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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.