SM6P12 - Independent Project (2023/24)
|Module approved to run in 2023/24
|Credit rating for module
|School of Art, Architecture and Design
|Total study hours
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
This module allows students to explore in depth a theory or theory and practice topic of their own choice, arising from previous experience or their study at levels 4 and 5 (subject to supervisor approval). A key emphasis here is placed on the notion of research (both theoretical and practical) to develop a sustained project. Their individual study is facilitated by a tutor assigned to the project according to subject specialism.
This module is mainly self-managed by the student with facilitation by a specialist in the chosen subject. Students’ individual work is supported by regular consultation and feedback from their tutor and peer-led workshops.
The project incorporates both formative and summative assessment. Students will present their project plan orally in a subject specific workshop and in written form to their project supervisor. The summative assessment consists of the actual project, either a written project or a film and/or performance project with outline, treatment and theoretical statement.
Prior learning requirements
Pre-requisites: SM5020, SM5076 or SM5080, SM5023 or SM5019
Available for Study Abroad? YES
The content of this module will vary according to the chosen topic. The topic will be developed from the student’s prior learning achieved on the modules at levels 4 and 5 and by the student’s areas of interest. Students will formulate a project proposal, including aims, methods and an overall research and/or practice plan. The student will project manage the work according to milestones agreed with the supervisor and they will shape the project according to the feedback provided and in the workshops with other students researching projects in the discipline.
In the first semester, students will take part in group workshops and introduced to methodologies of research applicable both to theory and practice. The rest of the year will be dedicated to individual supervision in the form of tutorials, as well as sharings of the students’ work, as appropriate to each project.
Projects may range in format and may include: a written dissertation OR a practical project (theatre, film or interdisciplinary art project) OR an alternative format to be discussed with their supervisor.
Learning Outcomes LO1 - LO6
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to (and to have the opportunity to) continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.
The module uses the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development..
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.
The following learning and teaching strategies are employed in the course of this module:
• multimedia lectures;
• student-led seminars;
• online activities through blended learning approaches;
• live presentations as appropriate to each project.
Scheduled teaching provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks.
In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.
Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, receive help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including written reflections on progress and achievement.
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal and career development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.
On completion of this module students will be able to:
Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
LO1: plan and undertake a sustained piece of theory/practice and/or written work which requires independent research and development;
LO2: identify the conceptual framework of one’s work, referencing current debates and practices in the subject;
LO3: prepare and bring to timely completion a scholarly written project or a piece of practice-based work with critical commentary with appropriate attention to academic and professional conventions;
LO4: develop the generic, transferable skills required by employers in theatre, film and television, for example effective and appropriate communication with peers and managers of learning, meeting deadlines, initiating meetings, planning and delivering a project to time, clear and cogent oral and written communication skills;
Subject Specific Skills
LO5: identify and implement strategies and solutions that are tailored to the specific project undertaken and its conceptual framework;
LO6: demonstrate rigorous knowledge and approaches, specific to the context and the content of the project.
Describe the assessment instruments and provide a rationale for them in terms of the learning outcomes that they assess. This should be 200-300 words long.
Assessment for this module will be structured in two parts:
1) Research Plan - LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5
The research plan is the formal document outlining the individual project. This should include an abstract, research questions, a research methodology and a contextual review of research sources. The Research Plan should be 1500 words approx.
2) Process - LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5
This is the continuous assessment of the student’s engagement with the module, demonstrated through attendance/punctuality, participation, communication and responsiveness to supervisory feedback. Students will be expected to maintain regular contact with their individual supervisor and to submit regular updates to the work, towards agreed milestones.
3) Final Project - LO1, LO2, LO4, LO6
This is the main assessment component, the topic and form of which will be agreed by the student with the supervisor. This may be:
a) written project, in the form of a dissertation of 7,500 words (excluding Appendix).
b) practice-based project (theatre, film or alternative format as approved by the Supervisor), in the form of a live performance, screening or interdisciplinary presentation. The nature of this will be agreed with the supervisor, but typically the work should be a minimum of 20 minutes in its presentation. This is supported by written documentation, comprising of approximately 2,000 words in the form of a digitally submitted portfolio.
Responding to the ESJ Framework, assessments are developed with inclusivity in mind and a student-centred approach. Students are invited to discuss with the tutor the tailoring of their individual projects to the assessment criteria, with the possibility of liaising alternative formats of assessment, where needed.
Please note that research resources are identified case by case, upon Supervisor’s suggestions. An essential reading list can be found here: