Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Dissertation in Music MUSIC4071P

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course allows you the opportunity to study an independent piece of research involving music or musical texts. The topic can be in any area of the subject where suitable supervision can be provided.


Six lectures/ workshops in semester one as scheduled in MyCampus. Eight half-hour project supervision sessions (individually arranged between student and supervisor) during semesters 1 and 2

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in BMus/MA Music.

Excluded Courses

Music General Paper (MUSIC4076P)




Dissertation and Literature Review.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ experience planning, researching, and writing a dissertation (or edition) on a musical topic / text of their choosing with individual supervision.

■ foster the time-management skills required to balance the practical, presentational and intellectual challenges posed by a dissertation / edition of this size.

■ develop research, critical analysis and writing skills.

■ identify, evaluate the suitability of, and critically evaluate both primary and secondary sources used in the research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify appropriate research questions or texts for a substantial piece of writing.

■ evaluate a well-developed and detailed understanding of their chosen subject or text.

■ identify and critically engage with relevant and up to date literature around the subject.

■ identify and address any ethical issues in the research project.

■ select and appraise appropriate methods for research and/or analysis.

■ identify limitations within the project, and show its relationship to current knowledge.

■ present the research in a cogent manner.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.