Methods of Fieldwork Research

Subject DRAM90015 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Southbank - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

150 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Alyson Campbell


Alyson Campbell

Subject Overview:

This elective subject in semester 2 aims to develop and apply the learning outcomes from Research Methodologies (Semester 1) through a fieldwork research project. Students who take this elective will develop a research question and then shadow an appropriate performance/ practical project within the schools of the VCA-MCM (Music, Music Theatre, Opera, Theatre) or with an outside company or project (e.g. Back to Back Theatre, MTC, Red Stitch). The research proposal and setting up of the fieldwork project will happen in the second half of Semester 1.

This elective subject will give students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of research methods and apply them in a fieldwork setting. Special attention will be given to the ethics and mechanics of methods such as interviewing, observing, analysing texts/contexts of performance, documenting and practices involved in participant-observer positions. This subject further examines the relationship between research and practice within the context of practice led research.

Through a series of group tutorials, key issues and questions relevant to the methods of research within a creative arts context will be addressed. The subject will culminate in a research presentation and a critical essay.

This subject will assist students in identifying and developing a research question and will be a further platform for the independent project in second year.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students will have:

  • an advanced understanding of the critical issues in the field of research methodologies in researching performance;
  • analytical skills developed through critical reflection on performance practices in a fieldwork context;
  • key research skills and methods, such as interviewing, relevant to their chosen research proposal;
  • an overview of contemporary debates and methodological traditions in the field of arts-based research;
  • a research methodology appropriate to their discipline and project;
  • strong training in research activities involved in higher research degrees in the creative arts;
  • demonstrated imaginative and creative communication and presentation skills in the delivery of research proposal and research presentations;
  • an understanding of research ethics, including codes of conduct and ethical frameworks governing research.
  • Proposal of Research Question (1000 words) - Week 1 (10%)
  • Individual Seminar Presentation (20 minutes) - Week 11 (30%)
  • Written Assignment Essay (3000 words) - End of Semester (60%)
Prescribed Texts:

Nelson, R. (2013) Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Barrett, E and Bolt, B (2007) Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry, London: I.B. Tauris.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Create and organise aesthetic material
  • Use a range of research tools and methodologies
  • Solve problems
  • Interpret and analyse
  • Develop the capacity for critical thinking
  • Work independently
  • Communicate effectively
  • Organise and mange manage time
  • understand the relationship with and responsibility to the cultural environment;
  • work with respect for intellectual integrity, intellectual property and for the ethics of research and scholarship
Related Course(s): Master of Directing for Performance

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