Postgraduate Research at the Department of Performance Studies

The Department of Performance Studies offers a vibrant, collegial environment for postgraduate research. If you are interested in embarking upon a research degree program with the Department - a PhD, MPhil, MA (Research) and D(Arts) degree - you will first need to consult the various pages listed on the menu on the left-hand side of this page. There you will find links to Faculty information: how to go about applying, your HECS status and so on.

We advise prospective students in the first instance to contact the Postgraduate Research Coordinator to discuss their proposed project.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have two supervisors: a main supervisor and an associate. Potential students should have some idea about who might be suited to supervise their project. Details of staff research interests, expertise, publications and teaching, including current and recent supervisions, can be found by clicking here. We encourage you to contact potential supervisors, in addition to the Postgraduate Coordinator, as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you and, if necessary, help you to develop your proposal for application.

You are encouraged to contact a member of staff who you think may be suited to your project.

We would also encourage you to have a look at the kinds of projects currently being undertaken by postgraduate students. A full list of current projects, as well as recently completed theses is available here. The Department holds copies of completed theses; they are also available through the Rare Books Collection of Fisher Library.

In addition to regular consultations with their supervisors, postgraduate students are expected to attend, and to contribute to, the weekly postgraduate Research Seminar. Each student should aim to present a paper to the seminar each semester. This semester's seminar program can be found here; visitors and guests are always welcome to attend the seminar.

Postgraduate Research Programs

Depending on your previous academic experience and the nature of your interests, the available options include:

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

For these degrees, students undertake a substantial piece of original research, the results of which are presented in a written thesis (40,000–60,000 words for the MPhil; 70,000–100,000 for the PhD). Expert advice and support is provided by a member of the academic staff through regular supervision meetings, plus there is the feedback of peers through the departmental research seminar, conferences and the like. You can consult our staff profiles as well as a list of current thesis projects to see some of our areas of research expertise.

How to Apply

Master of Arts (Research) and Doctor of Arts

While recognised as research degrees (hence, exempt from fees), the MA (Research) and the DArts allow for the student to combine some postgraduate coursework with a comparatively shorter thesis project. This can be an ideal model for students who have no previous experience of writing a dissertation, who want to ‘test the water’ before embarking on a research career or whose research interests are complementary to their professional experiences in performance and related fields. MA (Research) students can take up to two coursework units, together with a thesis of 26,000–28,000 words; DArts students take five coursework units and prepare a thesis of 50,000 words. Follow the links for entry requirements, the application process, advice on how to prepare a thesis proposal, current projects and areas of staff research expertise.

Cross-listed study

Postgraduate coursework units in Performance Studies are also available, as stand-alone, cross-listed options, to students from many other programs and subject areas, including Development Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Media and Communications, Social Work and Education; Public Health and so on.