Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This international MA programme gives you the opportunity to develop your practice as an independent and collaborative performance practitioner. It invites you to explore and experiment with live, digital, intermedial and socially and politically engaged performance.

Why study MA Performance Making at Goldsmiths

Develop your own performance practice

  • The MA Performance Making programme fosters a creative-critical, experimental and interdisciplinary approach to performance. You’ll study with and learn from a diverse range of practitioners from different creative disciplines, exploring your own practice through performance-making.
  • You’ll gain both practical and critical skills in composing performance, while being encouraged to question, challenge, and reconfigure what performance-making is.
  • During your studies, you’ll be guided to create a portfolio of performances and writings that are designed to let you experiment, take risks and push your own boundaries in a rigorous and supportive learning environment, expanding and transforming your practice.

Practice as research approach

  • Performance-making is a mode of enquiry that considers performance as a strategy to think about art, culture and the contemporary world. This practice-as-research approach is embedded throughout the programme.
  • You’ll be encouraged, guided and supported to become an articulate practitioner and a creative thinker; able to conceive, make, critique, and write about your own or others’ performance.

Study collaboratively and independently

  • You‘ll engage with performance-making as a collective act, and collaboration is built into the structure of the course. You will work with and alongside fellow students and staff with different specialisms. This international community of colleagues and collaborators will enrich your studies.
  • You’ll also undertake independent practice and research, giving you the opportunity to focus on your specialist areas of interest in performance-making.

Gain skills and experience in scenography

  • A hands-on introduction to performance technologies (lighting, sound, media) will give you the skills and confidence to integrate scenography into your performance-making.
  • You'll learn from a dedicated team of theatre designers and technicians both in class and as you develop and put on your assessed performances.
  • Throughout your masters, you’ll learn production management, curation and event organisation culminating in a student-led public performance festival in the Summer Term.

Learn through creative and experimental teaching

  • You’ll learn from our dedicated staff team of practitioner-researchers. You’ll also benefit from guest lectures and workshops delivered by internationally distinguished artists and scholars.
  • You’ll be taught in workshops, seminars and lectures and will be expected to work independently in response to weekly creative tasks, reading and other research, as well as rehearsals and performance design.
  • You’ll have access to our fully-equipped theatre, five studios and our design spaces, which include a sound and media studio and well-equipped workshops for set construction and costume making.
  • Classes will also take place on field trips to London arts organisations and venues, or other specially selected locations in and around the city.
  • You’ll be part of the vibrant and creative environment of Goldsmiths, with easy access to the exciting and culturally diverse city of London, providing you with a broad international network of arts organisations, performance venues and festivals.
  • You’ll benefit from being in London, the heart of British performance, with access to a wide range of lectures, seminars and other practice research events offered in and around London’s universities and other cultural institutions. This will broaden your knowledge and understanding of current research and practice in performance.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Katja Hilevaara.

What you'll study

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

Compulsory modules

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

Download the programme specification. 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

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 2023/2024 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9720
  • Home - part-time: £4860
  • International - full-time: £18330

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.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

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. 

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.

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.

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