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  • Develop cutting-edge practices and approaches to contemporary performance-making in an interdisciplinary, laboratory environment, with a focus on creative exploration
  • Make and research in world-class performance-making facilities at MediaCityUK and the New Adelphi Arts Centre
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and performance scene in Salford and Manchester.
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply


The MA Contemporary Performance Practice is a practical, interdisciplinary course that will introduce you to a range of approaches and concepts, which are vital to the making of live performance in and in response to the world today. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to function in contemporary  performance environments, as a performer, maker, collaborative practitioner and researcher.

Drawing upon the excellent facilities for making live performance at New Adelphi and MediaCityUK, this course also provides the entrepreneurial and employability skills you need to function as a practitioner in the wider creative industries.

This course will also allow you to extend and develop skill sets through interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, mirroring working environments within the creative industries. You will develop the ability to think dynamically, act originally, collaborate and function effectively in creative workplaces,  integrating theoretical concepts, creative practice and real world skills. 

You will also, through the core modules and final project, develop your own contemporary performance practice, culminating in the presentation of a significant piece of work, which you can then go on to use in professional contexts.


From the outset, you will work in an interdisciplinary fashion. Your induction will include a creative collaborative project, that will acclimatise you to the ways of working on the programme and other students.

Programme modules are delivered through practical workshops, keynote lectures, seminars, and artist-led residencies. Seminars and student-centred symposia initiate independent work, and foster and facilitate collaborative partnerships and small group work. Adaptability of graduates is considered a core vocational outcome that reflects the hybridity of global culture and is an essential strategy for learning on the programme.

The programme fosters an intensive laboratory research culture intended to explore practice, deconstruct ideas, identify needs and skillsets and apply acquired knowledge to the construction of new modes of practice. At the core of this culture is the encouragement to consistently triangulate theory and reflection with personal practice. Philosophically the programme embraces diversity, innovation and accessibility through these student-centred approaches.


Assessment is via a balanced combination of formative and summative opportunities for each module, which promotes and responds to a fluid and processual development of your practice. Formal opportunities to write are combined with oral presentations, a range of performance outcomes and online portfolios.

You will be assessed through:

  • Practical performances, combined with vivas/oral presentations (65%)
  • Written assignments (critical, reflective, analytical) (35%)


Graduates will be able to work in a range of environments from the cultural sector to future media, interactive design and production, small scale touring, venue based and independent production, theatre-making, performing and writing, community arts practices and applied theatre-making with defined sectors.

People who work in the field of contemporary performance are able to work across a wide range of applied areas of creative design and application. This ranges from traditional arts settings to the fields of interactive design, new media production and, as the use of digitally driven interfaces increases, into more commercially driven areas of work. Contemporary performance experts can have a broad set of skills from devising and composition, to technical design, production management, programming, script-development, video editing and post-production skills. 

Potential employers include arts venues and organisations, educational providers and film companies. Skills employed in the making of contemporary performance, such as independent and collaborative problem solving, gathering and synthesis of elements, understanding and integration of the needs of a range of stakeholders, can be used to address many areas of creative practice. Graduates will also be equipped through the programme to pursue careers as individual, self-employed practitioners working across forms and disciplines.


The programme has links with the following organisations and begins each year with a creative intensive, led by a key contemporary performance practitioner:

  • The Lowry Arts Centre
  • HOME
  • Z Arts
  • Blast Theory
  • Imitating the Dog
  • Station House Opera
  • Rimini Protokoll


Digital Performance Lab at MediaCity UK.

Theatre, studio and specialist rehearsal spaces and acting studios at New Adelphi.

Visit the Contemporary Performance Practice (MA) page on the University of Salford website for more details!




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