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Unit information: Dissertation: Practical & Written Element in 2015/16

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Unit name Dissertation: Practical & Written Element
Unit code DRAMM3018
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Maingard
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

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

1. To be able to distinguish between a range of different research methods

2. To become familiar with existing work on a particular subject and to understand processes in the selected areas of practice

3. To use that work in order to provide a focus for independent inquiry

4. To design a project that is realistic in scope

5. To gain substantial knowledge of a specific subject area and to provide an analysis of, and contextual justification for, the selected production and research practices

6. To make a sustained argument or intervention, in academic debate and/or in relation to the particular research problem, appropriate to the determined mode of assessment

7. To be able to communicate that knowledge with clarity appropriate to the determined mode of assessment.

Teaching Information

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 Information

1) Practice

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

Reading and References

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