Module WMP-4106:
Independent Research Project

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Pwyll ap Sion

Overall aims and purpose

On this module, students identify their own research projects in their chosen field of musicology, ethnomusicology or applied studies.

Students are responsible for defining their own topics, but these must be approved by the module co-ordinator by Friday of Week 2 of the semester. The module presents an opportunity for students to apply skills, knowledge and methodologies learned in the first semester.

The final project may be presented in the form of an essay, or in some alternative format (e.g. edition, analysis, workshop) with written commentary.

Course content

The content of the course will vary from student to student, depending on their own areas of interest and specialism.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold (50-59) Work which displays a good grasp of factual knowledge, with adequate ability at conceptual thought, and some awareness of methodological issues (albeit limited), and showing sufficient evidence of a generally intellectual approach, with fair expression.


Good (60-69) Work which displays a sound grasp of the subject, a good level of conceptual thought, awareness of methodological and other issues, with evidence of intellectual acumen and good expression.


Excellent (70+) Work which displays a thorough grasp of the subject, with evidence of extended study, profound conceptual thought, originality of approach and excellent presentational skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to design and execute an individual research project effectively.

  2. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic.

  3. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate the ability to evaluate, apply and adapt a range of appropriate research methodologies.

  4. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to develop some skills of critical, analytical and independent thinking in their area of research.

  5. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate satisfactory oral presentational skills.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Proposal 10
Presentation 20
Main assignment 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Weekly supervision of up to 1 hour’s duration, for 11 weeks


One 2-hour colloquium in Week 11 of the Semester.

Private study 287

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Musicianship skills – recognition, classification, contextualisation, reconstruction, exploration
  • Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: