Short Course on Research in Visual and Performing Arts


Faculty of Graduate Studies​ University of the Visual & Performing Arts 21, Albert Crescent, Colombo 07.   View map

Short Course on Research in Visual and Performing Arts


The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) had been established in 2015 to facilitate postgraduate studies for University leavers and professionals who are seeking higher degree qualifications and to conduct their research in various visual and performing arts disciplines. Since its establishment, the FGS has facilitated and supported UVPA graduates and other professionals to pursue MPhil and PhD degrees as a qualification for their academic and professional careers. Being a premier educational institute for visual and performing arts, the FGS of the UVPA has demonstrated its capacity in providing quality supervision and guidance for postgraduate candidates. To develop the research culture of visual and performing arts, the FGS at UVPA attempts to absorb recent developments in research on visual and performing arts. In this juncture, it encourages postgraduates to pursue practice-based-research, one of the most popular approaches in diverse fields of creative arts at present.


Research in visual and performing arts has been heavily dominated by social science research paradigm. It is clearly evident that research carried out in theatre, dance, cultural and ritual studies and other related disciplines for the last four decades has been conducted through the social science research model which is intrinsically linked to positivism. In this social science model of research, knowledge is defined as something that is existing outside the researchers’ world and the objective of doing a research is to extricate this hidden knowledge and present it in an accepted written form. This written form is the classical way of writing a thesis or a dissertation. FGS at UVPA has also been following this classical model of social science research and has provided guidelines and supervision accordingly.  However, with the advent of poststructuralist thought and feminist intervention in cultural studies, the question of knowledge and the researcher’s subjectivity within the research paradigm have been heavily debated and contested. Further, especially in visual and performing arts, new research methodologies and tools have been re-invented and re-interpreted in order for ‘practitioner-researchers’ to extricate new knowledge paradigms they generate through artistic and reflective practices. With these development and arguments, research in visual and performing arts needs to re-think and re-access its epistemological and knowledge generation. The ongoing developments of new way of looking at knowledge and knowledge development in arts-based research have been a turning point in creative practices. Hence, the FGS at UVPA proposes a short course on research in Visual and Performing Arts, bringing novel approaches to research in creative arts practices.


  1. To introduce basic tenants of research and academic writing skills

  2. To develop competence in formulating a research project

  3. To introduce basics of practice-based-research in visual & performing arts

  4. To introduce abstract writing and writing research proposals

  5. To enable students to relate to other researchers’ research projects and learn

Learning outcomes

After the completion of this short course on research and academic writing, the student will be able to…

  1. Select, identify and locate relevant literature

  2. Identify the gap and formulate a research question/s

  3. Demonstrate analytical and theoretical competence

  4. Select methodology and write a research framework

  5. Write an abstract and extend it to a research proposal

  6. Communicate research ideas to an audience

Target Group

The Short Course on Research in Visual and Performing Arts is designed for academics, practitioners, graduate students and teachers who are in the fields of creative arts research and creative arts industry.  Over the years, the FGS has identified the need of a course which allows postgraduates, academics and graduates to develop their competence in arts-based research and academic writing which enable them to conduct research and present their research work as a form of a thesis.

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