module specification

SM6007 - Engagement and Participation (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Engagement and Participation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Other 30%   Workshop 30 minutes
Practical Examination 30%   Community Project 45 minutes
Coursework 40%   Portfolio (2,500 - 3,500 words)
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Engagement and Participation is a an Autumn Semester module introducing and exploring theatre and drama within a community context.  This module is designed to facilitate the students’ progress from theatre student to theatre practitioner.  The module with initially engage with a syllabus covering all aspects of workshop leading and workshop design, it will then progress to cover the emergent industry agenda of immersion and widening participation in the theatrical arts.  The module will address the academic stimuli of drama as a teaching medium and address the concerns and practical implications of professional/client group communication.  This element of the module will culminate in a work placement where skills and learning can be translated into experience and practice in workshop leading.  The second half of the module will cover the engagement of non-traditional theatrical events which seek to extend the definition of theatre practice.  This will result in experimental activity which will place the work within a community setting with a social conscience and a political agenda.

The students will benefit for the university’s links to professional theatrical groups and bodies such as Graeae, Islington Shed, Phakama, Clean Break, International Rainbows, Lewisham Youth Theatre, various schools and colleges.  There will also be opportunities for forging new links and collaborating with diverse and various community groups within the current professional movement towards extending engagement and participation beyond the ‘traditional’ boundaries of contemporary theatrical practice.

Module aims

• To appreciate the wide spectrum of skills necessary for providing rigorous, thorough and stimulating projects for diverse and individual groups;
• To enable students to acquire a sense of responsibility to their client group;
• To analyse and observe current practice and to critique examples of good and bad practice;
• To encourage a flexible approach to leading groups based on the aspirations and experience levels of project participants;
• To plan, rehearse, direct and perform creative projects involving members of the community/client groups.


The module will consist of practical and theory/practice teaching and seminar sessions.  These will occur on campus and off site in relevant localities to the respective client groups.  Students will have the opportunity to observe and participate in practical sessions and lectures led by professionals and be able to work with a variety of client groups in a supported environment. Through student and tutor led sessions, students will be encouraged to examine existing and emerging practice and to create their own work with regard for methodology, relevant theory and health and safety.  The student will be expected to create appropriate documentation and adopt a sympathetic and relevant praxis. Each student will be responsible for leading a project through practical sessions and helping to devise and deliver a community project with a non-traditional cultural context.  Time will be allocated for debriefing sessions at the end of each work placement session and the students will be responsible for providing video evidence for their session. Recorded material will be made available for students’ evaluations of the processes involved.

The first half of the module will provide an introduction to the concept of engagement and participation in all its forms with case studies and practical sessions: this will lead onto the examination and exploration of workshop leading skills.

The second half of the module will allow the students either to go on placement or invent and deliver a community project with social engagement and participation at its heart.

Learning and teaching

The teaching of this module will combine tutor and student-led practical and theoretical seminars. There will be observation of workshops led by professionals and other students in the group. The module will combine theoretical research, evaluation of observations and practical experience in leading projects in the community. Students will manage their own performances and contributions to projects and productively engage in activities with workshop participants and community groups, to whom they will communicate their understandings of relevant working practices.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module the students will be able to:
• create industry standard theatrical activities – including workshops and events – from the conception stage to full realisation.
• apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding to initiate and carry out cultural community projects;
• communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences/client groups and create bespoke work for these variant groups;
• exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable professional contexts;
• undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.
• evaluate their own work and the work of others, in the contexts of industry standards

Assessment strategy

This module has a pass on aggregate requirement
Coursework consists of:

001 - The development, organisation and execution of a bespoke drama workshop for a clearly identified community client group. Clear communication of the aims of the project to that client group. Management and utilisation of both the student and the participant’s strengths and abilities. 30%

002 - The development, organisation and execution of a performance project for a clearly identified community client group with a defined social/political ethos. Clear communication of the aims of the project to that client group. Management and utilisation of both the student and the participant’s strengths and abilities. 30%

003 - A structured documentation and resource pack containing a project outline, scheme of work, session plan, client group analysis and reflective and analytical communication of the student’s responses to the unit, using appropriate critical language, reflecting on their own contribution and their working relationships with other participants drawing on relevant theory and critical practice. This will cover an evaluation of both practical assessment vehicles and be presented in the form of an academic portfolio 40%


Barba, E. 1986. Beyond the Floating Islands PAJ Publications
Carlson, L. 1990. “Performance Art as Political Activism” Artweek Vol 22 pp23-4
Cohen-Cruz, J (ed) 1998. Radical Street Performance; an international anthology  Routledge
Durland, S. 1987. “Witness, the Guerilla Theater of Greenpeace” High Performance Vol 10 pp30-35
Foster, H. 1985. Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics Seattle Bay Press
Jackson, T. (ed) 1980. Learning through Theatre MUP
Johnstone, K. 1999. Storytelling for Improvisors Methuen
Kirby, M. 1965. Happenings: An Illustrated Handbook OUP
Lee, M. and McWilliam, L. 1995. Movement, Gesture & Sign RNIB Publications
Martin, R. 1990. Performance as Political Act; The Embodied Self Bergin & Garvey
Mason, B. 1992. Street Theatre and Other Outdoor Performance Routledge
Payne, H. 1990. Creative Movement and Dance in Groupwork Winslow Press
Upton, G. Physical and Creative Activities for MH CUP
The Clive Barker Research Centre for Theatrical Innovation:
Total Theatre:
Diversecity: (Community Arts Theatre Practitioners)