Research course

Drama and Theatre Studies (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

We would normally expect applicants to have an Honours degree or equivalent, although suitable professional experience may be taken into account when assessing qualifications.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The Drama and Theatre Arts department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a dynamic environment which allows students, scholars and theatre practitioners to work together to achieve a new breadth and depth in the study of drama. It also takes advantage of Birmingham's exceptional resources for theatre research as well as the University's links with world-class theatre in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.

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.

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.

You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

Research activity is led by staff and our traditional research strengths lie in: Shakespearean performance and adaptation; Victorian and Edwardian theatre; the history of film; popular theatre; theatre history-Renaissance to 21st Century, Russian theatre, playwriting and actor training, theatre and science, contemporary theatre.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

Theatre history and Shakespearean interpretation; Performance practice, especially directing and acting (and how these are brought together through rehearsal), devising and performer training; Victorian theatre; Popular theatre studies; Contemporary and historical popular entertainment; Music theatre; Contemporary theatre making and music performance; Multi-media performance; Contemporary theatre and performance; Political and cultural theory; Performance and devising techniques; New writing for theatre; Actor-training; Anton Chekhov and Russian and East European Theatre of the first part of the twentieth century; Theatre and science; Twentieth-century reception of tragedy; Contemporary adaptation of the Greek tragic plays; Postmodern theory and performance; theatre and fascism Contemporary British, European and American theatre; Translation, adaptation and reception; Ethics and spectatorship; Aesthetics and politics; Performance and space.

Information for international students

The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of hospitality to overseas students. Students study in a diverse and multicultural community. Students become part of a diverse postgraduate community through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT (£6,840 PT DL only)

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. For more information, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months
distance learning
36-72 months

MA by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months
distance learning
12-24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005