MPhil/PhD Performance Practice

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
Discipline
  • Drama
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April

Overview

Why study for a Humanities PhD

Hear from staff and postgraduate research students as they explain what makes Exeter a unique place to study at a postgraduate level. View full size.

The MPhil/PhD in Performance Practice offers you an opportunity to extend and reflect on your creative performance practice. The area of study is entirely dependent upon your expertise, and could include playwriting, acting, directing, physical theatre, dance theatre, music theatre, or music performance.

The major part of your PhD will be a series of creative projects designed to interrogate the research objectives of your chosen practice. Each creative project will be accompanied by an analytical commentary of normally no more than 10,000 words. Normally, the written commentaries and introductory material for a PhD in Performance Practice extend to 40,000 words.

The Drama Department offers a supportive and stimulating environment for postgraduate research and practice, welcoming students from all parts of the world. You will have access to expert specialist supervision - many members of staff undertake practice-as-research - and excellent practical resources. Technical guidance and support in digital media can be offered, where appropriate.

The Department benefits from close collaborations with the wider theatre industry from the Globe Theatre to Punchdrunk, local and national theatre companies, as well as public sector bodies such as hospitals, prisons and schools.

Current available funding

Research areas

The Drama research webpages provide more comprehensive details about current research projects. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the Drama staff profiles pages.

Research strengths include:

  • the relationship between theory and practice (praxis) between actor and character
  • the politics of Shakespeare and English drama
  • dramaturgy and writing for performance
  • actor and performer training
  • vocal practice
  • gender and performance
  • ancient Greek performance
  • the theory of performance and interculturalism
  • political and popular theatre
  • applied theatre in the community
  • performance art, new media, and bioart
  • theatre and music / music theatre
  • site-specific and site-sensitive performance
  • auto-performance and autobiography
  • theatre and mental health
  • Eastern European theatre
  • theatre and religion.

Staff also support research into theatre direction, acting, and playwriting.

Research centres

Many members of staff and research students are involved with one of the Department’s three research centres:

  • The Centre for Contemporary Performance Practices embraces an exciting range of international research concerned with interdisciplinary and intercultural processes of devising, directing, dramaturgy, performing, training and writing in a diverse array of performance spaces and architectures.
  • The Centre for Performance Histories and Cultures embraces a wide range of areas, not only producing historical research but also examining theatre in relation to specific cultural contexts.
  • The Centre for Performance, Sciences, and Community fosters scholarly, inter-disciplinary innovation in a diverse range of subjects within and beyond the medical humanities including biology, medicine, neurophysiology, and quantum physics.

Many Drama staff are also involved with the College's Centre for Intermedia, which promotes advanced transdisciplinary research in performance and the arts through collaborations between artists, academics and scientists from a range of disciplines.

Our academics

We offer supervision across a wide variety of research specialism. Visit our staff profiles for details of our individual research interests.

Facilities

We have invested nearly £4 million in our industry standard drama facilities providing a superb environment for learning and research.

This includes eight large studio spaces (six are fully technically equipped and four have sprung floors), three sound recording studios, state-of-the-art computer facilities for lighting and sound design, two digital media suites for the creation of DVD video and audio to document practice, and workshops for set construction, costume and prop-making.

MPhil and PhD students benefit from a 24-hour postgraduate research student computer suite.

Careers

We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Drama postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation
Actor
Assistant Director
Assistant Practitioner
Associate Lecturer in Drama
Drama Facilitator
Educational Assistant
Freelance Arts Practitioner
Freelance Trainer and Applied Dramatist
General Manager
Lecturer
Publishing Trainee
Social Activities Co-Ordinator
Teacher
Millennium Forum Theatre
Municipal and Regional Theatre of Veria
Oily Cart
Thammasat University
Theatre Royal
University of Exeter
University of Portsmouth
Volkstheater Wien
Yoda Press

Entry requirements 2018

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in Drama, Theatre Practice or a related subject, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

Applying for MPhil/PhD study

You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.

Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice. Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.

TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306
Email: humanities-pgradmissions@exeter.ac.uk

Recent PhD titles

Here are some examples of PhD theses undertaken by students in Performance Practice at the University of Exeter.

  • Script-writing in an educational context
  • Towards a new paradigm on acting. Integrating Michael Chekhov's techniques and an actor-training based on Asian Martial Arts
  • Cultural identities and intercultural performance
  • Actor/Director communication in Psychophysical training
  • Toward the psychophysical principles
  • Women's artistic gymnastics and psychophysical actor-training
  • An exploration of the imaginative power of the image and its dynamics in performance
  • Korean style acting methods with adaptation of the Western style
  • Myth, archetype and performance
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I love my PhD

Drama PhD student Nora Williams tells us about her research and why she loves her PhD. View full size.