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Theatre & Performance Studies MA



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. 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.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 8 FT, 4 PT

Course leaders Dr Lara Shalson, Programme Convenor,

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of English


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language 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.

Application procedure

Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Tutor, who may consult with additional staff members. You may be invited for a short 15-minute interview (in person or by telephone). We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks although this may take longer in February, March and over holiday periods. Applications are considered and offers made on a rolling basis, but the final deadline for applications is 15 June. Applications submitted after this deadline will be considered only if there are places available.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants must submit:

  • An official transcript;
  • Two letters of reference, at least one of which must come from an academic source;
  • A personal statement describing the applicant's trajectory and reasons for applying to the course;
  • And one writing sample of approximately 4,000 words.

The writing sample should consist of:

  • Preferred: one academic essay (approximately 4,000 words) that shows engagement with both primary and critical sources;
  • Alternatively, we will consider a collection of shorter writing, totalling approximately 4,000 words. This should include a 1,000-word commentary on a key critical text (e.g. article, book chapter, book) that is relevant to your research interests.

Within the online application portal, the writing sample should be added as an attachment to your personal statement.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


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.

In addition, students take two option modules. Offerings in Theatre and Performance Studies include modules focused on current productions in London, practice-based research, histories of Live Art, and dramaturgy. Students may also choose optional modules from across the Department and Faculty in areas that intersect with theatre and performance studies.

Finally, a 15,000 word dissertation supervised by an academic member of staff will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to undertake advanced research in the field in an area of their choice. While acting as a “terminal” MA, providing excellent preparation for a range of careers in the arts and education sectors, this programme will also provide students with a robust preparation for doctoral research in theatre and performance studies.

More information can be found on the MA Theatre and Performance webpage.

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.



Career prospects

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.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.



Next steps

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