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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 18/05/2022 12:32:50

Title of Module: Music Research Practice

Code: MUSC09021 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Iain  Taylor

Summary of Module

This module introduces students to the practice and philosophy of research, providing an introduction to data collection and analysis issues and techniques appropriate for the study of music-related cultures, industry and practice. Students will be introduced to the main concepts and issues involved in the design of research proposals, and the key stages of carrying it through to fruition, being designed to provide the initial basis for the dissertation project that students will undertake at Level 10 as part of the Commercial Music Research Project double module.

Following the introductory lectures the principles underpinning research as an academic practice, a set of workshops  on specific methodological approaches, the ethics of research and the collection and use of data. Students will work through a series of case study projects that demonstrate the appropriateness of different methods for building an understanding of various music-related phenomena, from the practice, consumption and production of music from both a music industries and socio-cultural perspective.

In particular, students are encouraged to engage with the course materials and practical exercises in the context of their own professional and personal development, with a view of building a basic knowledge of research practice and a more specific practical skills-set in preparation for their entering the workplace and/or continuing onto further study.

  • To design a small scale social science based research project

  • To prepare the first three chapters towards a level 10 dissertation

  • Acquire the academic skills to approach a research based academic career

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge of key methodological approaches in music, media and communication related research (Assessment in the form of an research proposal).

L2. Critically assess research processes and practice with particular awareness of the relationship between theory, research practice and real world context (Assessment in the form of a research proposal).

L3. Demonstrate knowledge of the practical, theoretical and ethical aspects of at least two methods of collecting, managing and analyzing empirical data at a basic level. (Assessment in the form of a research proposal).

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Broad understanding of the key theoretical and methodological approaches to research practice and how they may be employed in the study of music-related cultures, contexts, practices and processes.

Understanding of main stages involved in carrying out research, including considerations of a logistical, analytic and ethical nature.

Understanding of how to approach the design and implementation of a simple research project, with reference to at least two methods of data collection, management and/or analysis.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

A critical understanding of the decision-making processes involved in selecting and applying specific methods for research practice.

Critically reviewing the body of research methods literature associated with the study of music-related cultural production and consumption.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicating the central ideas, concepts and issues associated with researching music-related socio-cultural phenomena.

Drawing on a range of academic, popular media and historical sources in making judgments regarding the applicability of certain theoretical frameworks drawn from the field of Popular Music- and Cultural-Studies.

Identify and analyse routine problems and ethical issues involved in the empirical study of music-related contexts and practices.

Draw on a range of research methods literature and industry-research sources in making judgments about the suitability of a range of methodological approaches for the study of music-related phenomena.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Assimilate, synthesize and communicate complex arguments regarding the principles underpinning the practice of research.

Using a range of IT applications to support and enhance work.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising initiative and independence in carrying out defined desk-based research activities and the design of a basic research project proposals.

Systematically identifying and addressing their own learning needs both in current and in new areas, under guidance.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Presently this module is delivered 100% online in a mix of lectures followed by tutorials. Students work through the essential framework of buiding up a small scale research project and acquiring essential academic research terminolgies, strategies and design skills.The proposal that they create can serve as preliminary groundwork for their dissertation in the following year. Alternatively students will be able to use this module to apply for Masters courses where it is a pre requisite to have passed a module in research skills.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery30
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity3
Personal Development Plan3
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Alasuutari, P. (1995) Researching Culture: Qualitative Method and Cultural Studies. London: Sage.

Barrett, E. and Bolt, B. (eds.) (2010) Practice As Research. London and New York: I.B. Tarius

Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project (4th Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press

Denscombe, M. (2012) Research Proposals: A Practical Guide. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Gray, D. E. (2022) Doing Research in the Real World, 5th Edition. London: SAGE

Walliman, N. (2006) Social Research Methods. London: Sage.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Aula, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement and attendance procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelArts & Media
ModeratorDr Kenneth Forbes
External ExaminerR Nowak
Accreditation DetailsJames
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Research Proposal (100%) 3,000 words
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.