PaR for the Course: Issues involved in the development of practice-based doctorates in the performing arts

This project originated in a Development Award from PALATINE (the Higher Education Academy’s Subject Centre for Dance, Drama and Music (2000-2011)). This report is designed to enhance teaching and learning practice in the area of practice-based doctorates referred throughout the document as PAR – Practice as Research.

This report aims to produce an overview of the issues involved in developing practice-based doctorates, and to inform future developments in this area.

It also offers a review of current theoretical thinking in the area of Practice as Research; a comparative chart of regulations in a range of institutions; identifies issues in examination procedures, including timing, submission procedures, archiving of material and in supervisory practices.

The field is not so easy for the other performing arts because of the inadequacy of the DVD in capturing the totality of the experience. Issues such as word limits and how to examine in a way that gives examiners access to the event itself are reflected in a variety of regulatory procedures and practices to ensure the valuing of creative work as research in its own right. This project, therefore, has the potential to enhance and support learning and teaching in dance, drama and music in higher education. It maps what is going on in the area rather than offering prescriptive advice or making attempts to standardise practice. It is hoped that this report will enable people working in this field make choices and understand the decisions they make.

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