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MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance

College
WIMBLEDON
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year

Course begins in September 2021

Recruitment will start in Autumn 2020.

MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts enables you to develop your critical and creative practices to an advanced level, encouraging you to become an increasingly confident and articulate artist and researcher. 

This course offers a choice between 3 pathways: Making, Politics and Philosophy, and Writing.

This course is subject to validation. Validation is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During validation there maybe be some changes to course content and structure. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Course overview

You are invited to re-imagine the possibilities of theatre and performance and to expand your field of practice accordingly.

Within the context of each pathway specialisation, the course design offers a distinctive focus on collaboration and the development of multi-disciplinary practices, providing fertile ground for the formation of new theatre companies and performance collectives.

Making

This pathway encourages the development of innovative compositional strategies for performance-making as an embodied material practice, both in ensemble, collaborative and individual contexts. You are encouraged to think critically about your performance-making and place it in the context of the contemporary performance culture within which it is situated.

Politics and Philosophy

This pathway foregrounds socially and politically-engaged practices and methods of enquiry, enabling you to explore contemporary theatre and performance as modes of cultural critique, social protest and political intervention. It focuses on the materiality of performance as a creative critical practice and stresses the inter-relationship between aesthetic and political ways of seeing, thinking, and doing. You are encouraged to think critically about your theatre-thinking and place it in the context of the contemporary political culture within which it is situated.

Writing

This pathway enables you to develop your critical and creative practices to an advanced level, encouraging you to become an increasingly confident and articulate writer and researcher. You will investigate experimental dramaturgies and emergent forms of performance composition focusing on the materiality of text as both spoken word (through voice, narrative, drama) and as the writing of the visual scene (through direction, choreography, scenography). You are encouraged to think critically about your performance writing and place it in the context of the contemporary performance culture within which it is situated.

What to expect

  • To investigate the opportunities and challenges posed by the development of new theatre and performance practices, technologies, histories and critical perspectives
  • To consider performance as a mode and form of enquiry as well as a set of dramaturgical skills and compositional strategies to be acquired
  • To be part of a learning environment which foregrounds the importance of integrated working across postgraduate courses at Wimbledon
  • To be introduced to research methods through practical workshops, lectures and seminars
  • To enhance your understanding of the collaborative nature of theatre practice, so that you will be able to build ideas, proposals and events with other theatre and performance makers (such as designers and creative producers) as well as other practitioners (artists, scientists, social scientists)
  • To establish a partnership with a professional mentor
  • To develop a final project based on an area of personal research to be presented in a public performance platform or published in an appropriate equivalent environment
  • To produce a research dissertation
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

Mode of study

MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

A short description of what you can expect.

Unit 1: Critical and Creative Methods

In this unit you will engage with the critical and creative practices of performance research and theatre-making and with transdisciplinary methods of artistic enquiry.

You will investigate the methods relevant to your chosen to form a distinctive practice-based view of the discipline and develop your area of critical and creative enquiry.

Importantly, you will be invited to work with, and through, the compositional practices of contemporary theatre and the methodological practices of conducting performance research.

Opportunities will be provided for you to explore and develop various forms of ideas-generation, problem solving, compositional development, communication and dissemination.

Unit 2: Practice

The following unit will enhance the development of your creative research and compositional methods, enabling you to focus on the modes of practice required to facilitate your chosen pathway.

You will bring your prototype project to realisation whilst reflecting upon and analysing relevant case studies within the field, responding to and challenging established modes of practice.

Unit 3: Collaboration

This unit will require you to extend your collaborative, compositional and research skills through engaging in a cross-, inter- or trans- disciplinary enquiry with peer colleagues from other pathways, from MA Theatre and Production Design, or from outside your discipline.

All MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance students will engage in cross-course, multi-disciplinary project(s) with peers on other pathways and programmes. Outcomes will be presented in the form of performances, performed lectures, live interventions and visual and written evidence showing the final project whilst evidencing the collaborative nature of the process.

At this stage, students will also be encouraged to establish a partnership with an appropriate professional mentor.

Unit 4: Research and Realisation

In the final unit you will complete a self-directed individual, collaborative or ensemble project developed out of the critical and creative practices explored during previous units.

You will refine a research question within your principal area of exploration that motivates the final project and then construct appropriate ways to present it. The final project will be shown in a public performance platform or published in an appropriate equivalent environment. This may also include other work produced throughout the year.

Your professional mentor may assist the academic project supervisor in critiquing the ideas for the final project; helping to evaluate the work’s progress at a mid-stage; assisting in addressing its significance within the wider research field and providing an industry-based reaction to its effectiveness.

You will also produce an accompanying piece of scholarly work addressing the questions, methods and modes of practice in the form of a research dissertation.

Key elements introduced to participants studying on all pathways will be:

  • Compositional practices
  • Dramaturgical practices of performance protest
  • Collaborative making
  • Critical and conceptual thinking
  • Engaging audiences and publics
  • Researching partnerships and collaborations

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree in either art and design or drawing-related disciplines, including social and other sciences or engineering
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Evidence of a clear commitment to approaching theatre-making as a mode of critical investigation and creative experiment, demonstrating the ability to communicate ideas in performance forms and in writing
  • Evidence of an ability to work in an ensemble and to develop collaborative practices, demonstrating respect for other people’s ideas, personhood and cultural identity
  • Evidence of creative problem solving and sustained critical thinking, and willingness to explore new performance forms and innovative theatre practices
  • Evidence of an ability to conduct performance research through critical and creative practice

Making your application

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience

Course begins in September 2021.

External Student Transfer Policy:

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

A portfolio of performance writing and documentation to include:

  • Evidence of at least one on-going creative practice (e.g. acting, directing, dramaturgy, solo or collaborative performance making, creative writing, socially/politically engaged practice, live art, etc)
  • Evidence of at least one on-going critical practice (e.g. essays, reviews, blog or journal entries)
  • The portfolio may include texts, photographs, short videos, sound files, etc.

Please be selective and put only your best work forward for consideration.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Interview

You will be expected to bring this portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the interview. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

More details about your interview will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for Home/EU applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • In person at Wimbledon College of Arts
  • By phone or Skype

If you choose phone or Skype your mini portfolio that you uploaded via UAL’s online portfolio review system will be used during the interview.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Please note that applications made to this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Course begins in September 2021.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

External Student Transfer Policy:

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

A portfolio of performance writing and documentation to include:

  • Evidence of at least one on-going creative practice (e.g. acting, directing, dramaturgy, solo or collaborative performance making, creative writing, socially/politically engaged practice, live art, etc)
  • Evidence of at least one on-going critical practice (e.g. essays, reviews, blog or journal entries)
  • The portfolio may include texts, photographs, short videos, sound files, etc.

Please be selective and put only your best work forward for consideration.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Interview

You will be expected to bring this portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academic conducting the interview. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for international applications are available in a variety of different ways:

  • By phone or Skype
  • In your country, if your application was made through one of our official representatives
  • In person at Wimbledon College of Arts

If you choose phone or Skype your mini portfolio that you uploaded via UAL’s online portfolio review system will be used during the interview.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Please note that applications made to this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.


Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£11,220 (2020/21).

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

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