Module code: THE2025

Module Overview

This module introduces students to a range of core research methodologies and methods used in theatre and performance research, such as practice as research, theatre history and performance analysis. The module aims to prepare them for their final year study, particularly the dissertation, and for study, research and critical investigation beyond the degree. The module encourages students to consider the context for their research in terms of joining “contemporary conversations” in the field. Students will be encouraged to see their dissertation as a potential article and to prepare for this and future work using techniques that would aid them in a professional research context. Classes are likely to include taught material, review of reading (and debate of the merits of existing published research) and practical writing or group discussion workshops to develop their own arguments.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W440

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to methods in theatre and performance research, such as practice as research; theatre history and performance analysis

  • Reviewing “contemporary conversations” in contemporary theatre and performance research

  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of particular research methods

  • Asking questions and forming these into specific lines of enquiry

  • Learning to form arguments and avoiding common fallacies

  • Creating evidence-based lines of reasoning

  • Reviewing and creating abstracts

  • Sharpening writing style.

  • Software for effective research and writing

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (INDIVIDUAL) 2000 WORDS 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • considered surveying of a field of research

  • informed, considered analysis of existing research

  • skills of forming and articulating an approach to a research topic

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A book review, selected from a field, subjected to informed considered analysis, to be submitted mid-way through the module (1000 words).

  • An essay reviewing selected research and forming a specific argument in response, to be submitted towards the end of the module (2000 words)

Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback (written and/or verbal) on the first assignment will inform the analysis in the second assignment.

Module aims

  • Facilitate productive and informed reflection on existing research in the field
  • Introduce key stages in the formation of academic research
  • Prepare students for research and critical enquiry in their final year and, particularly, their dissertation

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
1 Productively analyse and organize existing academic arguments in ways that further their critical development C
2 Compile and summarize a diverse body of research pertinent to a specific field of enquiry within theatre studies K
3 Articulate an academic argument in a clear and structured manner relevant to the field. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Prepare students to locate themselves as independent researchers within an existing academic field. The module will both introduce students to methodologies, methods and strategies for effective research, and provide time and opportunity to try particular approaches and so embody the knowledge taught and discovered during the module. As such, this provides a critical theoretical and practical (in terms of written work) engagement in enquiry to prepare students for the more independent learning in final year study.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 11x Lecture/seminars, workshops (written/group discussion/work)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.