The practice-based route to this PhD lets you conduct academic-based research through practical experimentation in performance, playwriting or dramaturgy, accompanied with a 40,000 word thesis. The thesis must fully contextualise the practice and substantiate the claim that your work is innovative and demonstrates extension of the boundaries of the chosen field of research and practice.
Research activity is led by staff and our traditional research strengths lie in: contemporary practice, playwriting and acting training; theatre and community development; theatre and political activism, theatre and critical theory, Shakespeare, theatre and science, theatre history – Renaissance to 21st century) and Eastern European theatre.
At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
Dramaturgy and Playwriting PhD routes:
- Home / EU: £4,052 full-time
- Overseas: £13,195 full-time
Performance PhD route:
- Home / EU: £4,552 full-time
- Overseas: £13,695 full-time
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.
It is important that students wishing to apply for the practice-based PhD submit detailed information about how they intend to cover the costs incurred in pursuing the chosen field of practice beyond the facilities and space which the Department can allot. (Intending applicants should bear in mind that the range of taught Masters and undergraduate programmes means that such resources are in considerable demand).
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. 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.
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
Before you make your application
Please refer to our
six step process
on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.
For applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode only:
As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:
Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location.
Access to local library facilities (where needed)
Access to IT facilities
Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)
You can upload this information at the time of application - when asked to provide supporting documentation - or via your applicant portal once you have submitted your application.
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages