MA

Performance Making

MA Performance Making at Aberystwyth University is designed to support your development as a performance-maker and creative thinker. The course offers an enquiry-based and interdisciplinary approach, enabling you to experiment with a range of performance practices including live, site-specific, intermedial, scenographic, and object-based processes.

Located between the Cambrian Mountains and Cardigan Bay, Aberystwyth offers an inspiring natural and cultural environment with plenty of possibilities for research and creation. It’s one reason why Aberystwyth has an established international reputation for site-specific and intermedial performance making.

You’ll be taught in a dedicated co-working studio space which is yours to use throughout the course to propose, test and try ideas. Here you’ll conceive, develop and produce three original creative works, develop your ability to critically reflect and evaluate, and learn how to engage with institutions, funders and the public. The course culminates in a major practical project.

Taught by a team of internationally recognised practitioners and academics, you’ll develop your portfolio and profile as a performance-maker through sustained practical experiment and critical reflection.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience/professional practice.

English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Course Overview

Why choose Aberystwyth?

  • Dedicated access to a co-working studio space throughout your studies.
  • You’ll have access to three fully equipped performance studios, our dedicated scenography studio, and our sound recording studio and production facilities.
  • You'll acquire specialist skills in research, creation and public engagement.
  • Located in an extraordinary and inspiring natural and cultural environment.
  • You’ll take part in workshops and masterclasses with visiting artists and our annual programme of departmental research seminars.
  • You’ll join a department with an established reputation for experimentation in performance and scenography - we were the first in the UK to offer undergraduate degrees in Performance Studies and Scenography.
  • Enjoy our close partnership with the Aberystwyth Arts Centre - one of Wales’s best-known venues, presenting everything from live music concerts, stand-up comedy, theatre and dance performances to visual art exhibitions and film screenings. 
  • You’ll have access to the magnificent collections and archives at the National Library of Wales, just a five-minute walk away.

About this course

Duration:

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time.

The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 7 hours per week in the first semester. In the second semester you will undertake a creative practice project involving 4 hours per week of supervision alongside independent working. Added to this will be a further 2 hours per week on another module. During semester three, you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available; please check our funding calculator for details.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Creative Production Project TPM1540 40
Engaging Publics TPM1820 20
Research Project TPM0860 60
Space, Time, Material and Form TPM1020 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

Our graduates are well prepared to work within a breadth of creative and related industries. They have gone on to work as freelance practitioners (directors and performers), and with companies and organisations including National Theatre Wales and Trafalgar Entertainment. Our graduates also acquire essential skills to pursue practice-based research and further academic study at PhD level.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters (September to May), you will study a number of modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. These will help you contextualise your personal interest in advanced creative practice, explore and enact strategies, methodologies and techniques for making contemporary performance, develop your research skills, and provide you with an understanding of practices in public engagement. Throughout the year, we will offer you a collaborative learning experience where your individual specialisms will be developed, but also challenged and extended through working alongside others in facilitated and independent creative research projects. In the final semester (June to September), you will undertake a 60-credit Practice Research Project with a public performance in September. 

How will I be taught?

The taught part of the course is delivered through seminars, workshops and practical sessions. During semester three (June-September), you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor. In addition to scheduled teaching times, you will have access to a dedicated co-working studio space to pursue independent study and creative practice. 

Assessment

Assessment takes the form of a presentation, a group performance event, an individual performance project produced as part of a collaboratively realised mini-festival, a critical portfolio, a critical evaluation, a professional portfolio, a project proposal and a written essay. In the third semester, you will complete a practice-based research project. The practice-based research project can be submitted as either an individually conceived and developed or a collaboratively conceived and developed performance work.

Student Testimonials

As an artist with an existing theatre practice, I was nervous about returning to study. Could I remember how to write an essay? How would I balance it with a professional workload? Would it have a meaningful impact? I needn't have worried. The programme is carefully designed and thoughtfully delivered. Within the first few seminars I was encountering ideas that were new to me, or a desperately needed articulation of things I had felt but couldn't put into words. It made me reconsider my relationship with theatre, providing a vital break from the hamster wheel of productions and deepening my understanding and love of Welsh theatre and its practitioners. I consider my practice fundamentally altered by the process, and my belief in the beauty and necessity of theatre - something made fragile by prolonged exposure to 'the industry' - rekindled. Jesse Briton – actor, writer and director