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Unit information: Dissertation: Practical & Written Element in 2018/19

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Unit name Dissertation: Practical & Written Element
Unit code FATVM0010
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Massoumi
Open unit status Not open

DRAMM0015 Film and Television Production Technologies and Techniques



School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts


All MA students are expected to take one of four optional dissertation units. The optional unit will provide a structured and supervised opportunity for MA students to pursue independently an agreed topic of interest with reference to and emerging from their previous studies and to produce an advanced piece of research. The unit involves devising a realisable topic, which has the potential to contribute to knowledge of the subject. It would normally be expected that this topic would arise from work already undertaken on the programme, creating an opportunity to explore a specialist area in more detail. Research will be conducted through a screen or performance practice together with a critical written element, as appropriate to each MA programme. Practice may take a variety of forms: curation, moving image, web, interactive, audio installation, performance. The title, scale and form of each piece of work will be negotiated through supervision. In every case the work will be expected to meet the requirements of summative masters level work. The practice and written element together provide the means for advanced research into concepts through realisation and reflection.


1. To provide a focus for in-depth independent research

2. To establish a path for advanced research

3. To explore a range of possible methodological approaches

4. To gain in-depth knowledge of a specialist area

5. To present the findings in a dissertation.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able:

1. To identify and articulate a research question used to direct an independent research project.

2. To distinguish between a range of different practice as research methods and select an approach suitable for their chosen project.

3. To become familiar with existing work on a particular subject and/or to understand processes in the selected areas of practice, and to use that work in order to shape their own independent inquiry, providing necessary analysis of, and contextual justification for, the selected production and research practices.

4. To design, conduct and complete a research project that is realistic in scope, directed by the research question and shaped by existing work in the field.

5. To make a sustained academic argument that reflects upon, contextualize and/or develops the findings of the practical exploration of the particular research question.

Teaching details

The practical component is supported by both technical and production support as necessary, and by supervision as required at each stage of the production process. The written element is also supervised. Experiential learning is central to the practical elements of the dissertation and practical work is closely supervised.

Assessment Details

1) Practice (50%)

2) Written Element: 7,500 words (max) (50%)

The student will need to achieve a pass mark in both elements in order to pass the unit.

Reading and References

As appropriate to individual dissertation, under the guidance of supervisor.