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Unit information: Independent Study: Dissertation in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Independent Study: Dissertation
Unit code THTR30018
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. McGirr
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

THTR10002 Production for Design and Performance or DRAM10028 Production Skills for Performance 1;

Performance Forms and Analysis;

Performance Histories or Politics of Performance.

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

The unit will provide a structured and supervised opportunity for final-year students to propose and pursue an independent research project, written on an agreed topic of interest within the areas of theatre and performance studies. Students work with a supervisor to identify research questions or concerns, to determine appropriate research methods, formulate their argument and structure a dissertation. It offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their command of academic research and writing skills on a large-scale project, and to prepare for postgraduate study

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of this unit students will be able:

(1) to formulate appropriate research questions and concerns, to focus a written enquiry of their choosing;

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

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

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

(5) to gather, organise and use information in an extended argument, articulate and structure points effectively in a longer written form, supporting ideas with appropriate referencing;

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

(7) to communicate complex critical-theoretical thinking fluently, and present scholarly writing in an appropriate format, using consistent academic references.

(8) demonstrate their command of academic research and writing skills on a large-scale project.

How you will learn

Teaching will be delivered using a blend of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, group tutorials, and individual supervision. In TB1, lecture, seminar and on-line discussion sessions will largely be focussed on professionalisation and research methodologies and on formulating initial research proposals. In TB2, students will initially be supervised in small tutorial groups, then individually, and will be supported to develop relevant study, research and writing skills, including writing retreats

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment Research proposal; CV and professional portfolio Summative assessment 10,000-word dissertation, excluding footnotes and bibliography. (100%) ILO 1-8

This should include a 300-word Abstract, which outlines the research questions, concerns and methodology, and summarises the dissertation.


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. THTR30018).

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.