Dynamic seminars in Devawn’s joint honours degree in English and Drama encourage an exciting and active approach to analysing challenging texts.
Seminar discussions have ensured that she has never felt like she was battling a text by herself.
Devawn’s degree has also inspired her. The Reading Theatre module has encouraged her go beyond understanding plays at face value but contextualise them. All aspects that influence a play should be considered such as marketing, finance and audience demographics.
Top three attributes developed through degree programme:
Curiosity and openness to change:
Overall, the primary attribute would be curiosity and openness to change – as an English and Drama joint honours student, in both of the branches of my degree; I think it’s something to do with the very dynamic nature of the seminars. The way that we approach text is very exciting, it’s very active. The texts we’re presented with, sometimes they’re quite complex or obscure or provocative. When you’re continuously being presented with that then it becomes more exciting and you need that to continue to be interested.
Respect for the opinions of others and a readiness to act inclusively:
Because you’re always talking in conversation with other people in discussion, I think that always encourages you to have that sense of inclusiveness and openness to others. Understanding other people’s viewpoint is always really helpful; you never feel like you’re alone battling a text, you’re always in a very responsive and relaxed environment.
Transferrable key skills to help them with their career goals and continuing education:
At the same time you’re always being pushed by the seminar leader or by your colleagues to expand, to bring in evidence, to continue working hard. I think that’s a really key skill to develop for the rest of your life because you can be eloquent, you feel like you can clarify yourself with confidence and take that into your later life.
Top three attributes developed through a module:
Grasp the principles and practices of my field of study:
A particular module that I really enjoyed was a second year module. It was a drama module called ‘Reading Theatre’ – it was different because it wasn’t just interested in the performance on stage but the sort of wealth of data surrounding it like marketing, publicity, the economy, so the area surrounding the theatre, audience statistics, demographics. This has obviously encouraged me to think that if I have to make a hypothesis I should always back it up with evidence because you’re talking about real people and real theatres. You always have to be considered which was very interesting – a new way of looking at theatre.
Produce analyses that are grounded in evidence:
I also think that it was important to gather a lot of data in order to grasp it and understand it. You always had to be very measured and controlled in that way, you can’t make general statements about people or places that are real; it’s less theoretical, more grounded in analysis.
Acquire substantial new bodies of knowledge:
I’ve gathered this huge new approach of looking at theatre and an entire body of knowledge I haven’t even considered before – which was really exciting. It has actually changed the way I look at theatre forever; I can’t see a play now without thinking about money, which is exciting!