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TH990 - Dissertation (Written or Practical)


To enable students to undertake supervised and theoretically-informed independent study on a selected area of Theatre and Performance Studies leading either to a written dissertation or to a practice-based presentation supported by written analysis.

Written: This route enables students to complete an individually written dissertation of 15,000 words on a research topic of their choice and based on their investigation of primary and secondary sources. Each student taking this route is allocated a single supervisor and the topic must be one that can be appropriately supervised by a member of staff in the Department. The written dissertation must be based on clear historiographical, dramaturgical, and/or theoretical/conceptual principles. It should make apparent the context of the research, the research methodology involved and the research questions it is posing.

Practical: This route enables students to use forms of practice as the primary research methodology. The practical work can take several forms, including (but not limited to) live performance, performance installations, site-specific performance, video work, multi-media work, the writing of plays, curatorial work (including recording what has happened in the past or organizing an exhibition), historical performance reconstruction, space and/or costume design, organizing and running participatory workshops, and video documentaries. Assessment is based on a presentation and 6000 word written analysis.

Learning Outcomes

This module is aimed to equip MA students with experience of independent study commensurate with the appropriate level required for entry to a MPhil/PhD programme through undertaking an independent research topic involving independent research. They will demonstrate an ability to

Engage in an extended period of research to generate an original performance or media-based product or written dissertation

Organise and structure research findings and make independent judgments

Demonstrate skill in researching, presenting and responding critically to established knowledge or approaches to a particular topic from within the discipline of theatre and performance studies


There is no formal schedule of classes for this module, but students will select a topic in consultation with the Department in the Spring Term and regular time-tabled meetings with the disseration supervisor will take place in the Summer Term. The written dissertation and written component of the practical dissertation must be submitted to the department by 15 September 2017. Presentations of the practical component of the practice-based dissertation will take place at a time and location agreed by the department. Part-time students will commence work on their dissertation in the Summer Term of their first year, but prsentational and written work will be due as specified at the end of their second year.

Convenor: Professor JIm Davis