Our main undergraduate teaching is focused within two modules: Music and Science (Level 2) and Psychology of Music (Level 3). Music and Science provides a general introduction to scientific approaches to music, from psychoacoustics to large-scale corpus analysis to methods for capturing responses to music. Psychology of Music focuses on psychological aspects of music listening and performing, including topics such as emotional responses to music, musical memory, and the uses of music in everyday life. Both modules offer opportunities to conduct empirical research by collecting and analysing data on a relevant topic.
We also supervise Level 3 dissertations in Music & Science topics. Previous dissertation topics in this area have included the relationship between autism traits and emotion perception in music and speech, the effect of musical instrumentation on 2 km maximal-intensity cycling, a comparison of cognitive and emotional properties of autobiographical memories evoked by music versus films, and a critical consideration of the uses of music therapy in Neonatal Intensive Care Units for improving maternal mental health.
Durham Undergraduate Research in Music & Science
We publish outstanding examples of undergraduate research in our in-house journal, Durham Undergraduate Research in Music & Science (DURMS). These articles are typically revisions of summative assignments from our undergraduate modules and Level 3 dissertations. Check out the DURMS pages to see examples of the wide range of projects our undergraduate students have conducted.
We have regular opportunities for undergraduate students to become further involved in Music & Science Lab activities. We are always looking for participants for our research studies, which is a great way to get a first glimpse into the type of research we are doing and how it is implemented. Be sure to look out for relevant notifications about such research participation opportunities in departmental emails and news bulletins.
Undergraduate students have also been involved in staff research projects by serving as research assistants, most notably via the Laidlaw Scholarship programme. Such positions allow students to work directly with staff members in designing and running Music & Science experiments on a range of topics.