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Masters Degrees (Historical Performance)

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Historical Performance is offered as an MMus or a Postgraduate Diploma programme. - Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians. Read more
Historical Performance is offered as an MMus or a Postgraduate Diploma programme.

Key Features

- Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians
- Wide range of solo and ensemble performance opportunities
- Tuition available in supporting areas such as Alexander Technique and doubling instruments
- Advanced training in chamber music
- Professional coaching and accompaniment provision
- Language, movement and drama classes (singers)
- Specialist, advanced performance classes (instrumentalists)

Key Features of all Postgraduate Programmes

- Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians
- Training in career development, self-promotion, event management and sustainable technique
- International masterclass series
- Fully integrated performance programme by international artists
- Performance Practice training supported by seminars, tutorials and symposia
- Training in performance analysis and presentation (MMus only)
- Advanced research and specialist performance analysis training (MMus only)
- Optional training in advanced teaching skills and arts management
- Opportunities to study abroad at a partner conservatoire

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This Masters develops your technical and interpretive abilities as a performer, informed by an understanding of style, genre, context and interpretation, as well as historical and theoretical issues relevant to your specialist repertoire. Read more

This Masters develops your technical and interpretive abilities as a performer, informed by an understanding of style, genre, context and interpretation, as well as historical and theoretical issues relevant to your specialist repertoire.

You have the opportunity to engage with a range of different musical styles, and to develop those practical and intellectual skills that can make you a better informed and more accomplished performer.

You receive significant amounts of one-to-one instrumental or vocal tuition from expert performers, and participate in yearly masterclasses with distinguished international performers and teachers.

You develop your individual specialist skills to a high technical and artistic standard, while also developing intellectual and team-working skills, and you have the opportunity to perform with a variety of departmental ensembles, including Goldsmiths’ Sinfonia.

The programme offers an extensive list of elective modules that encompass historical study and the latest performance-based technologies.

The pathway is particularly suitable for those hoping to develop a career as a professional solo or chamber musician, or to develop performance skills before entering teaching, or as preparation for PhD research in performance practice.

It appeals to and can accommodate many different types of performer, whether your interests are in Classical or Romantic repertoire, or contemporary music.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Recital

Skills

The programme is designed to develop your practical skills as a musical performer to a high level.

Careers

The programme provides you with a secure technical and intellectual base on which you can build a career as a professional musician, or enhance your understanding and enjoyment of musical performance.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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This innovative programme reflects the Department of Drama's commitment to socially engaged and critically inventive inquiries into theatre and performance. Read more
This innovative programme reflects the Department of Drama's commitment to socially engaged and critically inventive inquiries into theatre and performance. You will have the opportunity to analyse and create theatre and performance in relation to a wide variety of contexts and critical, cultural and historical perspectives.

Flexibility is key to this programme: within a framework of informed and structured experimentation, you can develop projects for individual modules to advance your own investigations. The programme aims to equip graduates for research degrees in theatre and performance and to enhance graduates' career opportunities and professional development in teaching and a wide range of creative practices. In addition to contact hours with academic staff in the Department of Drama, students attend lectures, workshops and mentoring sessions with a range of high-profile artists.

Programme outline

Students take four assessed modules, two nonassessed research training modules and write a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

Theatre and Performance Theory
An examination of theoretical texts and ideas that have shaped contemporary understanding of performance, theatre and culture.

Performance Research
A consideration of critical writings, theoretical frameworks and research methodologies.

Historiography and Archives
An analysis of theoretical and practical issues surrounding historical research in theatre and performance studies.

Optional modules
Students choose three of the following:

Performance Lab
Students co-devise and perform a group project as a means of addressing research questions through practice.

Independent Practical Project
Students devise independent practical projects, with the support of a mentor, that focus on an area of performance practice such as playwriting, applied drama, directing, dramaturgy, acting, new technologies, sitespecific performance and live art.

Independent Written Project
Students design and produce an independent written project under the supervision of a member of staff on a topic not provided within existing modules.

Contemporary Theatre and Performance
An examination of trends in recent theatre and performance and its analysis, especially in relation to what they articulate about contemporary culture and aesthetic, political, social and emotional value.

Early Modern Drama in Performance
This module explores ways in which performance produces meaning in the early modern drama - in its early production, its performance history and in recent performance.

Cultural Industries
This module facilitates a placement with an appropriate industry partner. Students develop industry-based projects to complete within the context of the industry partner's work.

Students may substitute a maximum of 30 credits from another of the School's MA programmes (subject to the approval of the MA Convenor).

Dissertation
Following the completion of the taught modules, students pursue an independent research project culminating in a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.

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This flexible programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer; whilst you can focus entirely upon performance-based modules if you prefer, there are also options in other areas of musical study should you wish to explore those. Read more

This flexible programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer; whilst you can focus entirely upon performance-based modules if you prefer, there are also options in other areas of musical study should you wish to explore those. This 120-credit programme is a smaller version of the 180-credit MMus Performance programme, and can be studied over 1 year full time, or 2 years part time.

You’ll work with our experienced and talented specialist teachers to develop your repertoire. You’ll learn to interpret music sensitively, injecting your own personality without neglecting the historical style of each work. Not only will you perform regularly throughout the year, but you’ll work towards your own recitals and work on your own solo or ensemble project.

To put your performance into context, you’ll also have a choice of optional modules offered across the School of Music to explore how performance can shape and be shaped by other forms of musical research and practice.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Alternatively, you could choose to study for an MMus Performance qualification over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Course content

The performance modules will allow you to develop your performance skills in different contexts. Supported by instrumental or vocal lessons with a specialist teacher, you’ll take part in regular performance classes to develop your repertoire.

As well as the potential to focus on a single concerto, song-cycle or extended work of 20-30 minutes, you can prepare for a final recital of 40-50 minutes that you will perform near the end of the programme. Applied Performance Studies will allow you to prepare and deliver a solo or ensemble project, and reflect upon the process in a written commentary.

You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies if you wish. The Professional Studies module builds your understanding of research methods in music, and you can also choose from optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music, aesthetics and more.

If you choose to study part time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

If you opt for the MMus Performance qualification, you’ll take more modules overall.

Course structure

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 60 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Performance PGDip Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Performance PGDip Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll take instrumental and vocal lessons with our specialist teachers. However, lessons can be organised with teachers from the surrounding area such as Opera North and the Royal Northern College of Music by individual arrangement.

Read about our instrumental and vocal teachers on our opportunities page.

You’ll also attend seminars and tutorials. However, independent study is crucial, allowing you to hone your skills and explore your own creative approaches to performance.

Assessment

Your performances will largely be assessed through your recitals, and you’ll also submit programme notes for each recital that you complete. Depending upon your module choices, other modules may also assess you on project work, bibliographical exercises, essays and presentations. Optional modules may also use specialist tasks such as compositions or critical editions.

Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to develop as a performer, improve your musical knowledge and gain critical, research and communication skills.

Graduates have pursued a range of careers in orchestral playing, solo performance, instrumental teaching, and arts administration. Several have also pursued further study at conservatoires in the UK and abroad, or research degrees at Leeds and other institutions.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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This MA offers a distinctive combination of analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of plays and performance texts. Read more
This MA offers a distinctive combination of analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of plays and performance texts. Its historical range is wide and students should be ready to research and trouble-shoot plays from different eras, whether classical Greek and Roman, medieval, early modern or contemporary.

Traditional formats of discussion groups and seminars are coupled with workshops and problem-solving sessions which address all the negotiations involved in transferring words on the page into a fully realised performance. The main emphasis of the MA is on the interpretation of text through the consideration of acting and directing processes, production conditions, historical context, and institutional and cultural politics. The MA incorporates masterclasses by leading theatre professionals which are part of an integrated visitor programme.

The MA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance is unique in that it is designed to accommodate both students who may wish to pursue further academic study and students who wish to go into the theatre or media industries. We aim to produce graduates with a sophisticated understanding of how plays in performance work, and to develop high-quality researchers and theatre practitioners who understand the practical dynamics of process and production. Applicants may have a range of academic backgrounds and extensive practical experience is not a prerequisite for the course, but students must be willing to enter into the spirit of practical experiment whatever their particular strengths.

Aims

-To promote cutting-edge interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration
-To provide analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of play and performance texts
-To offer in-depth analysis of the dynamics of the processes of writing, acting and directing
-To provide an understanding of the need to conduct investigation within historical, political, institutional and cultural frames
-To develop high-quality theatre researchers and practitioners

Teaching and assessment

Seminars and workshops
In terms 1 and 2 Directing Early Modern Plays and Case Studies in Writing, Directing and Performance are examined by 2,500 word essays. In Term 1 Writing into Performance is examined by a scriptwriting assignment. In term 2 Directing Modern Plays is examined by a combination of seminar performance and a 3,000 word essay. Storytelling for Theatre, Film and Television is examined by a 3,000 word project in each term. An ambitious programme of masterclasses given by leading practitioners is an important part of the MA.

Screenings
During terms 1 and 2 there will be screenings of relevant film and television material relating to specific performances, plays and productions under discussion.

Dissertation or practical project
In term 3 students prepare for their dissertation or practical project work. Students are assigned dissertation/project supervisors and receive individual supervision through the period of research. Assessment is by 20,000 word dissertation or by a substantial practical project such as a production, performance or piece of creative writing, supported by a 4,000 word essay mapping the project's planning and evolution. All final projects are subject to the approval of the convenors of the MA.

Careers

Because of the innovative emphasis on acquiring a wide range of analytical and practical skills centred around the performance and production of theatre texts, students are highly employable.

An in-depth understanding of narrative structures and their visual, technical, performative and political dimensions is of paramount importance to the entertainment industry and a significant number at the top of these businesses support this programme because it plugs an increasingly serious gap in the skills market. Recent students from the BA and MA Writing and Performance (a forerunner of this MA) have benefited from placements with theatre, film and television companies, and the MA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance builds on that ethos. Placements have been informally arranged subject to student interest and industry availability from year to year.

Past graduates have gone on to study PhDs and also to conservatoires to continue their practical training. Many are now working as screenwriters, playwrights, actors, directors, designers, producers, technicians, literary managers, dramaturges, and literary agents. A significant number of graduates have set up their own theatre companies. Others work in theatre-in-education initiatives, arts funding organisations, youth theatre, journalism, publishing, and dramatherapy. Past students are also employed by major animation companies, and have gained work as script editors and production assistants.

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This pioneering MA offers interdisciplinary perspectives on international performance, and aims to understand performance in relation to the culture to which it contributes. Read more

This pioneering MA offers interdisciplinary perspectives on international performance, and aims to understand performance in relation to the culture to which it contributes.

The Masters takes in diverse forms of theatre, including multicultural and street theatre, and such practices as:

  • performance art
  • dance
  • ritual
  • site-specific performance
  • a wide range of hybrid forms

It leads you to explore performance as sociocultural process by using analytical principles from sociology, the sociology of culture, cultural theory, anthropology, history, philosophy, politics and theatre and performance.

We have numerous links, locally and internationally, with a wide variety of theatres, companies and performers, all of which enhance your research possibilities.

Modules & structure

There are three compulsory core modules which focus on a range of issues concerning performance as a sociocultural practice. They involve:

  • conceptual and theoretical material, their interweave and their relationship to performance
  • historiographical methodologies and textual issues
  • analysis of live performances
  • cultural difference, ethnicity and cross-culturalism
  • questions to do with corporeality, alternative spaces and performance in terms of social inclusivity

A choice of options or independent study constitutes the fourth component, and a dissertation on your individual research completes your programme of study.

Core modules

The three core modules consist of:

  • Cultural Theory, Performance, Interdisciplinary Perspectives: This module is an introduction to the whole programme and focuses on the interdisciplinary use of a range of theories from sociology, anthropology, theatre and other areas to understand live performance. As part of this module you are expected to see as many performances as possible.
  • Historicising Theatre: This module is concerned with exploring the problems and possibilities of theatre history, and the relationship between theatre, text and cultural context.
  • Corporeality, Embodiment, Alternative Spaces: This module includes work on rituals, shamanism, dance, hybrid forms, site-specific, multi-ethnic performance and theatres of exclusion.

Assessment

Each compulsory module and the option module carry equal weight, each representing 15% of the overall mark. The dissertation is worth 40%.

Skills

You will develop writing and oral skills at a high academic level, demonstrating the ability to think and work in an interdisciplinary manner using a range of methodologies. your ability to work collaboratively and to facilitate and participate in group discussions will be enhanced.

You will also develop skills in identifying the socio-cultural, historical and political issues and pressures specific to varied types of performance.

Careers

This programme provides a strong grounding in the principles of research and of learning through independent research. It is particularly suitable if you wish to pursue further academic work in creative, performative fields.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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This challenging programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer, while giving you the confidence to apply critical approaches to the study of music and its performance. Read more

This challenging programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer, while giving you the confidence to apply critical approaches to the study of music and its performance.

You’ll work with our experienced and talented specialist teachers to develop your repertoire. You’ll learn to interpret music sensitively, injecting your own personality without neglecting the historical style of each work. Not only will you perform regularly throughout the year, but you’ll work towards your own recitals and work on your own solo or ensemble project.

To put your performance into context, you’ll also have a choice of optional modules offered across the School of Music. You could study composition, musicology, aesthetics, psychology of music and more to explore how performance can shape and be shaped by other forms of musical research and practice.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

You could also choose to study for a Postgraduate Diploma qualification over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Course content

Core modules that run throughout the year will allow you to develop your performance skills in different contexts. Supported by instrumental or vocal lessons with a specialist teacher, you’ll take part in regular performance classes to develop your repertoire.

As well as focusing on a single concerto, song-cycle or extended work of 20-30 minutes, you’ll prepare for a final recital of 40-50 minutes that you’ll perform near the end of the programme. In addition, you’ll prepare for a solo or ensemble project and reflect on the process of preparing and then giving a performance.

You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies. The core Professional Studies module will build your understanding of research methods in music to equip you with a broader range of skills. Then you’ll choose from the optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music, aesthetics and more.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

If you opt for the PGDip qualification, you’ll take fewer modules overall.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Performance MMus Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Performance MMus Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll take instrumental and vocal lessons with our specialist teachers. However, lessons can be organised with teachers from the surrounding area such as Opera North and the Royal Northern College of Music by individual arrangement.

Read about our instrumental and vocal teachers on our opportunities page.

You’ll also attend seminars and tutorials. However, independent study is crucial, allowing you to hone your skills and explore your own creative approaches to performance.

Assessment

Your performance will largely be assessed through your recitals, and you’ll also submit programme notes for each recital you complete. Other modules may also assess you on project work, bibliographical exercises, essays and presentations. Optional modules may use specialist tasks such as compositions or critical editions.

Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to develop as a performer, improve your musical knowledge and gain critical, research and communication skills.

Graduates have pursued a range of careers in orchestral playing, solo performance, instrumental teaching, and arts administration. Several have also pursued further study at conservatoires in the UK and abroad, or research degrees at Leeds and other institutions.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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This Masters will provide you with opportunities to develop insight and experience in historical performance practice of music. Read more

This Masters will provide you with opportunities to develop insight and experience in historical performance practice of music. The MMus, taught jointly with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), combines vocal or instrumental study with performance-related academic research and an element of apprenticeship with professional ensembles.

Why this programme

  • We offer the unique opportunity to study alongside world-class performer-scholars, and to work both within the University and the Conservatoire environment.
  • The UK’s first UNESCO city of music, Glasgow is home to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera and National Theatre of Scotland.
  • If you’re aspiring to perform professionally or wishing to undertake historical research relating to performance practice, or both: this programme is designed for you.
  • As an accomplished performer, this programme will enhance your performance skills and knowledge with detailed, rigorous study of historical performance practice (particularly of music of the 17th and 18th centuries).
  • You will benefit from access to our facilities including seminar and practice rooms, the University library, two audio labs and an electroacoustic music studio, the University’s concert hall and attached studios. You will also have access to facilities at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Programme structure

Two routes are available: one weighted toward performance, the other toward musicological enquiry.

Core courses include

  • Two series of seminars in historically informed performance practice
  • Practical presentation
  • Practical portfolio
  • Dissertation
  • Assessed performance recital.

You will have the opportunity to undertake workshops, rehearsals and potentially performances in collaboration with leading ensembles such as the Dunedin Consort and Concerto Caledonia; as UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow offers enormous opportunities to become involved with music making at a professional level. There is ample opportunity for ensemble playing, leading to the development of valuable musical team working and interpersonal skills.

Career prospects

Our degree programmes open up opportunities to access or advance careers in the creative industries, whether working as a professional composer or musician, in the music industry for a record company, management company or promoter, or in the media industry. Some graduates have combined their degrees with other studies to pursue careers in areas such as law and education.



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The MA in Music (Historical Musicology) is designed to help musicians of all kinds to work with original sources, to read and edit documents, and to embark upon their own research. . Read more

The MA in Music (Historical Musicology) is designed to help musicians of all kinds to work with original sources, to read and edit documents, and to embark upon their own research. 

The programme encourages an awareness of, and engagement with, the most recent critical theories of music. It's designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship or historically aware performance.

The core modules provide systematic introductions to:

  • paleography
  • codicology
  • transcription
  • editing
  • archival work
  • music printing

The options either focus upon the conceptual and critical fields within which musicologists operate or provide access to a range of repertories and musical cultures.

The skills learnt in your coursework will culminate in the methods and approaches demonstrated in your dissertation.

The course is enhanced by visits to the British LibrarySotheby’s auction house, and other relevant institutions in and around London.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Dissertation

Skills

You'll develop investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.

Careers

The programme is designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship, or historically aware performance.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This unique international laboratory programme brings diverse individuals into collaborative research, acknowledging the challenges of creating original, performer-driven theatre in today's complex, globalised culture. Read more

This unique international laboratory programme brings diverse individuals into collaborative research, acknowledging the challenges of creating original, performer-driven theatre in today's complex, globalised culture.

In over 3 decades there has been a creative surge in hybrid live performance worldwide. This has been the work of solo artists, ensembles, auteurs and performer-directors across creative fields, who have redefined boundaries and stretched the artistic and social imagination into new spaces, both literally and figuratively.

Within the vibrant environment of Goldsmiths, and with all the stimulus that London offers culturally, practising or emerging practitioners develop compositional, critical, technical and management skills and strategies for forging independent and self-motivated careers. Our graduates work as practitioners, teachers and cultural leaders worldwide.

On the programme you will conceive, research, construct and deliver your ideas and articulate what motivates these. Teaching is rigorous and interdisciplinary. You study with distinguished international artists as well as scholars within a praxis ethos where theory informs creativity and vice versa. The emphasis throughout is on encouraging collaboration across disciplines and cultures, and on contextualising practice within its social, political and architectural environment.

Physical training, scenographic/environmental exploration and hands-on introduction to technologies (lighting, video and sound) support composition and artistic experimentation. You identify your own practice within the historical and contemporary field, and write critically and creatively. You archive your practice digitally, and on graduation will have developed a portfolio of projects. You are guided on professional development by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) and the Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE) at Goldsmiths.

The programme enjoys a wide international professional network of organisations, commissions, venues and festivals of benefit to students. You study both at Goldsmiths and ArtsAdminClick here for a full list of artists associated with the programme as permanent and guest tutors.

Modules & structure

This is a praxis programme on which you gain 180 CATS (credits).

Core modules

Skills

You will become conversant, confident and skilled in a range of methodological practices as well as compositional strategies for independent theatrical, dance theatre and live art creation.

Your critical and analytical skills in interpreting artistic practice will be tested in a range of verbal, written and oral ways. Your study of your own body as a creative instrument will be complemented by learning the principles of scenography and film narrative.

You will research intellectually and produce theoretically informed writing. You will learn to contextualise your own practice and interests in the contemporary field of performance both in the UK and internationally, and to articulate such practice.

Overall you will learn how to research, construct and deliver your ideas performatively and how to advocate your own projects to producers, venues, funders and other agencies.

Careers

Graduates work in a wide variety of professional contexts globally as commissioned performance makers, directors, project leaders, programmers, teachers and academic researchers.



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This programme gives students the opportunity to closely explore a topic in an area of drama, theatre and contemporary performance at the highest level of academic study. Read more
This programme gives students the opportunity to closely explore a topic in an area of drama, theatre and contemporary performance at the highest level of academic study.

The programme draws on the Drama Department and School of Arts’ longstanding international reputation in the development of practice as research and brings students into a research environment of excellence.

Key areas of focus within the department include cognition and performance, applied and socially engaged theatre, popular performance and European theatre. Practice focuses on dance, physical actor training, puppetry, live art, autobiographical and documentary performance, providing a rich context for postgraduate study.

Our two drama-based research centres actively involve postgraduate students - the Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance and the European Theatre Research Network. Research students attend and support the many seminars these centres offer each term and a selection of School seminars. There are dedicated postgraduate events where students can present their research in a constructive atmosphere. Discipline-specific methodology training is provided through one-to-one supervision and/or group workshops.

The department also facilitates Work in Progress meetings to help foster the research culture, improve students’ research skills and bring together members of the postgraduate research community.

Individual staff research interests cover a wide range of both historical and contemporary aspects of the theory and practice of theatre, and supervision is available in all these areas.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/351/drama-by-thesis-practice

About the Department of Drama and Theatre

Postgraduate Drama and Theatre studies at Kent has a very strong reputation for research and supervision in contemporary theatre and performance. We are the home of two renowned international research centres, the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) and the Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance (CKP).

The wide-ranging interests of our international team of leading and emerging researchers (from the UK, Australia, Italy, Greece, Germany, France and other countries) include research strengths in contemporary performance, applied theatre, Shakespeare, 18th-century theatre, multimedia performance, popular performance, directing and dramaturgy, and physical performer training.

Our distinctive focus at Kent is on theatre as practice, whatever the topic, area, mode and methodology of research, and we encourage postgraduate students to make use of our close links and contacts with local, national and international (especially European) theatre companies, venues, schools and artists, both for research and to encourage professional postgraduate development.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
The School of Arts’ award-winning Jarman Building offers professional standard drama facilities, along with social spaces and a dedicated centre for postgraduate students.

Additional facilities across the Canterbury campus include two theatres: the 113-seat Aphra Theatre (a courtyard-type gallery theatre space); and the Lumley Theatre, which is a flexible and adaptable white room space. Drama students also benefit from an additional rehearsal studio, a sound studio, a theatre design suite and an extensively equipped construction workshop.

The University’s Templeman Library is well resourced in our subject area and houses special collections of 19th-century manuscripts – playbills, programmes, prints and other theatre ephemera – theatrical biography and the history of the stage in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also has particular strengths as a research resource in English Renaissance drama, Russian and French theatre, and British theatre since 1900. We also house the Jacques Copeau Archive and the British Grotowski collection.

Conferences and seminars
We have strong links with organisations such as the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), and encourage postgraduates to present work within national and international conferences. Also, we run regular research seminars, workshops, and performance-related events led by members of staff, students, and invited experts and practitioners.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: New Theatre Quarterly; Contemporary Theatre Review; TDR: The Drama Review; Performance Research; Shakespeare Survey.

Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Research areas

- European Theatre

At Kent, the UK’s European university, we have set up the European Theatre Research Network to facilitate and foster the exchange of theatre traditions, contemporary practices and academic discussion on the near European continent and also in the new European states. We invite postgraduate research students to contribute to and play a part in this expanding network. For further information, please see http://www.europeantheatre.org.uk

- Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance

The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance brings together Drama staff and staff in Engineering and Digital Arts; Psychology; Anthropology; and the Tizard Centre to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, interactive performance, digital media, disability studies, and applied performance. For further information, please see http://www.kent.ac.uk/ckp

Careers

Arts graduates have gone on to work in a range of professions from museum positions and teaching roles to working as journalists and theatre technicians. Our graduates have found work in Pinewood Studios, The National Theatre and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations, in roles including editorial assistants and even stunt doubles.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, on this degree you'll investigate indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts. Read more

Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, on this degree you'll investigate indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts. The MA in World Theatres is one of the few freestanding taught Masters programmes in world theatres and performance in the UK and globally.

The programme aims to train graduates for professional employment in a range of positions in theatre, in government settings, in the culture sector and in HE internationally that require solid intellectual preparation and knowledge of the field. Practitioners who come on the programme can use knowledge acquired to extend the articulation of their career.

Programme Aims 

This one-year full‐time or two-year part-time programme of study aims to cover the historical contexts and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, some of which are rarely introduced in UK HE. It will thus involve the student in a study of indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural, national and international contexts. From this vantage context, students will be able to compare and contrast such work critically, within and beyond a European perspective, and in turn use this perspective to consider contemporary theatre in multicultural Britain.

The main aims of the programme are: 

  • To introduce the student to the whole range of drama, theatre and performance practices from many areas of the world 
  • To allow the student scope for creative yet rigorous and critical thinking combined with cumulative knowledge 
  • To enhance understanding of the interaction between practice and theory in all areas of performance study 
  • To encourage and foster independent research, carried out through the scholarly channels of books and visual archives, as well as through access to practice, if/when available 
  • To provide access where possible to industry opportunities to extend their study, in particular with our new Associate Organisation, LIFT and its biennial festival of international theatre as well as its on-going programming of activities.

Modules and Structure 

All students on the programme will undertake four taught modules and a research project. The programme may be taken full-time or part-time for the duration of one year or two years, respectively. For full-time students, the programme runs over three terms, of which Term One is devoted to two modules and students will also be required to undertake training for research and academic writing in preparation for the Research Project. Term Two comprises two modules and the Research Project, while Term Three is devoted entirely to the Research Project. 

Part‐time students have two terms in their first year of study and three terms in their second year.

Full-time students 

Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatre: Contexts and Practices + Contemporary African Theatre and Research Project (training for research and academic writing) 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and Eastern European Theatres and Research Project 

Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project

Part-time students 

Year One 

Term 1 (Autumn) ‐ World Theatre: Contexts and Practices or/and Contemporary African Theatre 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: from Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres 

Year Two 

Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatres: Contexts and Practices and/or Contemporary African Theatre (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project 

Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching is via lectures, seminars, workshops and practice sessions with our resident teaching team alongside guest lecturers and theatre companies. A mixed mode of assessments are used which can either be in the form of a written assignment or PaR submission.

Skills

The department is home to the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and its bi-annual journal, African Performance Review. The Department of Theatre and Performance has close links with two research centres: The Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing and The Centre for the Body, that each generate learning opportunities via programmes of talks, conferences and workshops. The Department runs regular extramural activities, including hosting international practitioners in the Performance Research Forum (Dis-Play) series. The department’s special relationship with the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and its association to the Beijing Dance Academy, also contributes to the global performance practice opportunities offered. Together, these organisations provide a unique research and professional resource for students on Theatre and Performance programmes. 

Expertise is provided by the Department's resident staff, most of who are not only dedicated and experienced teachers, but are also distinguished practitioners and researchers in their own right, working in national and international contexts. The Department also draws on a large pool of visiting practitioners and academics to provide a breadth of expertise and contact with current practice.

Careers

The broad range of interests combined in this programme will prepare you for a diverse range of employment and/or a portfolio of careers in theatre and performance as well as the arts industry as a whole in different socio-cultural environments:

  • facilitation and animation in both mainstream, applied and community theatre contexts nationally and internationally
  • administrative and support servicescultural leadershipgovernment organisations
  • journalism and broadcasting (including radio, television and print journalism)
  • teaching at all levels
  • interpretation and translation in theatre and performance contexts
  • acting, directing, design, dramaturgy

In addition, you can use this programme as a springboard for further study, either vocational or intellectual (including entry into MPhil/PhD programmes).

In short, the multiple skills – intellectual, critical and creative – developed by this programme will provide you with the flexibility of thought and approach necessary for creative insertion into the global job market. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This highly distinctive MA course, run as a partnership between Birkbeck and RADA, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Read more
This highly distinctive MA course, run as a partnership between Birkbeck and RADA, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Join us and you will work with both Birkbeck's experts in theatre and performance studies and RADA's faculty and visiting theatre practitioners to experience both making and studying theatre. This course does not offer actor training, but will deepen your critical and practical understanding of theatre and performance practices in context and leads to a prestigious postgraduate qualification from the University of London.

What our students say

'Since finishing the MA course, I have worked on projects as a writer, director, and teacher - this is largely thanks to the way this course nurtures you as both artist and academic and helps you develop a diverse skill set.'

'Perhaps the best 2 years of my life.'

'The MA course allowed me to change my career path and gave me the skills and confidence to launch myself into an arts career.'

'The course helped to refine my approach as a theatre practitioner, while widening my scope for theatrical discourse and inspiration to create work. It encourages the intertwining of the creative and the academic, resulting in thought provoking and unique theatre. Most importantly, the course taught me to risk, to dare to create something new, to have an opinion and express it through my art.'

'Mature students can give at least as much and get as much out of this course as young people and taking the risk to do it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.'

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Taking the dramatic text as a critical starting point, our course encompasses drama from the early modern period to the contemporary.
In the rehearsal room, you will create new theatre and performance work responding to set texts and themes. You will also engage with performance techniques to develop your skills as a playwright, director and dramaturg.
In academic lectures and seminars, you will encounter theoretical, historical, critical and philosophical writings. You will theorise live performance and write about the ways in which new performance work is informed by both contemporary concerns and older theatrical traditions and legacies.
In the final dissertation project, you will exercise your own creative voice as a director, dramaturg, playwright or scholar.
Student projects are tutored by a combination of faculty and visiting artists. In 2015-16, visiting artist tutors included A.C. Smith, David Slater, Karen Christopher, Peader Kirk and Rachel Mars.
We also offer informal, unassessed creative enhancement opportunities: RADA’s TheatreVision initiative, which brings together students from the MA Text and Performance and the MA Theatre Lab to explore writing for theatre; Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Theatre runs a postgraduate reading group and offers opportunities to show work in progress as part of the School of Arts summer festival Arts Week.
RADA and Birkbeck are just 3 minutes' walk apart so you will study in a campus-style environment. Our close proximity also allows us to draw on the rich range of resources available across both institutions, including: studio space; technical support for group and individual presentations; RADA’s excellent library of playtexts and theatre and performance literature; and Birkbeck’s world-class research resources in the arts and humanities.
The course incorporates visits to London theatre and both institutions are well placed for you to access the extraordinary array of theatre available in London.
The renowned British Library is also located nearby.

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Explore diverse forms of contemporary theatre with this practical course. You’ll study areas including devised performance and live art, community and applied theatres, new playwriting, classic texts on the contemporary stage, and documentary and verbatim theatre. Read more

About the course

Explore diverse forms of contemporary theatre with this practical course. You’ll study areas including devised performance and live art, community and applied theatres, new playwriting, classic texts on the contemporary stage, and documentary and verbatim theatre. Our teaching team has strong links with many major venues, theatre companies and practitioners, with Sheffield recently named best theatre city outside London.

Improve both your research and performance skills by working with practising theatre-makers and arts organisations. We have a fully equipped theatre workshop and studio spaces, a publicly licensed drama studio, and excellent editing and recording facilities.

Your career

You’ll examine early modern texts, language and culture. Staff expertise includes palaeography, rhetoric, news writing, the sermon, drama, and issues of political, sectarian and national identity between 1400 and 1700. Modules (including modules from History) can be tailored to suit your interests. You’ll complete one core module, optional modules and a dissertation.

Cultural life

Study eighteenth-century literature to develop a broad range of advanced skills. The focus is on the interface between historical and literary approaches, and you’ll be introduced to current academic debates and research methods in the field. Spanning eighteenth century prose and poetry, Romantic poetry, prose, and drama, and Gothic literature, there’s an incredible range to choose between.

First-rate facilities

We’re based in a brand new building at the heart of the campus. There are computer workstations especially for postgraduates and a DVD library with viewing facilities. Our theatre workshop is a fully equipped teaching/performance area with excellent film-viewing facilities and audio suites.

Specialist resources

The University Library subscribes to the major periodicals and full-text electronic archives, including Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Special collections include an outstanding collection of Restoration drama, the Hope Collection of eighteenth-century periodicals, the Jack Rosenthal scripts collection, and papers of contemporary writers such as Anita Brookner, Marina Warner, Fay Weldon and Peter Redgrove.

Funding

There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Research training for PhD

If you intend to progress to a PhD, your course can be tailored to include essential research training. The same applies to students on the online course.

Part-time study

Part-time students usually take one taught module in each semester. In the second year, you’ll also take a dissertation module. For most courses, you’ll need to come in for one half-day per week. The MA Creative Writing is taught in the evening. Some modules, such as Theatre and Performance, may require greater time commitment. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the different needs of our students.

Core modules

Text, Politics and Performance; Issues in Contemporary Performance; Theatre Practice 1: practical research projects; Theatre Practice 2: independent practice; Dissertation of 15,000 or 9,000 words plus integrated practice component.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll be taught through practical workshops, productions and seminars. You’ll be assessed on performance practice, written coursework and a dissertation.

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This exciting programme of study, which aims to develop the craft and philosophy of costume design for live performance, screen, or site-specific installation, is unique in its approach. Read more

This exciting programme of study, which aims to develop the craft and philosophy of costume design for live performance, screen, or site-specific installation, is unique in its approach.

You will develop your concepts and creativity by interpreting a text or exploring a theme, thinking about character, movement and the performance environment. Instruction in the skills of pattern cutting, textile manipulation, millinery, puppetry, set design, Computer Aided Design (CAD), welding, knitting, illustration and life drawing help you expand your skills base.

You will work on developing a comprehensive understanding of fabric, costume design and cutting, while exploring the historical and dramatic perspectives of the discipline and the process of performance. This creative freedom and the combination of the practical developing alongside the conceptual, will provide you with a wide range of skills and a flexibility valued and highly respected by the industry.

Postgraduate students are ideally placed to study the interaction between costume and the other arts such as fashion, textiles, jewellery, film and TV, animation, illustration, installation, music and dance, and to take part in collaborations inside and outside of the University.

Thanks to our extensive national and international links with theatre, dance, film, television and opera companies, plus our network of freelance designers, you’ll be supported in sourcing work experience and other hands-on opportunities that will give you real-world skills and experience.

Programme structure

This project-led programme is assessed by the production of a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated topic which can take advantage of the many local and international performance-based opportunities.

Your project could be led by narrative, theme, or performance medium. It should offer scope for sustained research and design development for costume design. Your study will combine practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series which will examine the wider context of your studies.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate studies in performance costume open up access to a wide range of work for the stage and screen. You will benefit from the superb reputation of this programme and may find employment within the spheres of drama, opera, film and television.

Graduates of performance costume have an outstanding record of success within the industry, most recently including a costume designer for British television series Downton Abbey, and costume workers on TV series Game of Thrones, Outlander, Poldark, Endeavour and The Halcyon, and on the films Star Wars and Doctor Strange.



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