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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

Course Description

Unique opportunity to pursue interests in Theatre and Performance Studies in the heart of London. Rigorous theoretical inquiry complemented by the opportunity to engage hands-on in performance, archival and curatorial practice through self-directed research and internship programmes. Ideal basis for a PhD in the field or further work in the arts.

Key benefits

- Unrivalled location at the heart of London allows students 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.

- Core modules providing a strong foundation in theatre and performance studies, plus the opportunity to create an individualised course of study through selected options.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/theatre-and-performance-studies-ma.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

The programme 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, students will be introduced to a range of theatre and performance theories and practices in an expanded field.

Students will take a core module in Theatre and Performance Theory, which will provide them with systematic understanding and critical awareness of current problems and new insights in the field, and the ability to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. Students will also take a core module in Theatre and Performance Research Methods in the second semester, which will provide them with the research skills and techniques needed to undertake advanced research and scholarship in the field, and enable them to evaluate and critique various methodological approaches to practice-based and scholarly research.

- 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 programme invites considered reflection on performance and performativity, emphasising close reading, research, and interdisciplinary approaches to theatre and the arts.

- Course format and assessment -

Lectures, seminars, and optional workshops; essays; dissertation; lab-based research projects (as relevant); independent study; tutorials.

Student Destinations:

Graduates may go on to work in arts practice and related industries, including museum, curatorial, and archival work; production; dramaturgy; journalism; performance; and theatre and performance-related arts management and administration. Graduates may also pursue further research in the field at doctoral level.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

Visit the Theatre & Performance Studies MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)


1998.jpg I chose King’s because of it’s world-leading research reputation in my subject area and because the course allowed for both high level research and exciting industry opportunities that are not available outside the MA – as part of my course I’ve been interning at the National Theatre Archives, which has shaped my research, and given me some amazing experiences working on exhibitions. This has given me skills and experiences for work which I would never have gained otherwise.

One of the best things so far is how dedicated the teachers are to the students – it’s wonderful to be taught by someone who’s not just an expert in the field, but who is also genuinely interested in supporting you. Having the freedom to pursue what I’m most interested in and be led by my own independent research has been excellent: this year I’ve written about performance anthropology, tackling current and important topics such as the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Researching at postgraduate level is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Because of the research facilities at King’s I’ve also been able to take a class from the Medical Humanities MA, and the exchange of knowledge has been hugely valuable to my research. The possibility of taking classes in other departments was a major factor in choosing King’s – the research community beyond my MA course is a fantastic, diverse and interesting body to be a part of. By the end of my first term I’d already had the opportunity to give a paper at one of King’s man research conferences!

The combination of research and industry experience in my MA has meant I have built up the skills I need for both research and industry! I hope to go into the cultural industry to gain more experience, but would also like to return to King’s to do a PhD at a later point. My MA has been crucial to building up the skills I need for my career, it’s prepared me for both further research and industry which is hugely valuable in this age of austerity. I also received a bursary which has been pivotal for supporting my studies, taking some of the financial pressure away so that I can take on additional internship opportunities and focus on my research.

(Student Profile)


1999.jpg The interdisciplinary nature of the MA in Theatre and Performance Studies was the primary reason I choose this postgraduate programme. My academic interests lie at the cross-sections of a diverse range of disciplines, including performance, the visual arts, art history, philosophy, architecture and geography.

It is King’s where I feel my research interests are met and furthered. The range of both academic and practical approaches that forms the teaching experience of the Theatre and Performance MA affords an assorted and exciting environment for learning. The excellent academic setting of the MA is facilitated by the outstanding teaching staff within the English department and specifically those teaching on the MA in Theatre and Performance. The teaching staff and the visiting artists make the MA in Theatre and Performance Studies a truly exceptional postgraduate programme to be undertaking. Their varied research interests and backgrounds reflect the diversity of the modules and areas of research offered throughout the course.

From the practice-based Performance Lab taught by some of the countries most exciting artists to a heavily theoretical, philosophically based Research Methods module to courses in Performance Theory, Live Art and Performance Art to an internship module, this MA offers a stimulating and rewarding array of research areas and modes of inquiry.

Currently, I am studying my Masters part-time, which has been an extremely successful option for me personally; allowing me time to truly digest the reading materials on the course and form my own research interests and questions. Studying part-time also provides me with the opportunity to work at the Tate Galleries; this helps me to fund my studies and also further my understanding of working in an arts-based institution.

The location of King’s in the centre of London also presents an unrivalled position at the heart of London’s performance and art scenes; endowing my studies with a sense of cultural and creative importance. I also enhance my postgraduate studies through taking advantage of the variety of talks, symposiums and research seminars offered at other London institutions; this would not be as richly generative for my thinking if I were not situated in London.

The location of King’s also provides great potentials for future employment within the arts and further postgraduate study. I cannot recommend this course highly enough; it is undoubtedly equipping me with the skills I need to hopefully undertake a PhD and develop my own performance work.


Entry Requirements

An undergraduate honours degree with minimum 2:1 classification (or overseas equivalent - US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3), in Theatre, Performance Studies, English or related fields. Strong interest and/or engagement in performance practice an asset. Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements: View Website

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