Postgraduate taught 

Theatre & Performance Practices MLitt

Contemporary Devising Practices THEATRE5029

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

An examination of contemporary devising practices in Western theatre and performance. The course will be taught through theory and practice.


8 x 3 hour sessions

Excluded Courses







1/ Research trail (50%) The Research Trail relates to students' practice on the course and to further investigations they have made on the subject of contemporary devising. The document should be between 15 and 20 pages (A4 or equivalent) in length, and approximately 2500 words. Each student will agree a research question (or questions) with the tutor to guide and steer the Research Trail.


2/ Critical performance practice. (50%) Working in groups students will devise a 20 - 30 minute piece of theatre working on a theme or form agreed with their tutor. Students will be awarded a group mark. Students will also compose a critically reflective 'programme note' to accompany the performance explaining their objectives, working methods and dramaturgical choices. At the completion of each performance students will respond to brief questions posed by tutors and students present.

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ develop students' existing understanding of devising performance practices in the contemporary period;

■ examine and interrogate selected theoretical and critical underpinnings of contemporary devised performance;

■ identify and analyse different tropes of contemporary devised performance;

■ develop students' skills in the compositional and performance practice(s) of contemporary devised performance.

■ develop students' skills into various research methodologies appropriate for further understanding of devised theatre practices.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the theoretical frameworks which inform contemporary devised theatre practices

■ demonstrate practice-based dramaturgical skills in the making of devised performance

■ demonstrate a range of knowledge of different modalities of devised theatre

■ demonstrate an ability to move critically and reflectively between practical and theoretical analysis of devised theatre practices

■ demonstrate an ability to undertake informed critical research on devised performance practices and their associations with other art forms.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.