TP5005 - Investigating Theatre and Performance

What will I learn on this module?

Building on Arguments for Theatre and Performance, in this module you will develop skills in research methods that will be vital for your independent research in the final year. While still focused on the ‘grand challenges’ of the 21st century, you will be introduced to research methodologies and methods which might include areas such as practice research, documentary theatre, archival research, dialogical performance, performance analysis, interviews, ethnographic approaches, and walking performance. This module is designed as Dissertation preparation and, in that regard, it addresses issues relating to diverse approaches to the production of knowledge, but also provides students with practical and critical skills associated with particular methods of doing performance research.

How will I learn on this module?

Sessions will be led by different members of staff to allow you an opportunity to engage directly with world leading researchers and engage directly with active research projects. In each session, the lecturer will share with you and help you to understand some key ideas and concepts relating to different kinds of theatre and performance practice. The lecture-seminars will be delivered in varied ways; you will not only be listening to lecturers but also asked to try out ideas, to watch pieces of film and respond to a range of questions and provocations. It is an environment that encourages dialogue and debate, informed by your engagement with materials that we will look at on the course.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning is supported in a number of ways throughout the module. The classes themselves are structured in a way which is responsive to your needs; lecturers will explore ideas with you and ask you to affirm your understanding of them, and you will be given tasks to respond to in classes and receive feedback on this work, helping you to measure for yourself your own progress on the module. A series of research materials will be selected for you to rencounter which will help you to navigate your way through the module, and these materials will be directly spoken to in classes so that your research is supported. The module also incorporates a number of formative assessments which give you the opportunity to practice and hone your academic research skills in response to feedback which will be given to you by lecturers.

Information and resources will be available to you on Blackboard and the 'Reading List' contains links to websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding.

Written assessment feedback will be provided within 20 working days of summative assignment submission. Access to library facilities is available 24-7 all year round.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
? Engage critically with a range of methodological perspectives, including competing approaches or positions, to argue the relevance of theatre and performance to contemporary ‘grand challenges’.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
? Demonstrate an ability to retrieve, sift and synthesise information from a range of sources

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? Evidence an awareness of the global challenges facing theatre and performance in the 21st century

How will I be assessed?

Oral presentation (c. 10 minutes). In small groups, you will deliver a presentation based on one of the topics from the lecture series. This will introduce the subject for the class and draw out an aspect of that topic to open it up for class discussion.

Essay (2500 words). This essay asks you to articulate and sustain an argument in response to a question which arises directly from the lecture and seminar classes. The question may be in response to a provocation provided by staff or devised by the student.





Module abstract

How do you investigate theatre and performance for a major research project? What are the methods and perspectives that researchers employ to study contemporary practices? Building on Arguments for Theatre and Performance, this module will develop your research skills in preparation for a major independent research project in the final year. Each session will offer you the opportunity to engage directly with staff research specialisms and active research projects. While still focused on the ‘grand challenges’ of the 21st century, you will be introduced to research methodologies and methods; inclusive of areas such as practice research, dialogic theatre, theatre history, archival research, performance analysis and interviews and ethnographic approaches.

Course info

UCAS Code W405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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