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Postgraduate

MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice

Daniel Imode behind the counter in a cafe.
Daniel Imode
BA (Hons) Acting and Performance, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Chin-Tung Wu
College
Wimbledon College of Arts
Start date
September 2022
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.

Subject to validation

This course is undergoing validation. This is the process by which we ensure the course provides a high quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Course overview

The MA Performance: Politics and Social Justice course offers a distinct focus on the inter-relationship between politics and aesthetics. It foregrounds socially and politically engaged practices and methods of enquiry.

Performance at Wimbledon is approached through questions of ethics, politics and philosophy as well as specific modes of practice. The course asks you to examine these questions through practical investigation, cultural intervention and aesthetic experimentation. You will approach performance, politics and philosophy primarily as practices of active doing and making rather than simply a site of speculative thinking.

The course invites you to re-imagine the possibilities of theatre and performance as an expanded field. You will be encouraged to think critically about your performance-making and theatre-thinking. You will be asked to place it in the context of contemporary political culture and social and climate justice.

The course will encourage you to become a confident and articulate artist, activist and researcher. It aims to provide fertile ground for the formation of new performance companies and collectives.

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 and practitioners
  • 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

Key elements introduced to students on the course:

  • Collaborative making
  • Compositional practices for performance and politics
  • Critical and conceptual thinking
  • Dramaturgical practices of performance protest
  • Engaging audiences, communities and publics
  • Inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research methods and practices
  • Interventionist practices  
  • Philosophical and political enquiry
  • Politically and socially engaged performance practice
  • Project conceptualisation, design and development
  • Practice-based performance research
  • Researching partnerships and collaborations needed for effective interventions
  • Visual, vocal and embodied performance 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.

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

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Unit 1: Critical and creative methods

You will engage with the critical and creative practices of performance research and theatre-making. You will look at transdisciplinary methods of artistic, philosophical and political enquiry.

This will enable you to develop an advanced understanding of contemporary theatre and performance as an expanded field of political and philosophical practice.

You will investigate the performance research and transdisciplinary aesthetic-political methods relevant to your chosen focus. You will form a distinctive practice-based view of the discipline. You will develop your area of critical and creative intervention and enquiry.

These research methods will be introduced through practical workshops, lectures and seminars. They will set out the processes of contemporary artistic intervention and the dynamics of performance research. You will be invited to work with, and through, the compositional practices of making contemporary performance interventions and the methodological practices of conducting performance research.

You will participate in a series of workshops to develop the performance skills and dramaturgical methods required to produce artistic projects and develop concrete artistic interventions.

The project development will be structured to engage with emergent social and political situations. They will identify opportunities for intervention within the field of practice, but also require you to apply and test research questions.

You will develop an interventionist frame for creative practice within the peer group. This will culminate in a group critical reflective activity addressing the viability of the proposed projects and the establishment of productive ways of working.

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

Unit 2: Cultural political practice

The unit will enhance the development of your creative research and compositional methods. This will enable you to focus on the modes of practice required to facilitate your socially and politically engaged theatre and performance practice.

With a politics and philosophy focus, you will be acquiring, developing and refining the critical and practical skills and aesthetic-political competencies required to develop and deliver your intervention. You will be honing the essential dynamics of creative and collaborative practice.

You will bring your developmental project to an appropriate form of realisation. You will reflect upon and analyse relevant case studies. You will also respond to and challenge established modes of practice.

Unit 3: Collaboration

The unit will enable you to extend your collaborative, compositional and research skills through engaging in a cross-, inter- or trans- disciplinary enquiry with other MA Performance courses, MA Theatre and Production Design, or outside your discipline.

This will enable you to look outwards from, and across, the broad spectrum of performance practices. It will allow you to address a key question in the wide range of topics of primary concern to performance as a critical cultural practice.

The unit will enhance your understanding of the collaborative nature of performance research and practice. This will enable you to build ideas, proposals and events with other theatre artists and performance makers as well as other practitioners.

All MA Performance students will engage in cross-course, multi-disciplinary projects with peers from their own and other 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.

You will be encouraged to engage with a community of practice. This will allow you to explore the graduate attributes needed to negotiate, collaborate and communicate through dialogue at an advanced level.

Periodic critiques, peer review and active discussion will monitor the development of practice and research throughout the unit.

Unit 4: Research and realisation

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

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

Students will produce an accompanying piece of scholarly work addressing the questions, methods and modes of practice investigated by the performance research project.

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

Learning and teaching methods

  • Collaborative work
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Ensemble projects
  • Independent practice
  • Performance skills development
  • Critical practice training
  • Introductions and inductions to university, college and course resources
  • Investigative seminars
  • Lectures and visiting speaker talks
  • Performance studio practice
  • Practical performance projects
  • Practical workshops
  • Performance analysis of live theatre and digital screenings
  • Performance research labs
  • Project based learning
  • Staff and student led seminars and discussions
  • Studio, external venue and other visits
  • Use of resource venues and institutions

Assessment methods

  • Critical and creative portfolios
  • Essays
  • Live presentations - pitches, proposals, papers
  • Performance interventions
  • Scenario planning
  • Performed and digital essays
  • Process workbooks and reflective journals
  • Ensemble contribution and reflective analysis
  • Project proposals, plans and reports
  • Written and performed dissertations

Staff

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

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

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

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should demonstrate your creative and critical engagement with performance practices and processes.

This could include, for example:

  • Selected photographs (maximum 30), short video clips (maximum 5 minutes), and written reflections about a performance you have been involved in making
  • 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 thinking
  • Pages and images from performance-making journals, sketchbooks and notebooks
  • Evidence of commitment to working collaboratively
  • Any written work will have to be uploaded as an image

You should not include recorded audition pieces or overly-long performance extracts. This may jeopardise your application. You should only include work that can be verified as your own.

Making your application

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

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.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

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 receipt of your digital portfolio, you will be invited to attend an online interview.

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:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, 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.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

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.

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.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

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 receipt of your digital portfolio, you will be invited to attend an online interview.

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:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, 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.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,550

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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

£23,610

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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.

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