University of the Visual and Performing Arts
Sri Lanka is an island nation with a distinctive history of painting and sculpture that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Historically, painting and sculpture education and practices in Sri Lanka were grounded in the Buddhist philosophy and related rituals. Artistic skills were sustained and taught by specific schools or families known as “Gurukula” or ”Siththara Parampara”. Moreover, skilled craftsmen belonged to a particular caste based on their craftsmanship duties during this era.
The naturalistic painting style of the West was first introduced to Sri Lanka and India during the British colonial period through technical colleges. With the establishment of the Ceylon Technical College in Maradana in 1893, awareness and the use of western painting techniques and styles gradually became popular in the country. Under colonial education, naturalistic painting was also introduced to Sri Lanka. Dr. Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947), a pioneering Sri Lankan philosopher and interpreter of Indian art and culture, published his first book in 1908, named ‘Medieval Sinhalese Art’ which focused on Sri Lankan crafts and its craft schools. The book was printed by the Kelmscott Press in London which was owned by William Morris (1834-1896), the founder of the ‘Art and Craft movement’ in England. Hence, in 1896 (the same year he passed away), as a tribute to the contribution made by William Morris, craft subjects were introduced into the courses of study offered at the Ceylon Technical College. These subjects were later conducted in collaboration with the Department of Small Industries in 1933.
Prof. Sarath Amunugama was appointed the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. A French language scholar from the University of Kelaniya, he introduced the university system to the newly established UVPA. Prof. Jayasena Kottegoda, a veteran Low-country traditional dance scholar, was appointed in 2008 as the second Vice Chancellor of the University whereby he served two consecutive terms in office. Subsequently, yet another expert in Low-country traditional dance, Prof. Ariyarathna Kaluarachchi assumed duties as the University’s Vice-Chancellor in 2014. After his term of 3 years, Prof. Sarath Chandrajeewa became the fourth Vice-Chancellor of the UVPA from October 2017. At present, the Vice-Chancellor of the University is Snr. Prof. Rohana P. Mahaliyanaarachchi. He who was a former Vice-Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lnka.
The first Chancellor of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts was Dr. Lester James Peiris, while Pandith Dr. W.D. Amaradeva became its second Chancellor. At present, the Chancellor of the UVPA is Sangeeth Nipun Prof. Sanath Nandasiri.
Emeritus Professor Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri
Emeritus Professor Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri, the third Chancellor of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, is a veteran musician who had served as a Head of the Department of the Institute of Aesthetic Studies and as the first Dean of the Faculty of Music of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts. He was honoured with a honorary professorship as a tribute to his outstanding contribution to the field of creative music in Sri Lankan.
Graduate Profile of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts
The Graduate of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts would be a motivated, empowered, creative, occupied and authentic individual.
- Seeks to Understand world beyond his/her own experience
- Exhibits leadership and valued collaboration
- Self-confident and self-reliant
- Has a courage to take calculated risks
- Is intellectually curious
- Believes he/she has power to make positive changers
- Has a desire to serve, fueled by empathy, respect to others and humility
- Has strong work ethics
- Strive to achieve a balance life both public and private
- Responsible decision maker
- Critical thinker
- Connects with others with deep and genuine level
- Realistically assess his/her own abilities and weakness and seeks to learn and grow
Academic Establishment Division
The Academic Establishment Division mainly functions towards all matters related to personal files of the Academic, Administrative and Academic Support staff. The division was established in 2013 as a separate division which functioned as “Establishment Division” attached to Non-Academic Establishment Division.
- Maintaining cadre details of the Academic, Administrative and Academic Support staff of the University
- Fulfilling activities relating to Recruitment, Confirmation, Promotion, Retirement, Increments, Leave (Study leave, Overseas Leave and Sabbatical Leave) of Academic and Academic Support staff and Confirmation, Retirement, Increments and Leave of the Administrative Staff.
- Maintaining personal files of the staff of Academic, Administrative and Academic Support staff.
- Coordinating the monthly Leave and Award committee meeting.
Admission and Registration
University admission in Sri Lanka is carried out on the basis of a national policy laid down by the Government of Sri Lanka. University Grants Commission (UGC) is the apex body of the University System in Sri Lanka. Applications for university entrance is called after publishing the university hand book titled “Admission to undergraduate courses of the Universities in Sri Lanka” issued by the UGC for every academic year.
The University (UVPA) intakes students for four degree programmes. i.e. Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art. The selection of students will be done by the UGC on the basis of Z-Scores and passing of the Aptitude Test which is conduct by the university.
The enrollment of new students is done by the Student Welfare Division of the University according to the registered list of the UGC. Moreover, students’ year registration is also done by this division.
The General Administrations Division of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts acts as an infrastructure facilitator for the academic activities. It is responsible for all matters related to the administration of construction and rehabilitation works. General Administration Division handles transport facilities, general post, fixed assets register and the intra and extra communication system of the university. Janitorial service and the Security service which functioned in all university premises are handled by the General Administrations Division, too.
In addition, this division is responsible for providing effective internet and intranet service, electricity, water and telecommunication facilities to the University.
21 days of casual leave, eligible to administrative staff and 14 days of casual leave eligible to Academic Staff members as per current rules and regulations.
Employees of the university system will be governed by the rules and conditions mentioned in the Establishment Code and specific circulars issued in related to leave of the employees.
24 days of medical leave, eligible to administrative staff and 14 days of medical leave eligible to Academic Staff members as per current rules and regulations.
84 days of with pay leave and up 06 months no pay leave, eligible as per current rules and regulations.
sabbatical leave is the only type of earned leave.
Leave preparatory to retirement and grant of lump amount in lieu of eared leave left over.
Unutilized medical leave of previous 2 years and the current year will be granted as preparatory to retirement leave.
Duty leave will be granted to participate in Workshops, Conferences as per current rules and regulations.
Leave and advance for study abroad
Study leave will be granted to Academic, Academic Support and Administrative Staff as per current rules and regulations and course fee and other grants will be provided as per relevant circulars and policies of the University after reaching into agreements and bonds with the employee.
Senior Academics and Senior Administrative offices are eligible to receive 1 year with pay sabbatical leave after completion of 07 years of satisfactory service as per current rules and regulations.
Faculty of Graduate Studies
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.
Common Philosophy of the Faculty of Graduate Studies
“Fresh curiosity on the feelings of wonder at meeting with something or someone that one has hitherto passed by, the unflagging training eye, hand, body and mind. All these are essential for Visual and Performing Arts. Without researching on them there is neither discovery nor growth. Otherwise the existing system or traditions will go on generation after generation without new trends. By doing research on these disciplines novel ideas and developments evolve in fields of creative art. It is necessary to think critically, investigate and analyse art. Finally, it is not simply the development of artistic expression but a deep understanding of human nature”.
“To be the premier faculty in research to refine the knowledge of human experiences in aesthetic and cultural areas in appreciation of different traditions and trends of Visual and Performing Arts.”.
“Produce researchers and performers in practicing art”
To foster the development of educational, cultural and industrial fields by broadening the knowledge of humanistic studies contributing to the needs of cultural and social context in Sri Lanka and the global community.
FACULTY OF DANCE AND DRAMA
The Faculty of Dance and Drama (FDD) was established parallel to the establishment of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) in July 2005 by upgrading the Institute of Aesthetic Studies of the University of Kelaniya under the Extraordinary Gazette Notification Number 1400/24 dated 08th July 2005.
Today, the Faculty consists of seven Departments (i.e. Department. of Kandyan Dance, Department of Low-country Dance, Department of Sabaragamuwa Dance, Department of Percussion Music, Department of Indian and Asian Dance, Department of History and Theory of Dance and Drama, Department of Theatre, and Oriental Ballet and Contemporary Dance).
The departments offer four-year (Honours) degree courses in thirteen areas of study. Each degree programme aims to create a graduate with theoretical and practical knowledge in the relevant field of performing arts (i.e. dance, theatre or film), creative and socio-emotional skills, critical and analytical thinking capacities and professionalism. In dance-based studies, primarily, the degree programmes explore and practice the dance traditions of Sri Lanka and India as well as contemporary dance forms of the West. In theatre and film related courses, the students are exposed to most updated knowledge in the relevant fields. However, these degree courses do not merely provide knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to traditional and contemporary performance trends, but also focus on the study of critical theories, the application of pedagogies and essential skills to adapt to varied performance spaces and contexts as performance practitioners. In addition to this, the degree programmes simultaneously offer the opportunities and the training required to achieve career goals of students, including institutional and field training, research projects, language-based learning mainly in English and Tamil, information technology and computer skills, along with career development orientation and guidance.
The Faculty enrolls about 330 students (275 for Dance Discipline and 55 for Drama Discipline) annually and the Grade Point Average (GPA) system is in practice to assess the performance of undergraduates. The graduates of this faculty are capable of finding employment opportunities in public, quasi-public and private sectors, and nonprofit organizations, or seek career pathways as freelancers and entrepreneurs.
To ensure that traditional Sri Lankan performing art forms are preserved for posterity, while promoting original creations and encouraging research and dissemination of knowledge.
To engage in the study of performing arts forms through critical analysis and exploration.
Teaching, Learning & Research Facilities
The faculty offers state-of-the-art facilities such as a multimedia studio with audio and video recording, still photography, multi camera shooting and video production facilities, a multimedia laboratory, a state-of-the-art computer laboratory, English language lab, black box studio and dressmaking and costume designing facilities to enhance the skills of the students and researchers.
FACULTY OF MUSIC
The Faculty of Music shows an independent pedagogic academic scenario under the Departments of North Indian Music, South Indian Music, Western Music, Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Applied Music & Mass Communication. The intrinsic properties inhered in different course units are well connected with the intangible heritage of the motherland, religions and the world realm of music where we meet the conceptual values and expressive values dazzling among the humanism. Music crosses the barriers of cultural norms and boarder lines of cultural zones featuring the diversity of multi ethnicity with the artistic vision and the scientific thinking flood light from the spiritual and secular ideology of the people.
Welcome to the Faculty of Music – (FMU)
University of the Visual and Performing arts holds a long and cherished history in sustaining aesthetic education and producing competent creative artists in the field of performing arts. The FMU of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts boasts of a long and golden history in tertiary education. Formally, this FMU was known as the Government college of Music founded by the late J.D.A. Perera in 1952.
After the establishment of the Institute of Aesthetic studies, which was affiliated to the University of Kelaniya, on 1st May 1974 the Government College of Music was established as a separate department. Three decades later, on the 1st July 2005, this institute was re- established as an autonomous university which comprised the FMU.
The UVPA is the only university in Sri Lanka established with a purpose to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education exclusively in the subject streams of visual and performing arts and to carry out researches in the same field. FMU offer Bachelor of Performing Arts Hones Degree in Music. It is a four-year degree program. A unique feature of this program is exposing all music students towards learning and understanding both Western and Non-Western musical styles. Students are given the opportunity to choose their major and subsidiary subjects for studies in their chosen genres.
The Faculty of Music is a learning center within the Sri Lankan university system offering a wide range of disciplines in the field of Music. FMU is made up of six departments, namely the Department of North Indian Music, Department of South Indian Music, Department of Western Music, Department of Ethnomusicology, Department of Applied Music & Mass Communication and Department of Musicology. These six departments are operating under the main academic streams of Sri Lankan Music and World Music (North Indian, South Indian, Western and Applied etc.) in addition to major theoretical course components.
Six Departments of Study in this Faculty provide higher education, student guidance and advising on par with international standards. The composition of our academic staff is representative of the diverse skills and expertise in many fields of study. Many of them have obtained their qualifications and training from reputed and recognized universities from around the world. The Faculty possesses also has an efficient and committed non-academic staff to support the learning process. From its inception to date the Faculty of Music has produced eminent artistes, popular music directors, singers, instrumentalists and scholars. Therefore the graduates we produce will contribute innovatively and creatively to the national development process. The faculty is committed to producing an accomplished citizen who is fully prepared to confront the challenges of the changing world, and who can make innovative contributions to the progress of the Music industry.
Teaching, Learning & Research Facilities
State-of-the art Lecture Halls and Practical Class Rooms, Computer Laboratories, Recording Studio and the newly established Auditorium designed according to the modern architecture and technology, music instruments and practical sessions are few of the facilities to be named among ample conveniences available in the faculty for their undergraduates.
The C. De S Kulathilake Research Centre of the faculty is one of the largest and rare repositories. It consists of an archival of rare and valuable collection of audio-video recordings in the music field.
“Dr.Lionel Edirisinghe Rostrum” State of the Art Auditorium was established in year 2017, to showcase the international, national and other University events such as stage performances, Live music concerts, conferences, workshops, seminars, meetings and cultural events.
The Auditorium is well-furnished, air-conditioned and equipped with modern and high quality State of the Art Digital live sound system with multi-channel recording facility and a modern digital stage lighting system. The auditoriums feature fixed traditional theatre style seating with around 350 seats, raised stage and the balcony.
At present there is no Auditorium where equipped with this type of fixed live sound system In Sri Lanka.
The Faculty’s envisage is to gain National and International recognition, educating the students to conduct contemporary and high tech Music concerts and technology related researches.
FACULTY OF VISUAL ARTS
The Faculty of Visual Arts established in 2005 under the university Act No.16 of 1978 by the Gazette No. 1400/24 dated 08th July 2005 of Sri Lanka. The faculty which consists of nine departments is located at No. 46, Horton Place in Colombo 07. It offers four-year Bachelor of Visual Art (BVA) Special Degree in nine programme streams in Visual Arts namely; Painting, Sculpture, Visual Communication Design, Printmaking, Multi-disciplinary Design, Ceramic Art, Textile and Wearable Arts, Multimedia Arts, and History and Art Theory. The Bachelor of Visual Art Special Degree of the Faculty is structured on semester based on credit system. This faculty can be considered as the only faculty dedicated for offering degree Programs in Visual Arts among Sri Lankan universities.
As the present Dean of the faculty of Visual Art, it’s a great pleasure to issue this message on behalf of the faculty, which has a history goes back to a century ago. Firstly, I would like to convey my gratitude to all former Deans and retired senior academics who contributed to uplift the faculty to the present state. At the same time, I would like to pay my respect to the founders and well-known artists emerged from this institute like J.D.A. Perera, David Paynter, Stanley Abeysinghe, Tissa Ranasinghe, Mahagamasekara, H.A. Karunarathna, etc. The faculty has well-qualified and well-experienced academic staff who have local and foreign education qualifications under different subject disciplines. Also, most of them are practitioners and scholars who have actively involved in improving the artistic sense, cultural values and social responsibilities of the country. The faculty of Visual Art stands up with a strong foundation of good practices affiliated with the field of Visual Art. As a faculty, we have identified our social and national responsibilities and are being working as a team that was composed of the academics, students, administrative and non-academic staff to improve the quality of Visual Art education. Students who enter the university by passing the GCE (A/L) exam and the aptitude test conducted by faculty in every year are the main assert of our faculty. The composition of students is made of creative and energetic youth of the country who came from diverse social backgrounds and different areas. The BVA special degree program offered by nine departments of the faculty helps the students to develop their creativity, skills, ideology, social responsibilities and to find the right path for their professional career.
M H JAGATH RAVINDRA
Teaching, Learning & Research Facilities
- Studio facilities for Visual Art teaching and learning
- Library facility with the large collection of books in Visual Art
- IT Laboratory
- Computer laboratory facilities for Multimedia Arts and Visual Communication Design teaching and learning with the state of the art techniques
- Studio for Stone carving with soundproof and dustproof facilities
- Kilns for Ceramic Art
- Medical Center
- D. A. Perera Art Gallery for conducting exhibitions of the Academics and Students of the Faculty and to hire for curated exhibitions
- David Paynter Collection (Special Collection of Paintings)
- Faculty Auditorium
Opportunities in the World of Work
The Faculty produces graduates with competencies to be employed in professional, practical and academic careers in the field of visual arts. Painters, Sculptures, Printers, Designers, and Interior Decorators are some of the professions available to our graduates.
Bachelor of Visual Arts (Special History and Theory of Arts)
- Research Methodology & Writing about Art I
- Introduction to Theories of Art
- 2D & 3D Studio: Introduction
- Arts History i
- Writing about Art & Research Methodology ii
- History of Civilizations form the beginning to Contemporary
- Art of Ancient World:(From Neolithic to Roman)
- Research Project i
- Museum Studies
- Contemporary Theoretical Approaches of Art
- Social History of Arts
- 2D & 3D Studio i
- Electives I
- Electives II
- Arts History ii
- Visual & Cultural Studies & Art & Archeology
- Art & Archeology
- Gallery Studies i
- History of Visual Communication
- New Technologies & Art Expression
- History of Applied Arts & Design/ New Technologies & Art expression
- Independent Studies: Sri Lankan Art
- 2D & 3D Studio ii
- Research Project ii
- Electives I
- Art History iii
- Post Modern & Contemporary Art
- Art Criticism & Contemporary issues
- Gallery Studies ii
- History of Art: Special Studies
- Modern & Contemporary Sri Lankan Art History : Special Studies
- Thesis Seminar
- Independent Studies ii
- 2D & 3D Studio iii: Creative Project
- Research Project iii Final Dissertation
PhD and MPhil
About the Programme
Research Higher Degrees offered by the FGS-UVPA are designed to provide research training in a manner that fosters the development of independent research skills in candidates. The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programmes are advanced postgraduate degrees undertaken by research only, and lead to advanced academic and theoretical knowledge in a specialist area. Both programmes are available in full modes.
Research higher degree candidates are required to make an original contribution to knowledge or understanding in their fields of study, and meet recognised international standards for such work. Research should be conducted with a high level of skill in analysis and critical evaluation, and should provide evidence that the candidate is familiar with and has employed the most suitable research methods and other procedures in their studies. The FGS also encourages postgraduate students to conduct practice-based-research and produce high quality research outcomes.
After finalizing an MPhil or a PhD higher research degree, students will be able to demonstrate following Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
- Engage in critical and intellectual research enquiry
- Critically evaluate ideas and information pertaining to research projects
- Compare and contrasts existing knowledge in visual and Performing arts research
2.Demonstrate thorough understanding of new and existing research methodologies
- Design and develop research projects in the relevant fields of interests
- Tailoring appropriate methods and methodologies for research inquiries
3.Conduct high quality and innovative research projects pertaining to Visual and performing arts
- Demonstrate theoretical and philosophical underpinning of research works
- Apply relevant and appropriate techniques and technologies to evaluate data
4. Provide innovative and novel solutions to complex problems
- Identify and analyze existing and futuristic problems
- Hypothesis and offer solutions for novel situations
5. Demonstrate ability to comply with professional norms and ethics
- Identify and apply existing norms and ethics in research
- Apply and perform appropriate ethical frameworks for research projects
6. Demonstrate leadership qualities and advocacy skills
- Conceptualize and conduct new research projects generating new knowledge
- Demonstrate leadership to resolve problems pertaining to research projects
7. Communal skills and constructive contribution
- Demonstrate abilities to communicate research findings to specialist and non-specialists
- Communicate findings and disseminate them in diverse communication modes
8. Evaluate, review and comment on one’s own work and ability to comply with new trends and demands
- Demonstrate self-reflection and critically engage with one’s own work
- Demonstrate the flexibility and absorption in new thoughts, ideas and arguments
Areas of Concentration
Researchers who are interested in pursuing a research degree (MPhil/PhD) can adhere to following subject areas but not limited to visual and performing arts. If you wish to submit a research proposal for an MPhil or a PhD, first you need to contact a possible supervisor (internal) listed in the website and develop your research proposal. Finalized proposal needs to be submitted in hand to the Faculty of Graduate Studies during week Days (8.30 – 4.00) adhering to the proposal submission guidelines. The evaluation and the acceptance of the proposal process will take at least 4 weeks and the FGS will contact you to inform the outcomes of your proposal. Please note that the soft copy of the research proposal should be sent to the following email:
- Art History and Philosophy
- Arts and Design
- Arts and Performance
- Image and Image Studies
- Sculpture and Architecture
- Arts and Curatorial Studies
- Digital Arts and Animation
- Textile and Ceramic Arts
- Drawings and Illustrations
- Theatre, Dance and Performer Training
- Acting and Performance Practice
- Body and Somaesthetics
- Theatre Historiography and Archival Studies
- Theatre and Intermediality
- Theatre, Pedagogy and Philosophy
- Theatre and Therapy
- Theatre Ritual and Culture
- Performance Studies
- Theatre, Cultural and Gender Studies
- Theatre and Semiology
- Theatre and Interculturalism
- Theatre and Postcoloniality
- Postdramatic Theatre
- Performance and Reception
- Theatre and Cognition
- Dance and Movement Therapy
- Dance and Pedagogy
- Dance and Ritual Practices
- Dance and Dance Historiography
- Dance and Choreography
- Dance and Philosophy
- Dance body, Identity and Gender
- Dance and Postcolonialism
- Dance Movement, Perception and Cognition
- Film History and Archival Studies
- Film and Stardom Studies
- Film Theory and Philosophy
- Film and Digital Culture
- Visual Methodologies
- Photography and Image studies
- Film and Communication Studies
- Film, Gender and Cultural Studies
- Film Genres and Narratives
- Film, Visuality and Perception
- Film, Semiology
- Film and Literature
- Music and Music Therapy
- Music and Music Pedagogy
- Musicology and Traditional Music
- Folklore and Folk Music
- Music and Sound Technology
- Music Performance and Instruments
- Music and Performance
- Music Writing and Notation Methods
- Music and Human Voice Production
Applications with the following supporting documents are accepted throughout the year.
1. Degree Qualifications:
- A Master’s Degree with a research component (SLQF Level 10) with a minimum 60 credits from recognized University*
- First or Second Class (upper division) of following Bachelor of Honors Degree of SLQF Level 6 with a minimum GPA of 3.30 and 30 credits from recognized University*.
- A Master’s Degree of SLQF Level 9 with a minimum of 30 credits OR Second Class (lower division) of following Bachelor of Honors Degree of SLQF Level 6 with a minimum GPA of 3.00 and 30 credits from recognized University SHOULD submit the certification of the Short Course on Research in Visual and Performing Arts offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the UVPA
- Under special circumstances, an applicant without an institutional qualification but with outstanding research, artistic and professional qualifications may be considered for admission. The candidate should submit a portfolio along with a full resume and other relevant certificates and awards to the FGS for the consideration. The Board of Study will evaluate the applicant’s eligibility and forward the application to the Board of Graduate Studies for recommendation and to the Senate for final approval. In addition, the candidate should meet all the requirements below (Except Degree certificates).
*All the degrees should obtained from the Universities/ Higher Education Institutes recognized by the University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka.
- The MPhil applicants should submit a 2000 word proposal and the PhD candidates a 3000 word proposal.
- The research proposal should include following details:
- Topic of the research
- Literature Review
- Research Problem and/or Hypothesis
- Objectives of the research
- Research Methodology
- Research Plan/ Chapter Breakdown
- The proposal should be accompanied with an Ethical Clearance Certificate (where applicable) obtained from the Ethics Review Committee of FGS or any other recognized committee.
Writing a Research Proposal for MPhil/PhD Degree Programs
Writing a research proposal is a challenging task for new students who pursue a research higher degree in the University sector. There are many ways that one can prepare a research proposal. It depends on the subject matter and also the discipline you are focused on. Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts promote research in visual and performing arts and also encourage researchers to pursue interdisciplinary and practice based research. Submitting a good Research proposal is crucial for the institution to determine whether you have the capacity and potential to pursue a full time research degree. In this regard following points will be considered once you submit your research proposal to the Faculty of Graduate Studies:
Proposal Assessment Criteria
Capacity to manage an MPhil/PhD research degree and its contribution to the existing knowledge
Ability to cohesively gather existing literature related to the topic area chosen and ability to critically analyze them
Wider theoretical understanding about philosophies and cultural theories related to the chosen field of study and demonstrate the skill of applying them appropriately
Demonstrate competence in application of appropriate research methods and methodologies and critically comment on them
Ability to use accepted language and writing skills through using academic writing approaches
Aligning the research topics and areas relevant to Faculty’s available supervisors and their research interests
Correct use of in-text citation and bibliographical data.
The following pages provide a preliminary guidelines or pathway to prepare your research proposal. Please note that MPhil or a PhD is a full item research and it requires a great deal of reading, research and writing ability to communicate your research findings to a wider community of your field of interest. Hence the first thing that you should think of is whether you are in the right time and space to pursue a research degree. If you are a probationary lecturer pursuing a research degree or a professional working in the creative Industry, you may need a full time dedication to conduct a research degree required by the by laws and regulations pertaining to a higher research degree.
University Grants commission in Sri Lanka provides learning outcomes and graduate profile of an MPhil and PhD level candidature and it is vital for you to consider what skills, knowledge and attitudinal changes that may require for you to fulfil a higher degree research (see Sri Lanka Qualification Framework). This manual explains level 11 and 12 as highest academic achievements in MPhil and PhD studies. Please read followings:
MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE (ALQE Level 11)
to conduct advanced research
to further embark on higher degree and specialized professional employment
to enhance professional, managerial, administrative and technological capacities
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE (ALQF Level 12)
high quality, original and independent research, and contribute to scholarship or
enhancing professional, managerial, administrative research and technological capacities to enable specialized professional employment at the higher level
If you are willing to pursue a research degree, first you should contact a potential supervisor listed in this FGS website and write about your willingness to start a research journey. You may discuss about your selected topics and research areas with your supervisor and learn how to prepare your research proposal. Once you finalize your proposal, you should submit it to the FGS for further approval. The FGS will send the proposal to two members of Board of Study and get their reviews of how your proposal is fit for the above criteria. This reviewing process is double blind process and you will be contacted by the FGS to inform you whether your proposal is approved by the FGS Board of study and the Board of Graduate Studies. It should be noted that this process is a time consuming task and may be a painstaking task for some applicants. Do not expect quick and speedy process of developing a proposal and getting the approval as your proposal should be rewrite, edit or altered with comments provided by reviewers and others. Therefore be ready to be opened to accept criticisms and suggestions. FGS MPhil and PhD course guidelines will provide useful information about the preliminaries of a research candidature and how you should go through each step in your research career. Following information further will help you to form and write a successful research proposal:
Writing your Proposal
First and foremost your research proposal should demonstrate that you have the capacity to:
- undertake a larger research project
- clear idea about the larger context of the field of interest
- identify an original and interesting research question/s
- read and identify key authorities of the said field and their contributions
- manage and use accepted citation system and compiling bibliography
KEY COMPONENTS OF A RESERCH PROPOSAL
- First page (Title of the Research Project/Degree undertaken / index number / your name/year
- Table of contents
- Introduction and Context
Introduce the research proposal by outlining the research topic. Here the author should introduce the background to the research and how this research is vital and important for the development of the field of interest.
Research question/s and objectives
You should formulate a solid research question/s and introduce it in the proposal while writing the objectives or aims of the research. There are differences between a research problem and research question. Therefore you need to make sure that you are providing clear research question/s
In simple definition, hypothesis is your assumption/s or the answer to your research question. There is a link between the research question and the hypothesis.In most instances a hypothesis is a variable which is influenced by certain elements similar to course and effect. The simplest way to understand this concept is that it is your assumption or a projected answer to your research question.
Literature and Theoretical understanding
Literature review is a major part of your proposal and the examiners expect to read the literature review within which you contextualize your research gap and research question. A good literature review is consisted of not just a list of books and papers but a critical analysis, comparison, or contrast of existing literature and their argumental relevance to your research question.
Research Methods and Methodological Understanding
Research methods and methodologies are two different things. You need a thorough understanding and how to apply these tools in your research project.
Limitations of the research project
Limitation of a research indicates the influences that may affect the final outcomes of the research. But for many researchers, limitation indicates the scope of the research. There are certain limitations that cannot be controlled or handle by the research and these limitation influence in the methodology and conclusion. This is a problematic issue in many proposals. Therefore, you clearly need to define the difference between research limitations and research scope.
Students always confused with writing a Chapter breakdown because they are experiencing difficulties in formulating a chapter outline. What the FGS expect from this is to write a tentative chapter breakdown and show to your reader how you are planning to write your thesis and its key components. In this sense, this is not a concrete or unstable thing. This can be changed or altered during your research candidature. What we expect from you is to project your thoughts into the future and draft a tentative chapter structure which explains the key elements of your thesis.
Bibliography and the in-text citation are vital components of a research proposal. You need to refer other scholars’ work and ideas in your literature review section and you need to cite what you refer in the body of your writing. In addition, all the references that you use in the body of your writing should be included in the bibliography according to an accepted reference style. The FGS prefers APA or Harvard referencing style. If you fail to provide a correct accepted referencing style may result in rejecting your research proposal. Please note that do not include book list which are not cited in the body of your proposal.
Reviewers consider about how you submit your research proposal. Language accuracy and structuring your writing matter. Therefore you need to pay a close attention to what you submit as a research proposal. Poorly articulated arguments, language and typological errors and poor formatting of a proposal may result in rejecting your proposal because reviewers look at your potential and skill level whether you are prepared enough for a high level of research degree. Therefore it is worth to spend some time on your proposal and correct language and other structural errors before you submit your proposal. Our reviewers and supervisors know that in the course of your candidature your proposal will change and take different directions. But submitting a precise and good quality proposal is the responsibility of the researcher.
- The candidate should contact a supervisor at UVPA beforehand and get his/her consent to supervise the research project.
- If needed, the candidate can nominate an external academic as his/her second supervisor with the academic levels of MPhil /PhD/DLitt
- Recommendations from two academics practicing or teaching in the relevant field attesting the applicant’s research competence in the field.
- Recommendations are considered confidential and therefore, it should be sent to the FGS office () via email by the relevant academic.
5 Degree Certificates/ Academic Transcripts
- Copies of the relevant degree certificate must be submitted along with the application.
- The official academic transcripts should be sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies through the respective Universities/ Higher Education Institutes.
6 Writing Sample
- Submission of a writing sample not exceeding more than 20 pages. The writing sample can be either a thesis chapter, journal article, book chapter or academic publications that can be accepted by the Board of Study.
7 Curriculum Vitae/ Portfolio
- A Curriculum Vitae (maximum 6 pages) or a Portfolio (maximum 15 pages) should be submitted. This should highlight the applicants key achievements in the field of research and/or creative practice.
8 Financial Proposal
- If necessary financial proposal for the research (funding agencies or self) should be submitted.
- Applicant should submit the completed application form together with documents mentioned above to the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University of the Visual & Performing Arts.
Work Plan for MPhil / PhD Candidates
Becoming a postgraduate student is a challenging and a difficult journey. It is challenging because you need to change your life style. It is difficult because you need to manage work – life balance. You may be a lecturer at a particular institute or a University and you have many administrative and teaching assignments to fulfill. Further if you have a family, your work could be more difficult than you think. You need to take care of your family matters and at the same time your teaching and administration tasks to be taken care of in a timely manner. In the meantime, you are expected to fulfill certain career goals which allow you to step up in your professional career. Amidst all these activities and commitments, you need to be a researcher and write a thesis and submit it to the relevant community of scholars to be an accepted scholar in your respected field of study
In this document, I am providing you some tips and strategies to get rid of your difficulties and achieve your academic goals with a minimum stress. But one thing is certain. You need to follow these instructions. This needs your continual dedication and commitment towards your work. At the end of the day, I am sure that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel
Things to know before you go
- You may have been in your field for a long time and you may have been teaching and doing a lot of creative works. But that does not ensure that you can become a good researcher
- To become a good researcher, you need more research skills and other competencies.
- You need to cultivate RESEARCH, WRITING and ANALYTICAL SKILLS to become a good researcher.
- Further, you need to be well aware of what other scholars and writers have written about your filed of interest.
- Do not think that you are the first one to research on your topic area. As Karl Marks once said, ‘philosophers have explored the world. Our task is to find how to change it’.
Therefore, as a researcher, your task is to see what others have already done in your research area and how you could contribute to your filed of interest.
- There are many researchers who have already done many research in your field of interest. So, you need to know what they have done.
- You need to find out what they have written, argued and debated on this particular topic area.
- Then you will get a clear idea about what you have to do and what is the lack or the GAP in your field.
- You cannot find a proper research question if you cannot have a clear idea about what have already been explored.
- If you can find out what others have explored in your field of interest, then you would know what you need to contribute.
- Finding a research question is a painful and a time consuming task. You cannot formulate a proper research question in a vacuum.
- The research question is germinated out of your thorough reading of the LITERATURE.
- You need to admit the fact that you don’t read much. I think you agree with me.
- As an MPhil or a PhD candidate, you need to read a lot. Reading is an essential part of your research career.
- If you are a good reader, fifty percent of your research career is fulfilled.
- Evaluate whether you are a good reader. If not, you need to start reading as a
- You need to change your life style in order for you to focus on your research.
- It is not only THINKING that may affect your research outcomes, but your BEHAVIORAL patterns also may need many changes.
- Because you have not been able to read systematically, you are experiencing difficulties in formulating ideas. Your mind is going here and there.
- Therefore you need to stop it and anchor on your research area.
Change your behavior:
- Evaluate how your daily life is evolving. You may go to the University, cover your teaching assignments, do paper markings, attend meetings etc.
- At the end of the day, you may get tired and exhausted because of your daily commitments and routines.
- On top of that you may interact with your friends, attend parties and social activities, and do a lot of work at your home.
- But on top of all these activities, in the back of your mind, you are being reminded that you need to write a thesis and submit it because the time is clicking.
- In this sense, you are living in two world; not knowing how to manage two different activities to be integrated and successfully execute them in a timely manner.
- This may need a BEHAVIORAL CHANGE and TIME MANAGEMENT skills to handle your professional and private activities.
- If you really want to commit on your research, then you need a revision and change in your life style. This is a must. Then how do you change your life? This is the question.
- If you can take leave from your job, get it and settle down. Discuss with your partner or family that you are pursuing a new journey.
- You need your family to understand what you do and how you are going to change your life pattern. You need their support to get your behavioral patterns changed.
- Limit your social interactions and functions at least for a short period of time.
- If you can dedicate a couple of hours for your reading, research and writing, this would be more than enough to achieve your goals. But this needs commitment.
- On a daily basis, you are being distracted by many other activities. Sometimes these distractions come through your own activities and sometimes they are coming from outside forces.
- You need to learn how to manage these distractions and focus on your work.
- The biggest enemy of a researcher is ‘PROCRASTINATION’. This means that you get distracted or diverted with many other activities and finally you do not achieve your set up goals.
- Most of the time, this procrastination comes through your own psychological and physical activities.
- The nature of this psychological state is that you know that you need to do a particular task in your research (for instance, writing a paper) but you cannot get into this activity but you do a lot of activities around it.
- Your thinking leads you to procrastinate and leave your important task aside.
- The most dangerous activity for a researcher is to think that ‘thinking’ is the key activity of a research life.
- If you are a successful researcher, you need to keep the balance between your thinking and pragmatism. That means thinking itself does not help you to finish your task. If you need to write a paper, you need to sit and start writing. This is PRAGMATISM.
- You need to read as a professional reader in order for you to develop systematic way of thinking.
- Therefore, evaluate whether you read systematically and continually toward achieving your research goals.
- You need to dedicate at least a couple of hours for your reading. This is mandatory.
- Without these readings, you will not be able to develop your understanding towards your research area.
- Select at least three (3) refereed research papers related to your subject and start reading.
- You need to log on to your library e-portal or find hard copies of research journals and select your papers related to your topic.
- Selecting relevant papers is a tricky job. You need to know what key words and phrases in your subject are more prominent for you to select relevant research papers.
- Select those key words and use search engines to find out relevant, refereed journal articles.
- If you do not know how to use search engines, meet your librarian and learn it. This is essential.
- Download those articles, place them in a particular folder/ if you can, print them and start reading.
- Underline or highlight interesting sentences, sections or keywords in your article.
- Collect and file your research articles in a box file and manage your reading list systematically.
- You need to read at least 3 journal articles in a week. Read them summarize them, paraphrase them or quote them in your NOTE TAKING TEMPLATE or in a research journal.
- You can maintain a RESEARCH JOURNAL where you can write your thoughts and other ideas in a daily basis.
- Carry your Research Journal anywhere you go and keep updating it with daily thoughts related to your research work.
- Continue your reading and summarize those ideas in your research journal/template given. Keep them safely because you might need them in the future.
- Collect books or chapters that may be relevant to your research area and read them systematically.
- Meet your supervisor regularly and other friends who are interested in talking about your research and discuss about your issue and concerns.
- Identify your research area, research topic, and your research questions and problem statement.
- Send your note taking materials time to time to your supervisor for feed backs.
Reading and note taking:
- What time you prefer to read and write? It may be in the morning or night. But you need to keep the consistency of your reading and note taking.
- Prepare your room in the University where you can sit and read leisurely.
- Because your reading is very much engaging, it may need a lot of time. You may highlight sections and take notes while you read. This is active reading.
- Select a particular time in the day that you can read and write.
- Let’s suppose that you come to your room in the University in the morning. Do not check your email or social media. This may distract your thoughts and your line of action.
- The first thing that you need to do is to read your paper or write your paragraph.
- Open your empty word document. Put a title and start writing.
- First, your writing may appear unpleasant and dissatisfied to you. This is normal. Do not be judgmental about your writing but keep writing.
- Set up a daily target for your writing. Let’s say that you have a target of achieving 500 words per day. Then try to achieve this target. Don’t try to overestimate or under estimate your achievements. Be generous.
- Continue your writing 5 days a week.
- It is very rare that Sri Lankan Universities maintain good academic culture.
- You don’t see that peers are actively reading in their rooms in the University. For most of them, a post of lecturer means teaching and covering designated hours.
- Your peers won’t tell you what to read and how to read because they are not readers or researchers.
- There are many drama and theatre Departments in the country. And there are many so called academics who are teaching drama and theatre. But we hardly see what they write or publish.
- So, don’t end up been stagnated academics like them. You have a responsibility and you are accountable. Keep this in mind. The society wants you to do research and publish your written works/creative works.
- Spend time with your family in the week end. But you need to continue your writing and reading.
- Set up a writing task and start writing without procrastination.
- If you continue your writing (500 words per day) / (5 days a week), at the end of the week you can achieve 2500 words. This is a great achievement.
- If you continue this exercise for 4 weeks, you can achieve 10,000 words. WHAT A BIG ACHIEVEMENT!
- So writing a thesis is not a mammoth task if you do it systematically.
- Do not think that you are going to write a 50,000 words thesis. Set up a daily target and try to achieve it. In time, you will achieve your big target gradually.
As you can see, there are many things that you may need to cultivate to become a good researcher. Think and act immediately. You are not late. Change your life style that prepare for a big change if you need to become an effective researcher. There are communities around you that help you to achieve your goals. Ask help and discuss with them all the time. Don’t be isolated and become a mere ‘thinker’. Talk to your research community and share your thoughts and ideas.
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.
- To introduce basic tenants of research and academic writing skills
- To develop competence in formulating a research project
- To introduce basics of practice-based-research in visual & performing arts
- To introduce abstract writing and writing research proposals
- To enable students to relate to other researchers’ research projects and learn
After the completion of this short course on research and academic writing, the student will be able to…
- Select, identify and locate relevant literature
- Identify the gap and formulate a research question/s
- Demonstrate analytical and theoretical competence
- Select methodology and write a research framework
- Write an abstract and extend it to a research proposal
- Communicate research ideas to an audience
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.
University Medical Centers (UMC) function as the primary health care and preventive health care service to the university community covering nearly 2350 undergraduates and around 370 academic and non – academic staff. Three medical centers which are in the Albert Crescent, Horton Place and Kohuwala Premises function from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. in every working day.
While attending to basic health needs with the available resources at Medical Centers, patients who need emergency care treatment or special care management are either referred or transferred to the nearest government tertiary care hospitals i.e. National Hospital of Sri Lanka and South Colombo Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila. In the case of an emergency transfer of a patient to a tertiary care hospital, UMC gets the service of either university vehicle or Ambulance service of “suwasariya” (Hot line 1990).
A permanent Medical Officer and two part-time Medical Officers, two Nursing Officers and two Health Attendants and a Labourer carry out work at these Medical Centers while preventive medical care and community health of the university community follow up by the Public Health Inspector (PHI) under the supervision of University Medical Officer.
All the medical certificates of the students and the staff are evaluated and certified by University Medical Officer.
Academic and Students Welfare division of the university provides residential facilities for about 65% of its students’ population with the university owned three hostels. Rajagiriya Girls’ Hostel which is situated in No. 137, Walawu Watta Road, Rajagiriya has the capacity of 780 where the Dehiwala Girls Hostel and the Dehiwala Keerthi Herath Boys Hostel is in 146, Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwala can be accommodated 344 and 400 students respectively.
Calling applications, selecting and providing hostel facilities to the students is a responsibility of the Students Welfare Division. The selection for residential facility is done according to selection criteria where the students from the low-income families and from distant residences are given preference.
The administration of the hostels is the responsibility of the full-time sub wardens. Senior academics of the three faculties are appointed annually as the academic sub wardens who are responsible for overall management of the hostels, maintenance of discipline and overseeing the welfare facilities provided to resident students.
For an academic year, the University charges Rs. 440/- as the hostels fee. Meals are available in the canteen for the resident students Dehiwala Hostel premises. Most of other resident students cook their own.
The university maintains 4 canteens in four designated premises namely, the Albert Crescent Canteen, Faculty of Visual Art canteen, Kohuwala premises canteen and Dehiwala Keerthi Herath Boys’ Hostel Canteen. The university provides other facilities such as free water, electricity, kitchen gasoline allowance and kitchen utensils to the canteens so that a quality meal could be provided to the students for a very low price. Service providers are selected through an annual tender procedure for a period of one year.
The juice bar operates in the Albert Crescent Premises to provide fresh Juice at low prices to the students and to the staff.
Facilities are provided at the Albert Crescent Premises and Main Library at Horton Palace to obtain photocopies at a comparatively low rate. Service providers are selected through an annual tender procedure for a period of one year.
Identity Card, Students Record Book
All registered students of the university are issued with a Student Identity Card and a Student Record Book
Procedures have been implemented for the issuance of concessional season tickets for public transport services that include buses and railways.
Certification letters are issued for the Studentship and Students Progress Report for various purposes.
The undergraduates can apply for an interest-free loan facility up to Rs. 75,000/- to purchase Laptop Computers. This loan facility is offered by the People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon. The students who wish to apply this loan should submit the duly filled application along with a quotation taken from the companies recommended by the Ministry of Higher Education i.e. Abans, Metropolitan, Softlogic, Singer, E-wis, Singhagiri, and along with the specification of the features of the computer to the Student Affairs Division for the recommendation of the Assistant Registrar.
University takes numerous measures to maintain students’ discipline within the University. According to the, By-Law No. 02 of 2005 on Students discipline made under section 135 (1) (d) read with section 29 (n) of University Act No. 16 of 1978 as amended by Act No 7 of 1985, the Vice Chancellor and the council are responsible for administration and operation with regard to above by-law. A disciplinary committee is formed to advise and to make inquiries and recommendations to the Vice Chancellor and the Council on students’ disciplinary matters. The committee consists of Deans of the Faculties, Deputy Senior Student Councilors of the faculties, a senior academic member appointed by each faculty, University Medical Officer and an appointed member to the Council. Secretary to the committee could be the registrar or his nominee. Apart from this legal procedure, a common guideline on student disciplinary issued under the University Grants Commission Circular No 946 is followed.
Academic year wise, the University Grants Commission selects students for ‘Mahapola Scholarship’ according to the selection criteria. The University makes the recommendation to the Mahapola Trust Fund for payment according to the students’ attendance for the academic activities. Under this scheme a registered undergraduate is paid an approved stipend for 10 installments for an academic year. The payments are made through the bank by crediting to the recipient’s account.
The applications are called by the University from the newly enrolled students before the academic year commences. Selection of suitable students for Bursaries is done according to the UGC Circular. An approved monthly stipend is paid to eligible students. Students who are not entitled to receive Mahapola scholarship are eligible to apply for bursary. According to students’ attendance for the academic activities, 10 bursary installments are credited to the recipient’s bank account for an academic year. The university has the authority to cancel or temporarily suspend installments of bursary due to stipulated reasons in the circular.
Other than the government scholarships, there are scholarships awarded by other institutes and persons.
- The University Grants Commission awards scholarships to the students who are not eligible for any other form of financial assistance.
- There are other scholarships awarded by institutions and individuals.
Students are informed of these opportunities through notices on common notice boards of the University.
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