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Postgraduate

MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Daniel Imode
BA (Hons) Acting and Performance, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chin-Tung Wu
College
Wimbledon College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
15 months (full time)

MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice at Wimbledon College of Arts explores contemporary theatre and performance as practices of cultural critique, social protest and political intervention.

Course overview

MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice focuses on cultural politics and critical aesthetics in contemporary performance. The course emphasises socially and politically engaged practices and methods of enquiry and encourages creative outcomes that tackle social justice issues.

Your approach to performance, politics, and social justice should be a practical one. A studio-based learning environment will enable you to focus on making performance.

The course wants you to:

  • think critically about the cultural politics of your performance-making
  • place your work in the context of global and local political challenges
  • look at how your work addresses social, racial and climate justice
  • re-imagine the possibilities of theatre and performance.

Wimbledon aims to provide fertile ground for the formation of new socially and politically engaged performance practices and collectives. The course will encourage you to become a confident artist, activist, and researcher.

What to expect

  • To investigate the opportunities and challenges posed by socially and politically engaged theatre and performance practices.
  • To consider performance-making as activism and cultural critique.
  • To approach performance as a form of enquiry and mode of knowledge production.
  • To cultivate collaborative working opportunities across postgraduate courses at Wimbledon. 
  • To learn about creative research methods through practical workshops, lectures and seminars.
  • To enhance your understanding of the collaborative nature of performance. This will further enable you to build ideas, proposals, and events with other performance makers.
  • To undertake peer and self-directed learning.
  • To produce a research dissertation.
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities.

Key elements introduced on the course are:

  • collaborative making
  • compositional practices for social justice
  • critical and conceptual thinking
  • dramaturgical practices of performance protest
  • engaging audiences, communities, and publics
  • interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods and practices
  • social justice and interventionist theatre practices
  • critical and political enquiry
  • politically and socially engaged performance practice
  • project conceptualisation, design, and development
  • practice-based performance research
  • researching social justice partnerships and collaborations needed for effective interventions
  • visual and embodied performance-making skills.

Mode of study

MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Unit 1: Creative and critical methods

In this unit you will engage with the critical and creative practices of performance research and theatre making. You will look at creative and critical methods of artistic enquiry and examine the relationship between politics and aesthetics as ways of seeing. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of performance as an expanded field and provide context for the development of your social justice practice.

Unit 2: Cultural political practice

The unit will enhance the development of your creative research and critical methods. It will enable you to focus on the modes of practice required to facilitate your socially and politically engaged theatre and performance making and thinking. You will conceive and, where possible, undertake a performance intervention designed to achieve a social justice outcome.

Unit 3: Collaboration

The unit will enable you to extend your collaborative, compositional and research skills. You will work with other MA Performance courses, MA Theatre and Performance Design, or outside your discipline. Projects will seek to develop cross-disciplinary perspectives on some of the global challenges of the time such as climate change, sustainable development and migration. You will also address a key question of primary concern to performance-making as a social justice practice.

Unit 4: Performance research

In the final unit you will complete a self-directed individual, collaborative, or collective project. The ideas for this will come from the critical and creative interventions explored in previous units.

Note: 120 Credits must be passed before the final unit is undertaken.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Collaborative work
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Collective projects
  • Independent practice
  • Introductions and inductions to university, college, and course resources
  • Investigative seminars
  • Lectures and visiting speaker events
  • Performance studio practice
  • Practical performance projects
  • Practical workshops
  • Performance analysis of live theatre and digital screenings
  • Performance research labs
  • Peer and self-directed learning
  • Project based learning
  • Dramaturgical interventions
  • Staff and student led seminars and discussions
  • Studio, external venue, and other visits
  • Supervised rehearsals
  • Site/and or community fieldwork
  • Use of resource venues and institutions 

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree in either performance or art and design-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 and personal statement.

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:

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English language requirements)

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

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages, with written reflections and images indicating your role and crediting the work (include titles and context of where it was shown).
  • Critical review(s) of performances you have found instructive, insightful and illuminating.
  • Performance study of an event, critical framework, or production analysis representative of your performative thinking.
  • Pages and images from performance-making journals, sketchbooks and notebooks.
  • Evidence of commitment to working collaboratively.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following question:

Introduce yourself. Talk about a performance you have been involved in making. Please indicate your role, title of the work and context it was shown in.

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 and selection

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

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/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. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Apply

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

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages, with written reflections and images indicating your role and crediting the work (include titles and context of where it was shown).
  • Critical review(s) of performances you have found instructive, insightful and illuminating.
  • Performance study of an event, critical framework, or production analysis representative of your performative thinking.
  • Pages and images from performance-making journals, sketchbooks and notebooks.
  • Evidence of commitment to working collaboratively.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following question:

Introduce yourself. Talk about a performance you have been involved in making. Please indicate your role, title of the work and context it was shown in.

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 and selection

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

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/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. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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