MA in Contemporary Performance Making

Brunel University: College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences

Program Description

MA in Contemporary Performance Making

Brunel University: College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences

This innovative MA - Contemporary Performance Making, which draws upon both facilities and expertise at Brunel and the vast resources of London, will provide you with the space to nurture your creativity through the practical and critical exploration of contemporary performance including live art, digital art, writing and directing for performance. This course is approximately 70% practice and 30% theory, and an ideal programme for practising artists developing their own work. Graduating students have gone on to show their work nationally and internationally, work with key UK and international companies and secure funding and support for their work. Full-time students can take the course over one full year.

Course Aims

The MA in Contemporary Performance Making will provide you with the space to nurture your creativity through the practical and critical exploration of contemporary and digital performance. The programme offers a combination of critical engagement and practice-based research.

The aim of the programme is to provide a bridge between academia and the professional world, giving you the opportunities to network and engage in a variety of supervised and self-managed projects. You will undertake a programme of study under the auspices of drama at Brunel, which is well known for its innovative approach to contemporary performance study and practice.

The MA is led by Fiona Templeton and Helen Paris, both international practitioners in live art and contemporary performance. Our lecturers and guest artists have national and international reputations in contemporary performance both in theory and in practice. The learning environment encourages independent thought, creativity and craftsmanship through workshops, seminars, lectures, self-directed exercises, tutorials and practical masterclasses.

We want to:

•give our graduate students the skills to make new work, to take risks, to experiment with new forms of practice be they digital, site specific, solo or collaborative and for audiences in theatres, online or in intimate one-to-one encounters.

•equip our students with the skills to be smart, alert and bold critics of contemporary performance, able to analyse and critique the work they see and the work they make.

•help our students graduate with the necessary skills to document their work, through image, sound and text.

•teach our students how to apply for funding and how to market and produce their work.

•enable our students to attend and present at key national and international conferences.

•share the wealth of professional expertise of the department with our students

•encourage our students to be a dynamic part of contemporary performance in the 21st century

This course is for:

•emerging artists who want to develop a sense of their practice, create original work and learn about contemporary performance

•artists who already have a developed practice but who want to have a dedicated period of time and tuition to refine and refocus their work and make new connections and create new work

•international students of performance who wish to have an intense year-long period of study in London, learning about live and digital performance and taking the opportunity to see a wide range of contemporary practice in the UK

•all graduates interested in live art, creativity, digital performance, writing for performance and directing, who are specifically looking for a very practice based MA and who are interested in pursuing a career as practising artists, writers, directors, curators, teachers arts administrators and producers.

Special Features

We offer specialisation in directing, solo-performance and performance writing, and you will be provided with professional work placements/apprenticeships that allow you to develop your own project work under professional circumstances. We also offer state-of-the-art facilities that are only for MA students.

Brunel's proximity to the diverse performance and theatre environment of London allows for direct contact with the work of established as well as cutting edge professionals working in the industry. Through placement learning in collaboration with our national and international partners and through the development and presentation of a final project you will engage with the most current trends in contemporary performance practice. The programme offers you the opportunity to develop skills, increase employment possibilities and build up a network of professional contacts.

The School of Arts has specialists in drama, English and music, and its work prioritises the contemporary and the innovative. Its approaches are both theoretical and practice-based learning and research. Interdisciplinarity is a distinguishing feature of much of the postgraduate student research programmes. It is a strategic imperative that our research work engages with issues of contemporary relevance for all those with a stake in innovation in the performing arts.

Based at the heart of the Uxbridge campus, Brunel’s facilities are all close at hand - performance and rehearsal rooms, recording studios, media and arts facilities, libraries, computer labs, the Students' Union, sports facilities, and of course, lecture rooms and smaller classrooms. Everything is designed for your convenience.

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in theatre (or a related arts course) and/or professional/practical experience or qualification. Financial support: Students applying before May are eligible for AHRC support - a Research Preparation scheme and a Professional Preparation scheme. Small bursaries are also available.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated June 6, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
7,300 GBP
Start date Sept. 2016
United Kingdom Uxbridge, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price 7,300 GBP
full-time, £3,650 part-time - UK/EU / £15,400 full-time, £7,700 part-time - International