PA5002 - Contemporary Performance

APPLY NOW BOOK AN OPEN DAY Add to My Courses Register your interest / Course PDF

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about contemporary methods for devising and creating drama, theatre and performance events. You will be encouraged to test and challenge the limits of drama, theatre and performance, and to engage with a diverse range of approaches to making a performance. You will learn how to work as part of an ensemble. You will have the opportunity to be creative, to experiment, and to put theory into practice. You will be encouraged to think about different aspects that inform a performance. Topics might include:
• The performers’ bodies
• Actor-audience relationships
• Use of performance space
• Audio-visual material in performance

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through workshops, tutorial guidance and independent study. The workshops will be delivered in Northumbria’s state of the art performance spaces. You will learn by putting theory into practice. You will have access to industry standard technology (such as cameras, lighting rigs, sound systems etc.) to help you work practically as you devise, design, and perform on this module. Workshop sessions will be delivered around a key theme or topic. You will be led through a series of practical exercises to help you test, challenge, and better understand the theory you are putting in to practice. This approach equips you with the skills needed to think and learn in practical ways. These skills will support your engagement in an assessed performance and presentation. The assessments provide an opportunity for you to further your learning, and to deepen your understanding of contemporary performance. You will demonstrate your learning and understanding, and develop it further, through the two main assessment points. The first assessment is a group presentation where you will critically reflect upon and interrogate your practical work. The second assessment point is a large scale, full group, ensemble performance where you will work with postmodern and postdramatic approaches in order to realise a performance.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your group tutor will support you by leading regular practical workshop sessions. You will be provided with stimuli and clear, accessible instructions that will help you develop your knowledge of contemporary performance. Your tutor will introduce you to a particular theoretical and methodological framework, which will guide and support your journey of discovery throughout this module. This framework will include practical exercises that your tutor will guide you through, assigned reading that will help you make sense of your practical work, and instructions regarding how to conduct self-directed study.

Throughout the module, you will be provided with feedback. This will take the form of verbal feedback, provided in class and tutorials; written feedback provided in response to your presentation and performance; and feedback from your fellow students. The workshop sessions in ‘Contemporary Performance’ are supportive in nature. You will be encouraged to take risks, to experiment and to work in new and challenging ways. Your tutor and your classmates will provide a supportive atmosphere for you to work in.
In addition to the in-class support, you will be able to access resources and support electronically, and you will be able to meet with your tutor for one-to-one tutorials as and when required.

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

1. Apply knowledge of contemporary performance methodologies in the production and realisation of a studio based performance.
2. Critique a range of contemporary forms and practices.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
On the successful completion of this module students will be able to:

3. Apply performance, production and devising skills in realising a production.
4. Work collaboratively within (and for the benefit of) a group as well as challenging their own individual abilities and ideas.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On the successful completion of this module students will be able to:

5. Demonstrate the ethical characteristics of a Northumbria graduate as you consider the values that underpin the process of working professionally with a group of your peers.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment. Tutorial support will offer regular oral feedback on your developing project. You will also have peer support feedback through the programme workshop series.

Summative assessment.
First assessment (30%)
A group presentation (20 mins.)
The presentation will provide an opportunity for you to critically reflect and analyse the relationship between practice and theory in your studio-based work. (2, 4, 5)

Second assessment (70%)
A group performance (40 minutes).
The performance should comprise a distillation of the conceptual and skills based approaches you have taken towards the form. The performances will be one large ensemble performance (approx.. 40 mins). You will be marked individually on your contribution.
(1, 3, 4, 5)

Summative Feedback
Feedback for these tasks will be typed on standard feedback sheets and will be received within 20 working days of submission deadline.





Module abstract

‘Contemporary Performance’ provides you with the support and guidance necessary to take risks and experiment with approaches to making performance. You will be taught in Northumbria’s state-of-the-art performance spaces, and will have access to industry-standard technology to support your learning. You will work with new technologies, contemporary performance practices, on solo and group-based tasks and activities, in order to create contemporary/postmodern performances. You will be taught by experts.
You will learn how to put theory into practice in order to develop an ensemble performance. Your research-rich learning experience will support your work on other modules.

Performing Arts employers are looking for individuals that: understand the importance of working within a team; can follow instruction; can work independently; are able to generate ideas and support the ideas of their creative team; can devise and produce contemporary performances. The teaching and assessment strategy of ‘Contemporary Performance’ enables you to develop these qualities.

Course info

UCAS Code W400

Credits 40

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 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions -
Fees and Funding -
Admissions Policy -
Admissions Complaints Policy -