Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Performance: Screen

Two people looking at a camera monitor
Fabio Modonutti and Victoria Gong MAPS 2022. Photo by: Ali
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2024
Course length
Two years (60 weeks) Extended full-time

MA Performance: Screen supports you to define your voice and strategy as an independent film maker and screen-based performance maker.

Apply to start in September 2024

This course has places available for UK applicants only. We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2024/25 entry to this course. International applications for 2025/26 entry will open in Autumn 2024.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

This course supports you to define your voice and strategy as an independent film maker and screen-based performance maker. It is part of the Performance programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Innovative: This is the first postgraduate course in the UK for hybrid moving image and performance practice
  • Interdisciplinary: We have a broad and inclusive approach to performance and moving image, constantly questioning the boundaries of genre and looking to their future in an increasingly digitally mediated era
  • Ideas led: Encouraging a holistic yet flexible approach to the relationship between theory and practice, we support you to find your voice
  • Skills focused: The course emphasises the development of your professional screen skills within an experimental and collaborative studio context.

Open days

There are currently no open days scheduled for this course, please check back at a later date.

Recordings

Watch a recording of the recent MA Performance: Screen open day.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Course overview

The Performance programme at Central Saint Martins takes a radical, interdisciplinary, experimental, and frequently collaborative approach to performance-making. The work produced is political, free-thinking, and inclusive. It encompasses live performance, moving image, critical theory, socially engaged practice, choreography, scenography, dramaturgy, performance writing, animation, and immersive technologies.

MA Performance: Screen offers an experimental, open, and discursive framework in which to explore the convergent mediums of performance and moving image via critical thinking and experimental studio practice. Students are encouraged to situate their work within the context of the wider social, political, and economic realities of contemporary visual culture and interrogate how images are encountered, produced, and consumed. Specifically aimed at interdisciplinary moving image and performance makers, the course supports an expanding field of practice across performance art, artists’ moving image, expanded cinema, experimental film, participatory practice, documentary, community cinema, and post-internet art to encourage new approaches and methodologies of making, processes, and outcomes.

The course promotes the acquisition of practical production skills.  These include single and multi-camera directing and dramaturgy, cinematography, lighting, choreography / blocking for camera, sound recording, editing and colour grading. The course is structured to simultaneously help students to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of relevant critical discourses including theories of performativity, mediation, and representation. Project outputs on the course might include single or multiscreen narrative works, site-specific installations, hybrid documentaries, experimental films, performance lectures, and online and immersive moving image projects.

Our student body and teaching team come from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds. As a community, we are deeply committed to the idea that diverse environments are the most vibrant creatively and we actively celebrate difference. As a programme, we encourage creative risk-taking by cultivating a supportive and accepting environment in which unique individual and collective perspectives can develop. We believe in the potential for performance to change the society in which we all live.

On leaving the course, MA Performance: Screen graduates will be prepared for a variety of careers in the performance and screen industries.  They will have the agility and confidence to diversify and respond to the demands of the current climate. The course takes a broad and creative view of performance and moving image, supporting progression into a variety of singular or portfolio careers in performance and moving image. You may go on to doctoral research, choose to work within contemporary art or film production, theatre, live events, art and design, photography, screenwriting, festival programming or curation.

We are committed to developing ethical performance screen practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course. 

Course units

Central Saint Martins is a site of intense cultural production, generating critical practice which frequently crosses discipline boundaries and intersects with areas of image-making, society and politics.

Working from an initial understanding of the critical histories, social and political contexts and drivers for performance and moving image practice, you will progress through a variety of technical and production processes based on the experience of independent and collaborative making. This will culminate in a final point of realisation which is supported by critical analysis and reflection.

Central Saint Martins, as a college community, seeks to prioritise the urgencies relating to: identities and equity, climate ecologies, and publics and commons. In particular, that our community of staff and students actively pursue change in their sphere of influence that will impact and improve social justice, climate sustainability and cultural democracy. These are reflected in research themes across the college and in the College’s programme of course development. The MA Performance: Screen course sits within this environment and is motivated by these themes.

The course is structured into six units. This complete learning arc offers intense moments of individual and group production and project work.  The programme works with our Knowledge Exchange team to source opportunities for off-site collaboration. Optional units midway through the course support you in choosing where to place your emphasis.

Unit 1: Film Practices (20 credits)

The initial practice block grounds you in the technical and practical aspects of single-camera audio-visual production. It encourages an expansion of knowledge through collaborative experimentation with different ideas and processes relating to camera, body and space. This unit will provide opportunity to develop skills in camera operation and cinematography, sound recording, lighting for video, editing, colour grading and audio post-production via practical workshops and conceptual experimentation. Privileging the body, outcomes for this unit might include experiments in live art, video-streaming, dance films, performance lectures or other forms of expanded cinema.


Unit 2: Cultures and Contexts (20 credits)

The emphasis then shifts to ideas around film form and individual approaches to the creation and production of lens-based performance and moving image work.  This enables you to develop a greater understanding of storytelling, narrative, and film language. This Unit explores the wider conditions of global visual culture and interrogating how images are encountered, produced, and consumed. Outcomes for this unit might include single screen short films, multiscreen installations, or immersive, VR (Virtual Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence), gaming or other online projects. Unit 2 engages students with the expanding field for film and non-conventional forms. Exploding the potential of narrative and the experiences of time. The unit also provides opportunity for the public sharing of work.


Unit 3: Creation and Production (40 credits)

This unit introduces the contexts and critical values of new, contemporary and established screen formats via the analysis of key concepts and debates concerning the body and its relationship to film and video. Your understanding of the history and theory of performance and moving image is developed through a weekly programme of critical and historical studies lectures and interactive talks with guest practitioners. You will submit an individual written or audio-visual essay about a critical topic of your choice. This unit establishes the expectation that research interweaves with practice to support awareness of creative opportunity.


Unit 4: Option Units (40 credits) Choose either: 4a: Community and Collaboration or 4b: Practice in Context

Unit 4 runs across the final term of Year 1 and the first term of Year 2. Core teaching encourages and facilitates students in gathering experience and evidence of learning from independent enquiry (practice) and by engaging with external communities in the making and public presentation of work. The two options are to pursue either applied participatory practices or engage with focused research themes.

The Community and Collaboration option considers ideas around performativity, activism, ethical representation, and models of participatory practice. It focuses on how contemporary moving image can reframe relationships between filmmaker and subject. You will collectively interrogate how stories about and with publics are performed, authored, and disseminated to audiences within and beyond the community in question. Outcomes for this elective might include participatory films, lens-based performance/ installation works, filmmaking workshops, multi-camera live streamed events or other forms of visual research.

The Practice in Context option considers a body of moving image or lens-based performance work of your choice. The unit asks you to critically evaluate and contextualise through an extended research document or equivalent in negotiation with the unit tutor.  The research focus should complement your individual Major Project. The unit provides the opportunity to develop a larger set of questions and ideas using skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired over the course.

Unit 5: Major Project (60 credits)

The Major Project builds on your individual interest and knowledge acquired from previous units to produce a significant body of work. You will conduct in-depth research and experimentation and exercise creative authorship through narrative composition, storytelling, sited practice, and editing. On completion of the unit, you will be able to evidence a strong understanding of potential audiences, choreographies of distribution and circulation as well as the ability to critically self-evaluate your work.

Important note concerning academic progression through your course: If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students. 

Mode of study

MA Performance: Screen is offered as an extended full-time course which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years between September and June. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study and your making practice, which includes teaching time and independent study, to facilitate part-time employment, work placements and caring 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 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 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.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include:

  • Group ‘orientation’ exercises
  • Unit briefings and introductions
  • Reading tasks
  • Skills workshops
  • Technical instruction and demonstration
  • Self and peer critical evaluation
  • Personal and peer tutorials
  • Lectures and co-curated programme of guest speakers
  • Independent Learning Team projects
  • Lens-based performance making strategies
  • Facilitation and participation workshops
  • Opportunities to collaborate externally

Student work

Trailer: Anna Drozd, Russian Roulette

Trailer: Haowen Chen, Stay Leave

Trailer: Maryam Hassanein, Lost in Time

Trailer: Dove Che, Falling into the Great Void

Trailer: Jirui Han, TAPSPIRIN

Trailer: Branca Peixoto, Presence of Absence

Trailer: Fabio Modonutti, Whispers of the Land

Trailer: Jirui Han, Sound Trap

Coursework: Maryam Hassanein Mohamed

Trailer: Dove Che, The Echo of Samsara

Facilities

Staff

Associate Lecturer: Dr Alex Fletcher
Associate Lecturer: Dr Jane Stokes
Specialist Technician Projection Mapping: Dimitrios Coumados

Fees and funding

Home fee

£6,980 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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

£18,350 per year

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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 course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds. Applicants are expected to demonstrate sufficient prior knowledge of and/or potential in performance and/or moving image practices to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and/ or have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject.

Applicants are most likely to come from disciplines that might include: performance and performance design, film and video, fine art, photography, theatre and dance, media or film studies, fashion, architecture, anthropology, or areas of interdisciplinary creative practice. This course is intended for those who want to pursue specialism in moving image and screen-related performance.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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
  • A portfolio of creative practice
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • Or a combination of these factors

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

English language requirements

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

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Prior experience and creative practice in performance and/ or moving image or a relevant arts discipline, evidenced through the portfolio submission.
  • A capacity for self-directed learning, self-reflection and potential for the development of practice-based research, evidenced within the personal statement.
  • A knowledge and critical understanding of contexts of cultural and social relevance specific to own area of practice.
  • Appropriate communication skills and a willingness to support others within the learning community.

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request

Round 2:

7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request
7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

This course is still open to applications from UK students and will remain open until 31 July or until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request

Round 2:

7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request
7 days after digital portfolio and/or video task request
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

We are no longer accepting applications to this course for 2024/25 entry from international applicants. Applications for 2025/26 entry will open in autumn 2024.

Read more about deadlines

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words 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.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 10 pages
  • include a wide range of examples such as videos, audio, images and documentation, etc.
  • include annotations to give context to your work. If any of your work was completed as a group, please explain your role
  • focus on aspects of your practice that relate to your interest in filmmaking, digital performance or moving image.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.