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Unit information: Independent Research Project in 2020/21

Unit name Independent Research Project
Unit code THTRM0011
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hindson
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit provides a structured and supervised opportunity for M Level students to pursue a small independent research project on an agreed topic of interest within the areas of theatre and performance studies. It will enable students to design and develop a defined and focused specialist practical, historical, methodological, and/or conceptual interest under the guidance of a member of Theatre’s academic staff. Through this unit, students will have the opportunity to explore particular topics in more depth than is offered within existing taught units.

Assessment will normally be through a 5000 word essay. However, students who are appropriately qualified or trained may develop, with agreement from Theatre staff, a practical project as an Independent Research Project, which will be assessed through submission of a portfolio of performance documentation, which might combine different media, equivalent to 5000 words .

Students will work with a supervisor to identify research questions or concerns, to determine appropriate research methods, formulate their argument and structure an effective extended essay. They will have regular supervisions to monitor and support progress.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able:

(1) to formulate appropriate research questions and concerns relating to M level study of theatre and performance studies;

(2) to assess and determine appropriate methodologies and resources for exploring these questions;

(3) to develop and execute independent lines of enquiry suitable to M-level

(4) to demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of a range of primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic of research;

(5) to carry out independent research and develop lines of inquiry, drawing on a range of sources and applying conceptual/theoretical frameworks in an advanced way;

(6) to demonstrate a deeper, critically informed, knowledge and understanding of a broad range of past and present critical and theoretical debates in theatre and performance studies appropriate to M Level

(7) to gather, organise and use information in a well-formulated argument, articulate and structure points effectively in a written form, supporting ideas with appropriate referencing;

(8) to apply with confidence a range of theoretical ideas, and have developed a critical approach towards them;

(9) to articulate complex conceptual critical and theoretical thinking fluently, present scholarly writing in an appropriate format, using consistent academic references.

Teaching details

5 x 1 hour supervisions with academic supervisor

Assessment Details

5,000 word essay (100%) ILO 1-9.


Portfolio of performance documentation equivalent to 5000 words (100%) ILO 1-9.

Either submission should include an 200-word Abstract, which outlines the research questions, concerns and methodology, and summarises the research project.

Reading and References

Reading and references will vary according to the specific project