BA Drama

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Long Essay in Drama

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM30000
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Research Essay is an independent research project, focusing on an aspect of drama relevant to your degree and in which you have a particular interest. It is an opportunity to conceive, plan, manage and realise an independent research project, under supervision, and it will develop your planning, project management, research and writing skills. The Research Essay is your own work and will express your own views, analyses and enthusiasms, and the end result comprises your unique contribution to Drama as a discipline. Students take part in one-to-one supervisions and complementary research training workshops. Supervisors help students to define their topic and keep an eye on whether the project is within a student’s ability to complete in the timeframe and permitted word limit. Research training workshops focus on skills in planning and managing research, supervision, research proposals, research methods, research ethics, and writing up research.


Pre-requisite units

Any L1 Drama Study or Practical core option


Any L2 Drama Study core option - Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2; Screen, Culture and Society




To provide students with an opportunity to undertake independent research under individual supervision in an area of Drama in consultation with a member of staff

To provide students with an opportunity to write in-depth and at length on an aspect of drama based in their own interests and degree programme

To provide students with an opportunity to formulate their own distinctive research question/s

To build on, and develop, students’ competencies in independent study, research and critical thinking including;

skills in defining, undertaking and completing a project;

assessment, evaluation and deployment in their own work of critical material on their chosen topic;

writing skills appropriate to the demands of an extended piece of professional research.

Knowledge and understanding

demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a specific field of enquiry in Drama

demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a specific research methods and analytical approaches in Drama appropriate to their field of enquiry


Intellectual skills

demonstrate an independent ability to formulate a suitable research topic based on her/his own interests and degree programme

demonstrate an ability to assimilate, synthesis and appropriately deploy critical material on that topic

demonstrate the formal and intellectual skills requisite to the production of an extended piece of written research

demonstrate an ability to undertake and complete an extended research project, including evaluation of a wide range of material and ability to engage critically with that material, and ability to formulate a sustained argument in response to a topic

recognise the limits of knowledge, and its influence on analysis and interpretations, and to use this to develop sustained responses to materials as well as identify areas for on-going learning

Practical skills

demonstrate an ability to define, structure, develop and manage a significant project within a set period of time

identify and apply a research method appropriate to the topic

work both independently and with a supervisor

communicate ideas and articulate an argument through discussion and assessed written work

Transferable skills and personal qualities

demonstrate an advanced ability to self-manage learning – to ask questions independently, identify relevant research material, take initiative, make decisions, and develop independent and sustained responses to complex problems

demonstrate an advanced ability to present the sustained arguments effectively in written and oral form

demonstrate tenacity and resourcefulness in locating and analysing materials useful to developing a research project

Assessment methods

Research Essay 90%
Bibliographic essay, to include a discussion of three scholarly works relevant to research topic 10%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Formative feedback given during supervisions – oral


Detailed formative feedback given at key milestones through the process (see syllabus)


Research essay – written (with practice as appropriate)



Recommended reading

Students follow a course of reading appropriate to their independent research.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 12
Project supervision 2.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 185.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Calder Unit coordinator

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