MA Performance Design and Practice will address your learning as a whole. This encompasses the relationship between your ideas, research methods, chosen form and contexts of your practice. Principally, we will support your learning through the invention and development of a final project.
Central to the course is the recognition of international models of practice. These have significantly informed debates surrounding definitions, functions and roles within performance making. These debates have spawned key practitioners, organisations, events, critical texts and seminal works. You will be expected to study and reference these in relation to your own practice. You will also be encouraged to engage with concepts of site, and space, both physical, digital and virtual reality.
Unit 1: Practice in Context
This unit will help you focus your individual practice and to better articulate your concerns. Your development will be supported by regular seminars led by course tutors or visiting practitioners. You will focus on methodologies in the creation, contextualisation and evaluation of performance. You will be introduced to fundamental critical and research skills. You will examine specific theoretical approaches and research routes in relation to performance. Through site visits and critical-thinking seminars, you will develop a critical language. This will allow you to articulate contextual knowledge of the work of others in relation to your own practice.
Unit 2: Collaborative Practice
The second part of the course focuses on your conceptual and practical abilities. You will develop the collaborative skills and knowledge required to create performance in the professional realm. During this unit, you will be asked to engage in a collaborative project – this could be a single extended project or a series of shorter projects.
Overall, this unit gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in the initiation, resource management, marketing and presentation of performance.
Unit 3: Independent Project
This final part of the course will ask you to unite your ideas and research methods to a level of resolution. You will be required to generate a body of independent practice for presentation, alongside a written document. These outcomes combine to reflect your conceptual, practical and professional abilities.
Critical skills and methodologies
This course will develop your critical and research skills, as well as your knowledge of relevant research methods. You will focus on practice-based research, with particular emphasis on the theories underpinning the work of key modernist and post-modern practitioners. Developing your critical thinking alongside practice-based experimentation will help inform your work. For example, it may influence its structure, context and form of communication. The course also aims to facilitate greater insight into debates around contemporary art and performance.
Independence and professional preparation
MA Performance Design and Practice encourages independent study. This is the dominant focus of the second year, which is supported by seminars and discussions. You are provided with a supervisor or mentor appropriate to guiding the progress of your individual study programme.
These opportunities will consolidate thinking around contextual influences and drivers in your practice. In addition, the independent project combines practical work with research. This reflects the wide diversity of individual concerns and purposes on the course.
Mode of study
MA Performance Design and Practice is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.
The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.