OverviewThroughout their studies on a taught Masters-course, students will develop and pursue an in-depth research into a specific topic, thus 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 1st September.
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:
Students are expected to show independence and autonomy in the organisation and management of this extended research project, which will be framed by regular individual supervision. There will also be meetings with the whole group of students to discuss their MA project, with meetings in the Summer Term where students will present either their practice-as-research presentation, or an academic conference paper, of 20 minutes, on the progress of their research. It is expected that in addition to contact hours with their programme Convenor and Director of Taught MA Programmes, students make use of approx. six hours of tutorial meetings with their appointed supervisors for guidance and feedback. Students will be expected to devote 600 hours of study into the development, research, and completion of their dissertation project.
Contact hours: 8 hours in seminars, 8 hours in tutorial/supervision meetings
Method of assessment
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
• Practical Project of 20 minutes, to address one or more aspects relevant to the research topic investigated –70%
• Dissertation of 7,500 words, applying and critiquing the project and its experience/results, embodying it within a wider horizon of research –30%
Both elements must be passed.
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.
Barrett, Estelle and Bolt, Barbara. Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London:
B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 2010.
Nelson, Robin. Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Further topic and project-specific reading depends on the individual project and will be advised by Programme Convenors.
On successful completion of this module, students will have developed:
- their ability 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;
- their 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;
- their ability to engage confidently and competently in advanced academic research at the forefront of the discipline, as appropriate for postgraduate Masters-level work;
- their ability to locate, produce, synthesise, and productively employ a range of primary source materials;
- their 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.