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Theatre & Performance Studies MA

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Study theatre and performance studies in a dynamic 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 a BA in Theatre, English or related fields, or spent time engaging in performance practice or work in related industries.

Leads to careers in cultural organisations, editorial, communication, research 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 Closed

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 -

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.

Typically, one credit equates to ten hours of work.

Your performance will be assessed mainly through written coursework or seminar presentations. Forms of written assessment typically include essays and book reviews. Coursework contributes approximately 100% and examinations approximately 0% to 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 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 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but 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 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

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

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/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,175 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 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/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer in late August, 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 
  • 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.

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 or go on to further study. 


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

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

Download guide

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