Candidates can choose any topic related to any musical subject, theory or focus. Once the academic registrar has accepted the dissertation title and subject matter, the maximum time under each diploma level applies.

If a candidate prefers to submit more than one essay, the titles and content must not share the same source material or be on a closely-related subject.

The viva section of the examination may be conducted by post at the discretion of the examiner.

Details of the available dissertation examinations are listed below:

NMSM dissertation examinations

Diploma DipNMSM
Outline Proposal 150 words
Maximum course duration 6 months
Essays 1
Length (excluding references) 5,000 words
Appendicies Optional
References (Havard) No
Bibliography No
Viva No
Diploma ANMSM
Outline Proposal 200 words
Maximum course duration 9 months
Essays 1-2
Length (excluding references) 7,500 - 9,000 words
Appendicies Yes
References (Havard) Optional
Bibliography Yes
Viva 15 minutes
Diploma LNMSM
Outline Proposal 250 words
Maximum course duration 18 months
Essays 1-2
Length (excluding references) 11,000 - 12,000 words
Appendicies Yes
References (Havard) Yes
Bibliography Yes
Viva 20 minutes
Diploma FNMSM
Outline Proposal 300 words
Maximum course duration 24 months
Essays 1-3
Length (excluding references) 13,500 - 15,000 words
Appendicies Yes
References (Havard) Yes
Bibliography Yes
Viva 30 minutes