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Buckinghamshire New University: MA Performance (Live and Digital)

InstitutionBuckinghamshire New University
Department School of Art, Design, and Performance
Study type Taught


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.

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 understand performance.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University? The mix of digital and live work is what marks this course out as different. You will explore how the boundaries between drama and screen studies are increasingly changing and interrogate current industry practices through a comprehensive study of the contexts, philosophies, aesthetics and policies of the performing arts.

What facilities can I use? We have excellent facilities here at BNU including dance and drama studios. Our four dance and drama studios at BNU are bright, open spaces, where you can let your creativity flow; find out more.

What will I study? The course’s focus on contemporary cutting edge practice and begins with a week-long residency with a leading theatre company culminating with a scratch performance.

As the course goes on, you will be guided in your studies by skilled academic practitioners and lecturer input increasingly moves towards independent study, encouraging you to adopt the role of performer / director / maker as well as academic. You will run workshops and lead group productions. The course will conclude with a project led by you, in which you develop either an artistic concept or use ideas explored during the course in a wider social context.

The course culminates in you creating your own original project where you can put into practice the skills and methods you have experienced.

How will I be taught and assessed? Teaching methods may vary but will include; workshops to develop practical and production skills, performances (some of which are formally assessed) where you will perform to an audience or be mediated (ie. for camera). Lecturers and seminars will develop your analytical, critical and research skills and will often include presentations and exercises. You will also have the opportunity to watch professional theatre through study trips which provide invaluable material for your development. In the final term you will research a topic of your choice for your practical dissertation/project or written dissertation.


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