Postgraduate research in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts brings students, scholars and theatre practitioners together to achieve a new breadth and depth in the study of drama.
We offer two PhD/MA by Research programmes: Drama and Theatre Studies PhD/MA by Research and our Practice-Based PhD/MA by Research.
The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts offers the highest quality of research in all aspects of the study and making of theatre; from historical research and contemporary performance analysis, to the technique of the actor and imagination of the playwright; to the creative and technical skills of the lighting designer and stage manager.
Our programmes take advantage of Birmingham's exceptional resources for theatre research as well as the University and Department links with world-class theatre in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.
In addition, our Practice-Based PhD/MA by Research provides a unique opportunity for you to specialise in a particular area of practice (performance, which includes directing) and prepares you for your chosen profession.
The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision. For the Practice-Based MA by Research, the thesis is 20,000 words in length and accompanies a practice-based component.
The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. For the Practice-Based PhD, the thesis is 40,000 words in length plus a practice-based component.
Our Drama and Theatre Studies PhD/MA by Research programme can be studied on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a required visit to campus in your first year of study.
Research interests of staff include:
Research in the Department of Theatre Arts encompasses both the historiographical and contemporary, with an emphasis on political and critical theory, and the relationship between theory and practice.
The department also specialises in research-led practice, particularly in actor-training, writing for performance and directing. A summary of our key research areas, and staff working within those, can be found below.
For full research interests of staff, please read our staff profiles or visit the research interest tab on each programme's webpage.
Please visit the College of Arts and Law funding page for information on possible funding opportunities: View Website. Please visit the College of Arts and Law funding page for information on possible funding opportunities: View Website. You can find out about all the scholarships that are available on our Postgraduate Funding Database. If you find a scholarship that you are interested in, we would recommend you check the application guidelines as these can differ between funding schemes. For some of them, you can apply for funding as soon as you have submitted an application for the course. If you would like to start in 2024, applications for the AHRC Midlands4Cities Scholarship opened on 16 October 2023 and closes on 10 January 2024.