Central Saint Martins is a site of intense cultural production, generating critical practice that often crosses discipline boundaries and intersects with areas of image-making, society and politics. As a college community, we prioritise the urgencies relating to; identities and equity, climate ecologies, and publics and commons. The Performance: Screen course recognises that our students seek to contribute to collective efforts to address the urgencies as faced by their chosen community as located in a particular place as well as the global context.
The course is structured to progress the student’s critical understandings of performance and moving image histories, contexts and practices whilst developing students'technical skills and processes of enquiry.
Working from an initial understanding of the critical histories, social and political contexts and drivers for performance and moving image practice, students will work through a variety of technical and production processes based on the experience of independent and collaborative making to a final point of realisation which is supported by critical analysis and reflection.
CSM, as a college community, seeks to prioritise the urgencies relating to; identities and equity, climate ecologies, and publics and commons. The Performance: Screen course recognises that its students will seek to contribute to collective efforts to address the urgenciesfaced by their chosen community in a particular place as well as the global context.
The course is structured into six units. This complete learning arc offers intensivemoments of individual and group production and project work as well as opportunities for off-site collaboration to prepare you for working as creative practitioners outside of the university context. Elective units midway through the course support you in choosing where to place your emphasis.
Unit 1: Performing Images: Process and Practice (20 credits)
The initial practice block grounds students in the technical and practical aspects of single camera audio-visual production and encourages an expansion of knowledge through experimenting collaboratively with ideas and processes relating to camera, body and space. This unit will provide opportunity to develop skills in camera, sound recording, lighting, editing, colour grading and audio post-production through practical workshops and conceptual experimentation. Privileging the body within performance, outcomes for this unit might include experiments in live art, video-streaming, dance film, performance lectures or expanded cinema.The unit ensures that students have both a grounding in skills and the confidence to explore and discover through co-operation with others,and as a consequenceof their own curiosity.
Unit 2: Film Forms: Creation & Production (20 credits)
In Unit 2, the emphasis then shifts to ideas around film form and individual approaches to the creation and production of lens-based performance and moving image work todevelop a greater understanding of storytelling, narrative, and film language. Exploring the wider conditions of global visual culture and interrogating how images are encountered, produced and consumed, outcomes for this unit might include single screen short films, multiscreen installations, orimmersive, VR, AI, gaming or other online projects. Unit 2 engages students with the expanding fields for film and forms that explode the potential of narrative and the experiences of timeand provides opportunity for public sharing.
Unit 3: Performing Images: Histories & Contexts (20 credits)
This unit introduces the contexts and critical values of new, contemporary,and established screen formats via the analysis of key concepts and debates concerning the body and its relationship to film and video. Students’understanding of the history and theory of performance and moving image is developed through a weekly programme of critical and historical studies lectures and talks with guest practitioners. Students submit an individual audio-visual or written essay around a critical topic of their choice.The unit establishes the expectation that research interweaves with practice to support and anchor awareness of creative opportunities.
Unit 4: Elective Units (40 credits)
Either: Film Forms: Community & Collaboration, or, Film Forms: Practice in Context
Unit 4 runs across the final term of Year 1 and the first term of Year 2 alongside Unit 5. Core teaching encourages and facilitates students in gathering experience and evidence of learning from independent enquiry (practice) and by engaging with external communities in the making and public screening of work.The electives give students options to pursue either, applied participatory practices or engage with focused research themes.
The Film Forms: Community & Collaboration elective considers ideas around performativity, activism, ethical representation,and models of participatory practice, focusing on how contemporary moving image can reframe relationships between filmmaker and subject.Throughout the elective, students will be encouraged to consider the wider social, political and economic context for theirwork. Students will collectively interrogate how stories about the public/sare performed, authored and disseminatedto audiences within and beyond the community in question. Outcomes for this elective might include participatory films, lens-based performance/ installation works, filmmaking workshops, multi-camera live streamed events or other forms of visual research.
The Film Forms: Practice in Context elective takes the form of a new body of moving image or lens-based performance work,and a contextualising extended research document.Students may alternatively develop a more formal written dissertation, extended written analysis or piece of critical writing,on a self-selected topic relevant to individual artistic practice and research concerns. The research topic is chosen to complement the student’s individual Major Project and provides the opportunity for students to develop a larger set of questions and ideas using skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired over the course.
Unit 5: Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning (REBEL) Options Unit (20 credits)
Either: Analysis and Insights, or Curiosity and Enquiry
The Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning unit (REBEL) supports studentsin building a bespokeand individually relevant programme of learning based on a mixture of lived experience, personal projects, intensive workshops, and transcultural learning exchange (Shared Campus activity). It is assessed through reflective practice and a portfolio of evidence addressing Learning Outcomes that demonstrate advanced competence in either; analysis and insight, or curiosity and enquiry. Core teaching is the same for bothoptions. Students are encouraged and supported in gathering experience and evidence of learning from independent enquiry (practice) and from engagement with international communities of practice.This experience-based unit offers assessment in relation to either research process and practice (Analysis and Insights) or research relating to improving the student’sunderstanding of professional environments (Curiosity and Enquiry).
Analysis and Insights is a body of extended research evidenced through a portfolio and evaluation. Project outcomes for this unit might take the form of research into a specific type of filmmaking, lens-based or performance practice; archival research; or reflections based on previous work generated on or outside the course.
The Curiosity and Enquiry elective accounts for things students have experienced or made happen; qualities and capacities developed in tacit, lived, and contextual circumstances. This might be a practicalwork experience or placement where studentsreflect upon; a series of events that they have designed; a symposium, exhibition or screening event or other form of evidence based on previous education or life-wide interests and commitments.
Unit 6: Major Project (60 credits)
Major Project and the reflective component of the course builds on students’individual interest, context of practice,and knowledge acquired from previous units to produce a significant body of work. Students are supported in conducting in-depth research and experimentation which will demonstrate sophisticated understanding and exercise creative authorship through narrative composition, editing and storytelling, and sited practice. On completion of the unit, students willbe able to evidence a deep understanding of display and exhibition, potential audiences, choreographies of distribution and circulation as well as the ability to critically self-reflect on theirwork.
Mode of study
MA Performance: Screen is offered as an extended full-time course which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years between September to June. Students will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to their study and making practice, which includes teaching time and independent study.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. On successfully completing the course, students will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree). Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. If students are unable to continue the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.