- Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Katherine Graham
- Credit value: 90 credits
- Credit level: M
- Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
- See module specification for other years: 2022-23
- Notes: This is an independent study module
This module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent project in a practical specialism of your choosing or a small-scale exploration of an area of theatre research related to your particular interests. You can choose one of two options:
· Assessment of a performance as THEATRE MAKER
· Assessment of a dissertation as RESEARCHER
The module is designed to support you to produce either a 18,000-20,000 word research dissertation, or a performance and a piece of reflective writing. Via close supervision by an academic staff member, the module guides you towards the capacity to operate independently as a researcher or practitioner. It will encourage reflective practice or research, contextualised against key developments in your chosen field.
|A||Summer Term 2021-22 to Summer Vacation 2021-22|
For the THEATRE MAKER option, the aims of the module are:
-to give you the experience of working in a small group to stage a performance of your choosing, and to perform this in the department
- to develop your collaborative work with your peers to create performances of a high standard for a public audience
- to give you experience in combining detailed dramaturgical preparation, textual analysis, and historical exploration with rehearsal explorations which lead to a public performance of a script you have thus researched and analysed
- to provide you with the opportunity to follow the particular interests of your small group to explore a particular performance / text / style / form / approach
- to test and enhance your use and command of the knowledge, skills, and techniques acquired during previous modules in a context where, although supported by supervisorial guidance, you have the chance to create your own agendas and devise apt methods to carry them out
- to develop your self-analytical capacity to reflect on the function, scope and effectiveness of your process
For the DISSERTATION option, the aims of the module are:
- To research a topic of your own choosing, under the supervision of a member of staff, and write a dissertation on that topic.
- To give you the opportunity to devise, and execute, an independent project of ambition and substance.
- To enhance your use and command of the knowledge, research and analytical skills that you have acquired during previous modules in a context where, although supported by supervisorial guidance, you have the chance to develop your own agenda and adopt appropriate methods to carry them out.
For THEATRE MAKER option, by the end of the module you will be expected to:
- to possess the skills needed to stage a performance, in front of a public audience, which is informed by the full range of skills and techniques you have acquired during the preceding modules
- to demonstrate your capacity to work collaboratively with your peers to create performances of a high standard
- to have researched, rehearsed and staged your performance to a given set of deadlines and within a given budget
- to have staged a performance which is sensitive to the demands, challenges and opportunities in the script
- to have worked as a group to ensure aesthetic and stylistic coherence.
- to have ensured that your directorial and performative decisions are coherent and internally consistent
- to be able to analyse lucidly, and report on, the function, scope and effectiveness of your process
For the DISSERTATION option, by the end of the module you will be expected to:
- work independently on a substantial research project involving the use of appropriate research techniques and methodologies
- demonstrate your ability to complete an independent project of your own devising which builds on the teaching of the preceding terms
- identify, access and utilise appropriate research materials from archives, libraries and other sources relevant to the project under supervisory guidance
- identify a topic and formulate appropriate research questions relevant to this topic in the creation of a project
- address a specific research question through the deployment of appropriate critical, analytical, creative and/or technical activities and techniques
- compose a substantial piece of writing that is logically structured, clearly written, and well argued
- construct a full bibliography of sources according to standard form
|Task||Length||% of module mark||Group|
Practical Performance (as actor or director)
Students taking the dissertation are assessed purely on the written submission. The assessment of the other options is weighted 70% to the practical assessment and 30% to the reflective essay.
Performances must be no longer than 60 and no less than 50 minutes. They will be presented as showcase performances under festival conditions. Where required, students will be responsible for auditioning a cast for their performances. If you will be working in a small group including other students from MA Theatre-Making, your grade will be individual for this assessment. At least two internal examiners will attend and the external examiner may also be in attendance. Performances are timetabled and cannot be altered, and production schedules must be agreed with the technical team and adhered to. Please note: it is an examination requirement that all candidates perform on campus in the assigned venue. Assessed performances will be recorded on video for the examiners.
Reflective essays for those taking the theatre maker options should be no longer than 4,000 words. They should not be a diary of your work, but a critical reflection on it, supported by contextual material and fully referenced.
The dissertation should be no longer than 20,000 words.
Students must choose their option for this module by the start of the Spring Term, and all projects are subject to approval by the Programme Leader. For approval to be given, students must submit a proposal incorporating both an explanation of the artistic/research rationale for their choice and a timetable for the completion of their work. Students will then be assigned a supervisor with whom they should arrange an initial meeting to discuss the project. After this meeting, each student may have three supervisions of up to an hour, in which their supervisor will discuss either a written draft of part of the student’s dissertation of c. 7,000 words or an observed rehearsal of a section of the performance of c. 30 minutes. For students taking a practical option, these supervisions can take the form of a rehearsal to which the supervisor contributes or a discussion outside the rehearsal room. Workshop and rehearsal space is booked in advance during the summer term for students taking the Theatre Maker option, but students should also make further bookings for rehearsals. Although the work for this module is supervised and assessed individually (even if students are working together), it is expected that students will support each others’ projects by collaborating in developmental workshops and attending presentations and readings. Such participation will extend your range of skills, enhance your CV and widen your network of future collaborators.
|Task||Length||% of module mark||Group|
Practical Performance (as actor or director)
Students will receive written feedback on their summative work within the 20-working day University feedback policy, with an option of an individual follow-up meeting if any aspect of the feedback is unclear to the student or if more guidance on interpreting the feedback is requested.
Formative feedback will be given on sections of the dissertation and on rehearsals of the practical work, both in supervision time. The reflective essay will draw on the skills developed in two previous reflective essays, but formative feedback will be given on plans.
For Theatre Maker option, reading lists will be drawn up with the input of the assigned supervisor and will be tailored to the specific project undertaken. For Dissertation option, reading will similarly be defined by the themes and topics chosen by the student. There are, however, some useful guides to researching and writing dissertations:
Chia, Robert (2002) Writing an Academic Thesis, Dissertation or Essay: Guidelines, Academic
Conventions, Rationale and Good Practice. Exeter : University of Exeter.
Biggam, John (2018) Succeeding with your Master's dissertation, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Richer, Suzi (2013) Writing a Dissertation: The Essential Guide. Peterborough: Need2Know