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Postgraduate

MA Performance: Society

A small crowd of people in costume look towards a cloud of smoke in front of a building

College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2022
Course length
2 years (part-time) - low residency or online

MA Performance: Society explores radical, socially engaged performance through live, screen-based and sited practice.

Applications closed 2022/23

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

This course is part of the Performance programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Inter and transdisciplinary activism: performance making and participatory arts that undertake to be actually, rather than symbolically, socially engaged
  • Context-driven: The course caters for learning and experience in relation to you as an individual. Through self-organised practice and student-led initiatives, the course will help you to build a sustainable, independent practice
  • Flexible online interactive and face to face learning: The course creates a globally dispersed international community of students. The structure and timescale enable a particular pace of development, encouraging risk-taking and reflection and integration in your practice, as well as allowing you to balance other life and work commitments.
  • International education: The course is linked to a formal network of international partners co-operating on joint learning events and initiatives that enhance the curriculum.

Open days

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

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Course overview

Facilities

Course overview

MA Performance: Society critically explores the conventional boundaries between art, performance, screen, theatre and activism. It recognises that you, the performance maker, can be an agent for change in relation to local places and challenges. The course examines how performance, and its methodologies can provoke debate, build community and make lasting change.

MA Performance: Society is aimed at students who are interested in participatory arts, socially engaged arts, applied theatre, site-specific, site-responsive performance, moving image, live arts, scenography and performance in the expanded field.  CSM, as a College community, seeks to prioritise the urgencies relating to; identities and equity, climate ecologies, and publics and commons. The Performance: Society course recognises that its students will seek to contribute to collective efforts to address the urgencies faced by their community in a particular place as well as the global context. 

Teaching and learning encompass the relationship between ideas, process and context. Taking into consideration their personal lens, students will create a learning environment where complex social, cultural and artistic viewpoints can be explored.

Whilst studying and practicing on the course, you will engage with a range of theoretical and practice-orientated approaches, political and ethical positions, and methods of performance-making in relation to contextual settings.  Our focus is on student-centred learning, bringing your work to the critical scrutiny of the academic setting.

Students completing this postgraduate award will be able to: 

  • Make situated practice considerate of social and ethical responsibilities
  • Negotiate the complex relationship between context, practice and communication
  • Synthesise practical, research, evaluative and reflective skills.

The course promotes interdisciplinary practices that critically explore the conventional boundaries between art, performance, screen, theatre, place-making and activism. It recognises that the performance maker can be an agent for change in relation to local places and communities. It prioritises participation through activism, re-enactment, collaboration, imaginative hybridity and narrative (de)framing; forms of reverie, exploring place and senses of belonging. 

Performance is conceived in three realms: organisational, cultural, and technological. It is expected that a performer’s practice will be developed or refined and that skills will be gained through engagement with the course, but the main arc of the curriculum centres on context, process, and reflection. The skills required will be different for each individual student: devising, facilitation, and camera will be taught online through live and recorded workshops. The content of the curriculum will focus on interdisciplinary creative practice, workshop and facilitation strategies, and compositional tactics that enable development and learning through performance, as a priority, rather than the completed outcome.

Intercultural co-operation and international exchange through Shared Campus 

This is a part-time course delivered through a blend of online teaching, intensive workshops, international teaching exchange, and independent projects. The anticipated student community will have a broad international reach. The course encourages you to draw from your communities of practice and interests and engage with wider transnational networks through the Shared Campus.  

Shared Campus has a range of thematic areas within which multiple views and practices are exchanged: 

  • Cultures, histories and futures: genealogies, traditions and visions of the future; reflections on post-globalised identities through artistic lenses to sharpen transcultural sensitivity
  • Social transformation: change for and about the self and / or those people, organisations and systems that are nearby
  • Critical ecologies: response to ecological emergencies through artistic and political actions, convening multiple voices, for the sake of sustainability and agency
  • Pop cultures: the driving force in the contemporisation and innovation of cultures. Pop is a sphere where politics, identities, and social questions are negotiated
  • Creative technologies: tools and methods of making and remaking that provide the primary focus for creative discovery, representation or craft
  • Shared Campus is a source of international communities of practice that is relevant to this new course.

Contact us

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

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course dates

Year 1

Term 1: 3 October 2022 – 9 December, 2022
Term 2: 9 January 2023 – 25 March, 2023
Term 3: 17 April 2023 – 30 June, 2023
Term 4: 3 July 2023 – 8 September, 2023

Year 2

Term 5: 2 October 2023 - 15 December 2023
Term 6: 15 January 2023 - 30 August 2023

Course units

MA Performance: Society creates a space for you to challenge and shape your creative practice around contextual issues, social practice and political frameworks. It aims to engage with community and place, addressing how artistic practice can be an active agent of change.

The course intention is to promote and support the development of reflective, responsible creative encounters that have relevance to a place, a circumstance, and a moment. MA Performance: Society offers an environment where complex social, cultural and artistic viewpoints are explored through the lens of the individual and their context. 

The course is simply structured to develop your curiosity and processes of enquiry from an initial understanding of context and contextual drivers for performance, through an analysis of process based on the experience of making (independently as well as with others) to a point of realisation supported by critical reflection. The course includes 20 credits that you select from three possible elective units. This element of the course specifically supports international learning mobility and exchange; offering students to engage directly with international partners through the Shared Campus network. 

The first block of units explores context and develops learning through direct engagement with and research about the nature of place, identity, community and action.

Unit 1: Place Identity 

The start of the course is focused on your community, and your personal lens looking at location and place as a field for active and creative research. It asks eachindividual to share personal perspectives and sense of the local in relation to physical, psychological and cultural spaces. The unit initiates the exchange of intra-local conversations and encourages practice and enquiry as a mode of research.

Unit 2: Community 

You will start to explore strategies for building and understanding community through both debate and initial approaches to making or processing content. The theme of the unit is how performance in action can generate and extend the experience of community. These early initiatives are supported by group debate and through the application of practical theories and approaches to engaged practice.  

This unit considers and articulates the social and cultural context that you will respond to in Unit 3.

Unit 3: Situation 

Introduces you to storytelling as a model of performance and activism. Storytelling is a powerful tool to engage imagination, intervene in narratives and highlight the need for social change.  By adapting and developing your practice through communal storytelling you will consider form, composition, and ethical reasoning.

Unit 4: Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning (REBEL) 

(Options: Unit 4a. Collaboration and Co-operation; Unit 4b. Analysis and Insights; Unit 4c. Making and Production) 

The Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning unit supports you in building a bespoke and individually relevant programme of learning based on a mixture of lived experience, personal projects, intensive workshops, and transcultural learning exchange (Shared Campus activity). It is assessed through reflective practice and a portfolio of evidence addressing Learning Outcomes that demonstrate advanced competence in either; collaboration and co-operation, analysis and insight, or making and production.  Core teaching is the same for each of the three options. You are encouraged and supported in gathering experience and evidence of learning from independent enquiry (practice) and from engagement with international communities of practice.

Unit 5: Process 

Process is the core when we think of performance within society: how we make the work, why we make the work and for whom we make the work for. On this unit, as a group you will address considerations of audience and the nature of co-operation. You will examine how work is integrated into society not only through the outcome but also the process undertaken. An emphasis on sensitivity to content and context is key to socially engaged performance and the type of practice associated with its heritage. The emphasis of the unit is a synthesis of ideas and context to a level of resolution; your output will be scrutinised, further tested, remade and remembered throughout Unit 6.

Unit 6: Reflection and Performance 

By Unit 6, you will have gained experience of participation and co-operation with practitioners and thinkers beyond your immediate community. You will be encouraged to consider what it means to be a society in a global sense, and where community can be found or formed. 

Unit 6 focuses on a process of deepening critical enquiry and scrutiny –mostly through refinements to practice or the articulation of outcomes. Interaction with peers from the course and elsewhere becomes increasingly essential at this stage as this produces an enhanced understanding of wider contexts and possibilities.

Mode of study

MA Performance: Society is offered online in part-time mode running for 90 weeks; two academic years. You will be expected to commit 20 hours per week to study and practice which includes teaching time and independent study. A small number of intensive group workshops are scheduled into the course timetable in each year, these are typically online and stretch over two days and include weekends. Shared Campus activities include intensive workshops and short courses timetabled over two week blocks as well as events in series. Shared Campus activities are optional and should be accessed through an application process.

The course is designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. The course is for an international community of students, UK and global. The online mode combines synchronous group sessions with asynchronous working to fit your other commitments and accommodate for different time zones. Online delivery emphasises options that are as open and cross-platform as possible, using both the University’s virtual learning environment and supporting students in building their own personal learning environments. 

This course is delivered on-line. As such, a feature of the induction process is orientation around online working and scheduling to ensure that you are able to participate and engage with the course successfully from your location and in the context of your setting. The course induction includes sessions around health and safety and student well-being.

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 60 credit 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

  • Digital Learning orientation
  • Online social
  • Group on-line ‘orientation’ exercises
  • Unit briefings and introductions
  • Reading tasks
  • Online group sessions
  • Self and peer critical evaluation
  • Open forums and on-line symposia
  • Reflective journals
  • Personal and peer tutorials
  • Lectures and guest speaker (live and asynchronous)
  • Independent Learning
  • Team projects
  • Health and Safety awareness and risk management exercises.

Within the structure of the courses, students will choose one of 3 elective units.  Students will then submit a portfolio of evidence for assessment against the learning outcomes for one of these units (Collaboration and Co-operation, Analysis and Insights, Making and Production).  The purpose of these Units is to recognise independent learning through practice allowing the student to self-select their area of strength or intention related to transversal competencies. Student learning in these units is centred on reflective practice relating to structured educational events or informal and non formal learning:  

  • international workshops;
  • Shared Campus micro-teaching exchanges;
  • short courses and symposia;
  • independent learning and pro-active contribution to projects or processes beyond the classroom;
  • life-wide activities such as volunteering, community engagement, or employment.

Most teaching and peer to peer collaboration takes place through the Moodle platform including software extensions that include Microsoft, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Miro, Panopto, Padlet and Workflow. These platforms and classrooms are used for teaching and learning delivered through UAL. Students on the course are encouraged to access and participate in learning and collaborative projects involving international partners. In such circumstances, there is a wider range of platforms, classrooms and tools for peer-to- peer exchange.  There are options for campus-based teaching at UAL and campus activities that might be hosted by partner institutions and for place-based intensive workshops or residencies that connect learners both physically and through the digital realm.

Assessment methods

Assessment is focused on reflection and process-based learning. As such, you will be required to maintain a detailed portfolio of evidence. There are regular moments for self-assessment and peer-to-peer evaluation, and these will contribute to the evidence used for assessment. Assessment evidence includes:

  • Reflective blogs and video diaries
  • Documentation and presentations
  • Dissertation or Essay Films
  • Self and peer evaluation
  • Participation in debates and discussions
  • Exploration and communication of an individual programme of practice
  • Evidence based portfolios.

Unit 4 REBEL (Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning) Units (options 4a, 4b, and 4c). The digital portfolio of evidence submitted for the assessment component of teaching in any of the elective units should address the unit learning outcomes directly but should be supported by materials relating to the activities you have undertaken with contextual information referencing the significance or purpose of the activity. These units support an expanded curriculum where your experiential learning can be credited. 

Learning outcomes, throughout the course and in all units, reference the Cross-Cutting Competencies published by UNESCO (2018).

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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

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

The course should be of primary interest to practitioners with experience and candidates who have graduate-level qualifications. The course welcomes applications from mature students and from candidates with non-standard qualifications.

Applicants are likely to come from disciplines such as performance, theatre, installation art, video and time-based media, areas of design practice, the humanities, social sciences, anthropology, or from other areas of interdisciplinary creative practice.

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 or other experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference.

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 as evidenced through the application and personal statement:

  • Prior experience and creative practice evident through the portfolio;
  • Awareness of cultural and social contexts of relevance to you and your practice;
  • Appropriate communication skills and a preparedness to support others in the learning community;
  • Digital capability and a readiness for online learning.

Because of the online delivery mode, applicants will need to have access to:

  • A recent computer with an IT system and web browser;
  • A reliable broadband connection (slow internet connection can affect the learner experience, especially during a live session in a virtual classroom. A cable connection is the most reliable);
  • Webcam, microphone and headphones;
  • Connectivity on the course and between students will be further supported by postal exchange and low bandwidth online platforms.

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

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 Central Saint Martins, 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 unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal Statement

The personal statement (up to 1000 words) should reflect on your readiness to engage with self-directed learning; that you are able to learn from experiences, and that you are motivated to learn from others.

CV

You should provide a full and detailed CV or résumé which demonstrates how you meet the selection criteria.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

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.

There are two ways international students can apply:

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

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 Central Saint Martins, 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 unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal Statement

The personal statement (up to 1000 words) should reflect on your readiness to engage with self-directed learning; that you are able to learn from experiences, and that you are motivated to learn from others.

CV

You should provide a full and detailed CV or résumé which demonstrates how you meet the selection criteria.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

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.

After you apply

What happens next

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  Following a review of the application documents, successful applicants will be invited to upload a digital portfolio.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit online a digital portfolio containing up to 15 pages of your work and may include written accounts as well as images, documentation, film and audio materials.

  • Where appropriate, include short annotations and notes to give context to the work
  • If you have worked on any group projects or collaborations, you may want to explain your role
  • In many instances, it is helpful to indicate the scale of the work and the media used.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work.  By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals.  Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions.

We are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study.

For more portfolio advice please visit our portfolio advice page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£4,940 for year 1; £4,800 for year 2

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

£9,370 for year 1; £9,100 for year 2

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

MA Performance: Society will equip you with advanced professional skills required to engage in radical, socially engaged, performance practice. It will encourage experimentation, risk-taking and critical reflection whilst supporting you to develop your own independent and sustainable practice as a maker. Through processes of making, reading and debating, you will gain a sophisticated knowledge of ethical, creative and inclusive ways of working with others.

The course will generate and deepen productive networks for your work and you will leave able to identify, construct and resource performance projects, that creatively initiate change within a wide range of interdisciplinary contexts. Whilst this programme facilitates professional development as an artist and performance-maker it also supports progression to PhD study, and is guided by staff with expertise in portfolio careers that move between academia and the creative industries.

The Postgraduate Performance Programme, as a whole, has wide-ranging links with professional organisations, collections and galleries associated with political and socially engaged performance practice. It offers opportunities for interaction and networking with outstanding practitioners across the spectrum of the creative sector such as participatory artists, activists, contemporary performance and moving image practitioners.