Third-Year Dissertation Research Options
Descriptions of Types of Third-Year Dissertation Research Options:
Written dissertation (written work 100% of assessment) enables students to complete an individually written dissertation on a research topic of their choice and based on their investigation of primary and secondary sources. The topic must be able to be appropriately supervised by a member of staff. The written dissertations must be based on clear historiographical, dramaturgical, and/or theoretical/conceptual principles. What is it that the research is asking, interrogating, exploring? What are the research questions?
Project-based dissertation (practice 40% and written work 60%) enables students to use practice-as-research as one of the research methodologies. The project can take several forms, including (but not limited to) the writing of plays, curatorial work including recording what has happened in the past or organizing an exhibition, historical performance reconstruction, space and/or costume design, organizing and running workshops, and video documentaries. Students can work alone or in small groups depending on the project. The practical processes must be informed by research imperatives and a framework appropriate to the area of investigation. The project-based dissertation must be based on clear historiographical, dramaturgical, and/or theoretical/conceptual principles. What is it that the research is asking, interrogating, exploring? What are the research questions?
Performance-based dissertation (practice 60% and written critical review 40%) enables students to use practice-as-research as the primary research methodology. The practical performance work can take several forms, including (but not limited to) live performance, performance installations, site-specific performance, video work, and multi-media work. For the performance-based dissertation, students will usually work in groups of up to five members. The practical processes must be informed by research imperatives and based on clear dramaturgical and theoretical/conceptual principles. What is it that the research is asking, interrogating, exploring? What are the research questions? How does performance help answer those questions?
If no member of staff in the School has expertise in the proposed field of research, the student may need to modify the proposal. The School will not permit a student to undertake research in a subject area for which no supervisor can be identified.
The application proposal form is located on the departmental website under third-year independent research option.
Skills and Methodology Workshops:
There will be a series of workshops, some for all third-year dissertation students and others specific to one type of dissertation. The exact schedule will be distributed in the beginning of autumn term. The workshop topics include:
- Introduction to the Research Option: Approaches and Expectations
- Research Tools and References
- Research Methodologies and Problem-Solving
- Structuring research
- Documenting Practice
There will also be guest speakers on writing c.v.’s, writing for publication, pursuing higher degrees, careers using theatre, etc.
Approximate Due Dates in the Dissertation Process:
Autumn term, Week 1: Each student or group of students will give a five-minute presentation of research plans to staff and students. This can take the form of a poster or presentation.
Autumn term, between Weeks 6 and 10 (exact dates TBD): Students will present a work-in-progress that differs depending on the research option.
- Written dissertation students will do a 5-10 minute presentation of the research and structure of the dissertation.
- Project-based dissertation students’ work-in-progress will vary depending on the form of the project, to be worked out with the supervisor and convenor of project-based dissertations
- Performance-based dissertation students will develop a performance lecture or presentation, to be worked out with the supervisor
Spring term, a weekend toward the end of term:
Festival of Third-Year Independent Research
All third-year students will participate in the two- or three-day weekend festival of student work toward the end of spring term.
- The written dissertation students will follow a professional conference format as each student will do a ten-minute presentation in a panel of three students, chaired by a staff member. Questions will follow the three presentations. Each panel will be allotted one hour. This work will not be assessed.
- The project-based dissertation students will do a range of final presentation formats from a play reading of original work, a presentation of the research (like the research students), an exhibition, etc. Whether this work will be assessed at this time depends on the project.
- The performance-based dissertation students will do their final presentation. This work will be assessed.
Summer term, Week 4: All written work will be due.