Research course

Performance Practice

University of Exeter · Drama

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Entry requirements

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in Drama, Theatre Practice or a related subject, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

Learn more at the entry requirements page.

Months of entry

January, April, September

Course content

The MPhil/PhD in Performance Practice offers you an opportunity to extend and reflect on your creative performance practice. The area of study is entirely dependent upon your expertise, and could include playwriting, acting, directing, physical theatre, dance theatre, music theatre, or music performance.

The major part of your PhD will be a series of creative projects designed to interrogate the research objectives of your chosen practice. Each creative project will be accompanied by an analytical commentary of normally no more than 10,000 words. Normally, the written commentaries and introductory material for a PhD in Performance Practice extend to 40,000 words.

The Drama Department offers a supportive and stimulating environment for postgraduate research and practice, welcoming students from all parts of the world. You will have access to expert specialist supervision - many members of staff undertake practice-as-research - and excellent practical resources. Technical guidance and support in digital media can be offered, where appropriate.

The Department benefits from close collaborations with the wider theatre industry from the Globe Theatre to Punchdrunk, local and national theatre companies, as well as public sector bodies such as hospitals, prisons and schools.

Department specialisms

The relationship between theory and practice (praxis) between actor and character; The politics of Shakespeare and English drama; Dramaturgy and writing for performance; Actor and performer training; Vocal practice; Gender and performance; Ancient Greek performance; The theory of performance and interculturalism; Political and popular theatre; Applied theatre in the community; Performance art, new media, and bioart; Theatre and music / music theatre; Site-specific and site-sensitive performance; Auto-performance and autobiography; Theatre and mental health; Eastern European theatre; Theatre and religion; Research in theatre direction, acting and playwriting

Information for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,400 (full-time) £2,200 (part-time)
International students
£16,400 (full-time)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    part time
    48-60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    part time
    72-84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0) 1392 725306