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Dissertation

  • Module code: DA6003
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 Drama or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: none

Summary

This module provides an opportunity for students to work independently under supervision on a piece of written work substantial enough to constitute a capstone project. It offers an additional and optional opportunity for students to present the results of their research in a conference setting. Students will be able to exercise and deploy knowledge and skills acquired in earlier levels of their programmes in PASS by focussing in depth on a specific and discrete topic in dance, drama, film and television, media or music. Using both primary and secondary sources, students will be required to define and subsequently undertake a research project with the aim of producing a dissertation on an agreed topic. Students will be permitted to undertake research in inter-disciplinary areas such as dance on screen, music theatre or cyber theatre.

Aims

This module aims to allow students to:

  • work independently on a substantial research project
  • deploy and expand on knowledge and skills acquired in earlier states of their degree
  • focus in depth on a specified topic in dance, drama, film and television or music
  • develop and sustain a written thesis within a recognisable theoretical framework
  • present research in a conference setting

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to search for and select relevant sources of information (Key Skills: Research and Information Literacy)
  • the ability to organise effectively, agreeing and setting realistic targets and accessing support where appropriate. (Key Skills: Self Awareness)
  • expert engagement with and knowledge of a chosen topic 
  • an in-depth knowledge of contemporary theory and research methodologies in relation to the chosen area of study
  • the ability to work with complex ideas and justify judgements made through effective use of evidence (Key Skills: Creativity and Problem Solving)
  • improved writing skills as well as an enhanced capacity to organise written arguments appropriately.

Curriculum content

  • practical advice on determining the topic of the dissertation including, for example, individual tutorials and group research skills sessions.
  • identification of primary and secondary sources
  • identification of appropriate conceptual frameworks and theoretical perspectives
  • practical advice on how to construct a coherent argument
  • guidance on how to structure, organise, plan and write up research, including advice on writing introductions, conclusions, abstracts, and bibliographies.
  • practical advice on time management
  • practical advice on the presentation of research outcomes in a conference setting

Teaching and learning strategy

In the early part of the module, students will be required to attend research skills seminars on constructing a proposal, on identifying primary and secondary sources, on editing and composition, on referencing and on research methods. Students will make an oral presentation of their dissertation proposal in week 6 or 7 of teaching block 1, and submit a written proposal for formative assessment in week 8. The skills required to prepare for the final assessment will be developed in formative activities throughout the module, notably through individual tutorials, group discussion, and feedback on in-class presentations. Preparation of the dissertation normally includes at least four tutorials with a supervisor, supplemented by email correspondence and small group tutorials where students have opted to do a conference presentation as part of the assessment.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 5 x 2 hour research skills seminars 10
Scheduled learning and teaching oral presentations 3
Scheduled learning and teaching supervisions, tutorials 2
Guided independent study independent study 285
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test the student's ability to meet the module's learning outcomes. The presentation of the dissertation proposal in week 6/7 will be formatively assessed. The written dissertation proposal (1,500 words) due in week 8 will be also be formatively assessed. The dissertation of 9,000 to 10,000 words will be summatively assessed. The dissertation will be slightly shorter (7000 words) where students have opted to do a 15 minute conference presentation as part of the summative assessment.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
The ability to search for and select relevant sources of information (Key Skills: Research and Information Literacy) Formatively in the dissertation proposal; summatively in the Dissertation proper
The ability to organise effectively, agreeing and setting realistic targets and accessing support where appropriate. (Key Skills: Self Awareness) Formatively in the dissertation proposal; summatively in the Dissertation proper
Expert engagement with and knowledge of a chosen topic Summatively in the Dissertation proper
An in-depth knowledge of contemporary theory and research methodologies in relation to the chosen area of study Formatively in the dissertation proposal; summatively in the Dissertation proper
The ability to work with complex ideas and justify judgements made through effective use of evidence (Key Skills: Creativity and Problem Solving) Summatively in the Dissertation proper
Improved writing skills as well as an enhanced capacity to organise written arguments appropriately Formatively in the dissertation proposal; summatively in the Dissertation proper

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Dissertation/Dissertation plus conference presentation 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Bibliography will be developed by the individual student in consultation with academic staff.

Bibliography recommended reading

Greetham, B. (2009) How To Write Your Undergraduate Dissertation. Basingstoke,Palgrave

Swetnam, D. and Swetnam,R. (2000) Writing Your Dissertation. London, How To Books

Walliman, N. (2004) Your Undergraduate Dissertation. London,Sage

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