DRAM40010 Research and Analysis in Drama and Performance

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will equip students with a critical understanding of the field of drama and performance studies, its key theoretical frameworks and research methodologies. Students will build their skills in interrogating texts in performance through engagement with performance theory, semiotics, phenomenology, spatial theory and other theoretical approaches. Students will undertake analysis of performances (live and mediated) and undertake archival and other forms of primary research. They will develop their analytical, and academic writing skills, with feedback from the module coordinator. Students will learn techniques for critical reflection on theatre practices and performances. Theatre visits and are a required element.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will:
- be able to define and critique key questions in the discipline of drama and performance studies
- develop skills in performance analysis using a variety of theoretical frameworks
- evaluate and critique drama and performance in coherent oral and written presentations that reflect postgraduate academic standards of bibliographic reference
- formulate research questions and arguments, and identify relevant research sources, including electronic resources, and rank them qualitatively
- engage in primary and secondary research
- demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of academic research.

Indicative Module Content:

Performance Analysis & Research Methods: Phenomenology, Semiotics
Space, Scenography, and Performance
Theatre and Performance Historiography
Performance Analysis and Gender
Theatre and Materialism

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will attend performances and undertake performance analysis, engage in critical reading, writing and reflective learning, and undertake research. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

English language proficiency
GPA or Postgraduate admission

Learning Exclusions:


Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Students will undertake preparatory tasks to be submitted at the beginning of seminars. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Theoretical essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive written feedback post-assessment. Students will received individual feedback during the semester.

McAuley, Gay. “Performance Analysis: Theory and Practice.” In About Performance, No. 4, 1998: 1-12.
States, Bert O. Great Reckonings in Little Rooms: On the Phenomenology of Theater. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1985.
Knowles, Richard P. How Theatre Means. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2014.
Elaine Aston and George Savona Theatre as a Sign System A Semiotics of Text and Performance. London: Routledge, 1991).
McAuley, Gay. Space and Performance: Making Meaning in the Theatre. Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
Howard, Pamela. What is Scenography? London: Routledge, 2002.
Patrice Pavis, Analyzing performance: Theater, Dance, and Film
Postlewait, Thomas, The Cambridge introduction to theatre historiography, Cambridge, CUP, 2009.
Sue-Ellen Case, Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre. London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. 40-53.
Knowles, Ric. Reading the Material Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 9-23.
Name Role
Dr Emma Bennett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Paul Halferty Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Eamonn Jordan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Pedzisai Maedza Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Ashley Taggart Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jeanne Tiehen Lecturer / Co-Lecturer