module specification

SM5074 - Directing 1 (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Directing 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Continuous Assessment
Coursework 30%   Essay
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module functions as an introduction to the skills and concepts behind directing both in theory and practice. Students will study key directing practitioners. They will be introduced to the role and function of the director, focusing on the relationship with the performer. They will study and apply basic directing techniques and explore and analyse the directorial process. Much of the work will be text-based, using a set text as a starting point.

Prior learning requirements

Pass and complete (120 credits) of previous level


This module will use a research and practice-based approach to investigating the methodologies of selected directors and practitioners. The module will facilitate the application of appropriate contemporary theoretical approaches to an analysis of the role and function of the director, focusing on their relationship with the performer. The work done in class will centre round a selected text in order to give the module a specific focus for research activities.

Students will be given opportunities to apply ideas and concepts in practice in a series of staff and student led workshops.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

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 and course utilise 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. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

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, 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.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module, students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
LO1 understand, evaluate and articulate in oral and visual presentation and written documentation, an understanding of the role and function of the director in a cultural and historical context;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO2 analyse a text from a director’s perspective using a range of theoretical and directorial approaches;

Transferable Skills
LO3 work collaboratively and take a leadership role when appropriate;

Subject Specific Skills
LO4 plan and deliver a workshop and rehearsal based on a short scene from a selected text;

LO5 work collaboratively in a group and take a leadership role when appropriate and to respond to the needs of others.

Assessment strategy

This module functions as a foundation for Directing 2. Assessment encompasses theory and practice, facilitating an understanding of the need for a theoretical context for practical work.
1.  Continuous Assessment: 70%
Students are continuously assessed on this module, with their assessment referencing key events in classes. This includes their work in exercises, practical presentations, and collaborative projects.  Together with their creative and collaborative skills, process is also evaluated in terms of professionalism, engagement, progress and ability to integrate feedback.
2. Essay: 30% (2000 words)
This will be an analysis of the set text director’s perspective.  Using critical theory and research as a starting point students will be required to write about how they can put theory into practice both in terms of process and product.


There is no core textbook for this module.

Oddey, A. (2007) Re-framing the Theatrical, Palgrave Macmillan.
Barker, C. (2010) Theatre Games, Methuen Drama
Boal, A. (1992) Games for Actors and Non-Actors, Routledge
Barba, E. (2010) On Directing and Dramaturgy, Routledge
Bartow, A. (1988) The Directors Voice, Theatre Communications Group
Braun, E. (1982) The Director and the Stage, Methuen
Brook, P. (1983) The Empty Space, Penguin
Delgado, M. & Heritage, P. (1996) In Contact With the Gods? Directors Talk Theatre, M U Press
Delgado, M. M. & Rebellato, D. eds. (2010) Contemporary European Directors, Routledge
Letzler Cole, S. (1992) Directors in Rehearsal, Routledge
Luckhurst, M. & Giannachi, G. (1999) On Directing, Faber and Faber
Mitchell, K. (2009) The Director’s Craft, Routledge
Mitter, S. (1992) Systems of Rehearsal, Routledge
Mitter, S. and Shevtsova, M. eds. (2005) Fifty Key Theatre Directors, Routledge
Whitmore, J. (2004) Directing Postmodern Theater, University of Michigan Press
Zarrilli, P. B. (2009) Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach after Stanislavski, Routledge