World Performances, Theatres & Cultures

Why study MA World Performances, Theatres & Cultures at Goldsmiths

Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, this Masters investigates indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts.

  • This programme is one of the few taught Masters of its kind. 
  • You’ll be introduced to the whole range of drama, theatre and performance practices from many areas of the world.
  • This degree trains graduates for employment in a range of positions in theatre, government, the cultural sector, and higher education, that require solid intellectual preparation and knowledge of the field.
  • You’ll cover the historical contexts and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, some of which are rarely introduced in UK higher education. This will involve studying the indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural, national and international contexts.
  • Where possible, you’ll be provided access to industry opportunities in order to extend your study, in particular with our new Associate Organisation, LIFT, and its biennial festival of international theatre, as well as its on-going programme of activities.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Osita Okagbue.


1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

A first degree at 2:1 level or higher (or equivalent) in an arts or humanities subject. Candidates with unrelated backgrounds must demonstrate a keen interest in the theatre evidenced by having taken part in productions as performer, writer/critic, director or producer. See below for further details


Home - full-time: £10350
Home - part-time: £5175
International - full-time: £19520


Theatre and Performance

Top facilities
You’ll have access to a number of dedicated facilities including a refurbished theatre and various studios and workshops.
London Life
Study in London, the heart of British performance, and voted the top student city in the world (QS Best Student Cities 2024)
Industry links
Our expert staff have an excellent network of industry professionals across a number of exciting organisations.

What you'll study

You'll complete the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Cultural Theory, Performance, Interdisciplinary Perspectives 30 credits
World Theatre: Contexts and Practices 30 credits
Research Project 60 credits

You will also choose one of the optional modules listed, plus another from a list published annually by the department.

Note about optional modules (if available): The above is indicative of the typical modules offered, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. The module content and availability is subject to change.


Teaching is via lectures, seminars, workshops and practice sessions with our resident teaching team alongside guest lecturers and theatre companies. 

We recognise the importance of supporting students’ learning with high quality teaching that is responsive to their individual and collective needs. The programme has been designed to be as accessible as possible to all students. 


A mixed mode of assessments are used, which can either be in the form of a written assignment or Practice as Research (PaR) submission.

How to apply

Apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • 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

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.

When to apply

We accept applications from October 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.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

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.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants will normally hold a first degree at 2:1 level or higher (or its equivalent in the case of applicants from abroad) in an arts or humanities subject. 

For candidates with unrelated degrees/backgrounds, they must demonstrate a keen interest in the theatre evidenced by having previously taken part in productions as a performer, writer/critic, director or producer. 

In all cases, you must demonstrate in your written application/personal statement and at interview that you have an interest in theoretical and analytical work and that you are able to meet the intellectual demands of a programme designed to be theoretically challenging. 

You will be expected to engage with historical research, as well as have some awareness of how world contemporary performance and theatre involves a diversity of forms, practices and traditions. 

Criteria for entry into the programme also includes independence, self‐motivation, intellectual and personal initiative, and commitment to scholarly investigation, especially investigation into performance practices.

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 and funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the PG fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £5175
  • International - full-time: £19520

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.

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.

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.

Academic and Pastoral Support 

Goldsmiths provides a range of student support services. You will have access to the College Library, Multi-media, Audio Visual study resources and Computer Services and Language Resources, and these provide a substantial means of supporting other aspects of student learning. All postgraduate students also have access to a dedicated postgraduate resource centre, which houses a number of online resources and offers space for seminars and the informal exchange of ideas. 

Support for student learning is provided by the study resources that are available in the Rutherford Information Services Building: extensive book and audio-visual collections, electronic journal and book resources such as the Alexander Press Black Drama, Asian American Drama, African Writers Series database, the computer and multi‐media equipment, Library and IT staff with expert knowledge.

The Library also houses the LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) Living Archive, an important resource for international theatre in London since 1980. All registered students also have access to the University of London libraries network.


Where this degree can take you

The broad range of interests combined in this programme will prepare you for a diverse range of employment and/or a portfolio of careers in theatre and performance as well as the arts industry as a whole in different socio-cultural environments:

  • Facilitation and animation in both mainstream, applied and community theatre contexts nationally and internationally
  • Administrative and support services
  • Government organisations (immigration, cultural policy, funding bodies)
  • Journalism and broadcasting (including radio, television and print journalism)
  • Teaching at all levels
  • Interpretation and translation in theatre and performance contexts
  • Acting, directing, design

In addition, you can use this programme as a springboard for further study, either vocational or intellectual (including entry into MPhil/PhD programmes).

In short, the multiple skills – intellectual, critical and creative – developed by this programme will provide you with the flexibility of thought and approach necessary for creative insertion into the global job market. 

Extramural activities

The department is home to the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and its bi-annual journal, African Performance Review.

The Department of Theatre and Performance has close links with two research centres: The Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing and The Centre for the Body, that each generate learning opportunities via programmes of talks, conferences and workshops.

The department runs regular extramural activities, including hosting international practitioners in the Performance Research Forum (Dis-Play) series. The department’s special relationship with the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and its association to the Beijing Dance Academy also contributes to the global performance practice opportunities offered. Together, these organisations provide a unique research and professional resource for students on Theatre and Performance programmes. 

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