AD3046 - Performance Practices

What will I learn on this module?

Performed representations are everywhere. Whether you are interested in making plays and performances for the stage, creating film or TV dramas or documentaries, or more broadly in understanding the importance of mediated representations, ‘performance’ is a critical aspect of the contemporary world. This module will introduce you to a range of performance practices, both as a maker of performance and from critical perspectives. Exploring (indicatively) ‘theatre sports’, improvisation, play, contemporary performance techniques, staging of scenes from plays, the module will help you to understand why performed representations matter in the world, and how you might go about making them. Designed to be an active, fun, dynamic and engaging learning experience, through the module you will not only develop an enhanced understanding of performance practice but will also acquire enhanced communication, team work, and problem-solving skills that will be relevant to all aspects of your studies.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning will be primarily through practical exploration, working in studio contexts to investigate theatre and performance techniques, exercises and approaches designed to enhance your understanding of performance and its central place across film, media and theatre practices.

Working under the guidance of staff, you will work collaboratively (as a whole class or in small groups) to develop your understanding of basic acting processes, the importance of play and improvisation, and your ability to respond imaginatively and practically to creative stimuli (such as a dramatic text, piece of music or film, a news-media story, or objects). There will be time devoted to your own collaborative creative investigations, sharing your performance outcomes, and discussing these in relation to both the module learning outcomes and your wider programme of study.

Workshops may also include watching and discussing video examples of professional work. Showing of assessment work-in-progress will offer you additional opportunity to engage in discussion of your own work and that of your peers, further extending your skills of observation and ability to articulate your ideas in relation to aesthetic choices. The module creates space for you to advance your knowledge and practical skills, consolidate learning and develop understanding of performance as a practical investigation and critical component of film, media and theatre.

You will receive regular, in-class, formative feedback both from tutors and fellow students.

The sessions will be supported by material on Blackboard, the e-learning portal, with preparatory tasks/readings and supporting information or additional research relating to the sessions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The programme of collaborative learning will enable you to share your work and means you will receive a steady stream of formative feedback from your tutors and your peers. You will receive midpoint opportunities to share your work and receive active constructive supportive feedback to underpin and move your learning forwards. This will allow you to check your progress and monitor your learning constantly with your tutors.

Learning resources will be structured to support you throughout the module. This may include watching performances that make use of the processes you are studying, to help place them in creative context, and/or opportunities to work with outside practitioners for enhancement workshops and discussions. The module's assessments will be talked through with you in detail in class, and support will be offered in how to structure and articulate your ideas orally and in writing (including, for example, through tutor guided, peer-to-peer writing and feedback sessions). Group project supervision sessions will consider questions of collaborative working; exploring, for example, how we work together respectfully and inclusively.

Information and resources will be available to you on Blackboard and the 'Reading List' contains links to websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding.

Written assessment feedback will be provided within 20 working days of summative assignment submission. Access to library facilities is available 24-7 all year round.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
? 1. Be able to demonstrate a growing understanding of key aspects of performance practice and stage craft.
? 2. Demonstrate an emerging awareness of the relevance of performance to film, media and theatre practices.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
? 3. Demonstrate a developing ability in approaches to collaborative processes and performance skills
? 4. Evidence an ability to critically reflect (orally) on the learning undertaken.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? 5. Work successfully within a small group and demonstrate emerging collaborative problem-solving skills.

How will I be assessed?

Students will share practical work they are developing and discuss this in relation to set reading and/or other learning materials (e.g. films, podcasts etc). Staff and peers will offer feedback that will open out into questions. This will provide a formative opportunity to practice practical and critical presentations.

In-class presentations will afford opportunities to develop analytical skills and to receive feedback on the construction of research evidenced argument.

Formative assessment opportunities will afford students opportunities to demonstrate their learning throughout the module, connecting directly to the summative ‘Continuous Assessment’ (below).

1) Scratch Performance (50%)
Group performance (MLOs 1, 3, 5)
Working in small groups, you will stage a short (c. 8 - 10 mins) demonstration of your developing performance/theatre skills in response to a stimulus set on the module (such as a scene from a dramatic text, a performance brief, a question, or a news story etc.).

A single group mark and feedback will be offered in writing.

2) Reflective essay (50%; MLOs 1 - 5)
Part 1, 1200 words: reflecting on three topics of the module (from the module ELP) outline and discuss key learning from the module. Include what you learnt but crucially also:
- how that has been interesting/revealing
- why did you choose to reflect on the topic(s) particularly
- what ways you will take this forward in the rest of your FY studies
- how and why were these topics (taken together) useful in the development of the performance (assessment 1)





Module abstract

This module is an exciting opportunity to explore theatre and performance practice as a creative process and as a way of thinking about the world around us. Through a combination of workshops, seminars and performance viewings (live or recorded) you will work with tutors who are leaders in their fields of practice and research to develop new understandings what performance means in the twenty first century. The module will not only equip you with performance skills that will enhance your communication, confidence and creative skills, but will also develop your understanding of what performance is and how it centrally relates to questions of representation in film, media, theatre and performance more broadly.

Course info

UCAS Code P325

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy