The Department of Theatre and Performance's research embraces a range of global theory and practice in theatre and performance including play-texts, physical practices and critical/cultural theory on which students can draw in their research.
As a research student, you may register either for research based on practice with a written element, or for research by written thesis.
If your topic is practice-led you should be concerned to contextualise your practice in relation to other cultural production and critical theory in your contribution to new knowledge.
Empirical research is essential to innovative practice and you will be required to propose how you intend to conduct this during the course of your studies, as well as present and document this as part of your final submission.
At research level, the Department’s aim is to encourage and support innovative thinking and approaches to praxis, both historical and contemporary and within a broad cultural frame of reference, and for this to be conducted within the context of live as well as academic sources.
Goldsmiths celebrates interdisciplinarity and supervision may be conducted within the department as well as through inter-departmental co-supervision.
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department Secretary.
For 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
All students initially enrol on the MPhil programme and subsequently upgrade to PhD status if their work is considered to be at the appropriate level. You can study full-time or part-time and can apply to upgrade to PhD registration usually after 18 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).
All students are supervised by a full-time member of staff, generally agreed during the preliminary discussion regarding your research with the Department’s Director of Postgraduate Studies.
Research methodology seminar
All students enrolled on the MPhil/PhD programme are required to attend a weekly seminar in research methodology. This seminar is designed to bring together research students with diverse interests in a co-operative and stimulating environment.
Its objectives include training students for the Spring Review Week, written and oral presentations, preparation for upgrading procedures, and publication of articles.
Through thesis and viva voce. If you are studying for a practice-based degree, you present a thesis in the form of a practical presentation and written dissertation, and have a viva voce.
You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a related area.
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.
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 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing 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
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.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
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
- Contact details of a second referee
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- 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)
- Details of your research proposal
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.
Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.
Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body.
If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.
Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.
This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include:
- delineation of the research topic
- why it has been chosen
- an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
- a brief list of major secondary sources
When to apply
We accept applications from 1 October to 30 June 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 conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified.
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.
The Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths is distinguished by a strong emphasis – across its diverse range of practical and scholarly work – on the social roles, impact and influence of theatre/performance.
Building on its well established reputation in the key areas of practice-as-research, the cultural and creative industries and the sociocultural study of the theatre, the Department has since 2001 appointed outstanding new staff to develop distinctive groupings of individual and collaborative research as well as the cross-fertilisation between them. It has consolidated its practice-as-research portfolio and promoted African, Black British and diasporic theatres as well as European theatres, adding Irish and Romanian, Spanish, Catalan and German to our existing expertise in British , Russian, French and Italian.
There are four main research clusters:
Theoretically-informed practice as research is a key feature of the Department, moving beyond established theatre practice to embrace performance in medicine, dance and schools; the public services sector; and the cultural industries more generally.
Cross Disciplinary Performance and Interdisciplinary Writing
The Department’s commitment to cross-generic and cross-disciplinary synergies across the breadth of its activities generates a distinctive research cluster that includes history, translation studies , African studies , English studies and sociology.
History and theory of the theatre
History, sociology and theory of the theatre/performance, playwriting and dramaturgy constitutes the Department’s third main research group. This incorporates drama, productions and performance in national/regional focus; sociology of theatre/performance including cultural theory and ethnography; national and international playwriting and dramaturgy; the study of acting, directors and companies.
Cross-culturalism, multiculturalism and hybrids
The potential of cross-cultural, multicultural and hybriddrama/performance and their exploration as social processes forms the fourth cluster. Our strategy has involved enhancing and interweaving the theoretical underpinnings and empirical investigation of cross-cultural performance, exploring issues specific to multicultural Britain in the contexts of immigration and globalisation and the hybrid practices characteristic of our practice-as-research which merge live performance with video, interactive technology and the web.
Find out more about research in the Department of Theatre and Performance.