DISS09011 2019 Introduction to Dissertation

General Details

Full Title
Introduction to Dissertation
Transcript Title
Introduction to Dissertation
80 %
Subject Area
DISS - Dissertation
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
09 - NFQ Level 9
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Diarmuid Timmons, Ronnie Hughes, Rowan Watson, Una Mannion, Emmet O'Doherty, Rhona Trench, Niall Rea
Programme Membership
SG_GCREA_M09 201900 Master of Arts in Creative Practice

This module prepares for advanced enquiry to inform a specific area of creative practice, or within an interdisciplinary framework, anticipating the dissertation that the student will conduct in the second and third semesters of the Masters programme. 

During this module the student develops their research thinking and writing, refines their research questions, aims and objectives, produces a preliminary literature review, and designs their research proposal.  Concurrent modules expose students to a range of practice-based, traditional and  cross-disciplinary approaches to research. The intent expressed in the student's dissertation proposal  at the conclusion of the module determines whether they will choose to complete the Masters of Arts through Creative Practice or the Masters of Arts through Research. 




Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Propose an original research and/or creative process in response to aligned research question(s), aims and objectives.


Contextualise proposed research and/or creative practices in relation to extant theory and practice


Identify, source and manage literature to inform a preliminary literature review.


Select suitable research methodologies and/or creative processes in accordance with ethical concerns


 Plan research and/or creative enquiry within given resource frameworks

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Learners will attend seminars, lectures, workshops and masterclasses within the Institute, which are delivered using  online and on campus/blended modes.

Resources include:

  • Black Box performance space
  • Flat classrooms with Internet
  • Design studios
  • Peer-to-peer learning
  • Workshops and printing facilities
  • Live/ streamed studio spaces and auditoria
  • Library resources
  • Digital media edited  resources
  • Computer labs

Learners will present their own work through a range of outputs such as production exhibit/event/performance, seminar, talks, electronic and visual documentation, presentations to your peer group, essay, and dissertation

Outside of the Institute, learners will visit museums, theatre events, installations, talks, and workshops.


Module Assessment Strategies

This module is assessed through the students research proposal at the end of the semester.

Repeat Assessments



Indicative Syllabus

Through consultation with staff and assigned dissertation supervisor, the learner crafts his/her own pathway of research:

  • Establish the resources needed to execute the research plan
  • Propose the research plan including a timeline of the work
  • Identify primary and secondary resources
  • Present the proposal.






Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Research Proposal with preliminary literature review Coursework Assessment Assessment 100 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Directed Learning Classroom Equipped for OLL. workshop or tutorial 0.33 Weekly 0.33
Independent Learning Not Specified Research and Dissertation 14 Weekly 14.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 0.33 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2018-03-22 Creative Practices for Visual Artists Focal Press
ISBN 1138299200 ISBN-13 9781138299207

Contrary to popular belief, the practice of art isn't just a product of innate talent or artistic vision; artwork emerges from an intentionally constructed and maintained artistic practice. Developed from interviews with more than 75 mid-career artists, Creative Practices for Visual Artists examines the methods and approaches highly successful artists use to stay creatively robust for a lifetime. Offering practical strategies and concrete solutions, it also looks at the impacts of digital and social media, as well as recent changes in the educational system that can hinder the formation of a strong artistic practice. Artist and educator Kenneth Steinbach addresses key issues such as: the role of embodied research and non-objective experimentation; reframing one's approach to studio time; forms of productive conflict; the positive role of anxiety; and the importance of failure for the artist. The book will be useful to students and emerging artists, the instructors that teach them, and established artists looking to develop stronger studio habits. The companion website, www.creativepracticesbook.com, provides links to artists' websites and further information.

Required Reading
2003-10-01 Dissertation Writing in Practice Hong Kong University Press
ISBN 9789622096479 ISBN-13 9622096476

This book is designed to raise students' awareness of the linguistic features of a postgraduate dissertation/thesis written in English. It deals primarily with the linguistic aspects of extended pieces of writing, placing great emphasis on the writer's responsibility for the readability of the text. Each of the features introduced is illustrated through examples taken from authentic writing at the appropriate level. In addition, each chapter has a number of tasks to help students put into practice the skills that have been introduced. This book is mainly designed to help research students whose first language is not English, but it should also prove useful to native speakers of English, many of whom lack extensive experience of writing at this level. It can be used as a textbook for postgraduate students on a dissertation/thesis writing course, and may also be used as a self-study guide since an annotated answer key is provided for all the tasks. This book takes a realistic approach to helping students who may find the extended writing required at postgraduate level a daunting task; although it provides ample opportunities for practice, it does not expect students to produce extensive writing beyond that required for their degree.

Required Reading
2019-01-10 Practice-Based Design Research Bloomsbury Visual Arts
ISBN 1350080403 ISBN-13 9781350080409

Practice-Based Design Research provides a companion to masters and PhD programs in design research through practice. The contributors address a range of models and approaches to practice-based research, consider relationships between industry and academia, researchers and designers, discuss initiatives to support students and faculty during the research process, and explore how students' experiences of undertaking practice-based research has impacted their future design and research practice. The text is illustrated throughout with case study examples by authors who have set up, taught or undertaken practice-based design research, in a range of national and institutional contexts.

Required Reading
1998-08-15 Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day Holt Paperbacks
ISBN 080504891X ISBN-13 9780805048919

Expert writing advice from the editor of the Boston Globe best-seller, The Writer's Home Companion Dissertation writers need strong, practical advice, as well as someone to assure them that their struggles aren't unique. Joan Bolker, midwife to more than one hundred dissertations and co-founder of the Harvard Writing Center, offers invaluable suggestions for the graduate-student writer. Using positive reinforcement, she begins by reminding thesis writers that being able to devote themselves to a project that truly interests them can be a pleasurable adventure. She encourages them to pay close attention to their writing method in order to discover their individual work strategies that promote productivity; to stop feeling fearful that they may disappoint their advisors or family members; and to tailor their theses to their own writing style and personality needs. Using field-tested strategies she assists the student through the entire thesis-writing process, offering advice on choosing a topic and an advisor, on disciplining one's self to work at least fifteen minutes each day; setting short-term deadlines, on revising and defing the thesis, and on life and publication after the dissertation. Bolker makes writing the dissertation an enjoyable challenge.

Required Reading
2010-02-15 Practice as Research I.B. Tauris
ISBN 1848853017 ISBN-13 9781848853010

Practice-led research is a burgeoning area across the creative arts, with studio-based doctorates now increasingly favored over traditional research. This new paperback edition of the first book to be designed specifically as a training tool to guide students embarking on such research will be welcomed by students and educators. The chapters provide concrete examples of studio-based research in art, film, video, creative writing and dance, each contextualized by a theoretical essay, complete with references. More than a handbook, the volume draws on such thinkers as Deleuze, Bourdieu and Heidegger in its examination of the relationship between practice and theory. It takes pains to elaborate methodologies, outcomes and contexts and is a valuable demonstration of how practice can operate as a valid alternative mode of inquiry to traditional scholarly research.

Required Reading
2013-03-05 Practice as Research in the Arts Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 1137282908 ISBN-13 9781137282903

This book takes a fresh "how to" approach to Practice as Research. At the "performance turn" it argues that old prejudices should be abandoned and that a PaR methodology and its modes of "doing-knowing" should be fully accepted in the academy. It refines Robin Nelson's earlier models for PaR but sustains the dynamic and dialogic interplay between different modes of knowledge-production in a multi-mode research inquiry. It advances strategies for articulating and evidencing the research inquiry and offers practical guidance to practitioner-researchers on how to conduct a PaR inquiry. With reference to examples drawn from a decade of supervisory, examining and audit experience, Nelson addresses - and offers answers to - the many questions students, professional practitioner-researchers, regulators and examiners have posed in this domain. To broaden the perspective and take account of differing levels of acceptance and development of programmes in PaR around the word, in Part II of the book six international contributors respond to Part I and afford cross-sights from the standpoint of their territory.

Required Reading
2015-12-01 Social Research Methods Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199689453 ISBN-13 0199689458

This best-selling introduction to research methods provides students and researchers with unrivalled coverage of both quantitative and qualitative methods, making it invaluable for anyone embarking on social research. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Social Research Methods is packed full of engaging examples and practical tips to equip students with the tools and knowledge needed for them to complete their own research projects. In addition to providing practical advice, Bryman deftly explores thenature of social research and the wider issues impinging on it. This book is supported by an Online Resource Centre, which includes:For Students* A researcher's toolkit to take students step by step through the research process* Multiple choice questions to help students test their knowledge and understanding* A guide to using Excel in data analysis to help develop analytical skillsFor Lecturers* A test bank of questions which can be customized to meet teaching needs* PowerPoint slides for each chapter* New seminar outlines including suggested activities and tasks * New exam and course work questions to set in class

Required Reading
2010-08-01 The Good Research Guide Open University Press
ISBN 0335241387 ISBN-13 9780335241385

The Good Research Guide is a best-selling introductory book on the basics of social research. It provides practical and straightforward guidance for those who need to conduct small-scale research projects as part of their undergraduate, postgraduate or professional studies. It covers all the major issues and concerns from start to finish. It is a valuable resource for anyone conducting social research including those in applied areas such as business studies, health studies, nursing, education, social work, policy studies, marketing, media studies and criminology. The book provides: A clear, straightforward introduction to data collection methods and data analysis Jargon-free coverage of the key issues An attractive layout and user-friendly presentation Checklists to guide good practice The fourth edition has been extensively updated and includes features such as: New material on qualitative data and narrative analysis Good Practice boxes in every chapter Four new appendices on key topics: Ethics, Data Protection, Triangulation and Focus Groups New examples and illustrations on Surveys and Sampling Additional topics in the Frequently Asked Questions section

Required Reading
2002-03-20 Real World Research Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 063121304X ISBN-13 9780631213048

This successful text on carrying out research in 'real world' situations has been thoroughly revised and updated in order to make it as useful as possible to teachers and students from a range of behavioral and social science disciplines. Includes new examples from applied psychology, applied social science, health studies, social work and education. Provides more coverage of qualitative methods. Pedagogical material has been updated to include a glossary and detailed cross-referencing across chapters. Bases the quantitative analysis section around version 10 of SPSS and the section on qualitative analysis around the NUD*IST software. Situates material more clearly within theoretical conceptualizations of the nature of social science research, pointing to the advantages of a critical realist approach. For sample chapters please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/robson

Required Reading
2007 Composing Qualitative Research SAGE
ISBN 1412905613 ISBN-13 9781412905619

Providing both theoretical and practical guidance for students and researchers who need to transform the massive amounts of data collected through qualitative fieldwork into a coherent manuscript, the Second Edition draws on examples from various publications, including Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal, are used throughout the volume for analysis.

Required Reading
2010-10-27 Creative Research AVA Publishing
ISBN 9782940411085 ISBN-13 2940411085

Creative Research leads the reader through the key knowledge, practices and skills of research methods in the study of design management and focuses on defining the research problem, deciding on a research process and undertaking a research project as a student at undergraduate or postgraduate level or as a practitioner within the creative fields. In addition to this, techniques and procedures for collecting and analysing different types of data are examined and analysed in detail. The skills necessary to promote the effectiveness and validity of research within the creative industries are highlighted in case studies, all of which also demonstrate what a well-designed research project can achieve.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Beginning your research project:

Please note that your supervisor will also recommend resources to support your specialism and/or field

  • Austin, J. L. (1975). How to do things with words. England: Oxford University Press.
  • Candy, L. (2006). Practice based research: A guide. CCS Report1, 1-19.
  • Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research. Meaning and perspective in the research process [google books version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books.
  • Evan s, D., Gruba, P., & Zobel, J. (2011). How to write a better thesis [google books version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books.
  • Holliday, A. (2002). Doing and writing qualitative research [google books version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books.
  • Huber, A., (2017). Telling the Design Story. Taylor & Francis.  ISBN 9781351849210 ISBN-13 1351849212
  • Malins, J., Gray, C., Bunnell, K., & Wheeler, E. (1995). Appropriate Research Methodologies for Artists, Designers, and Craftspersons: Research as a Learning Process. Malins and Gray.
  • McNiff, S. (2008). Art-based research. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research, 29-40.
  • Ridley, D. (2012). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. Sage.
  • Thomas, G. (2013). How to do your research project: A guide for students in education and applied social sciences.  London : SAGE Publications.
  • Wolcott, H. F. (2005). The art of fieldwork (2nd ed.) [google books version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books.
Other Resources

Design Studio

Black Box

Flat Classroom