4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018

Drama, Theatre and Performance

Our faculty are theatre-makers, performance artists, theatre historians and performance theorists. They are experts in diverse interdisciplinary approaches to the study of drama, theatre and performance.

We welcome applicants with practice-as-research projects as well as historical, critical and theoretical approaches to the following areas of study:

  • contemporary performance practice and experimental theatre
  • non-human performance
  • theatre and ethics
  • Live Art, visual art and body-based practices
  • queer and feminist performance
  • dance and the choreographic
  • performance and popular cultures
  • contemporary theatre directing
  • interdisciplinary intersections (for example between performance and music) 
  • early modern drama in contemporary performance
  • pedagogies of actor training.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact Dr Sara Jane Bailes at

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Sara Jane Bailes
    Reader in Theatre & Performance Studies

    Research interests: Theatre and performance studies

    View profile

    Prof Gavin Butt
    The Attenborough Chair in Drama: Theatre and Performance

    Research interests: American Visual Art, Contemporary Performance, Performance And Live Art, Popular Music, Queer studies, Queer Theory, Theatre and performance studies, Visual arts, visual cultures

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    Dr Augusto Corrieri
    Lecturer in Drama, Theatre & Performance

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    Dr Benjamin Fowler
    Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance

    Research interests: Adaptation, Contemporary Performance, Directing Practices, Dramaturgy, Early Modern Drama in Performance, european theatre, german theatre, Intermedial Performance, Theatre Directing

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    Dr William McEvoy
    Senior Lecturer in English

    Research interests: Contemporary Theatre, Playwriting, Site-specific theatre and performance, Theatre and Ethics, Theory and criticism, Writer-director relationship

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    Mrs Lisa Peck
    Teaching Fellow in Theatre and Performance Practice

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    Dr Jason Price
    Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance

    Research interests: Activist Performance, Aesthetics and Politics, Comedy, Contemporary Theatre, Dramaturgy, Marxism, Performance Histories, popular culture, Popular Theatre, Puppet Forms, Site-Specific and Public Art, Theatre and Community

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    Dr Arabella Stanger
    Lecturer in Drama: Theatre and Performance

    Research interests: Choreography, Dance, Gender and Sexuality, race and racism, Social and political theory, space, Theatre and performance studies

    View profile

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in a drama-related subject or a discipline relevant to the chosen area of research and/or evidence of substantial research and/or evidence of professional performance-related experience in the field equivalent to a Masters. A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in drama, performance or theatre studies is also usually required.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.

Contact us