Dissertation Project:(MA-T) - DR995

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 60 (30) DR A Varakis-Martin







Throughout their studies on a taught Masters-course, students will develop and pursue an in-depth research into a specific topic, thus increasing their potential as appropriate for a postgraduate degree. Students will start shaping and preparing their research early in the year, supported by mandatory seminars in academic writing, research skills and resources, and practice as research (PaR). Students will meet with their Programme Convenor and the Director of Taught MA Programmes in the Autumn term before deciding late in the Autumn Term whether they will pursue Options 1 or 2 as detailed below. Students will present either their practice-based research or an academic conference paper in Summer Term at a Postgraduate Conference organised by the Department, and they will submit their final dissertation by 31st August.
While building on research undertaken previously on their course, and the opportunity to extend any further aspects previously discussed, the topics and submission cannot duplicate material previously submitted for examination as part of the MA-programme.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours: 16
Private Study hours: 584
Total hours: 600

Method of assessment

Students will choose to be assessed through one of the following two options:

Option 1: Research
• Academic Conference Paper, 20 minutes, and approx. 15 minutes Q&A/discussion –30%
• Dissertation of 12,500 words – 70%
Both elements must be passed.

Option 2: Practice-as-Research
• Academic Presentation on Practice, 20 minutes, and approx. 15 minutes Q&A/discussion –30%
• Dissertation comprising of
1. Practice portfolio i — 35%
2. 7,500 word critical analysis of practice, –35%
All elements must be passed.

Indicative reading

Barrett, Estelle and Bolt, Barbara. Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London:
B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 2010.

Biggam, John. Succeeding With Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-By-Step Handbook, 3rd ed. London: Open University Press, 2014.

Furseth, Inger and Everett, Euris Larry. Doing Your Master's Dissertation: From Start To Finish. New York: Sage Publications, 2013.

Nelson, Robin. Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Wisker, Gina. The Postgraduate Research Handbook: Succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD. Palgrave, 2007
Further topic and project-specific reading depends on the individual project and will be advised by Programme Convenors.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- independently define a research topic and to autonomously undertake and complete an advanced, systematic, in-depth research, either through academic research or through practice-as-research;
- possess advanced understanding of research paradigms in Theatre Studies and how to apply these effectively in order to intelligently engage with the chosen research aspect, producing original insight and understanding;
- engage confidently and competently in advanced academic research at the forefront of the selected course-specific discipline, as appropriate for postgraduate Masters-level work;
- locate, produce, synthesise, and productively employ a range of primary course-specific source materials;
- possess confidence and ability to be employed in leading roles in the theatre profession, and/or to proceed into further postgraduate research in theatre and performance.

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