BA Music and Drama

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Extended Dissertation

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM30990
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Extended Dissertation is an independent research project, carried out via desk-based research or with practice, that focuses 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 Extended Dissertation 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 throughout the academic year. 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. Students hoping to complete an Extended Dissertation

must submit a proposal in their second year of study. Completion of an Extended Dissertation is subject to approval of that proposal by Drama staff.


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


Co-requisite units






·         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 substantial project within a set period of time
  • identify and apply a research method appropriate to the topic
  • work both independently and with a supervisor
  • organise and carry out to completion a practical research project (Dissertation by practice)
  • 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

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analytical skills (analysing texts and materials)
Initiative (developing own research questions and setting agenda)
Leadership skills (being responsible for overseeing a research project from inception through to submission)
Time management (structuring and organising extended writing and research project); Editing (selection of relevant material and deciding shape of research project); Working to fixed and own set deadlines (structuring project around appropriate milestones, completing project for final deadline); Organisational skills (finding research materials and organising resources) Interpersonal skills (working with supervisors); Preparation for effective management of the transition to a master¿s programme and further postgraduate work

Assessment methods

Dissertation   90%
Bibliographic essay, to include a discussion of five 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)


Dissertation - written



Recommended reading

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

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 8
Project supervision 2.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 389.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Calder Unit coordinator

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