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MA Theatre and Performance

Course Description

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).

Following the completion of the taught modules, students pursue an independent research project culminating in a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.

Visit the MA Theatre and Performance page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lewis Alexander Church

1011.jpg “Having completed my BA at Queen Mary, I was
aware of the fantastic opportunities offered by the
Department of Drama, in terms of working with
staff and visiting artists, and excellent
postgraduate student resources.

“Overall Queen Mary has a fantastic attitude to
research and performance practice. Department
staff are willing to support and develop original
ideas and interests, rather than limiting students
to pre-set areas of investigation. They are always
approachable and eager to offer help with any
aspect of research. They are also brilliant when
it comes to organising contact with artists and
organisations, and I have been able to work
closely with several artists in a way that I do not
believe would have been possible at any other

“The facilities at Queen Mary are exceptionally
well equipped. In the last few years the library
has expanded to include a massive amount of
resources, particularly in theatre and performance,
and the University has strong connections with
various arts organisations that compliment the
materials available on campus.

“East London is a great area to live in, with local
pubs, restaurants and clubs, and easy transport
links to central London. Culturally, there is a
massive artistic community, which means that
there are constantly opportunities arising to
perform, see new work or meet artists and arts
professionals. Queen Mary itself hosts many
different events, and there is almost always
something interesting going on somewhere!”


Entry Requirements

Normally, a first or upper second class honours degree (or the equivalent) in a relevant field. Where a North American marking scheme is used, applicants should normally have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3. Promising applicants who do not meet the formal academic criteria but who possess relevant credentials and who can demonstrate their potential to produce written work at masters level will also be considered. As part of the admissions process, we may call for examples or written and artistic work and/or interview candidates.

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