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MA Performance (Live and Digital)

  • Study Mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

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You will explore the application of live and digital performance to a contemporary society that has become increasingly technologised. You will learn to view performance as both performing – a skill which can be applied in a variety of contexts – and as an art form that can accommodate a range of media, including film, screen and digital platforms. You will gain hands on experience with the latest technology, allowing you to explore the full range of stage, screen, audio and intermedial possibilities.
At the centre of the programme is practical work with industry professionals at the forefront of contemporary UK performance. You will work with them practically and learn about their professional practices. You will then go on to study thinkers who have written about the possibilities of performance, and explore concepts discussing what performance is and could be.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Do you enjoy creating work that pushes the boundaries between performances and contemporary life, and the boundaries between performance and other disciplines?

This MA is for those artists who want to experiment with lots of ideas and want to learn about how contemporary practitioners and writers create and understand performance.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

The mix of digital and live work is what makes this course stand out. You'll explore how the boundaries between drama and screen studies are increasingly changing. You’ll critically analyse current industry practices through a comprehensive study of the contexts, philosophies, aesthetics and policies of the performing arts. Find out more about what life in the School of Dance and Performance is like.

What facilities can I use?

You’ll use our drama studios on site, some with moving lights and fully-equipped sound systems and projection. We also have sprung floors and mirrors suitable for movement and physical work. We use the professional venue at Wycombe Town Hall, which is less than two minutes from our campus. You will have access to high quality Sony camera equipment, suitable for film and TV screening, and also to lighting rigs and sound recording facilities. Find out more.

What will I study?

This course focuses on contemporary cutting edge practice and begins with a week-long residency with a leading theatre company culminating with a scratch performance. You'll be guided in your studies by skilled practitioners and experienced academics.

As the course goes on, you’ll increasingly move towards independent study as you adopt the role of performer / director / creator as well as academic. You'll run workshops and lead group productions and the course will conclude with a project led by you, in which you'll creatively develop ideas explored during the course.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Teaching methods may vary but will include workshops to develop practical and production skills, lectures, and performances (some of which are formally assessed) where you will perform to an audience or be mediated (i.e. for camera).

Lecturers and seminars will develop your analytical, critical and research skills and will often include presentations and exercises. You'll also have the opportunity to watch professional theatre productions through study trips which provide invaluable material for your development.

In the final term you'll research a topic of your choice for your practical project or written dissertation.

Useful Documents

MA Performance (Live and Digital) Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Typically 2:1 or above in a Media or Performing Arts related field, and/or experience in the performing arts sector (in its widest sense, from performance to design, video production, teaching and leadership).

All students will be required to attend an interview and give a presentation on their relevant experience. Students will be required to work to a high level in both practical and academic work.

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds and experiences and are prepared to consider students with relevant experience in addition to the above typical profile.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Interrogating Performance and Screen

Residency and Contemporary Contexts

Creative Explorations in Screen and Performance

Year 2 Modules

Contemporary Performance Practice

Creative Explorations in Live Performance

Performance Practical Dissertation (optional)

Performance Written Dissertation (optional) 

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£5,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023


What are my career prospects?

This programme will prepare you for a wide range of roles in the performing arts industry, such as a creative performer in theatre, performance, film and digital media; working in arts management; working as a performance practitioner in a wider industry role (for example radio performance, creative producing, video / film making), and working as a creative educator.

There is a particular focus on the range of skills involved in small scale theatre and setting up your own theatre companies, which aims to simulate industry practice. The range of leadership roles will develop creative and innovative thinkers on this programme by drawing on collaborative, ensemble and directing working practices. The high level of academic knowledge and ability to do independent research paves the way for you to embark on PhD study subsequent to this programme.

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Dr Catriona Craig
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Jeremy Kelly
  • Senior Lecturer
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