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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

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Our MA offers students an unrivalled opportunity to engage in a year-long course of study and research with leading experts in critical and historical studies of theatre and performance in a vibrantly interdisciplinary environment in the heart of London. From queer performance and protest politics to cultural studies of science, discipline and decolonisation, to institutional critique, everyday performance and critical spectatorship, as well as performance writing, practice-based performance lab work, and more, students will have the opportunity to tailor their interests to a vast network of scholars and practitioners working at King’s and at neighbouring arts and performance institutions in London and beyond. A final independent research project offers students the opportunity to hone their critical writing skills and to develop a portfolio of practice and research interests.

Ideal for students who have recently completed a BA in Theatre, Performance Studies, Comparative Literature, English or related fields, and/or spent time engaging in critical performance practice or work in related industries (museums, festival planning, etc.). Leads to careers in the cultural, performance and arts sectors, including museum, curatorial, archival and production work, journalism, dramaturgy, and arts management, as well as to work in the broader editorial and communications industries, and to academic and non-academic research, teaching, and more.

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.
  • Required 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. Kélina Gotman, course convenor - kelina.gotman@kcl.ac.uk

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

Department Department of English



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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

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Course detail


Our course offers you the opportunity to study in a dynamic research environment in the heart of London.

Our required modules will provide you with a deep understanding and critical awareness of current problems and new insights in the field, and the ability to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. They will also give you the skills needed to undertake advanced research and scholarship in the field and enable you to evaluate and critique various methodological approaches to practice-based and scholarly research. Our optional modules will allow you the freedom to explore your personal interests further. 

Finally, your 15,000-word dissertation, supervised by an academic member of staff, will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced research in the field in an area of your choice.

Course format and assessment


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

If you’re a full-time student we will provide you with 4-5 hours per week teaching over the course through lectures, seminars and feedback. We will expect you to undertake 36 hours of independent study per week.

If you’re a part-time student, in your first year we will provide 2 hours of teaching per week, and we will expect you to undertake 18 hours of independent study per week. In your second year, we will provide 2-3 hours of teaching per week, and we will expect you to undertake 18 hours of independent study per week.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Typically, one credit equates to ten hours of work.


Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework (essays) and written/practical projects. Forms of assessment typically include critical and research essays, and may include options in performance writing, reviews, performance work, as well as short responses and an annotated bibliography in preparation for the final dissertation. Coursework (including optional practical components) contributes 100% of your final mark.


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus. Our location in the heart of London makes King’s the perfect place to study theatre and performance. You will have easy access to the huge number of cultural events which take place across the city, particularly in the city’s thriving theatre scene, and you will also be able to make use of King’s extensive resources and collections. London is a world-famous centre for the performing arts and you will have the opportunity to attend and immerse yourself in all that the capital has to offer.

Regulating body

King's College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

• Theatre & Performance Theory (30 credits)

• Theatre & 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)

The Dissertation module comprises a 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

In addition, you are required to 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 typically include:

• Performance Lab (20 credits)

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

• Performance & Live Art (20 credits)

• Global/Local Shakespeare (20 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Theatre & Performance Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements 2:1

An undergraduate honours degree with minimum 2:1 classification, in Theatre, Performance Studies, English or related fields. Strong interest and/or engagement in performance practice an asset.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


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 apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Theatre checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). The personal statement should describe the applicant's trajectory and reasons for applying to the course.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Writing Sample Yes

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.

Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

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 Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days 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

· 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.

Career prospects

Our graduates take the skills that they develop through our course to work in the arts and other related industries, including museum, curatorial, and archival work, production, dramaturgy, journalism, performance and theatre and performance-related arts management and administration. Others choose to continue their research in the field further at doctoral level.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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