Photo of Corrie Tan

Corrie Tan

The theoretical frameworks and provocations offered by the MA in Performance & Culture offered me a solid foundation for the doctoral programme I am currently completing.

Main details

Year graduated 2017
Country Singapore

I enrolled in Goldsmiths for my master's degree after having worked for a significant amount of time in the arts and media industry. This was a fast-paced and stressful job, and while I had developed a strong career trajectory, I felt it was time to step away from this role and devote more time to intellectual growth.

My time at Goldsmiths functioned as a sabbatical from my previous career, and afforded me the space and time to reflect on the practices and principles I had developed so far. In my country/community, master's programmes tend to attract postgraduates in a similar position as I was; specialists in a certain field or industry hoping to sharpen or hone their knowledge base or expertise. What surprised me was that a significant majority of Goldsmiths MA students were fresh out of their undergraduate degrees. While they brought an energy and dynamism to the course, very few of my coursemates had the same level of work experience and/or work ethic that I'd developed, which felt incongruous with the academic rigour of the course.

What I did appreciate, however, was the close relationship I built with my supervisor and lecturers, who were incisive, insightful and dedicated to their pedagogical work. They encouraged intellectual curiosity, and were attentive and present as I worked my way through knotty arguments for essays and project. The theoretical frameworks and provocations offered by the MA in Performance & Culture offered me a solid foundation for the doctoral programme I am currently completing. I also loved living in London. It's a vibrant, diverse and welcoming city for cultural and artistic pursuits, and offered me many opportunities to develop my craft as an arts practitioner.

I am currently completing my PhD in performance studies on the joint degree programme between King's College London and the National University of Singapore, fully funded by a President's Graduate Fellowship. In addition to my research work, I am an educator, facilitator, dramaturg and critic/writer.

What advice would you give someone about studying at Goldsmiths?

The MA programme encourages independent learning and resourcefulness, and I would encourage students to participate in as many activities or pursuits related to their degree path as possible. I found the postgraduate workload relatively light and was able to take part in many other projects and placements, including working in the Theatre & Performance archives of the V&A Museum, as well as contributing to cultural platforms such as The Guardian, The Stage, and Exeunt Magazine.

What was your experience living in southeast London?

I loved living in Southeast London. My husband and I rented an apartment on Telegraph Hill, close to Goldsmiths, and it was a wonderful, closeknit neighbourhood. Southeast London is full of lush green spaces and hidden gems – we would spend every weekend exploring a little speakeasy, or at a local flea market, or dropping by artists' studios, or going on a walking tour of a nearby neighbourhood. We very much enjoyed spending our time in Bermondsey, Greenwich, Peckham, and the greater South London area.

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