PhD Postgraduate research in Performing Arts

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a research degree with the Faculty of Arts. We will be delighted to discuss your area of interest with you but, before doing so, it is important to determine whether or not we can offer research supervision in your chosen area. 

The aim of our research programmes is to give each student the best possible foundation from which to launch further research and career development. We help our students to develop the relevant research skills and methods and also support the development of related skills such as IT, presentation and career planning.

This approach, together with the relevant research expertise and resources support the completion of high-quality research degree programmes.

Details of current and recent research degree topics include:

Based within the purpose-built Performance Hub, the School of Performing Arts houses a supportive and inspiring environment for postgraduate research study across theatre, musical theatre, dance and music. PhD students will be located within the Centre for Creativity, History and Identity in Performance (CCHIP), a vibrant community of practice-researchers and scholars who create and explore the performing arts via nationally- and internationally-recognised research. 

CCHIP has a strong reputation for diverse and innovative research and our staff welcome proposals across a range of subject areas, including:

  • New Musical Theatre studies
  • Musical dramaturgy
  • Documentary theatre practices
  • Human-Computer Interfaces for performance
  • Museum and heritage performance
  • European modern dance

Our postgraduate research students play a key role in our research community and we are experienced in supporting research projects to successful completion. We see our PhD students as early-career researchers and fully support them towards their chosen career, with funding towards conference attendance and research visits and encouragement to disseminate their work to the wider academic community.

Research students are invited to attend the Faculty’s rolling programme of open lectures, seminars, workshops and skills training events, as well as those staged by the University and Doctoral College. We also expect them to contribute to the annual PhD students’ self-organised conference.

All student activity is supported and encouraged by our experienced and knowledgeable PhD supervisors who are happy to advise when needed. They meet regularly with their supervisees to ensure full support throughout the life-time of the doctoral study which can be either practice-led research (20-45,000 words + practice) or theory-based (80,000 words).