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Unit information: Research Skills for Musicians in 2021/22

Unit name Research Skills for Musicians
Unit code MUSIM0035
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Vella
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will focus on research skills that are particularly relevant to musicians: - handling library collections and archives; - good practice in compiling a bibliography; - oral presentation skills, using Powerpoint. The unit will be taught in a mixture of music-department based classes and more general skills training offered by the Graduate School


This unit aims to offer guidelines to research in arts subjects in general, with the addition of methodologies relating specifically to Music.

Intended Learning Outcomes

(1) Successful completion of this unit will enable students to make strategic use of primary and secondary sources, of the most up-to-date research tools and of established research methodologies.

(2) Students should also be in a position to select research topics advisedly and to present research findings in a clear and coherent form.

This module also measures general learning outcomes for the MA in Music as follows:

(3) Demonstrate familiarity with a range of methodologies (including those imported from other disciplines)

(4) Display a sincerity of belief in particular ideas and methodologies, yet retaining a sympathy for and tolerance towards alternatives

(5) Be able to identify subtly different shades of interpretation and display sensitivity towards the consequences of their application

(6) students will demonstrate effective verbal presentation

(7) experience in seeing a project through from conception to planning, blueprint realisation, and execution

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including seminars, tutorials, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Assessment is by coursework:

  • one bibliography project comprising c. 100 items (set in Week 1) - 50%
  • oral presentations pf c. 15-20 minutes in Weeks 10-11 on any aspect of the student's research - 50%


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. MUSIM0035).

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.