About this research graduate course
The Theatre and Performance Studies department is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments in the discipline.
Our extensive research portfolio and high-profile staff presence through editorial positions and participation in organisations such as IFTR, Psi and TaPRA, has meant that we have fostered and maintained links with national and international organisations as well as extensive academic networks.
This degree provides wide-ranging opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in the high-quality research of the department including research seminars and conferences, students working groups and an annual postgraduate symposium.
Subject to the approval of the department, candidates may submit research that has two components: a written thesis and a body of creative practice. The practice as research (PaR) component may involve performance, curation, writing for performance, translation, applied theatre projects or digital outcome.
Supervision for doctoral students will be provided by academic researchers with significant experience of undertaking research across a range of topics in theatre and performance research. We supervise a wide range of students from a variety of different countries and backgrounds and welcome this diversity among our student body.
Teaching and learning
Supervision for doctoral students will be provided by academic researchers with significant experience of undertaking research across a range of topics in theatre and performance research. You will also be allocated a mentor in the department to whom you may address matters related to your study.
Throughout your research you will be integrated into the theatre and performance postgraduate community, have opportunities to undertake professional skills training and be encouraged to attend events and workshops both in the department and the wider university.
General entry requirements
2:i undergraduate degree and a Master’s (or equivalent) in a related subject.
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:
- Band B
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
Areas for PhD supervision
Research in the department is transnational, collaborative and interdisciplinary and is focused on the following main - but overlapping - research themes:
- Ethics, Politics, Praxis
- Cities, Places, Environments (Identities)
- Memories, Histories, Futures
- Theory, Aesthetics and the Popular
- Creative Industries and the Value of Culture
Find a supervisor
Find your supervisor using the link below and discuss with them the area you'd like to research.
You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor.
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Theatre and Performance Studies
Explore the world through the lens of Theatre and Performance Studies with one of the top departments in the UK.
Offering academic rigour, practical skills and connections with the industry, this degree has career prospects both within the arts sector and far beyond. You’ll be taught by world-leading academics and cutting-edge theatre practitioners.
- Applied Theatre: Arts, Action, Change (MA)
- Theatre and Performance Studies (MA by Research)
- Theatre and Performance Studies (MPhil/PhD)
Core course team
Anna Harpin’s research explores the intersections between arts and health. In particular, her work intervenes in cultural politics and clinical practices in relation to madness, mental health, and psychiatry. Her recent monograph Madness, Art, and Society: Beyond Illness examined artistic practice and uncovered the clinical lessons of creative work. Harpin’s current project is investigating the politics of tenderness and questioning the meaning, nature, and practice of ‘care’. Her artistic practice with her theatre company, Idiot Child, is likewise engaged with questions around health and wellbeing. The company explore difficult feelings and experiences through performance and their current project, Never Gonna Give You Up, explores loneliness.
Saul Hewish is one of the country's leading practitioners in the use of drama and theatre with offenders. He was a founder member and former director of Geese Theatre (UK) (est. 1987) and since 1996 has worked in a freelance capacity developing drama-based responses to crime within youth offending teams, social services departments, and special educational settings.
In 1999 he co-founded Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation), with Chris Johnston. Over the last twenty years this company has built a strong reputation for innovative and experimental arts-based projects within the criminal justice system in the UK and across Europe. This includes theatre and digital video projects in prisons as well as the production of cross artform projects that span the divide between prison and the wider public. He is a co-author of Challenging Experience: An Experiential Approach to the Treatment of Serious Offenders and was a recipient of a 2005 Butler Trust Certificate Award, a national award which recognises exceptional work by staff in HM Prison Service.
Nadine Holdsworth’s research spans questions of representation, participation, citizenship, political change and cultural value. She has worked on the creative activism of a number of leading mid-century practitioners including Joan Littlewood and John McGrath and her current project, A Divided Nation: theatre and social abjection, explores how theatre and performance can be used to illuminate pressing social issues and marginalised groups. These concerns are also central to her involvement with the ‘Homeless Monopoly’ project, with collaborators Jackie Calderwood from Coventry University and a Coventry-based charity Cyrenians, which is exploring how gamification, arts-based methodologies and collaborative play can be used to educate and build resilience amongst young people around the topic of homelessness.
Yvette Hutchison is a South African academic whose work focuses on Anglophone African theatre, dance and intercultural performance. She has taught on and worked in various theatre for development and community theatre projects in Africa and the UK.
Her most current research is an AHRC-funded project to create a virtual network connecting African women-identified creative practitioners with one another and other interested parties, including schools that want to widen curricula, through the African Women Playwrights Network. Her next collaborative project, with Lliane Loots of Flatfoot Dance Company, will trace the relationship between disability dance and citizenship with specific companies in various African countries.
Bobby Smith is a freelance practitioner who has worked in settings including schools, youth centres, within the criminal justice system and internationally. Previously, he also managed and coordinated applied theatre projects – for example, a drugs education and sexual health project in West London schools. He has worked as a consultant for several charities, writing resources and training staff, particularly in the area of Theatre for Development.
Since 2014, he has been involved in a project with refugees and migrants which aims to build English language skills and aid participants’ sense of belonging. Having recently completed a PhD, his research currently focuses on Theatre for Development, theatre and peacebuilding, and applied theatre with refugees and migrants.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.