Performing Arts Research Methodologies

Subject DRAM90010 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Southbank - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

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

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
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 Zachary Dunbar


Zachary Dunbar:

Subject Overview:

This subject aims to develop an understanding of the major critical issues in the field of performance, and a range of methodologies appropriate to the production, documentation and analysis of performance texts, contexts and processes. It introduces and examines the relationship between research and practice within the context of practice led research. It addresses questions of what research methodologies are and, through weekly seminars and exercises, explores a range of these methods and research paradigms, key issues and practical skills relevant to the creative arts. It assists students in identifying and developing research methodologies appropriate to their practice.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To develop an understanding of the major critical issues in the field of performance;
  • To develop analytical skills through critical reflection on performance practices and their contexts;
  • To develop imaginative, creative, communication and presentation skills in the delivery of coursework presentations and individual or collaborative projects;
  • To introduce and provide students with key research concepts and skills relevant to their chosen project;
  • To introduce students to an overview of contemporary debates and methodological traditions in the field of arts-based research;
  • To enable students to develop a research methodology appropriate to their discipline and project.
  • To train students in preparation for research activities involved in higher research degrees;
  • To facilitate discussion of research ethics, including codes of conduct and ethical frameworks governing research.
  • Written assignment 1: Research essay 2000 words, due week 8 (40%)
  • Written assignment 2: Identifying research questions and methodologies appropriate to own practice - 1500 words, due in assessment period (30%)
  • Individual seminar presentation, 15 minutes, due weeks 7-11 ((30%)
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:
  • the ability to engage in independent and contextually-informed artistic research
  • well developed and flexible problem-solving abilities
  • the capacity to effectively communicate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written means
  • an ability to formulate viable research questions
  • a capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature and artistic practice
  • an ability to manage time and to maximise the quality of research and scholarship
  • an understanding of, and facility with, scholarly conventions in the discipline area
  • an understanding of the relationship with and responsibility to the cultural environment and society
  • respect for intellectual integrity, intellectual property and for the ethics of research and scholarship
Related Course(s): Master of Directing for Performance
Master of Dramaturgy

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