Information specific to student studying on a 'by Practice'basis

‘By Practice’ Programmes

The College offers MPhil/PhD programmes in Creative Writing, Film by Practice and Performance Practice. Whilst these programmes sit within different departments in the College, an affinity exists between students on these different programmes, reflective of the particular nature of undertaking practice-led research. This information should be read in conjunction with the rest of the Humanities PGR Student Handbook.

 

The College offers programmes in Creative Writing, Film by Practice and Performance Practice. These programmes are characterised by practice being undertaken as an integral part of the research process. The assessed output for the programme takes the form of a thesis or dissertation, which comprises (1) a critical commentary and (2) evidence of the practice undertaken through submission of the artefact or documentation of it, as appropriate. 

Practice-led research – Practice-led research involves practice undertaken as an integral part of the research process, and normally results in the production of a creative output (artefact).

Artefact – The artefact forms the output of the practice undertaken in that particular field. Students may submit one or more artefacts as appropriate, such as a novel (for creative writing), a film (for film by practice), or one or more performance pieces or pieces of practice (for performance practice). In some instances documentary evidence of the artefact will be formally submitted for the record rather than the artefact itself. 

Pieces of practice – ‘Pieces of practice’ in performance practice can take a number of forms such as a theatre performance or a workshop. 

Critical Commentary – The critical commentary, usually a written, prose, text, provides evidence of a student’s critical reflection on their practice, and as such accompanies and informs the examiners’ understanding of the artefact created during the student’s period of practice-led research. 

Thesis or dissertation – in the context of practice-led research programmes the thesis or dissertation is the combined output of the research undertaken, submitted for examination, i.e. both the critical commentary and the artefact(s), or documentary evidence thereof. 

These definitions are informed by the AHRC’s definition of ‘practice-led research[1]’.



[1] TRAINING GRANT FUNDING GUIDE 2015-16 - http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/guides/training-grant-funding-guide-2015-16-v1-1/ (accessed 13/11/15) 

You will be allocated a supervisory team, who will provide you with guidance and support on  all (critical commentary and artefact(s)) elements of your work. You will work with your supervisors to complete a supervisor agreement form, which will outline the way in which you will work with your supervisors. For more information about supervision see Section 3. Research Supervision of the College of Humanities’ PGR Student Handbook. Members of your supervisory team may have different strengths in terms of their own research interests and background, but all members of your supervisory team will be able to provide you with feedback on all (critical commentary and artefact(s))   elements of your work, and will work together to provide you with coherent feedback on your work.

For general information about the upgrade process please see section 6 Transfer from MPhil to PhD of the College of Humanities’ PGR Student Handbook.  Students are usually required to provide ‘One substantive chapter of PhD standard material (10,000 words or above)’ as part of their transfer submission. The information below specifies what you will need to provide as part of your submission to transfer to PhD in place of those chapters. You must make sure you carefully read through the other requirements listed under section 6 Transfer from MPhil to PhD of the College of Humanities’ PGR Student Handbook

Performance Practice – 

The discipline DPGR will confirm the nature of the artefact to be submitted by no later than the end of the first year of study. This may involve submission of evidence of the first piece of practice where this has been undertaken, or both visual and written evidence of the work undertaken on the first piece of practice to date. 

Candidates delivering a workshop or a teaching programme will be expected to produce a workshop or teaching programme that is a minimum of 20 minutes long. 

Performance Practice candidates will also be expected to submit 8,000-10,000 words of critical commentary.

Area

Artefact

Critical Commentary

Film

12-15 mins

Plus 8,000 - 10,000 words of critical commentary

 

Installations

As agreed with discipline DPGR by end of term 3 of first year.

Poetry

15-20 pages

Prose/life writing

 

12,000 words

Screenplay/script

30 pages

Where specific submission criteria are not specified above the discipline DPGR will provide confirmation as to what and how much work should be submitted  by no later than the end of the first year of study.

See also MPhil submission guidance below for students who fail to upgrade.

For further information on the nomination of Boards of Examiners please see section 12. Submission and examination processes of the College of Humanities’ PGR Student Handbook.

A Board of Examiners will be appointed to undertake the examination of your thesis/dissertation. For ‘by practice’ programmes, your supervisory team will need to be mindful that:

-  A Non-Examining Independent Chair must always be appointed.

-  Due to the specialist nature of much practice-led research additional consideration should be given to the identification of examiners at an early stage to ensure that appropriate examiners can be identified.

-  Examiners may need to be appointed at an earlier stage than normal, if they will need to be present for live events prior to the final submission of the thesis/dissertation.

-  Consideration should be given to the information that examiners need about the way in which submission will take place. See How does this affect the process for Boards of Examiners?

Performance Practice

-  For Performance Practice work the Board of Examiners is usually appointed when the first performance is going to be shown.

-  For a PhD the Board of Examiners usually witnesses two out of three performances. The Board of Examiners do not have any direct contact with the student prior to the viva.

- The Board of Examiners do not begin the process of formal examination until final submission of the dissertation/thesis, with the inclusion of documentary (filmed) evidence of the performances.

This document specifies requirements for the form and size of dissertations/theses for programmes in Creative Writing/Film by Practice/Performance Practice. It is recognised however, that there are likely to be candidates putting forward proposals for the production of an artefact outside of the parameters specified. Where this is the case proposals should be put forward as early as possible, preferably prior to application. The College welcomes such proposals and will give due consideration to the viability of accepting a submission in an alternative format. You will not be able to submit a thesis or dissertation in a format other than those specified without approval – this should not be viewed as a formality.

The College Director of Postgraduate Research (DPGR) will consider such requests in accordance with the procedures specified in section 3 Other Forms of Submission, of the Presentation of Theses/Dissertations for Degrees in the Faculty of Graduate Research: Statement of Procedures. This will mean that they take account of:

- the scope and content of the proposal;

- the ability of the candidate to complete the proposed work within the period of registration for the programme in question;

- whether the College is able to appoint an appropriate supervisory team to support the proposal;

- consideration of appointment of a Board of Examiners;

- in what format submission to the examiners will take place, and in what format a final submission to ORE (see also Final submission into Open Research Exeter (ORE) below) will be made.

Dissertations or theses will not be accepted for examination outside of the submission requirements specified, except where specific approval has been given for variation to submission, and this approval has been appended to the submission.

The following information is supplemental to the information contained in the Presentation of Theses/Dissertations for Degrees in the Faculty of Graduate Research: Statement of Procedures, and sets out submission requirements where they are specific to programmes in Creative Writing/Film by Practice/Performance Practice.

MPhil –

Performance Practice

At least one piece of practice, evidenced in filmed documentation. The examiners will also see this performed live, if possible. Candidates will also provide a critical commentary which, with an extended introduction covering the matters specified in 3.6 of the Procedure and a conclusion, shall total between 20,000 -30,000 words.

 

Area

Artefact

Critical Commentary

Film

20 mins

18-24,000 word critical commentary, which must include an extended introduction, covering the matters specified in 3.6 of the Procedure.  For the MbyRes this would be 12,000-16,000 words.

Installations

As agreed with discipline DPGR.

Poetry

60 pages

Prose/life writing

 

50,000 words

 

Screenplay/script

90minutes/pages

 

A student may fail to upgrade, meaning that they remain on an MPhil programme. In that case the upgrade committee must make a specific recommendation to the discipline DPGR with regards to what must be submitted for the MPhil, if not otherwise specified above.

Please see ‘Variations to Submission Requirements’ above where specific submission criteria is not specified in this table.

 

Where the artefact takes a written form and the overall dissertation word limit would apply limitations inappropriate to the form of the artefact, the discipline DPGR may confirm approval of an extension to the word limit. This approval must be specific, confirmed in writing and appended to the thesis submission.

 

 PhD –

Performance Practice –

 

3 pieces of practice with a contextual chapter of up to 10,000 words about each piece.

In total, with the extended introduction covering the matters specified in 3.6 of the Procedureand a conclusion, 40,000 – 60,000 words. Exceptions to this word limit must be approved by the discipline DPGR in writing, with a rationale for the exception, no thesis submitted where the artefact does not take a written form should exceed the maximum thesis word limit.

Evidence of the three pieces of practice is provided by submission of filmed documentation. Examiners will also see two of these pieces live, if possible.

 

Area

Artefact

Critical Commentary

Film

Film that totals 1 hour made up of one film or a series of shorter films

 

30-40,000 word critical commentary, which must include an extended introduction, covering the matters specified in 3.6 of the Procedure.

Installations

As agreed with discipline DPGR.

Poetry

90 pages

Prose/life writing

 

75,000 words

 

Screenplay/script

120minutes/pages

 

Please see ‘Variations to Submission Requirements’ above where specific submission criteria is not specified in this table.

 

Where the artefact takes a written form and the overall thesis word limit would apply limitations inappropriate to the form of the artefact, the discipline DPGR may confirm approval of an extension to the word limit for the artefact. This approval must be specific, confirmed in writing and appended to the thesis submission.

 

 

15.9       Format of Submission of thesis to examiners 

Film

Written work, in standard temporary binding.

+ submission of a film or films, usually by DVD.

Installations

Written work, in standard temporary binding.

+ DVDs or other evidence of installations as agreed with discipline DPGR.

Performance Practice

Written work, in standard temporary binding + DVDs of the three pieces of practice.

 

Where this has been previously agreed you may also be able to submit a website or other form of digital submission, but this should be supplementary to the main body of your work, see ‘variations to submission requirements’ above.

Poetry/ prose/life writing/screenplay/script

 

Written work, in standard temporary binding.

 Your work must be in a format accessible to all examiners. You should discuss the format of your submission in advance with your supervisory team to ensure that you have given consideration to the feasibility of your format of submission.

‘By practice’ programmes are governed by the ‘Handbook for Examination of Postgraduate Research programmes’, and the outcomes open to examiners are the same as those for any other MbyRes/MPhil/PhD programme. This means that examiners may recommend any of the options available to them within the Code, as appropriate. For more information see section 12. Submission and examination processes of the College of Humanities’ PGR Student Handbook.

Films will usually be submitted on DVD, and for other formats of submission the Library will be able to advise (contact rdm@exeter.ac.uk). It is advisable to contact the Library well in advance of your initial submission to ensure that the format in which you are intending to provide your work will be suitable for submission to the ORE. For more information about the final submission of your work please also see section 11.5 Research Data Management and Open Access of the College of Humanities PGR Handbook. For further information about ORE, including regarding copyright please see the E-theses webpages