Unit one: Practice in context (60 credits)
During unit one (weeks 1 – 15) we will help you to focus your individual practice and to better articulate your concerns in order to provide you with a stable platform from which to move forward in Units 2 and 3. During this time your developing practice is supported through seminars developing critical thinking and exploring key theories and critical issues, led by course tutors or visiting lecturers/practitioners. The assessment for unit one requires that you submit a first draft proposal for your Independent Project that will be undertaken in the final Masters unit; in this way, the course strategically and holistically monitors and develops your practice and research interests.
The first few weeks of the course focuses on ideas and methodologies involved in the creation, contextualization and evaluation of performance and how research in the arts and discourses are developed, shared and understood. Regular weekly seminars examine specific theoretical approaches and potential research routes in relation to performance. In addition, regular site visits and critical thinking seminars focus on developing a critical language to articulate contextual knowledge of the work of others in relation to your own practice.
Over the fifteen weeks of the unit you are asked to present three proposals for performance-based projects - often presentations of performance fragments. Supporting these presentations are a series of weekly workshops led by visiting practitioners exploring alternative compositional strategies for creating performance normally incorporating student lead practical demonstrations. Other visiting practitioners discuss such strategies via a series of lectures.
Unit two: Collaborative Practice (60 credits)
Unit two centres on developing the collaborative skills and understanding essential for the creation of performance in the professional realm. In addition it develops the equally essential abilities of resilience, independence and resourcefulness required for the successful completion of the Masters award and in subsequent professional practice and/or environments for higher Research.
Over the fifteen weeks of the Unit (weeks 16-30) you are asked to engage in and contribute to the outcome/s of a collaborative project which is either a single extended project (typically a ten week placement) or a series of shorter projects. Normally this placement takes place in a city in mainland Europe and is organised and part-resourced by the course. This project gives you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your practical, collaborative and conceptual skills in the initiation, resource management, marketing and presentation of a student-led performance-based event, within a professional context, usually engaging a public audience. Normally each student undertakes a placement in Europe part funded by an Erasmus mobility award. In addition to contributing to the collaboration and the final presentation, you are required to contribute to a record of the Unit, reflecting on the experience.
In light of Brexit negotiations, at the time of writing this funding cannot be guaranteed for the 2019/20 academic year. If such funding is not forthcoming an alternative context for this part of the course will be put in place.
At the end of unit two you will be required to produce a 2nd draft proposal for the Independent Project in Unit 3 demonstrating effective reflective and critical thinking, and professional preparation.
Unit three: Independent Project (60 credits)
During unit three you will submit the practical and scholarly elements of the Independent Project which you have been developing since the beginning of the course and which were presented as a proposal at the end of your first year.
The final part of the course requires that you unite your ideas and research methods within the theoretical and professional contexts of your practice, to a level of resolution. The 30 weeks provide you with a substantial opportunity to develop your practice building on the accumulated knowledge that you have gained through the experiences within units one and two.
You are required to generate a body of independent practical work for presentation, combined with the completion of a written document. You continue to meet for critical debates and tutorial support throughout, and normally initiate interim presentations of or about your work, in person and online, discussing progress, challenges and discoveries, and issues of form, audience and presentation.
You will be expected to produce practical work in the form of presentation/s, either within or outside of the College environs, either as individuals or within creative collaborations, and within one of two defined modalities:
- representing practice as research, in which case work is experimental and explores a clearly defined research area/question within performance practice;
- representing professional practice in some form, in which case work could be presented outside of the College, and engage with the specific demands of an external context.
At the end of nit three you are assessed through a combination of your practical work, the written paper and a self-evaluative report documenting and analysing your progress through the Unit. These outcomes combine to reflect your conceptual, practical and professional abilities. Your mark for unit three determines the classification of your MA award.