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MA European Theatre

Course Description

This taught MA programme offers a unique opportunity to study the multi-faceted nature of contemporary European theatre. It is associated with the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN), the renowned Kent-based research centre dedicated to the study of non-English continental European theatre.

There is also an option to study a term of this programme in Paris.

The notion of ‘dramaturgy’, this unique concept and practice characteristic of European theatre work, serves as our central lens from which we explore creative practices and processes in contemporary European theatre, theatre systems, performance aesthetics, and their histories. You become familiar with current conceptual and theoretical paradigms of European theatre, from mise en scène to the postdramatic theatre and the links of European theatre with European philosophy from Plato to Alain Badiou. You also receive a thorough grounding in research methodologies.

You have the opportunity to work alongside the ETRN’s leading researchers, such as Patrice Pavis, Hans-Thies Lehmann, Paul Allain, Peter M. Boenisch, and others, and to hear about their current, ongoing research. We make full use of Canterbury’s geographical location between London and the Continent, offering theatre visits and excursions, and also making use of the University’s campuses in Paris and Brussels.

About the Department of Drama and Theatre

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.

Course structure

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation project.

You are stimulated to develop further your own individual interest and expertise. It is ideal for students intending to develop a larger postgraduate research project towards future PhD studies in this area. Further optional modules allow specialisation in areas such as creative producing, production dramaturgy, and theatre criticism, but also in interdisciplinary fields such as continental theory and philosophy, political activism, and law and humanities.

You can also learn or improve your skills in a foreign European language as part of the course. There is also an option to spend a semester at our partner programme at Ghent University.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Possible modules may include:

- European Theatre & Dramaturgy (core)

- Thinking Theatre: Theories and Aesthetics of Performance (core option)

- Mise en Scène: Aesthetics and Dramaturgies of European Theatre (core option)

- Options: Creative Producing and Dramaturgy, Theatre Criticism, Dramaturgy Casebook

- Interdisciplinary Options: Theories of Art in Modern French Thought; Psychoanalysis and Literature; Law & Humanities; Resistance and Politics; Postcolonial Cultures, and others.

DR995 - Dissertation Project:(MA-T) (60 credits)


Assessment is through a variety of written work and verbal presentations. This includes academic essays, in-class research presentations, contributions to workshops, portfolios of critical writing, and performance analysis. It also includes an assessed project proposal towards a prospective PhD project which could be your starting point for applying for doctorate scholarship.

The final dissertation requires you to research an individual project in depth, and to present its findings in writing and in a conference-style presentation.

This programme is also available at split site between Canterbury and Paris.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MA European Theatre page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Russell Bolam

My drama degree at Kent provided training in rigorous academic study and intensive practical application, which have proven to be essential grounding for my career as a theatre director.

The course is designed to cultivate and provoke interests and passions within the field and to guide you towards a position and context in the professional world. Quite simply if not for the degree, the staff, and the Drama Society at Kent, I would not be a theatre director today or have felt sufficiently equipped with the knowledge and starting skills to enter the theatre profession. The degree is brilliantly broad and eclectic, the staff are inspiring and inspired and the opportunities on campus among peers to create work and forge lifelong collaborative relationships are innumerable.


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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