You'll take a combination of required and optional modules of taught postgraduate coursework.
These modules are:
Performance, theory and culture
This module investigates performance as a cultural practice. You will examine ways in which the relationship between performance and culture has been conceptualised by key thinkers within drama and theatre studies. You will also consider the way that scholarship from outside drama and theatre studies challenges ways of understanding and analysing theatre commonly employed within the discipline. Issues for discussion include: the conceptual and methodological challenges posed by framing performance as a cultural practice; the relationship of performance to other forms of cultural production and consumption; and how the intervention of performance in the public realm and wider polity may be understood.
Elements of theatre history
This module investigates key problems in performance history and historiography. You will consider a range of conceptual and methodological issues raised by the historical analysis of theatre and performance. This module will focus particularly on the strategies and politics of historical representation in drama and theatre studies: how have performance practices been narrated within theatre studies, and how do these narratives represent theatre’s relationship with other social practices?
The director and directing
This module explores and challenges ideas and practices of directing: throughout, it aims to question and compare directors' relationships to the actor/performer, the audience/spectator, and to the theatrical material. The module will include consideration of the director's aesthetics of, for example, space, visual languages, narrative and meaning, as well as dramaturgical practices.
This module allows you to pursue a self-defined independent programme of reading on a chosen topic or in a chosen field. In consultation with a member of academic staff, you will define parameters of inquiry, select appropriate critical materials and report the findings of your investigations in written form. Although you will work independently through this process, you will be supported by group discussions, led by a member of academic staff, that address issues of: topic and field definition; devising a reading strategy; engaging critical materials; and reporting findings.
This is an advanced study option, which will encourage students to undertake substantial research and engage with the work of an individual playwright in considerable critical and theoretical depth. Choices will vary in academic years and they will reflect staff expertise so that students may reap the direct benefits of being taught by a leading scholar in the field. The module will be structured in a way that provides students with a broad understanding of the artistic, social, political and historical field shaping and being shaped by the work we will be examining. In this way the module will build an understanding of crucial factors in theatrical production, extending well beyond the singular playwright.
Although adaptation has been a standard practice in theatre and performing arts, it has recently emerged as a major dramaturgical mode as well as a key term in discussions of cultural production and reception. The module will explore a wide range of adaptation practices across texts, genres and media, focusing on dramatic texts and novels adapted for stage, screen and television. We will use recent theory of adaptation to analyse strategies of transformation in both avant-garde performance and popular media, while also mapping out contemporary forms of theatrical and cinematic adaptation. Special emphasis will be given to late twentieth-century refigurations of canonical texts, especially Greek tragedy and Shakespeare. The discussion will draw attention to the historical and cultural contexts of adaptation, while also inviting further reflection on the politics of appropriation of the dramatic and literary canon.
Modules and courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £3,950 full-time; £1,975 part-time
Overseas: £12,565 full-time
Learn more about fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.