Module code: THE3021

Module Overview

This module will present a detailed examination of a specific area of Theatre and/or Performance Studies, either in terms of content (for example, a module dedicated to the work of post-dramatic theatre, or the intersections of theatre and philosophy), or in terms of creative or academic practice (for example, a module dedicated to a studio-based exploration of contemporary directing practices, or a module focused on the research seminars in the field).  Both content and form would change from year to year, based on the specialisms of available staff, and on broader thematic or contextual issues current in any given year.  As such, the module is specifically designed to be research-led, and therefore to offer third-year students the opportunity to ask questions and pursue ideas at a heightened level of detail and sophistication. 

Depending on the nature of a given year's Special Topic, it may prove necessary to introduce a module cap. If this occurs, the module cap will be advertised in advance of the window for selecting your modules.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

REFSKOU Anne-Sophie (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W440

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 25

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the Global Engagement Office exchange and study abroad team.

Module content

Both the content and format of this module will vary from year to year, but in each year, the module will require students to engage with critical approaches to the study of theatre and with a set of current questions/debates in contemporary theatre scholarship.  The module will require a close reading of texts (dramatic and/or critical), and will ask the student to engage in independent research around the given topic. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ASSIGNMENT 1 30
Coursework ASSIGNMENT 2 70

Alternative Assessment

The alternate assessment will depend on the nature of the 1st assessment (for example, if a presentation is missed an essay may be set as the alternative)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to:

  • provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate awareness and understanding of some current debates in a particular area of Theatre and/or Performance Studies;

  • foster analytical skills

  • develop confidence and ability in presenting and structuring ideas coherently and articulately

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of coursework, intended to provide opportunity for each of these strategic points to be met and satisfied. See indicative Assignments.


Responding to student feedback from previous years, part of the assessed work, Assignment 1, is minor-weighted. This assignment will occur mid-module, so that feedback can be offered before the major-weighted Assignment 2. Unassessed and indicative formative assessment and feedback may include: oral responses to work presented in class, which may take the form of questioning and dialogue; group reflection and discussion; peer review; and written responses to work submitted in hard copy.

Module aims

  • To provide a detailed and focused investigation into a specific area of Theatre Studies, offering exposure to theatrical texts, creative practices, and critical paradigms otherwise unexplored in the programme's curriculum
  • To offer students direct and detailed access to staff research specialisms, thereby enhancing the provision of research-led teaching, and further developing students' awareness of the most current debates in performance scholarship
  • To develop analytical, historical, critical, and contextual approaches to the study of theatre
  • To develop and refine students' ability to articulate complex ideas through formal writing, creative practice, and/or oral presentation techniques

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
1 Identify and be conversant in one or more specific current critical debates in the broad field of Theatre Studies
2 Generate sophisticated analyses of a specific set of theatrical texts or creative practices
3 Present key findings and original ideas in a cohesive, articulate fashion (via a range of possible media)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to foster: a high level of critical thinking and reflection; analytical skills; evaluative skills; detailed knowledge of a specific subject area; and an ability to articulate clearly one’s own critical perspectives, as well as representing the critical perspectives of others.  

Indicative learning and teaching methods include: lecture/seminars, debates, workshops and field work (22 hours over 11 weeks).

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

Reading list for SPECIAL TOPIC : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/the3021

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media Studies with Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance with Film Studies BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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.