Module code: TON3017

Module Overview

This module is the culmination of the engineering and technical component of the programme, and allows you to specialise in topics of use to your future career. It includes two aspects: a literature review, and dissertation & presentation. The literature review is intended to give you experience in writing a literature review on a technical topic, the feedback on which will assist in writing the technical project. In addition, it will give you an opportunity to learn in detail about a specialised area not normally covered in the remainder of the programme. The dissertation gives you an opportunity to conduct research in a second subject of your choosing related to audio engineering, and allows you to investigate this to a depth not possible during other parts of the programme. The presentation gives you an opportunity to present this to the rest of the year so that fellow students can learn from your findings and you can learn from others.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

MASON Russell (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 6

Independent Learning Hours: 405

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 15

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 6

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

  • TON1023 Audio Signal Analysis
  • TON1024 Computer Systems
  • TON1027 Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
  • TON1028 Audio Engineering and Recording Techniques
  • TON1029 Audio Electronics 1
  • TON2023 Audio Engineering and Electronics 2

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • An initial session in which the purpose of the module will be outlined and advice given on planning and suitable topics.

  • Lectures on academic research, writing style, structuring reports, and presentation skills – developing your skills by building on learning in previous years to deal with the greater scope and complexity of a dissertation.

  • Workshops on listening test design and statistical analysis to help you to develop the skills required for the most common form of experimentation in a dissertation.

  • Regular one-to-one tutorials with your dissertation supervisor to allow detailed discussion of your topic of study and gain regular formative feedback on your progress.

The content of the Dissertation will be agreed between you and the module coordinator during Semester 1.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Literature review 25
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Dissertation 70
Oral exam or presentation Presentation 5

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to allow you to develop and demonstrate research skills in the form of a literature review, and technical writing and presentation skills in the form of an extensive written report that is subsequently presented in person. The process will allow you to develop your ability to review and critically evaluate written academic information, combining sources of information to help you develop your own ideas. It will also help you to develop knowledge and understanding of experimentation and data analysis appropriate to your chosen project, as well as discussion of new results leading to meaningful conclusions. 

The Literature Review will give you experience of selecting a topic, conducting literature-based research, and writing this up as a shorter piece of work. Following this, you will conduct the Dissertation, helped by the feedback given for the Literature Review, on a new topic of your choosing. The Dissertation will include a literature review of that topic and experimentation to develop original contributions to knowledge in your chosen topic.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Literature Review on a subject of your choosing (addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 5).

  • Dissertation. A research-based dissertation on a different topic from that of your Literature Review (addresses learning outcomes 1, 3-6).

  • Presentation on the topic of the Dissertation and will be delivered to the class during Semester 2 (addresses learning outcome 3).

These assessments are designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of your chosen specialist subject. 

Formative  assessment

Formative feedback will be given for a Dissertation progress report submitted in Semester 1. This must include:

  • A summary of the motivation for the dissertation

  • A list of research questions with appropriate justification

  • A brief summary of the literature review (answering some of the research questions)

  • An outline experiment plan (including an explanation of how it will answer the remaining research questions)

  • A time plan for the remainder of the dissertation

  • An outline of the chapter and section layout of the final dissertation

Formative feedback will also be given to you as noted below.


You will receive written feedback on your Literature Review that will help you with your Dissertation. Verbal and/or written feedback will also be given through tutorial supervision throughout the year. You will receive feedback from tutors and fellow students on your presentation.

Module aims

  • The module aims to introduce you to methods of academic research to a depth not possible in the rest of the programme. By undertaking a literature review and a separate dissertation, you will be able to learn in detail about two topic areas. You will select the topics, and can do so based on your interests and career aspirations, therefore maximising the usefulness of this work for your future employment. As part of this process, you will:
  • increase your knowledge of two specialised areas of audio
  • further develop your skills in academic research and writing; and
  • develop confidence in presenting ideas to other people

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Independently research a previously unfamiliar topic to a depth not possible in the rest of the programme KCT
002 Collate and discuss this research in a coherent form in a written literature review KCT
003 Clearly communicate a summary of your research in the form of a dissertation and presentation KCPT
004 Organise and structure a large-scale piece of written work employing an appropriate research methodology KCT
005 Demonstrate significant scholarship in the area of your chosen subject C
006 Demonstrate your propensity for postgraduate study C

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: foster your independent technical and research skills across both semesters. You will be supported in your independent work through structured guidance in research, technical writing and presentations, as well as one-on-one tutorials. You will learn from each other’s presentations and the subsequent question and answer sessions, delivered during seminars in Semester 2.
The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures that will introduce the scope of the work in the module as well as the core research skills needed for the module

  • Workshops that will allow practical investigation of topics of use to most dissertations

  • Seminars where you will present the results of your dissertation and learn from the dissertations of others

  • Tutorial supervision where you will gain individual feedback from a member of staff on the progress and future direction of your work

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TON3017

Other information

Digital capabilities: the digital capabilities that you develop will be determined by the topic of your Dissertation. Commonly developed capabilities include: audio processing and editing skills; statistical analysis methods; tools for creating reports and diagrams; and tools for creating presentations. The Dissertation gives you the opportunity to develop specialised digital capability skills such as machine learning, advanced signal processing, programming, and development of virtual reality systems. 

Employability: the Dissertation allows you to specialise in areas of audio engineering and technology that are relevant to your chosen career. Irrespective of the topic, the Literature Review and Dissertation will encourage you to develop professional skills related to literature searching, experimental methods, data analysis, and report writing. The Presentation will encourage you to develop professional skills of creating and giving presentations.

Resourcefulness and resilience: the Dissertation is a major piece of work that will challenge and stretch you, and encourage you to develop your skills in long-term planning and time management. The timing of the assessment is designed to give you ample time to investigate the topic, conduct pilot experimentation (giving an opportunity to learn from failures), benefit from formative feedback from the progress report and one-to-one tutorials, and apply this learning to a piece of work of significant academic rigour.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.