The Drama and Theatre Arts department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a dynamic environment which allows students, scholars and theatre practitioners to work together to achieve a new breadth and depth in the study of drama.
It also takes advantage of Birmingham's exceptional resources for theatre research as well as the University and Department links with world-class theatre in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.
Find out more about our Drama postgraduate opportunities at our virtual chat event on Thursday 8 October from 12 noon - 14:00. Find out more HERE.
“I received funding from the university for a research trip to Chicago, where I could interview directors and actors, and gain so much knowledge and information to incorporate into my research”
The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.
The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.
You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a compulsory annual visit to campus (every two years for part-time PhD students) - please see our frequently asked questions about distance learning to find out more.
Research activity is led by staff and our traditional research strengths lie in: Contemporary theatre and new writing; playwriting, directing and performer training; Russian theatre; Shakespearean performance and adaptation; Victorian and Edwardian theatre; the history of film; popular theatre; theatre history - Renaissance to 21st Century; theatre and science
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.
- The department celebrated excellent Research Assessment Exercise 2014 results. 30% of research at the University of Birmingham for Drama was top 4* rated as ‘world-leading’. A further 39% was rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’.
- You will have access to a range of academics working in related fields across the College of Arts and Law and you will be supervised by a leading expert in your field of research
- You can advantage of Birmingham's exceptional resources for theatre research as well as the University and Department links with world-class theatre in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.
- Birmingham's Drama and Theatre Arts postgraduates develop a very wide range of skills and qualities during their degree. This includes time management, critical and analytical skills, the ability to formulate and solve problems, as well as develop opinions and new ideas, and an aptitude for thinking and working creatively with others.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17:
Home / EU £4,110 full-time; £2,055 part-time*
Overseas: £13,680 full-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.
* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2016.
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 tuituion fees and funding.
We would normally expect applicants to have an Honours degree or equivalent, although suitable professional experience may be taken into account when assessing qualifications.
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:
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.
You may wish to
register your interest with us
to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.
Additional Guidance for
applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study
Making 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
Research activity is led by staff and our traditional research strengths lie in:
Contemporary theatre and new writing; playwriting, directing and performer training; Russian theatre; Shakespearean performance and adaptation; Victorian and Edwardian theatre; the history of film; popular theatre; theatre history - Renaissance to 21st Century; theatre and science. Please find specific academic research expertise below:
- Theatre history and Shakespearean interpretation
Contact: Professor Russell Jackson
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5790
- Performance practice, especially directing and acting (and how these are brought together through rehearsal), devising and performer training
Contact: Dr Adam Ledger
Tel: +44(0)121 414 5998
- Victorian theatre; popular theatre studies; contemporary and historical popular entertainment; music theatre; contemporary theatre making and music performance; multi-media performance
Contact: Dr Caroline Radcliffe
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5998
- Contemporary theatre and performance; political and cultural theory; performance and devising techniques; new writing for theatre
Contact: Dr liz Tomlin
- Actor-training; Anton Chekhov and Russian and East European Theatre of the first part of the twentieth century; theatre and science
Contact: Dr Rose Whyman
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6005
- Twentieth-century reception of tragedy; contemporary adaptation of the Greek tragic plays; postmodern theory and performance; theatre and fascism
Contact: Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou
- Contemporary British, European and American theatre; translation, adaptation and reception; ethics and spectatorship; aesthetics and politics; performance and space.
Contact: Dr Vicky Angelaki
The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.
In addition, the global edition of The New York Times has ranked the University 60th in the world and 9th in UK for post-qualification employability. The rankings illustrate the top 150 universities most frequently selected by global employers and are the result of a survey by French consulting firm Emerging and German consulting firm Trendence.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
Birmingham's Drama and Theatre Arts postgraduates develop a very wide range of skills and qualities during their degree. Performance develops communication, team working and confidence, whilst all of our postgraduates also develop time management, critical and analytical skills, the ability to formulate and solve problems, develop opinions and new ideas, and an aptitude for thinking and working creatively with others.
Over the past five years, over 94% of Drama and Theatre Arts postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as playwriting, screenwriting or teaching drama; others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations ranging from media sales and management to events and arts administration; and some choose to pursue careers in academia. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Arts Council England; Imperial College London; Musicleader West Midlands; National Theatre; North Warwickshire Council; University of Gloucestershire.
Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.
In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.
Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.
The City of Birmingham
One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.