This twelve-month Master programme is a question-led study that supports performance-related artists and art professionals to experiment and develop as practitioners and researchers through rigorous mentoring, extensive workshops and encounters with leading artists, thinkers and curators from around the world – as well as intensive peer-to-peer exchange.


Over three semesters, artists enter into an environment geared towards extending and deepening their own practice – as well as their capacity for generating discourse around that practice.

The Master programme takes each enrolled artist’s practice as the starting point for the study, and as such, it is expected that each studying artist enters the course with a performance-related project that they wish to develop and realise throughout the 12 months. This project should be specific to their interests, questions and concerns as an artist – and draw upon their pre-existing artistic practice.

The course organises around guest artists, curators, thinkers and arts organisations from around the world that approach performance, choreography, theatre and dance as an expanded field of practice capable of producing experimental intersections between art and other fields of knowledge and practice – such as activism, social practices, fields of science and philosophy.

There are two opportunities over the course of the year for applicants to apply. The first runs from November - January and ensures applicants get an answer by March. The second runs from March to April with applicants getting an answer in May. This early application round is made available as an option because it allows potential students more time to prepare for their arrival here in Iceland.

Programme Director

This is a programme for students looking to develop as independent, active, responsible and critical artists. The main focus of the master's programme is to provide a challenging and supportive context for developing each student’s artistic practice – through both research and artistic creation. The course is a full-time 12-month intensive programme, during which time students will be supported to develop their individual artistic practices, as well as deepen their capacity to situate their work in broader artistic, professional and social contexts. As such, alongside the programme’s emphasis on independent work, the course will also support active and stimulating group situations, in which students work together to reflect on and contextualise their working methods and artistic creations.

Alexander Graham Roberts

Learning outcomes


By the end of her/ his studies, the student possesses knowledge in the contemporary performing arts.

This entails that the student should:

  • Have a strong grasp of the contemporary performing arts – and its related topics and fields of concern.
  • Have gained knowledge through their research, artistic process and production.
  • Have gained knowledge regarding the most prominent currents, theories approaches and methods within the contemporary performing arts.
  • Be able to use their knowledge to argue for their own results and solutions.
  • Have become competent with research methods within the fields of performing arts.
  • Have knowledge in ethics of research and artistic process.


By the end of her/ his studies, the student can apply the methods and procedures of contemporary performing arts.

This entails that the student should:

  • Have adopted responsible and independent methods in their artistic process.
  • Be capable of integrating knowledge, dealing with complicated topics and putting forward their own observations and perspectives on their own work.
  • Be able to use their knowledge and understanding in professional work and in the professional environment of the contemporary performing arts.
  • Have a strong grasp of methods and techniques adopted in the execution of their artistic process and research.
  • Be able to obtain, analyze and evaluate data in the research and art making process.
  • Be able to show originality and intuition in developing and making work.
  • Be able to use their knowledge, understanding and solution driven capability in new and unfamiliar situations and in an interdisciplinary context in the performing arts.
  • Be able to develop projects and put in context theories of the professional field.
  • Be able to develop and use research methods in art making.
  • Be able to understand, read and analyze their own work and others from a professional ground.


By the end of her/ his studies, the student can apply their knowledge and skills in a practical way in their profession and/or further studies.

This entails that the student should:

  • has developed a necessary ability to study and independence in their art making to be able to take on further studies and work professionally in the field
  • can initiate performing arts projects, lead them and show responsibility on the work of individuals and groups, one or in collaboration
  • can put forward a detailed project plan and follow it responsibly
  • can put forward layered and complex topics through an artistic process and meditate them at a professional context, individually or in collaboration with others, for both experts and the general public
  • is capable of putting forward and describing work in English – both in writing and orally
  • can take independent professional decisions and support with arguments
  • can evaluate independently when different methods of analysis are implemented in research and artistic process
  • has strengthened their critical awareness and is capable of using critical discussion in their creative work
  • is capable of operating in the international professional environment of the performing arts
Program taught in:
  • English
Iceland University of the Arts

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Last updated December 17, 2018
This course is Campus based
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3 semesters
420,000 ISK
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