Dissertation Project:(MA-T) - DRAM9950

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Year 7 60 (30) Angie Varakis-Martin checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

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 — 35%
2. 7,500 word critical analysis of practice, –35%
All elements must be passed.

Reassessment methods:

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

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

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 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;
2 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;
3 engage confidently and competently in advanced academic research at the forefront of the selected course-specific discipline, as appropriate for postgraduate Masters-level work;
4 locate, produce, synthesise, and productively employ a range of primary course-specific source materials;
5 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.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 exercise initiative, take personal responsibility and discipline to define, set up, support, manage and realise a project or target over an extended period of time within specified resource allocations;
2 frame, articulate, and communicate in sophisticated and coherent practice and/or writing the evidence base, debate and argument of the project/research undertaken;
3 recognise and solve problems encountered while undertaking a substantial project of work;
4 make decisions and devise appropriate strategies, informed by sound and creative problem-solving skills;
5 be skilled in independent learning required for continuous professional development.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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