Performance Practices MA

Discover creative and critical contexts of performance through the exploration of theoretical and practical performance skills. This course is ideal for developing independent artists or researchers, and for professionals who wish to reinvigorate their practices.


On this course, you will explore a range of contemporary performance practices and related contexts, developing your creative skills and deepening your understanding of critical theory and research. You will engage with topics such as the body in performance, audiences, spaces, narrative, digital technologies, devising and collaboration, enabling you to gain new insights and to build on existing knowledge. The programme has a particular emphasis on supporting innovative practice that is responsive to the interests of a contemporary audience and our lived reality. It is structured to offer a blend of taught content and negotiated study, giving you the freedom to develop your own areas of interest as an emerging practitioner and scholar. 

You will develop an advanced understanding of performance aligned to current real-world thinking, with teaching covering new theoretical and practical perspectives from our energetic, research-active academics with international profiles in their fields.

Specialist areas include performance practices and theory, live art, immersive, interactive and participatory theatre, writing for performance, psychophysical performance, improvisation, digital technologies, and solo and collaborative performance making. The course is further enhanced by our links with local and national organisations, artists and leading researchers. 

The course is designed to develop independent artists, researchers and reflective practitioners. It is also ideal for professional artists and educators who wish to reinvigorate their practices.

Key features

  • Study the body in performance, audiences, spaces, narrative, memory, digital technologies and collaboration, considering how disciplinary boundaries can be pushed.
  • Gain opportunities to work with the industry through our local and national links, work-based projects within arts administration and in fields such as marketing and teaching.
  • Investigate the creative and critical contexts of contemporary performance, taught by our internationally recognised staff who are practising artists and scholars.
  • Work alongside an international artist to devise work for public performance, developing artistic and collaborative strategies.
  • DMU is recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts with great facilities providing specialist studios and rehearsal spaces designed specifically for learning activities in dance and performance.
  • Our programme is designed to develop you to achieve your personal goals; whether it is to become a teacher or performer, start your own company, or pursue further study.


Talk to our course team

If you would like to ask any questions about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, you are welcome to email Dr Kelly Jordan on or Dr Harriet Curtis on Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.


B4 History We Danced draws upon rave culture, prehistoric cave paintings and asks what moves people to dance.


DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


More courses like this:

Fine Art MA

Choreography MA


  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for UK students: £8,986 per year.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a related subject, such as Drama, Performing Arts, Theatre Arts or Visual Arts. 

If you have other professional qualifications and industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis.


Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments


Core modules:

Performance Company
Gives the opportunity to work with a practitioner/artist relevant to professional level UK and international contemporary practice. You will work as an ensemble to develop interdisciplinary work for public performance. This work will enable you to develop artistic and collaborative strategies and methodologies. 

Research into Performance 
Engages specifically with critical, theoretical and methodological approaches to research into performance. It addresses strategies and methods used by practitioner-researchers; critical vocabularies; ethics; the purposes and contexts of research and the perspective of the researcher.

Develops an approach to the study of performance in relation to a range of perspectives from contemporary practitioners, theorists and philosophers. Areas of study are approached from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Performance Making 
Enables you as an artist to re-investigate your creative processes in studio/laboratory contexts. The module considers issues and practices key to current performance making.

Negotiated Study
Allows you to pursue a programme of self-directed study, which will be agreed with an individual supervisor via a learning contract. You can choose a relevant research topic to focus on, which will further your development as an independent practitioner/scholar.

Final Major Project 
Enables you to undertake independent study and research into an area directly related to your course of study and to produce either practical work with accompanying written documentation, or an all written submission.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.


The course is delivered from both scholarly and practical perspectives to ensure that you develop an advanced understanding of current research across a range of theoretical and practical fields. You will be taught through a range of teaching, learning and assessment modes by an energetic research-active team with international profiles in their specialist field. You will engage in independent study that involves practical research and rehearsals; viewing, reading and writing. The diversity of assessment includes practice-based work; written assignments; oral presentations and viva voces. There is an increasing emphasis upon autonomous learning throughout the modules.

Contact hours

In your first two terms you will normally attend around 6-12 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake around 23-29 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.



Facilities and features

This is my moment.

Performance facilities

Recognised  nationally as a centre for  excellence in performance arts, DMU  has outstanding courses, teaching and  facilities. Our  Performing Arts Centre for Excellence  (PACE)  building provides  sector-leading spacious studios,  rehearsal rooms  and fully equipped  performance spaces.  There are further performance spaces  in  our  Campus  Centre and The Venue@DMU, a purpose-built space created to host events, performances and celebrations.

All of our spaces can be transformed to turn your ideas into a reality. Your creative work is supported by expert technicians and you can book rehearsal space and equipment such as digital video cameras, sound recording equipment and editing suites.

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the PACE building and facilities at

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.



The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

DMU Works

We want to help you develop skills that are based on real-world experience. Our dedicated careers and employability team, DMU Works, are on hand to support you with finding placements, volunteering opportunities, CV writing skills, research opportunities and much more.

DMU students are encouraged to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit and the Enterprise Team can help you explore your business idea, business growth, the option of freelancing or being self-employed. There are lots of events, workshops, one-to-one consultation opportunities and enterprise competitions that you can get involved in to progress in your chosen career path. 


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.


Previously, students have participated in an exchange with Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, sharing research and experiences with other postgraduate students in dance and drama. Students have also engaged with international artistic practices at the Utrecht Spring Dance and Theatre Festival where they worked collaboratively with students from the University of Utrecht and took workshops with professional international artists.



Graduate careers

Our graduates  are creative, entrepreneurial practitioners who are able to  respond to the  ever-changing  demands of performance practices and the creative industries. Many of our graduates build careers as independent artists and freelance choreographers, or land roles with creative companies and arts organisations, including:

  • Marketing and communications manager for UK Young Artists
  • Associate director at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre
  • Choreographer at MoveOn Dance Fusion Founder of performance dance company Near Miss
  • Curator of performance art festival Little Wolf Parade

The strong focus that we place on research means that this course also provides  an excellent stepping stone to  study at PhD level, which can lead to exciting opportunities. For instance,  PhD student Sophie Swoffer recently organised a conference ‘Cracking the Established Order: Practice-Based Research in Academia’, and was invited to guest edit a special edition of the practice-based journal, The International Journal of Creative Media Research.

Graduate, Aundre Goddard, praises DMU for providing him with the platform for his career as Creative Director at Berzerk Productions. He said: “the Drama community was amazing and the modules provided me with the building blocks for what I’m doing in my career now. The lecturers draw out the latent curiosity that you have to explore, experiment and try new things.”

Take your next steps

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