MUSI466-20W (C) Whole Year 2020

Research Project

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 13 March 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 21 August 2020


Research Project

To develop basic research and presentational skills (written and oral) in support of independent and original work in a specialised area of music study, including topics in performance, composition, and musicology. The course will also provide a forum for students with different specialisms to discuss their work with each other.
The course assessment culminates in a seminar presentation of a research topic, which is expected to meet standards appropriate to postgraduate level.

Topics covered in this course
• The research process
• Selecting and refining a research topic
• Different types of research in music
• Reviewing scholarly literature
• Planning a research project
• Research methodologies
• Ethics in academic research
• Data collection and analysis
• Working with primary sources
• Libraries, archives, and museums
• Approaches to music analysis
• Scholarly networking
• Dissemination of research

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who pass this course will be able to:
  • Identify and select appropriate approaches to research in music
  • Investigate new research topics and evaluate their viability.
  • Formulate successful search strategies using library catalogues and databases, bibliographic tools, and internet resources.
  • Interpret a wide range of sources, including primary sources, scholarly publications, and online material.
  • Demonstrate accurate use of citation styles to reference sources.
  • Construct an effective research proposal.
  • Demonstrate scholarly writing, presentation, and discussion skills.
  • Investigate issues of relevance to the field of music research.
  • Justify a position on a particular topic.


Subject to approval of the Head of School.

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 11:00 17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May

Course Coordinator

Francis Yapp

TUTORS:  Individual tutors will be arranged during the course.


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Continuous Assessment 10%
Purpose Statement 10%
Preliminary Literature Review 15%
Research Proposal 20%
Research Seminar and Write-up 45%

There is no end-of-year examination, but a prominent part of the assessment is the delivery of a research seminar in Semester 2.

1. Continuous Assessment (10%)
   The course depends on effective independent study guided by a supervising tutor (see below) as well as regular attendance at lectures.  At the end of the course students will be assessed on the following criteria:
• Attendance and contribution at tutorials and lectures.
• Meeting the draft deadlines and other goals set.
• Consistency of independent study.
• Initiative and engagement with the study in general and supervision sessions in particular.

2. Purpose Statement (10%) Due date: 23 March at 11pm
Identify a research topic related to the study of music.  Write a draft topic statement which outlines:
• the research problem, the topic, and the tentative research objective
• the rationale/need for the study
• the contribution the project will make to knowledge and practice
You should also outline the way you expect to approach the research (methodology), and why you have chosen this approach. At this stage, this may be relatively brief.
You should be prepared to present your topic statement to the class in Week 3.

3. Preliminary Literature Review (15%) Due Date: 14 May at 11pm
Locate and review 5-8 research-based articles that are relevant to your topic and review them.
For each of the chosen articles, write a review summarising the following: the research objective, the research methods used, the theoretical position (if stated), and the main findings. You should also explain why you have chosen each of the studies/articles.

4. Research Proposal (20%) Due Date: 16 June at 11pm
A research proposal following the template provided in class.  This should be submitted to the course coordinator. The marked copy should also be presented to the individual tutor at the first compulsory tutorial.
(Note: the proposal should form the basis of the student’s seminar project. It will be possible to change the topic after this in consultation with the tutor, in which case you will be required to prepare a new proposal for the tutor, with a copy to the course co-ordinator. However, the grade for the original proposal will stand.)

5. Research Seminar and Written Paper (45%) Due date: Seminar Presentations in
class on 14 October (9am); Written Paper due at 11pm on 16 October.

The seminar should be 20 minutes in duration, with 10 minutes for questions and discussion. The written paper will typically be 4000 words in length, though this may vary according to the nature of the topic.
The seminar and written paper will be assessed together, according to the following criteria:
• Quality of presentation, including for the seminar clear and effective delivery, and appropriate use of supporting resources and media, and for the write-up, good language and academic writing skills, effective presentation on the page, and correct referencing and bibliography.
• Content (including evidence of effective research and preparation, quality of idea, & effective structure and argumentation) as evidenced in both seminar and write-up

The live presentation may take various forms, such as a lecture-recital, a short lecture or research paper, or an audio-visual presentation of a practical project. The written submission should be in academic language, and should incorporate full and appropriate referencing in either MHRA or APA style. The relationship between the seminar and written paper must be clear; any failing in this respect will be treated as a deficiency of content. The written paper need not exactly reproduce the content of the seminar (a written prose style does not necessarily make for an engaging oral delivery), and may be more comprehensive than the seminar, but they should be clearly versions of the same thing.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Lee, Sang-Hie; Scholarly research for musicians; Routledge, 2017.

Leedy, Paul D. , Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis; Practical research :planning and design; 10th ed; Pearson, 2013.

Young, Gregory(Professor of music) , Shanahan, Jenny Olin; Undergraduate research in music :a guide for students; First edition; Taylor and Francis, 2018.



The course is supported by two forms of teaching:  (1) Full-group sessions on subjects such as selecting and researching a topic and techniques of presentation and argumentation.  You will also have the opportunity to discuss work in progress with other students, and to gain experience in lecture- or seminar-type presentation.  (2) Individual tutorials with a supervising tutor, supporting the student’s particular project.

You will be assigned to an individual course tutor in the process of, or soon after, formulating your proposal, arranging tutorials as required, usually up to a maximum of 12 hours.  Any member of the music staff may act as your tutor, if available, but your choice of topic will be constrained by the availability of staff to supervise it.  Supervision by non-School of Music staff may be allowed in consultation with the course coordinator and Head of School.  

You are expected to have at least three formal sessions with your tutor supporting written work.  One should follow the return of the marked copy of your proposal, and two more should each follow your submitting increasingly refined drafts of your paper to your tutor.  Your tutor will indicate the type of work/revision expected for each draft.  The quality of the draft papers and discussion of them in tutorials will figure in your continuous assessment mark.
Note that the individual tutorial process ends on the date the seminar paper is delivered.  Tutors will not advise on the essay after this date, or give feedback on the seminar content.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,044.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All MUSI466 Occurrences

  • MUSI466-20W (C) Whole Year 2020