Theatre and Performance
The Department of Theatre offers supervisory expertise in a wide range of subject areas, including early modern theatre and performance practices, 19th- and 20th-century theatre and performance histories and practices, contemporary British theatre, adaptation and translation of theatre and performance, contemporary performance practices, performance archives, dance histories and practices, the role of the body in performance, philosophy and performance.
The department has particular strengths in historical research and practice-as-research. We offer the opportunity for practice-based projects as well as projects based in the archives of the Theatre Collection, an accredited museum and archive service housed in the department. The Theatre Collection is the second-largest theatre archive collection in the UK with particular strengths in theatre in the South West; 19th-century theatre; post-Second World War theatre; live and performance art; scenery and costume design; and theatrical or related artwork.
Should research proposals span various disciplines, a supervisory team will be assembled across departments and faculties to meet the needs of the project. Alongside faculty training opportunities, all first-year research students benefit from departmental training seminars covering critical and professional issues.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across four years (full-time, minimum period of study three years), culminating in an 80,000-word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.
The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,665 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,332 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £20,100 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2023. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of theatre and performance; some graduates take up careers in directing and producing.
Meet our supervisors
The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.
There is a lively postgraduate community in the department, which shares research through regular reading groups, and symposia of current postgraduate research, and sharings of performance and research work in progress.
The department has a programme of research seminars and public talks, and strong partnerships with regional theatre and performance companies and arts organisations.
Beyond the department, students participate in interdisciplinary research clusters, centres and institutes, working with colleagues across the University and the South West.
Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions
- +44 (0) 117 428 2296