Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Text and Performance (with RADA)

This highly distinctive MA course, run as a partnership between Birkbeck and RADA, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Join us and you will work with Birkbeck's experts in theatre and performance studies and RADA's faculty and visiting theatre practitioners to experience both making and studying theatre. This course does not offer actor training, but will deepen your critical and practical understanding of theatre and performance practices in context and leads to a prestigious postgraduate qualification from the University of London. Taking the dramatic text as a critical starting point, our course encompasses drama from the early modern period to the contemporary. In the rehearsal room, you will create new theatre and performance work responding to set texts and themes. You will also engage with performance techniques to develop your skills as a playwright, director and dramaturg. In academic lectures and seminars, you will encounter theoretical, historical, critical and philosophical writings. You will theorise live performance and write about the ways in which new performance work is informed by both contemporary concerns and older theatrical traditions and legacies. In the final dissertation project, you will exercise your own creative voice as a director, dramaturg, playwright or scholar. Highlights - Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. - In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. - Student projects are tutored by a combination of faculty and visiting artists. Recent visiting artists include: Dickie Beau, Bourgeois and Maurice, Stockard Channing, Karen Christopher, Tim Crouch, Ed Kemp, Mel Kenyon, Namsi Khan, Simon Nelson, Ellie Clare Taylor, Andrew Upton. - We offer informal, unassessed creative enhancement opportunities: RADA's TheatreVision initiative, which brings together students from the MA Text and Performance and RADA's MA Theatre Lab to explore writing for theatre; a postgraduate reading group run by Birkbeck's Centre for Contemporary Theatre, which offers opportunities to show work in progress as part of the School of Arts summer festival Arts Week. RADA and Birkbeck are just three minutes' walk apart so you will study in a campus-style environment. Our close proximity also allows us to draw on the rich range of resources available across both institutions, including: studio space; technical support for group and individual presentations; RADA's excellent library of playtexts and theatre and performance literature; and Birkbeck's world-class research resources in the arts and humanities. - The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. - The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year's free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Entry requirements

MA: You will need to have, or be expecting, a good honours degree, usually in an arts subject. In exceptional circumstances, appropriate career experience - for example in theatre - may be considered as an alternative qualification. The course should appeal equally to candidates with an academic knowledge of drama, who wish to increase their practical and creative awareness, and to candidates already involved in their own practice who wish to explore it through academic study. Students must be prepared to engage in practical theatre-making, as well as class discussions.

Course modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck's online prospectus.

Assessment methods

Essays, reflective and critical portfolios, practice-based presentations and a dissertation (either practice-led or theory-led).

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2019 11,500 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 11,500 per Year 1 (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 11,500 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 17,300 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 11,500 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 11,500 per Year 1 (England) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 6,000 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,900 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 6,000 per Year 1 (England) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 6,000 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 6,000 per Year 1 (EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 6,000 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Department of English and Humanities
Telephone number: 
02070738372