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Course content

This MA provides a next step in performance-making skills, and in documenting and promoting your work. You'll develop your capacity for devising, physical theatre, directing, choreography, solo work and live art, building on your existing knowledge with new directions in collaboration, composition, and documentation. We work in studio spaces to allow a free flow between practical work and discussion.

You will have the opportunity to benefit from our close contact with a wide range of companies and artists based in London. Leading professionals we have worked with include:

  • Choreographer Jonathan Burrows (who holds an honorary doctorate with the college)
  • Lone Twin
  • Jasmin Vardimon Company
  • Non Zero One
  • Theatre Ad Infinitum
  • Analogue

You'll learn how performers can take different routes into the world of work – not everyone's routes have to look the same. We create an environment to support excellence in professional practice and we'll work with you to develop your portfolio of skills and documentation.

Through the course, you'll have the chance to take part in independent and group projects, and to engage critically and practically with a wide range of performance practices. While you develop your projects, you'll also be able to use our distinctive performance spaces on the campus – including the state of the art Caryl Churchill Theatre, a converted ‘found space’ Boilerhouse Theatre and the only permanent Noh stage outside of Japan. Towards the end of the course, you'll select a subject area that really interests you, working on your own independently-researched dissertation.

Course structure

  • Making Performance
  • Contemporary Performance Practices
  • Independent Project in Contemporary Performance Practices
  • Dissertation

Teaching & assessment

You'll be assessed on creative and critical responses to course content, and these could take diverse forms. The course addresses the centrality of diverse approaches to contexts within the world of work through the development of a portfolio of skills and increased capacities in documentation, as part of a means of self-representation for professional practice.

During the autumn and spring terms your modules will prepare you for your independent research final project. The shape of this assessment will be responsive to the areas of interest and expertise you have developed over the year. For instance, in addition to the more usual end of year performance that some students will pursue, we can support internships with reflective documentation, curation of an arts project with documentation or a series of workshops with analysis of progress, to name just a few.

You will also work over the year on a dissertation that arises from a specific research question or topic in the field of contemporary performance practices.

Your future career

Our graduates have gone on into professional performance-making both through development of collaborations begun on the course and through joining established companies. They have started careers in theatre training and in education including practical teaching at postgraduate level.

If you come to the end of the course and find yourself curious about an area of study – or want to take your dissertation topic further – the MA is a perfect grounding for a PhD, with many of our students going onto advanced research with us.

Visit the Contemporary Performance Practices - MA page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!




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Recipient: Royal Holloway, University of London

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