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Unit information: Professional Development in Theatre and Performance in 2021/22

Unit name Professional Development in Theatre and Performance
Unit code THTR30023
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wozniak
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Performance Studies



School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Professional Development in Theatre and Performance gives students a structured and supervised opportunity to develop their engaged learning. Students will apply skills and knowledge from their academic studies to a real-world challenge in creative employment and will prepare for life and work beyond university. Students will spend a minimum of 75 hours in partnership with a professional or community organisation to develop their professional skills. Students will undertake a project which engages with an organisation outside of the Theatre department, in a community or professional context, and which is mutually beneficial for them and the organisation. This may take the form of one of the following:

- A work placement, either self-sourced or with one of the department’s partners - Volunteering - Delivering a self-authored project within a professional or community organisation - Developing their own freelance work or project

As part of this project, students will develop their skills, knowledge and attributes and will gain insight into the challenges facing those working in the creative sector and into the challenges facing the sector and organisation with whom they engage.

Students will receive academic supervision from an allocated tutor from the department, as well as benefitting from input from professional services in the University, in order to develop their professionalisation. Students will be enabled to develop their experience outside of the department and establish links with the creative and cultural industries and/or with communities and will provide evidence of this through a mentor’s or client’s report.

The unit aims to:

  • Develop professional skills to enhance students’ employability through developing evidence of working in partnership with a partner outside the university
  • Increase awareness of the relationship between academic learning and the world outside the academy
  • Give students the opportunity to explore how creative work engages practically, through completing an appropriate project in a in real world context
  • Promote professional and critical self-reflection.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

(1) The ability to interpret and respond appropriately to a professional, civic or community brief.

(2) The development and auditing of professional skills.

(3) Critical understanding of the relevant wider cultural and artistic contexts.

(4) The ability to evaluate their own work and development in a critically-reflexive manner.

Teaching Information

Students will receive a range of lectures and workshops relevant to their professionalisation (11 x 1 hour)

In addition they will receive supervision from an academic member of staff (5 x 1 hour meetings)

Students should also complete a minimum of 75 hours working for, or with, a partner organisation or client

Assessment Information

Summative assessments:

Project Report (50%) [ILOs 1, 2, 4]

Students will produce a report, equivalent to a 15 minute presentation or 1500 words, in a form agreed with their partner organisation, or client. This should explore an area or issue that is of use to the partner organisation or client, and is developed with the partner organisation. The report should draw on their project and an understanding of the wider cultural, artistic and professional contexts. This should demonstrate awareness of the particular challenges faced by the sector within which they were engaged and be of potential use to a partner organisation.

Professional Skills Portfolio (50%) [ILOs 2, 3, 5]

The specific content and structure of the portfolio will depend on the individual project, and will thus be agreed between the student, the partner contact/organisation and the unit co-ordinator. It should, however, contain the following:

  • Completed audit form of professional skills, including evidence and contribution from mentor or client
  • 500 word reflective summary of skill development


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THTR30023).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.