The MA surveys, analyses, and rethinks the study of theatre and performance in the reconfigured (postmodernised, mediatised, and globalised) spaces of the twenty-first century. It focuses on studies and perspectives that are mainly emergent in the new century, but with links and applications that are also related and relevant to other historical periods in the field. The MA focuses on three principal areas:
(1) The challenges and evolving strategies of historiography – accordingly, it analyses perspectives of looking both at the way performance is understood and the innovative possibilities in which history is written in the C21. For example, the exploration of aesthetic and interpretative approaches from many cultures, continents, and time periods as an alternative to the standard format of time-restricted or subject-specific theatre history texts.
(2) The development of theoretical and philosophical approaches in the light of changing human conditions – accordingly, it considers a range of emergent and/or evolving perspectives such as critical posthumanism, postphenomenology, technoscience studies, sociomaterial theories, and cognitive science. The implications for, application to, and impact on theatre and performance, both contemporary and historical, is explored.
(3) The nature and breadth of contemporary performance practices, with special emphasis on C21-characteristics and developments – accordingly, it examines the incorporation of innovative technology, processes, and other elements as they pertain not only to the aesthetics, medium, and location of performance, but also to compositional strategies, including the technical preparation (training) of performers/technicians/participants. The MA will consider cutting-edge work as well as the appropriation of elements of the same in mainstream performance. Reference to historical processes and aspects which were innovative in their time will also be made.
The MA includes sessions by international experts (scholars and/or practitioners), as well as scope for practical research, tailor-made to the students’ interests.
This programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutor-led and student-led seminar sessions, including workshop sessions on dedicated topics, artists or selected performances, small group discussions and presentations, and specialist masterclasses with invited visiting scholars and/or performance professionals. There will be approximately two theatre or site-specific visits per semester (or equivalent for part-time) as a compulsory component of the teaching schedule, subject to the availability of leading theatre and performance artists in Malta (UoM, Manoel Theatre, St James Cavalier, Mediterranean Conference Centre, elsewhere).
Additionally, students will have the opportunity to attend research lectures, seminars, and workshops offered by the Department of Theatre Studies, as well as those offered by the School of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Arts. Beyond the curriculum, students will also be able to engage with the additional training and other opportunities to acquire generic skills offered by the University. This includes the opportunity to expand or develop new language skills in foreign languages, as well as IT skills.
Assessment will be through a variety of largely written coursework, which typically takes the form of essays, performance reviews and analysis, research portfolios and reports, but may also include pragmatic writing such as applications for postgraduate funding. The assessment formats build up towards the culminating final dissertation, while also inviting the initial exploration of ideas for a potential future PhD project.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:
(a) a Bachelor’s degree obtained with Second Class Honours or better in the same area or in a closely related area of study as the area of study applied for or
(b) a Bachelor’s degree in the same area or in a closely related area of study as that applied for, with an average mark of not less than 65% in that area of study or
(c) a degree from this or another university, which the Board considers as comparable to any of the degrees indicated in paragraphs (a) and (b) or
(d) a professional qualification/qualifications and/or experience deemed by the Board, to satisfy in part, the admission requirements for a taught postgraduate course, provided that applicants may be required to complete a preparatory programme as specified below.
All applicants who are not in possession of a first degree in Dance shall be interviewed and/or auditioned by a board composed of at least three members. Applicants shall be asked to provide evidence of their professional experience in dance by way of writing sample, performance documentation and video. Candidates unable to attend the interview and dance audition in person may arrange to complete the process through electronic means of communication.
Applicants applying in terms of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) may be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified by the Board. The preparatory programme shall include study-units in the area of study concerned, and may include also study-units which are intended to train students in the competencies required to conduct research work.
During the preparatory programme students shall be required to register for a number of study-units for which a total of not less than 30 ECTS credits and not more than 60 ECTS credits are assigned.
Students shall be required to successfully complete the preparatory programme of study with an average mark of 55% or better prior to their registration for the Course.
The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2018.
For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
(a) Subject Knowledge and Understanding of
1. the histories, forms, traditions, and current configurations of theatre and performance practices from twenty-first-century historiographic perspectives, 2. contemporary advanced critical, artistic, and conceptual paradigms in order to locate, interpret, and intelligently engage with theatrical and performance phenomena in the twenty-first century, 3. the various aesthetic, political, social, and intellectual practices that constitute a varied range of contemporary (established, emergent, and cutting-edge) theatre and performance, 4. the wider interdependence of creative practice, critical theory, production processes, and cultural policies, 5. the inherent interdisciplinary and trans-national location and context of theatre art and performance practice, 6. the interstices between technoscience, the human condition, and the performing arts in the twenty-first century.
(b) Intellectual Development and Skills
1. to critically reflect about practices, theories, contexts, and ideas that shape theatre and performance, drawing on a range of sophisticated perspectives, including from the sciences, 2. an awareness of intercultural and cross-continental (especially cross-European) differences, 3. the ability to engage creatively and imaginatively with textual, visual, and performed sources and artworks, 4. to appreciate and critically evaluate their own work and the work of others, 5. to understand the interplay between theory and practice, and their mutual enrichment, 6. to devise, undertake, and contextualise original research in a self-directed way,
(c) Key / Transferable Skills
1. the ability to negotiate and successfully bridge cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural barriers, 2. confidence in interacting, negotiating and collaborating with others, even across international borders and language barriers, 3. the ability to source, organise, articulate, and disseminate advanced ideas appropriately and effectively, in a way that advances knowledge and adds value, 4. the ability to work and learn independently and autonomously, as well as continuous self-reflection, in order to be able to expand one’s skills and knowledge base, 5. proficiency in presenting complex thoughts, arguments, and data in coherent and lucid ways, both verbally and in writing, pitched appropriately to a range of audiences, 6. initiative to identify, create, address, and successfully execute complex tasks and problems to a professional level.
(d) Other Skills relevant to Employability and Personal Development
1. to comprehend, analyse, and critically interpret texts, policy documents, funding and job applications, as well as generate the same, especially but not exclusively in the creative industries, 2. to appraise and produce informed and specialised documentation about public events, including works in languages other than English, 3. to trace, assess, and synthesise information and data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary, printed, electronic, and other, 4. to analyse critically and assess professional capabilities in the workplace, 5. to undertake research at an advanced level, including bibliographical and documentation techniques, performance and textual analysis, as well as other research methodologies, 6. to use archives, texts, electronic technology, and other knowledge resources, 7. to support creative work with rigorous research, appropriate documentation, and efficient conceptual consideration, 8. to engage confidently and competently in advanced academic research at the forefront of the discipline, 9. to communicate effectively across a wide range of socio-cultural scenarios and expectations, spanning from local, town-level activities, to national popular culture events (e.g. religious celebrations and Carnival), to ‘high culture’ occasions (e.g. opera).
The programme is aimed at individuals who want to pursue a taught postgraduate degree in Theatre Studies, Performance Studies, or the Performing Arts, as well as at graduates of language, literature, or philosophy with an interest in drama, theatre, performance, and/or contemporary theory. The course is particularly suited for students interested in pursuing research at the forefront of the performing arts and the humanities.
The taught Master of Arts in ‘Theatre and Performance’ is flexible enough to enable its students to take up employment opportunities both locally and abroad in a wide spectrum of areas which may include among others teaching, broadcasting, journalism, publishing, consultancy, the Foreign Office, Public Relations, Personnel Management, Advertising, Ministerial Secretarial Careers, Political careers, script writers and proof readers.
Past students of Theatre Studies have found jobs at universities (in Malta and abroad), in various schools and sixth forms, in the media, as well as in the cultural industries, including government agencies in education and culture, the Malta Arts Council, the Manoel Theatre, St James Cavalier, Drama Centre, Drama Unit, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, V18 Foundation, and the Malta Arts Festival.
Students will also be able to go on to doctoral study after having obtained their Master of Arts.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2018/9.
Last Updated: 12 March 2018
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication. The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints. Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice. Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.