Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This unique international laboratory programme brings diverse individuals into collaborative research, acknowledging the challenges of creating original, performer-driven theatre in today's complex, globalised culture.

Why study MA Performance Making at Goldsmiths? 

  • Studying at Goldsmiths gives you access to all the cultural stimulus that London offers, allowing you to enhance your practice and develop compositional, critical, technical and management skills and strategies for forging independent and self-motivated careers. Our graduates work as practitioners, teachers and cultural leaders worldwide.
  • The Masters will help you conceive, research, construct and deliver your ideas, and articulate what motivates them. You will study with distinguished international artists and scholars. The emphasis throughout will be on encouraging collaboration across disciplines and cultures, and on contextualising practice within its social, political and architectural environment.
  • You’ll undertake physical training, scenographic/environmental exploration, and hands-on introduction to technologies (lighting, video and sound), to support your composition and artistic experimentation. You will identify your own practice within the historical and contemporary field, and write critically and creatively.

"The MA Performance Making at Goldsmiths attracts artists from all over the world seeking to develop their skills, creativity, pragmatics and independence. Taught by distinguished professionals, it encourages original, collaborative research into new forms, new imperatives and new contexts for live performance. As such it makes an invaluable contribution to the culture of performance."

Lois Keidan, Director: Live Art Development Agency, London

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Theatre and Performance Office.

What you'll study

This is a praxis programme on which you gain 180 CATS (credits).

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Practical Study: Scenography 30 credits
  Performance Making (A and B) 60 credits
  MA Performance Making Dissertation 60 credits
  Contextual Theory 30 credits

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8640
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4320
  • International - full-time: £16290

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

You may also be eligible to apply for funding from the AHRC.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Read our FAQs about the application process and the programme.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Please note: applications are only processed after 31st January. Candidates are interviewed by the programme director by Skype from February onwards and the results are processed very quickly. If you need an earlier interview due to scholarship applications, please contact the Admissions Team. 

When to apply

We accept applications from October until 30 January for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.  Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

Admission to the programme is by interviews which are held in late February/March.

Find out more about applying.

Student work

Staff

Programme convenor

Additional contributors

In addition to the academic staff within the Department of Theatre and Performance, the programme has a number of additional contributors.

Artists contributing to the programme from the UK include:

and internationally, for example:

Careers

Skills

You will become conversant, confident and skilled in a range of methodological practices as well as compositional strategies for independent theatrical, dance theatre and live art creation.

Your critical and analytical skills in interpreting artistic practice will be tested in a range of verbal, written and oral ways. Your study of your own body as a creative instrument will be complemented by learning the principles of scenography and film narrative.

You will research intellectually and produce theoretically informed writing. You will learn to contextualise your own practice and interests in the contemporary field of performance both in the UK and internationally, and to articulate such practice.

Overall you will learn how to research, construct and deliver your ideas performatively and how to advocate your own projects to producers, venues, funders and other agencies.

Careers

Graduates work in a wide variety of professional contexts globally as commissioned performance makers, directors, project leaders, programmers, teachers and academic researchers.

The programme has launched international production companies and collaborations whilst the many organisations employing them include:

And a range of international commissions and festivals including Edinburgh Festival and Brighton Fringe.

What some of our alumni are doing now

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Research

The Performance Research Forum (PRF)

The Performance Research Forum is a meeting ground between contemporary practitioners, researchers, students and staff in Goldsmiths as well as the general public via a programme of cutting edge talks, events and performances. A PRF event might be the sharing of a work-in-progress, a platform for decoding an unfamiliar form, or the opportunity for an artist to show and discuss their work with the audience.

The PRF offers two programmes per year. These reflect the breadth of our department’s curriculum at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels: embracing as we do Live Art, multi media and dance theatre alongside the theatre as a literary form. Crucially, it emphasises our attention on focusing our work beyond western cultural traditions to reflect the cultural diversity of our students and the city in which they are studying.

Performance Research Events, teaching and learning:

The PRF is used by Goldsmiths staff and students in various ways:

  • as totally extra-curricular
  • as part of specific under or post-graduate research
  • as material from which to write assignments

Highlight performers from the PRF series have included:

  • Karuna Karan (trainer of Peter Brook’s actors for the Mahabaratha
  • Franko B (body artist)
  • Ron Athey (body artist)
  • Kira O’Reilly (body artist)
  • Sally Jacobs (scenographer)
  • Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer (dance)
  • Raimund Hoghe (Pina Bausch’s long-term collaborator)
  • Alida Neslo and La Ribot (Surinamese theatre artists)
  • Ko Murobushi (Butoh artist)
  • Graeme Miller
  • Kazuko Hohki
  • Jonathan Stone
  • Chitra Sundaram
  • Marie Gabrielle Rotie
  • Geraldine Pilgrim
  • Cindy Oswin
  • Tim Etchells (Forced Entertainment)
  • Mischa Twitchin (Shunt)
  • Liz Aggiss
  • and the eccentric and brilliant grande dame of performance theatre Rose English.

What our students say

Leigh Tredger

"The MA Performance Making taught me to think conceptually, question my creative choices and develop a performance that subverts the audience's expectations. My fellow students were from across the globe and had varying interests; ranging from scripted theatre, dance, film and performance art. This diversity made for wildly interesting interdisciplinary collaborations."

"The MA Performance Making taught me to think conceptually, question my creative choices and develop a performance that subverts the audience's expectations. My fellow students were from across the globe and had varying interests; ranging from scripted theatre, dance, film and performance art. This diversity made for wildly interesting interdisciplinary collaborations.

Shortly after graduating, I was appointed as Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at Regent's University London. I have been involved in practice-based research in Martial Acting where I explored how an actor embodies presence through the use of Zulu and Maori dance forms.  I have also developed methods of teaching acting for motion and performance capture, using puppetry techniques. Currently, I am developing a performance piece called '00:00 (Zero Hour)' that encapsulates what had inspired me at Goldsmiths - a performance that has a strong scenographic influence is metaphoric and transformative.

In 2018 and the summer of 2019, I have been working with Regent's University Alumni and current students on a devised piece entitled '00:00 (Zero Hour)'. The work was first performed at the 'From the Forest Festival' (2018) and is currently undergoing a period of research and development. This research applies my thinking around metaphor, transformation and scenography in performance. From this work, I also designed and wrote three new Regent's University university modules for the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen."

Juliana Yazbeck

"For the one year I spent at Goldsmiths, I was not only a student, but I was also living and breathing art and performance in and outside of university life. Some of the people I met at Goldsmiths are now my best friends."

"The Performance Making programme was very hands-on, which meant I had to learn about physical performance, endurance, collaborative processes, leadership, lighting and stage design, video editing, and more. These skills have enabled me to execute my visions and dreams. Set in a multicultural part of London, I felt more at home that I would have in a more central and less diverse neighbourhood/environment. For the one year I spent at Goldsmiths, I was not only a student, but I was also living and breathing art and performance in and outside of university life. Some of the people I met at Goldsmiths are now my best friends. 

My journey since moving to London, and since graduating from Goldsmiths, has been wild to say the least. It was through sheer stubbornness and determination that I am where I am today. I nearly gave up so many times. I was born in New Jersey, USA, to asylum-seeking parents who fled the Lebanese Civil War. In 1993, as soon as the war ended, my mother decided to move my sister and myself to Lebanon. Her decision would alter the rest of my life. Growing up in my ancestral land, I lived a reality that I otherwise would have been too privileged to understand. Yet it felt small, homogenous, reeling with post-war trauma, and stifling. Various life circumstances - some too personal to discuss - made me angry and suffocated. I chose London on the basis that I knew it was a melting pot of cultures, languages, art forms, theatre, and music, but it was far enough from both Lebanon and New Jersey that it might allow me to find my own voice through the confusion and internalised ideas of 'displacement'.

During my time at Goldsmiths, I met many young people from all over the world. Few had a life story similar to mine, but all were on their own journey of discovery. In itself, this felt like a community: belonging nowhere else, we belonged together.

A few years after graduating, and after many odd jobs, a successful career as an actor, and a lot of talking therapy, I finally began to listen to myself. I began writing in both English and Arabic - sometimes in Lebanese dialect. I began singing both jazz and 'tarab', or whatever mishmash of the two made sense to my multicultural mind. I began to challenge ideas of who gets to be mainstream and who doesn't, of which skin colour is default and which one "has to hyphenate" as the late Toni Morrison said, of why on Earth I shouldn't write and sing and compose and perform in whatever languages and genres and traditions I grew up in. This was almost instantly a life-changing mindset. I knew I was ready to make an album. I could hear it in my mind. I no longer had any fear or doubt.

The universe often responds to bravery with abundance. And so I was awarded PRS Foundation's Women Make Music Award to fund and support the making of my first album 'SUNGOD'. I worked with my dream team of producers, musicians, and recording studios. On the 8th of March 2018, the album was launched at Rich Mix to a full house. What has happened since is a dream come true.

This year I have so far headlined Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (Royal Court Liverpool) and Shubbak Festival (National Theatre River Stage). In October, I will be performing in a double-bill show alongside AlSarah And The Nubatones, of whom I am a long-time fan. In December this year, I will be opening for Cairokee at Electric Ballroom in Camden. I am also nominated for The Arab British Centre's Award For Culture 2019 and will be attending the awards ceremony in September. I was recently in Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Emirates Woman, Bido Lito!, BBC Arabic, The National, and in October will have my first full-length feature published in MyKali, the Arab world's only queer and feminist inclusive zine.

I recently began working with a great manager who is now in the process of building my first tour for 2020.

I am often asked what inspired me to make the type of music that I make. My answer is always this: I made the music that I needed but could not find. The fact that it has touched so many people across the Arab diaspora and the world in general is an honour and a blessing."

See more and stream the album at www.julianayazbeck.com.

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