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Undergraduate student researchers take centre stage on Dissertation Day


winning poster

On 24 January the School of Liberal and Performing Arts’s first Dissertation Day brought together third year students from across the courses to present their work in progress, to share expertise and ideas, to engage students and members of the public in discussion, and to show first and second year students (for whom the Dissertation may seem a long way off) what it means to study and research independently.

The marvellous School House Cafe https://schoolhousecafe.co.uk/  (on Twitter:  @shccheltenham) provided the venue, along with coffee and lovely cakes.  People dropped in, or stayed for one of the two sessions.  It was a truly interdisciplinary event, as several visitors remarked; researchers had drawn on a really impressive range of sources and methodologies.  Moreover, so many students revealed formidable skills in art and design  – even in music – as well as subject-specific ones.  Creative Writing students showcased original material alongside their research resources. I was especially delighted to see that a number of students had created original artwork, including hand-lettering, painting and collage.

It would take too long to summarise all the presentations, and it wouldn’t be fair to single any out, but they’re listed on the programme.

Every student I spoke to said that creating the poster helped them to clarify and order their ideas, and thus had a direct impact on the writing and researching process. Anne Johnston told me that when she made the poster, her complex and sometimes disparate ideas just ‘fell into place’.

Many, many thanks go to Arran Stibbe and Vicky Lethbridge for organising the event; Charlotte Dover for publicity; Joel Bayliss for photography; everyone who helped out on the day; and to Jane Cantwell, Head of School, for her generous sponsorship of the event and judging of the posters. Most of all, we thank the students who presented their work, and the students and members of the public who came to support the event.

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