Theatre and PerformanceFind a programme
|Run by||Faculty of Arts|
|Awards available||PhD, MPhil|
MPhil: One year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: Three years full-time;
six years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||Yes|
The PhD can be studied via distance learning. The MPhil will be offered via distance learning from September 2021.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000 word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across three years (full-time, plus a writing up period), culminating in an 80,000 word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.
The Department of Theatre offers supervisory expertise in a wide range of subject areas, including early modern theatre and performance practices, 19th- and 20th-century theatre and performance, contemporary British theatre, adaptation and translation of theatre and performance, contemporary performance practices, performance archives, dance histories and practices, the role of the body in performance, philosophy and performance.
The department has particular strengths in historical research and practice-as-research. We offer the opportunity for practice-based projects as well as projects based in the archives of the Theatre Collection, an accredited museum and archive service housed in the department. The Theatre Collection is the second-largest theatre archive collection in the UK with particular strengths in theatre in the South West; 19th-century theatre; post-Second World War theatre; live and performance art; scenery and costume design; and theatrical or related artwork.
Should research proposals span various disciplines, a supervisory team will be assembled across departments and faculties to meet the needs of the project. Alongside faculty training opportunities, all first-year research students benefit from departmental training seminars covering critical and professional issues.
Fees for 2021/22
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:
- UK: full-time
- UK: part-time
- Overseas (including EU): full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2021/22
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2021. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
There is a lively postgraduate community in the department, which shares research through regular reading groups, and symposia of current postgraduate research, and sharings of performance and research work in progress.
The department has a programme of research seminars and public talks, and strong partnerships with regional theatre and performance companies and arts organisations.
Beyond the department, students participate in interdisciplinary Research Clusters, Centres and Institutes, working with colleagues across the University and the South West.
A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of theatre and performance; some graduates take up careers in directing and producing.
Dr Paul Clarke, (Senior Lecturer), British and American experimental theatre; devising and collaborative authorship; documentary or verbatim theatre; live art and body art; performative documentation; practice-as-research; technologies in performance.
Dr Catherine Hindson, (Reader), Fin-de-siècle female celebrity; Herbert and Maud Beerbohm Tree; late 19th and early 20th-century entertainment industries and historiography; skirt dancing and magic performances.
Professor Simon Jones, (Professor), Contemporary British performance and theatre; performance and philosophy; performance theory and work; pragmatics of creativity in theatre; writer and director of Bodies in Flight theatre company.
Dr Katja Krebs, (Senior Lecturer), Construction of dramatic traditions; dramaturgy; early 20th-century European performance practices; historiography; translation and adaptation; translation and theatre practice.
Professor Mary Luckhurst, (Professor), actor-training; celebrity studies; directing; dramaturgy; twentieth and twenty-first century theatre
Professor Elaine McGirr, (Professor), celebrity studies; Eighteenth-century theatre history; gender; print and performance; Shakespeare in performance and adaptation
Dr Eleanor Rycroft, (Lecturer), Early modern theatre and performance practices; gender; practice-based research in restaging; social and political contexts of early modern theatre.
January 2021 start: 2 December 2020
September 2021 start: 2 August 2021
January 2022 start: 1 December 2021
Open days and visits
Register for our virtual open week.
Get in touch
Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 428 2296 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.
REF 2014 results
- Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts (Drama):
- 34% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 50% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 15% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.