Independent Research Project
Independent Research Project 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
Pwyll ap Sion
The content of the course will vary from student to student, depending on their own areas of interest and specialism.
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 Monday of Week 1 of Semester 2. The module presents an opportunity for students to apply skills, knowledge and methodologies learned during 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. The content of the course will vary from student to student, depending on their own areas of interest and specialism.
50%-59% (Pass) The crucial achievement is demonstration of a sound grasp of the topic and relevant secondary literature, appropriate use of sources, which are critically examined, interpreted and contextualised, methodological tools and technical terminology. However, the mark will be limited to this level by such things as: unoriginal application of a pre-defined methodology, which results in a failure to address its limitations with regard to the subject matter concerned; heavy reliance on and unquestioned use of secondary literature; inability to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant; poor expression; incompetent bibliographical and footnoting skills.
60%-69% (Merit) The distinguishing quality is the generation of some original insights, resulting from research into a little-explored area and/or the competent and creative use of methodologies, which are further developed or applied to a new field of study. The work will therefore demonstrate the ability to develop an original and sophisticated argument without intrinsic contradictions and inconsistencies; secure intellectual grasp of material beyond the subject matter narrowly defined; ability to diagnose and remedy problems and contradictions within previous scholarship; effective communication of ideas and argument. Work of this category may contain many of the same qualities which qualify for distinction (70% and over), but they will be demonstrated at a less independent level, or the work may be outstanding in one distinction characteristic, but significantly deficient in another.
70%-83% (Distinction) The distinguishing quality is the generation of novel and original insights, which make a substantial contribution to scholarship and substantially advance the current understanding of the topic. Work of this category will typically result from: the aggregation of a sizeable body of previously unresearched information; the development of tailor-made methodology, which sheds new light on the subject; true intellectual acumen, scholarly rigour, analytical skills of high order; the solution of challenging problems or identification of hidden flaws in established academic knowledge and discourse. Depending on the nature of the research project, a notable degree of innovation is recognisable either in all of these aspects or in selection, then to a higher extent.
84%-100% (High Distinction) Work at this level is of a standard that attains or closely approaches professional standards and has the potential to re-define the area or methodological debate. The work will demonstrate in a consistent manner all of the features listed in the 70%-84% category, and will be of such a quality that it either stands up to publication in a scholarly journal in its submitted state or with presentational amendments.
- Demonstrate communication skills, appropriate to the level of study.
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic.
- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, apply and adapt a range of appropriate research methodologies.
- Design and execute an individual research project effectively.
- Develop some skills of critical, analytical and independent thinking in their area of research.
Proposal. Approximately 500 words outlining the research question, the methodology / methods, addressing feasibility, and citing key texts. Due by 4pm on Thursday of Week 1 of semester 2.
Presentation. Deliver a work in progress presentation on your project. You should focus on an aspect of the project that is not addressed in full in the submission itself (i.e. there should not be substantial overlap with the main submission). Full advice is provided on Blackboard. Presentations are typically held in the first teaching week after the Easter break.
Main assignment. The exact nature of the submission will depend on the project, and must be agreed with the module coordinator. Submissions may take a variety of forms (including a dissertation), to a length (or equivalent of) 5000 words. Due on the first Monday of the semester 2 assessment period (week 13).