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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

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The course 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, you will be introduced to a range of theatre and performance theories and practices.

Ideal for 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. 

Key benefits

  • Unrivalled location at the heart of London allows 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,

Further details

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

DepartmentDepartment of English



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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

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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


We will develop your skills and knowledge through lectures, seminars, optional workshops and tutorials.


We will assess your performance through coursework and presentation, including a 15,000-word dissertation.


Year 1

Required Modules

•           Theatre and Performance Theory (30 credits)

•           Theatre and Performance Research Methods (20 credits)

Please note: if you are a part-time student, you will take only the above modules in your first year.

•           Dissertation (90 credits)

15,000-word supervised dissertation and 4,000 word Critical Survey on a related subject. If you are a part-time student, you will write this in your second year.


Optional Modules

You take 40 credits from a range of optional modules. If you are a part-time student, you take these modules in your second year. The list of options may include:

•           Performance Lab (20 credits)

•           Guided Study: Performance in London/London in Performance (20 credits)

•           Performance and Live Art (20 credits)

•           Special Topics in Theatre & Performance Studies: Dramaturgies (20 credits)

We regularly review the modules that we offer in order to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. The optional modules that we offer may therefore change, and we suggest that you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates. There are a limited number of spaces available on each optional module, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your choices with your personal tutor.

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.

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies.

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

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 31st March 2017.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £9,450 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £18,420 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £4,725 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,210 p.a. (2017/18)*

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Tickets for some theatre events, performances, art exhibitions and talks
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 17 May 2017.