Theatre Studies MA

Documentary Drama THEATRE4030

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Documentary Drama explores the history and practice of using 'real life' sources in the creation of materials for the stage. It engages not only practical techniques, but also critical questions relating to politics, ethic and efficacy.


9 x 3 hour seminars.

1 x 4 hour practical showing.

Excluded Courses






2,000 - 2,500 word critical reflection (40%)

Group devised performance of a documentary drama (max. 20 minutes) (40%)

Group presentation (max. 45 minutes) (20%)



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

The course aims to:


1) explore the ways in which 'real life' documents have been used in the construction of stage plays/productions from the 1920s onwards, including i) the types of documents used ii) the various practices employed iii) the potential effects and iv) historical shifts in agendas and practices;


2) engage with questions of the ethics and politics of using 'real life' documents;


3) consider the potential relationship(s) between 'stage' and 'real life';


4) explore, through collaborative practice, devices of gathering, structuring and presenting a documentary drama;

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. identify, articulate and assess current critical theories pertaining to the practice of documentary drama

2. demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the histories, practices and key debates of documentary stage drama;

1. demonstrate an ability to move effectively between practical and theoretical analyses of documentary drama;

2. demonstrate teamwork skills.

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.