. critical engagement with a wide range of current literature, relevant to topic

A5. the ability to structure and sustain an extended scholarly argument, presented to high academic standards

Teaching Information

Tutorials - supervision sessions. Students will discuss work in progress with tutors, collaborators and peers. They will typically make more works than are needed for the final portfolio, selecting from these to form the submission.

Assessment Information

  • a composition portfolio of productions with film or other visual elements, demonstrating a wide variety of visual and filmic styles, musical mediums and genres. The portfolio will typically comprise five to eight separate productions, and include 18-20 minutes of original musical content (ILOs 1-5, A1-A3)
  • and an accompanying short commentary that sets the overall context for the portfolio and key issues for each production, such as a depiction of the project brief, collaborative processes, creative and technical decisions, musical borrowings (ILOs 2, 5, 6, A2, A3)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MUSIM0021).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.