Text and Performance

MA Text and Performance is a highly distinctive degree delivered by one of the most exciting and impactful departments in the UK. Taught by world-leading academic researchers, artists and industry professionals, you will explore the dynamic relationship between text and performance through a combination of: -writing for and about theatre and performance -theatre practice -performance-making -academic study

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Key Facts



MA (Hons) Text and Performance

Degree Duration

1 year


Start Dates


Degree Overview

This postgraduate degree is ideally suited to those interested in learning about or working in theatre and the performing arts, including live, digital and screen-based arts, and an array of other career paths.

Our MA Text and Performance is offered in association with guest artists (recently including Dickie Beau, Karen Christopher, Brian Logan, Diane Page and Karen Tomlin) and Camden People’s Theatre, which is a leader nationally in producing cutting-edge performance and supporting the next generation of theatre-makers. An exciting feature of the course is the opportunity to create a new piece of theatre under the direction of Camden People’s Theatre, and to present practice-based dissertation projects (including performances and readings) in the theatre as part of a graduation festival.

In the studio and workshop, we use voice, movement, playwriting, directing and dramaturgy techniques to create new theatre and performance. In lectures and seminars, we examine historical, philosophical and theoretical materials and ideas to understand contemporary theatre and performance and the ways in which they are shaped by current concerns, traditions and legacies. You will also have opportunities to engage with digital, visual and screen art practices, and some students choose to make digital artworks, including films, for their dissertations.

This unique course is supported by the creative and critical interests of Birkbeck staff and the theatre-making expertise of associate artists that include Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellows. Learning from theatre professionals, you will develop skills that enable you to generate innovative theatre and performance and to work in the creative industries. You will also develop research skills, supported by the Graduate Research in Theatre (GRiT) seminar series, which will support you in pursuing further study, including PhD research. This course’s industry focus offers you access to invaluable resources, including professional development workshops and career opportunities.

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  • You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the university over and above tuition fees in an academic year such as laptops, stationary and additional resources.

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