menu

School of English and Drama

Drama menu

What we Teach

The following table lists the postgraduate Drama modules that have recently run. Please note that not all the modules listed in this table will run each year, while convenors are also subject to change.

Module TitleCodeSemesterConvenorDescription
DissertationDRA7000Full yearDr Michael Shane Boyle"This independent research project culminates in a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words. Working with the support of a supervisor, students pursue their own independent investigation of the theory and practice of performance. Research development is also encouraged by a dissertation colloquium in late May/early June, in which students present their research in progress and receive feedback from academic staff and other graduate students. Recent dissertation topics have included studies of illness and performance, performance and second language acquisition, the performance of rural spaces and identities, contemporary performance and relational aesthetics, circus performance in Victorian Britain, cultural value and performance and performance and social conflict."
Contemporary Theatre and PerformanceDRA7001Sem 1Prof Jen Harvie"What is contemporary theatre and performance doing? What are its benefits and problems? What does it tell us about contemporary culture? How is it particularly well suited to articulating and influencing cultural change? This module identifies trends in recent theatre/performance and its analysis, and considers what we might understand to be those trends' value - be it aesthetic, political, social, emotional - as well as what they articulate about contemporary culture. Trends examined might include: postdramatic theatre, relational aesthetics, performative public activism, and responses to contemporary contexts such as ecological activism or globalisation. Study is grounded in critical reading and current and recent theatre, performance and art events, especially in London."
Cultural IndustriesDRA7003Sem 2To Be Confirmed"This module explores cultural industries - both their practices, and the issues (ethical, practical, political, economic, etc.) they raise. It examines the political and economic contexts and practices that give rise to and affect them. It evaluates their aims as well as the practices they do and might employ to achieve those aims. Module convenor(s) facilitate students' placements with an appropriate industry partner and students develop industry-based projects to complete within the context of the industry partner's work. Students' work on this module will be partly seminar-based, and partly based on work with the industry partner."
Independent Practical ProjectDRA7002Sem 2To Be Confirmed"This module requires students to devise an individual project that focuses on a chosen area of performance practice. The aim of the module is for each student to raise a series of research questions that are addressed as a result of and through their practical work. This could encompass playwriting, applied drama, directing, dramaturgy, acting, new technologies, site-specific performance and live art. Working under the supervision of the module convenor and a mentor, each student will craft a professional project that also provides an opportunity for critical reflection on the processes of performance practice. Whilst the work developed on the module will be undertaken within the confines of academia, and subsequently critically rigorous, the importance of the public economy in which performance takes place will not be overlooked. In order to give focus to both creative and theoretical investigation, the module will produce a series of in-progress presentations that will be open to the public, who will be invited to follow the development of the work as it progresses. This is intended not only to invite critical commentary from the public as well as the module tutors, but also to anchor the importance of public presentation as part of artistic creation. The final assessed presentation will be produced in the context of a public festival of new work during the exam term and each student will design and create a portfolio of documentation to accompany the presentation. Both assessments (presentation and portfolio) are designed to provide public platforms for the dissemination of rigorous practice-based research while maintaining an emphasis on high standards of professional performance making."
Independent Written ProjectDRA7005Sem 1To Be Confirmed"This module provides students with the opportunity to design and produce an independent written project under the supervision of a member of staff. This module enables students to work independently on topics not provided within existing modules, subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor. Entry on to the module is at the discretion of the module convenor and prospective students are required to submit a 300-word abstract outlining their proposed topic by Week 10 of Semester 1. Student should consult with a member of staff (ideally their proposed supervisor) in the module of preparing their abstract. Students will be notified by Week 12 of Semester 1 whether they have been accepted on to the module. This module may only be taken by students enrolled on the MA Theatre and Performance."
Independent Written ProjectDRA7005Sem 2To Be Confirmed"This module provides students with the opportunity to design and produce an independent written project under the supervision of a member of staff. This module enables students to work independently on topics not provided within existing modules, subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor. Entry on to the module is at the discretion of the module convenor and prospective students are required to submit a 300-word abstract outlining their proposed topic by Week 10 of Semester 1. Student should consult with a member of staff (ideally their proposed supervisor) in the module of preparing their abstract. Students will be notified by Week 12 of Semester 1 whether they have been accepted on to the module. This module may only be taken by students enrolled on the MA Theatre and Performance."
Theatre and Performance TheoryDRA7006Sem 2Dr Michael Mckinnie"This module examines theoretical texts and ideas that have shaped our contemporary understanding of performance, theatre and culture. It offers a distinctive, performance-oriented route into looking at some work of wider theoretical, philosophical, and political importance. It aims to provide students with a diverse range of theoretical and historical starting points from which to consider the study of theatre and performance. It also offers students an historical frame of reference through which to situate the practice and study of theatre and performance in relation to other disciplines and social practices, and to submit the concept of performance and performance studies to critical and historical scrutiny."
Early Modern Drama in PerformanceDRA7009Sem 1Ms Penelope Woods"This module explores ways in which performance produces meaning in the early modern drama - in its early production, its performance history and in recent performance. The module is underpinned by two questions: How does research into performance conditions in the early modern period enhance our understanding of the drama? and what meanings have been made of the early modern drama in production since? The module aims to develop ways of thinking and writing about early modern drama in historical and current performance, and approaches a range of scholarly issues in the field of early modern drama through theatre practice. The module's approach is both historicist and presentist; it situates the works under consideration in their historical moment, examines what has been made of them since, and acknowledges that the productions, editions and readings of those works are in themselves productive of meaning."
Performing Mental HealthDRA7010Sem 1Dr Bridget Escolme"This module explores the performance of mental health and mental illness as they have been defined across history, and in the contemporary moment. In particular the module asks how the social construction of mental health is reflected in and produced by performance. While the module focuses on the types of subjectivity and selfhood that have emerged in the history of theatre and performance, students are also encouraged to explore ways other creative practices engage these topics. Special attention is given to representations of `madness┬┐ and `mental illness┬┐ produced in historical performance, as well as to how these representations have since been reinterpreted and adapted to reflect current constructions and concerns. In addition we will consider a variety of contemporary and collaborative performance practices that interrogate attitudes relating to normative concepts of mental health, and even try to intervene into policy and care. Students will be introduced to broad debates on mental health from within the Humanities and informed by the approaches of disability studies. "
Performance ResearchDRA7100Sem 1To Be Confirmed"This module aims to introduce students to critical writings, theoretical frameworks, and research methodologies that will enable them to devise research projects in the broad interdisciplinary fields of theatre and performance studies. It invites students to think, not only about theatre and performance themselves, but also about what might be at stake in conducting research in such fields, and about wider questions of research and disciplinarity. This module seeks to prepare students for their dissertation research and involves a combination of seminars, short writing assignments, and extramural research activity."
Dissertation PreparationDRA7102Sem 2To Be ConfirmedThis module is a compulsory, non-assessed and non-credit bearing module for students pursuing a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance. This module will build on the skills and methods developed in ┬┐Performance Research," and prepares you for your MA dissertations by providing guidance and skills in designing and completing research projects. The module meets every second week, and seminar meetings will include discussions of assigned readings and writing workshops. By the end of the semester, each student pursuing the degree full time will have prepared and submitted a final draft of their dissertation proposal. Part-time students will have the option of submitting a final draft of their dissertation proposal or preparing a field statement.

The module is assessed on a pass/fail basis, based on satisfactory attendance (i.e. meets School requirements to remain registered on the module) and completion of a dissertation proposal or field statement.
Return to top