PHD ACTING AND DANCE
The Department of the Drama, Theatre, and Dance is an ideal place to undertake PhD research.
You’ll join one of the largest groups of PhD candidates in the UK and will be taught by academics with international reputations.
Our doctoral candidates often work together organizing conferences, editing Platforms (our in-house peer-reviewed journal for Early Career researchers), and leading research-related events and symposia.
Many of our successful doctoral candidates have been appointed to full-time lecturing posts in a range of universities both in the UK and internationally and become highly respected practitioners in the cultural sector.
We offer supervision in a variety of fields and we welcome diverse projects.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.
A PhD is the highest academic award. This program allows you to explore and pursue a research project that is built around a substantial research question and leads to an original contribution to the knowledge.
A full-time PhD is a three-year program (often with a fourth year for “writing up”). During this time you will have the opportunity to develop your research skills by taking part in training courses, events, and seminars. You will have one main supervisor as well as one or more secondary supervisors, who will guide and support you across all phases of the program. At the same time, you will have significant independence in conducting your research.
The PhD culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of a written thesis. This is standardly up to 80,000 words but may be closer to 40,000 words where live performance and or its documentations (often in the form of video) make up the significant part of the thesis.
Your final thesis will be examined by an appointed panel of experts in the field. On successful completion, you will be awarded your degree. The awarding of the PhD means that you are prepared to the conducted research independently.
The School of Theatre and Dance participates with the faculties in art, music, and philosophy in an interdisciplinary program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Fine Arts. Candidates engage a core curriculum of 15 hours that emphasizes interdisciplinary among the arts. Work within the disciplinary track of the theatre involves required coursework along with an individualized curriculum that allows the candidate to pursue the professional goal relating to personal interests and competencies. The program requires 60 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree, distributed among Fine Arts core courses, Theatre Arts courses, and dissertation hours.
Doctoral candidates whose disciplinary track is Theatre Arts can choose two of the following concentrations: acting or directing, arts administration, design, history/theory or criticism, and playwriting. Work toward the degree is both scholarly and practical, includes a rigorous comprehensive examination, and culminates in the dissertation that allows a choice of several avenues of the research created through traditional research, professional problems, or an internship.
The maximum duration for the full-time PhD is three years (36 months) or part-time is six years (72 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.
Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.
If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of the 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.
Areas of study:
We welcome applicants with practice-as-research projects as well as historical, critical and theoretical approaches to the following areas of study:
The program is designed to be completed in four years. Students must enter the program with a master’s level degree.
20 credit hours of the required coursework which emphasizes the interrelatedness of the theatre and performance studies theory, history and practice
10 credit hours of the elective coursework which allows students to develop the specialization (may include credit for acting, directing, dramaturgy and design)
Guided by the faculty of highly skilled and deeply experienced in innovative theatre, performance, and dance production and theory, aims to develop aesthetically skilled thinkers who can research, write To about, and teach theatrical performance. Within a program designed to be both small and experimental, students will develop their artistic and scholarly skills through the core coursework in the department, guided cognates in the extra-departmental arts and humanities fields, and supervised studio projects designed to allow candidates to allow students to apply critical tools to the creation of performance projects in the lab setting.
In the 21st century, the traditional boundaries of theatre and performance have become increasingly fluid. With this in mind, our program explores not only drama, musical theatre, and dance, but also new forms such as intermedia performance and collaborations with art, media study, and music. Students join us from a wide range of backgrounds, from performers to designers, and engineers to educators, our Theatre and Performance program provides foundational skills applicable to all the fields and interests in the performing arts.
Course of Study
Before beginning the PhD, candidates must complete either coursework in the department’s MA program or the equivalent coursework within the another accredited university’s MA or MFA program. Applicants may transfer up to 30 credits from MA/MFA level work, pending departmental review. The following is the approved normal course of study for the students pursuing the PhD in Theatre and Performance. In all cases, a candidate's particular program should be determined in consultation with his or her academic advisor. Students may also take cognate courses outside the Department of Theatre and Dance to augment their areas of interest. These must be planned in the advance with the advisor.
TH 610: Performance Research
TH 620: Performance Scholarship
TH 630: Performance Proseminar
Dramatic Literature, Theory, Criticism
Advanced Study in Productions
Foreign Language Requirement
MA Transfer credit