University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Performance Studies


The Department does not run any full coursework programs, however a number of individual coursework units are available. These are offered as electives for students enrolled in coursework degrees administered by other departments/faculties (eg. educational drama). They also provide options for the coursework component of a Master of Arts (Research) or Doctor of Arts degree. In 2013, the following units will run:

  • PRFM5900 Contemporary Performance
  • PRFM5901 Critical Theory and Performance
  • PRFM5902 Rehearsal Studies
  • PRFM5903 Rehearsal to Performance

Research in Performance Studies engages with a broad range of aesthetic, social and everyday performances: from practices that we might readily recognise as theatre, dance or ‘live art’ through to the performative dimensions of law, politics, sport and other kinds of activity. Through performance, we get things done, we make sense of events around us and we explore different ways of being in the world.

The Department of Performance Studies is internationally renowned as a centre of research excellence, both for the interdisciplinary range of our work and for the innovative application of ethnographic research methods in the study of performance. All of the academic staff are active researchers, publishing regularly in top-ranked journals. Many of our PhD students, upon graduation, have found work as lecturers at universities across Australia, as well as in the UK and Asia. We have a strong cohort of current postgraduates who regularly present papers at major national and international conferences and our peer-reviewed journal, About Performance, attracts submissions from leading scholars not only in Australia but also from the US and Europe.

For postgraduate students, the department provides a highly supportive and collegial environment, including: readily available, expert supervision from an academic staff member; a weekly research seminar at which students receive constructive feedback on work-in-progress from their peers; an archive of performance documentation; technical support and advice for research that involves fieldwork/documentation etc.; and opportunities to work as a tutor, guest lecturer or research assistant.

Department website:

Chair of Department: Dr Amanda Card
Phone: + 61 2 9351 8253

Awards and Requirements

Please refer to the degree resolutions in this Handbook and to the ‘Faculty Admissions Policy and Procedure for: Doctor of Philosophy: Pathways to admission’, for information on the specific admission requirements for different research award courses.

Master of Arts (Research)
Master of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Arts and Doctor of Social Sciences