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Masters Degrees (Theatre And Performance)

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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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Located at the heart of the artistically vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the MA Theatre and Performance offers a unique bespoke industry experience tailored to your own specialism and professional ambition. Read more
Located at the heart of the artistically vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the MA Theatre and Performance offers a unique bespoke industry experience tailored to your own specialism and professional ambition.

You will have the opportunity to develop your own practice within the NPA (Northumbria Performing Arts) hub. NPA provides a base for your developing practice, incorporating a range of resources including specialist spaces and equipment, as well as access to a dedicated staff team of distinguished, internationally recognised and award winning practitioners and researchers. In addition, your journey through the MA will be supported by leading cultural and artistic organisations of national and international significance.

Your course in brief

This year long course will offer you the opportunity to develop and hone your skills as an independent creative practitioner, and support you in the transition of moving those skills out of the classroom and into the professional world.

At the heart of your course will be the delivery of a major practice-based project or equivalent portfolio which will either arise from your engagement with industry partners, or from your own independent/ensemble practice. This project will be the culmination of the degree and will potentially act as a stepping stone to professional practice or further research. Through liaison with regional partner arts organisations, students will have the choice of working within an existing project being developed with our partner organisations or to create their own project. The MA in Theatre and Performance incorporates a range of modules which are designed to contextualise your practice and research interests and support your journey through the programme.

The MA Theatre and Performance sits within a wider culture of postgraduate research in the arts at Northumbria, incorporating a range of programmes such as the Master of Fine Art (MFA), the Fine Art and Education MA, and the Arts MRes. One of the modules you will undertake is led by Cultural Management, providing you with the opportunity to network amongst peers, and acquire skills that will set you up for industry. As a student on this programme you would form part of a wider interdisciplinary community of artistic research and practice incorporating specialist resources beyond those bespoke to Performing Arts, offering ongoing opportunities to share work and collaborate with a range of artists from other disciplines.

Module Overview
EF0126 - E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)
PA0700 - Researching Theatre and Performance (Core, 30 Credits)
PA0701 - Theatre and Performance: Skills and Applications (Core, 30 Credits)
PA0702 - Theatre and Performance Practice (Core, 30 Credits)
PA0703 - Theatre and Performance Project (Core, 60 Credits)
VA0792 - The Cultural Manager (Core, 30 Credits)

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Why study at Roehampton. A unique programme that can be tailored to your interests, from performance to dramaturgy, from arts management or creative production to scholarship and cultural criticism. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • A unique programme that can be tailored to your interests, from performance to dramaturgy, from arts management or creative production to scholarship and cultural criticism.
  • You will attend a curated series of performances and cultural events at leading venues across London. 
  • Content driven by the varied research specialisms of staff and current developments in the field, e.g. spectatorship as a practice, live art and museum culture, feminism and performance and intercultural theatre.
  • 80% of our research ranked as "world leading" or "internationally excellent" in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 
  • Roehampton is ranked Best Modern University in London (Complete University Guide 2016, the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 and the Guardian University Guide 2016).

Course summary

Taking the wealth and diversity of London’s unique artistic culture as its prime focus, this unique programme opens up a variety of pathways to students looking to focus their interests in the broad field of theatre and performance. Shaped around a series of thematic investigations of the city’s unparalleled theatrical and cultural resources, you will be able to pursue a range of projects matched to your professional aspirations.

The programme engages with three basic approaches to study: viewing, making and writing, with students given the freedom to interpret key assessment tasks in line with their developing research and professional interests.

This is a flexible MA with full-time and part-time attendance options and which provides a sound practical and theoretical basis from which to move on to professional practice and training or further study at MPhil/PhD level. 

You will join a welcoming and diverse postgraduate community in a well-established UK department of drama, theatre and performance which offers a range of opportunities to work on staff and student-led projects in addition to your own studies.

Content

Viewing is at the heart of the programme, with regular collective attendance at a curated programme of events in London, during the Autumn and Spring terms, selected by the tutor team and provided without charge to students. Making connections between these events, you will explore a range of themes, genres and contexts that shape the performing arts in the city. This experience is supported by a programme of guided reading and discussion-based seminar sessions. 

Making and Writing are the strands of the programme where you develop your own responses to these themed investigations, which act as the springboard for your own projects. You will have the freedom to choose from a variety of formats for your assessed work, which might include live performance, theatre criticism, photographic, video or sound-based work. You can choose to explore a variety of formats and approaches or focus your work on a particular type of practice. In the first term, you will be introduced to a range of creative and analytical research methods that are designed to support the development of your own interests, leading on to a proposal for a major project that you undertake during the second half of the year. Writing offers a pathway for students to explore forms of textual practice, including writing for performance, theatre criticism, performative writing, dramaturgical research and response. This approach also offers the possibility of developing new kinds of conversations between audiences, artists, producers and other constituencies in the performance cultures of the city.

Modules

The following are modules currently offered on the course:

  • Viewing, Making and Writing 1 
  • Research Methods in Theatre and Performance 
  • Viewing, Making and Writing 2
  • Major Project

Career options

This course develops students towards professional careers in the Arts as well as towards possible PhD or MFA study.

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The course offers a study of contemporary strategies of analysis in theatre and performance, with special consideration of the practices of Irish theatre, involving input from the professional field. Read more
The course offers a study of contemporary strategies of analysis in theatre and performance, with special consideration of the practices of Irish theatre, involving input from the professional field. The course structure consists of core modules leading to a directed research project and dissertation.

Core Modules

Contemporary Irish Theatre in Context: an exploration of the theatre practice of contemporary Irish and visiting theatre productions, and the institutional frameworks which shape the production or reception of contemporary Irish theatre. Invited speakers will discuss their work with students, supplemented by sessions focusing on contextual or background information.

Strategies of Analysis:

an exploration of the various methodologies of critical enquiry in theatre and performance. The seminar covers areas of Gender, Race and Identity, Nationalism and Postcolonialism, Performance Analysis, History and Historiography, Globalisation, Psychoanalysis, Poststructuralism, Phenomenology and Postmodernism.

Movement Practices and Applied Performance Project*:

This core module for the MPhil Theatre and Performance will offer a consideration of movement practices in performance from scholarly and practical points of view. In both semesters the class will meet on a weekly basis to practically and theoretically explore movement forms and key texts, watch video excerpts and review recent productions that foreground the moving body. In Hilary Semester, the class will undertake a performance project, where students will get the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the body in performance and develop strategies for practice-based research.

*Subject to University Council approval

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This new MA in Theatre and Performance Research will focus on preparation for research at MPhil/PhD level, while also enabling students to update their knowledge of contemporary trends in theatre and performance studies. Read more
This new MA in Theatre and Performance Research will focus on preparation for research at MPhil/PhD level, while also enabling students to update their knowledge of contemporary trends in theatre and performance studies. It will draw on the existing academic strengths and international outreach of the department, and help students to develop theoretical insights into contemporary theatre and performance theories and practices in areas such as trauma and performance, political performance, interculturalism, dramaturgy, performance-making and historiography.

There are two core modules - Theoretical Thematics and Research Methods - and students may take a further two optional modules.

Additionally, all students undertake a written or practical dissertation as a part of their assessment. The School has a strong history of placing students in PhD programmes and a dynamic research culture. It also has a good relationship with Warwick Arts Centre, which provides regular performance events on campus.

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Whether engaged in practice or text-based research, we focus on the complex ways performance(s) interact in the public sphere, producing as well as representing myriad modes of social practice, aesthetic expression, and political intervention. Read more
Whether engaged in practice or text-based research, we focus on the complex ways performance(s) interact in the public sphere, producing as well as representing myriad modes of social practice, aesthetic expression, and political intervention. Above all, we aim to enhance understanding of the role and function of theatre and performance in social and cultural life.

Our research is transnational, engaged in researching thematic areas indicated below in different ways and context ranging from North America and Europe to Africa and India in collaborative and interdisciplinary ways. We adopt many approaches including cultural histories of theatre and performance, community-based projects, ethnographic research, performance analysis, archival research, practice-as-research, performance pedagogies and technology enabled networks.

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This programme allows you to develop the business/entrepreneurial skills and attributes to commercialise on your creative and cultural practices and/or knowledge. Read more

This programme allows you to develop the business/entrepreneurial skills and attributes to commercialise on your creative and cultural practices and/or knowledge.

The Theatre and Performance Pathway of the MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship allows you to build on a historical and theoretical understanding of cultural and creative industries and the development of a cultural economy to create your own creative initiatives, which might be research-based, policy-based, practice-based, or a combination of any or all of these.

The MA will be taught in partnership by a number of departments within Goldsmiths and with key individuals and organisations in the creative and cultural industries sector.

Our collective approach is to integrate entrepreneurship within the development of creative practices and to take a ‘creative’ approach to the development of new businesses and the infrastructure that supports them.

Modules & structure

The programme contains four taught modules and a further dissertation/portfolio component.

You'll have a range of choices throughout the degree enabling you to design a pathway that is most relevant to your academic, business and career ambitions.

All students take modules I and III, and you can choose between options offered in performing arts for modules II and IV.

Attendance is mandatory for all taught sections of the programme. To encourage collaborative learning we try to teach all students together wherever possible, irrespective of their particular pathway.

Module IV: Entrepreneurial Practices and Modes of Production

Either: Sector Overiew: Performing Arts and Audience Development and Fundraising 30 Credits

OR Work Placement

You will undertake a work placement within an SME, Producing or Research Organisation within the cultural and creative industries.

There will be initial taught/tutorial sessions on managing an internship and experiential learning and assessment would be by an analytical report on the ‘culture of management’ of the organisation.

In some pathways this will be augmented by classes in specific skill areas (such as marketing) as you are likely to be working in skill-specific departments of organisations.

Module V: Dissertation OR Project/Portfolio

The content and research imperatives of the dissertation/portfolio can be developed in tutorials with staff to address your individual needs. It could range from an entirely written document researching a particular area of the cultural and creative industries to a fully developed proposal for a new business.

Skills

You can expect to develop an independence and integrity in developing creative ideas. You will be able to apply entrepreneurial approaches to creative projects and demonstrate an understanding of different business models to establish a creative enterprise. You will also develop team-working and leadership skills, and effective business and communication skills.

Careers

The programme will enable those who have previously studied an area of creative study/practice, to start a career developing a business arising from an existing or new creative practice. This may relate directly to a 'product' or 'process' arising from you own practice or to a form of 'expertise', 'consultancy' or 'knowledge'. The programme will also equip those who wish to work within organisations that develop the infrastructure and environment for new creative businesses with the capacity to flourish in a variety of contexts.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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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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An ideal environment for the study of theatre, Edinburgh brings the performing arts alive through its many theatres, performing companies and, of course, the famous Edinburgh International Festival and the accompanying Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Read more

An ideal environment for the study of theatre, Edinburgh brings the performing arts alive through its many theatres, performing companies and, of course, the famous Edinburgh International Festival and the accompanying Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

This programme draws on this inspiration, as well as the research and practical expertise of our exceptional body of staff, which ranges across a broad sweep of cultures and historical periods.

You will be introduced to dramatic and theoretical material from different periods and cultures, and explore the differing conceptions of the roles and perceived dangers of dramatic representation and performance in those cultural contexts.

Supporting your studies will be the resources of our newly created Centre for Film, Performance and Media Arts, as well as professional placement opportunities with local companies and theatres.

Programme structure

You will take three compulsory courses, as well as one option course and two research skills courses. You will then work towards an individually researched dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • The Autonomy of Performance: Concepts and Craft
  • Theatre, Performance, Performativity
  • Time and Space of Performance

Option courses may include:

  • Cinema Auteurs 2
  • Professional Placements in Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Film Adaptation
  • Shakespearean Sexualities
  • Shakespeare Adapted

Work placements/internships

You will have the opportunity to take internships with theatre institutions across the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and to work with performing artists-in-residence, who will offer workshops in each semester. You will also be encouraged to attend theatre productions in Edinburgh.

Career opportunities

During this programme, you may identify a topic which you would like to progress to a research degree, and potentially a career in academia. Alternatively, the skills you gain and the networks you develop during any professional placement you undertake will equip you to enter the thriving world of the arts as a practitioner or administrator.

You will also gain many highly transferable skills in communication, project management and research that will benefit you in any career you choose.



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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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Why choose this course?. The aim of the MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance course is to produce graduates who possess a systematic understanding and a critical and creative awareness of practice and theory at the forefront of the discipline. Read more

Why choose this course?

The aim of the MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance course is to produce graduates who possess a systematic understanding and a critical and creative awareness of practice and theory at the forefront of the discipline.

During the course, you will critically evaluate the current practice and theories and apply a comprehensive range of techniques to develop your own work. You will develop an understanding of philosophies of performance and consider the ethical implications of performance practice. You will investigate a line of experimental performance practices that inform and define the discipline. You will be given opportunities to apply knowledge in original ways, for instance through a significant individual research project which can include a practical component.

What happens on the course?

The modules you will study include: Advanced Performance Making, Performance: Body, Space and Identity, Advanced Research Methods and Professional Practice.

You will receive support for your learning from: your personal tutor, the subject librarian, the Performing Arts technicians, the Drama department administrator, departmental careers support.

Learning activities in Drama will support your personal development, enable you to apply your learning to a range of different contexts, develop your understanding of how you might manage your future career, support your acquisition of subject-specific and generic skills, and help you to develop an understanding of how to deal with risk and uncertainty.

Why Wolverhampton?

The course provides an opportunity to develop a specialism in contemporary performance, in both practice and theory. The choices open to you within modules will allow you to develop your own creative and academic voice across the course, but will also give you a firm grounding in the breadth of contemporary performance practice. A particular feature of the course is the integrated exploration of theory and practice.

We continue to develop state of the art facilities which will greatly enhance your learning experience.

Our state-of-the-art performing arts and learning centre; The Performance Hub is the home for all of our performance courses. The hub features two bespoke drama studios that are ideal for rehearsals and small performances. The studios feature audio/visual equipment and facilities for hanging lighting for performances.

What our students think

"As a teacher it has given me more knowledge and practice which I have used in my own teaching practice as well as challenging my own perceptions of drama and performance". Lenny Love, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at Cardinal Griffin Catholic College.

Career path

You could use the MA to develop your career as a teacher or lecturer, or as a youth/community worker. You could use your skills and knowledge as a performer, director, writer, or create your own small-scale touring theatre company. As a practitioner, you will have a deeper understanding of your craft and a qualification recognized by FE and HE establishments.

Those aiming to apply their skills in the heritage industry, probation service and/or personnel development will have acquired strategies and techniques appropriate to such applications. Schoolteachers will be qualified for posts in Further and Higher Education, in addition to gaining a qualification to enhance their prospects in their current institutional base. Freelance artists will have additional skills and techniques to offer in the arena of arts projects in schools, theatre educational outreach work and community arts.

You could continue your academic studies by progressing on to a PhD. You could go on to train to teach, through either a PGCE course or a Graduate Training Scheme, or study a vocational course in, for example, dramatherapy.

What skills will you gain?

At the end of this course you'll be able to:

1. demonstrate a systematic understanding of the field of drama, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the academic discipline

2. apply a comprehensive range of techniques relevant to their own research, scholarship and practice

3. apply knowledge in original ways, together with an understanding of how established techniques of research and practice are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline

4. evaluate critically current practice, research and advanced scholarship in drama

5. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

6. demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level



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The ‘apprenticeship’ model allows you to acquire research expertise in developing and executing your own project while working alongside an expert in your field. Read more
The ‘apprenticeship’ model allows you to acquire research expertise in developing and executing your own project while working alongside an expert in your field.
This programme will develop essential knowledge and skills in your field and offer a clear route into a chosen destination: whether PhD study, professional practice, or an alternative research-related career.
Our experts specialisms include British theatre, performance philosophy, and digital theatre.

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The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Read more
The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Students can choose from five pathways:


MA Drama (Contemporary British Theatre)

Contemporary Playwriting
Contemporary Theatre Companies
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Contemporary Performance Practice)

Performance Lab
Located Practices
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Playwriting)

Writing for Performance
Script Development
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Popular Performance)

Popular Performance
Making the Modern Musical
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Theatre and Consciousness)

Theatre and Consciousness
Indian Theatre
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

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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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The course offers students the opportunity to study theatre and performance studies in a dynamic research environment in the heart of London. Read more

The course offers students the opportunity to study theatre and performance studies in a dynamic research environment in the heart of London. From avant-garde drama to political action, queer performance, live art, dance, cultural tourism, and the spectacles of the West End, you will be introduced to a range of theatre and performance theories and practices.

Ideal for students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree in Theatre, English or related fields, or spent time engaging in performance practice or work in related industries. 

Key benefits

  • Unrivalled location at the heart of London allows regular access to a wide range of theatre and performance events, including performances, seminars, and research centres.
  • Dynamic intellectual community offered by King’s College London and surrounding institutions, supplemented by regular invited artist and academic speakers or artist residents.
  • Required modules providing a strong foundation in theatre and performance studies, plus the opportunity to create an individualised course of study through selected options.

Description

Our course offers you the opportunity to study in a dynamic research environment in the heart of London. Our required modules will provide you with a deep understanding and critical awareness of current problems and new insights in the field, and the ability to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. They will also give you the skills needed to undertake advanced research and scholarship in the field, and enable you to evaluate and critique various methodological approaches to practice-based and scholarly research. Our optional modules will allow you the freedom to explore your personal interests further. 

Finally, your 15,000-word dissertation, supervised by an academic member of staff, will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced research in the field in an area of your choice.

Course purpose

Ideal for prospective students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree in Theatre, English or related fields, or spent time engaging in performance practice or work in related industries. The course invites considered reflection on performance and performativity, emphasising close reading, research, and interdisciplinary approaches to theatre and the arts.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We will develop your skills and knowledge through lectures, seminars, optional workshops and tutorials.

 If you’re a full-time student we will provide you with 4-5 hours per week teaching over the course through lectures, seminars and feedback. We will expect you to undertake 38 hours of independent study per week.

If you’re a part-time student, in your first year we will provide 2hours of teaching per week, and we will expect you to undertake 18 hours of independent study per week. In your second year, we will provide 2-3 hours of teaching per week, and we will expect you to undertake 18 hours of independent study per week.

Typically, one credit equates to ten hours of work.

Assessment

We will assess your performance through coursework and presentation.



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