Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)
PFM0230 or restructured
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment PRACTICE-AS-RESEARCH PROJECT OR DISSERTATION  75% production; 25% written reflection. A fully realised performance of 60 minutes duration minimum with 5,000 word critical reflection. This presentation will be videoed for scrutiny by the external examiner and departmental records. Assessment of this performance will be according to the current `best practice? in `practice-as-research? to ensure equivalence with assessment of the written dissertation. It is intended to consult the PARIP project (Univeristy of Bristol) for guidence in this. OR Written Dissertation 20,000 words.  100%
Supplementary Assessment a) Resit as solo practice-as-research project or b) Resite as written dissertation. Resits of assignments when necessary and in accordance with the conditions and timetable set by the univeristy.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able:

1. to demonstrate successful project design in the field of practice-as-research: the development of concept, script, scenario, plan
2. to demonstrate mastery of the intelligent and systematic application of strategies and operational procedures for devising and presenting non-textual performance genres: the development of creative techniques of formulation, rehearsing, staging and exposition
3. to demonstrate advanced skills - in a range of conceptual and representational strategies and techniques - to achieve well-defined and conceptualized creative outcomes.
4. to evince responsibility for the implementation - in an ordered and meaningful way - the methodological and representational principles of devising performance introduced in previous modules, whilst researching and developing new advanced skills appropriate to the arena of exposition

Written dissertation
5. to demonstrate sophisticated skills in the design and implementation of a sustained research enquiry in the field of performance studies
6. to demonstrate an informed ability to engage in complex, critical analysis of performance, relating such analysis to contemporary knowledge and research traditions in the field of performance studies
7. to demonstrate advanced skills in the exposition of coherent, detailed and original intellectual argument for the duration of the dissertation
8. to evince understanding of the methodological and representational principles of devising performance introduced in previous modules, whilst researching and developing new advanced skills appropriate to textual exposition


Independent research supported by tutorials.

Immediately upon completion of the research module PFM0410 and successful submission of a research proposal, an initial meeting will be held with each student to discuss the dissertation, in both content and supervision. Supervisors are allocated, based on expertise with the proposed topic, and in discussions with the students concerned, subject to approval by the Head of Department. The final practice-as-research or thesis topic is also subject to approval by the Head of Department. Once the topic has been approved, a total of three hours of supervision time is given to each student, to be arranged with the supervisor(s) on an individual basis. A brief minute of each supervision meeting is taken, signed by supervisor and student, and placed on file for the record.

The module will also contain 3 x 2 hour seminars entitled Survival Strategies to suggest ways in which the work of this module might be carried forward into professional practice. Issues covered
include funding, networks and venues.

Brief description

The module encourages students to undertake a sustained and detailed enquiry into specific aspects of performance through the creation of a piece of performance-as-research, with supporting documentation. Under consultation, this may either be a solo work acheived by the student alone or a group work involving others but under the conceptual control and direction of the individual student.

There is also the option to complete this module through the submission of a written dissertation. The preferred submission option, its subject and research methodology will be subject to the approval of a proposal submitted at the culmination of PFM0410. Students will be assisgned an individual supervisor who will assist the student within the general framework and limits operated for postgraduate dissertations within the Department.

For those students creating devised performance, it is proposed that there should be a public showcase of work in late September/early October each year.

The student will also participate in at least one five-day training course and one weekend training course given by guest practitioners on the annual Centre for Performance Research Summer Academy. The timetabling of this training during the period of working on the modular assignment is viewed as a valuable spur to creativity and opportunity to gain additional information on process. Participation is compulsory though non-contributory in terms of assessment. Recent teachers have included Goat Island (Chicago, USA), Guillermo Gomez-Pena (Los Angeles, USA) and Prof. Phillip Zarilli (Exeter University).


The aims of this module are:
a) to enable students to complete their MA Practising Performance through undertaking a substantial piece of original work
b) to allow them to acheive this through two distinct kinds of submission:

i) a work of self-authored, devised performance supported by a written reflection upon the conceptual and devising processes; to conceive, develop, rehearse, produce and present a full-length performance as outlined and proposed in PFM0410.

ii) a sustained, substantial and scholarly written enquiry that may involve new research or the re-examination of existing research, its theoretical, conceptual and empirical base in the field of performance as outlined and proposed in PFM0410.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Development and assessment of aesthetic performance
Improving own Learning and Performance Development and assessment of original performance
Information Technology In assessment research and dissertation writing
Personal Development and Career planning Development and assessment of aesthetic performance of professional standard
Problem solving Development and assessment of aesthetic performance or Development and assessment of effective intellectual argument
Research skills Development and assessment of advanced conceptual skills or Development and assessment of advanced research skills
Subject Specific Skills Exposition of emergent notion of practice-as-research Advanced creative functioning
Team work Development and assessment of performance


This module is at CQFW Level 7