MA/MFA Contemporary Performance

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Overview

MA/MFA Contemporary Performance is a taught, Masters programme that focuses on innovative contemporary performance practice. It is a practical course aimed at artists/graduates working within and across radical theatre and/or dance practices (experimental theatre, contemporary dance, performance art, dance theatre, physical theatre etc.). The course is designed and led by established practitioners, curators and academics, who are connected to, expert in, and passionate about the leading edge of theatre and dance practices in Europe and beyond.

The programme will enrich participants’ practice as contemporary performance makers whilst developing the professional sustainability of their work within the professional networks available to them, both in the region and across European and international contexts. The programme includes regular practical workshops, alongside intensive blocks of study, that offer practice-based ways into exploring both the making of performance, and the role of the performer as maker. It offers students the opportunity to work directly with current professionals working in the field, whilst developing their own practice, supported by expert mentors, within a major individual project.

 

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Graduates will leave the programme able to operate as makers of informed and sophisticated contemporary performance, as well as to understand some of the key professional and critical contexts in which these practices exist. This will empower them to work professionally in the sector as artists, producers, programmers, facilitators, curators, pedagogues or to combine these identities based on their own interests and skill-sets.

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Entry requirements

You will normally have a minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a related subject. Alternatively, you may be admitted if you have a professional qualification or can demonstrate relevant professional practice. All candidates will be required to attend an interview, where they will be asked to present their current practice and discuss their interest in the course. Overseas applicants will be seen via Skype/telephone.

Direct entry on the MFA normally requires successful completion of an MA in the same (or a closely related) field. 

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

The MA in Contemporary Performance is composed of seven core units, totalling 180 credits.

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Core Units

Performer as Maker

Performer as Maker explores key contemporary performance strategies, drawn from radical theatre and dance practice, that focus on the body as an innovative source for developing material. The teaching delivery takes the form of a series of weekly workshops, which focus on ideas such as authenticity, presence, autoethnography and identity.

Performance in Context 1

Performance in Context 1 introduces you to the artistic and theoretical contexts in which current contemporary performance practice operates. Working closely with the MA’s practice-based units, it explores key critical and theoretical perspectives, such as phenomenology, interculturalism, digital humanities and performance politics, that inform innovative contemporary performance.

Making Performance

Making performance explores current contemporary devising strategies in order to facilitate the generation of new and innovative live performance. The teaching delivery takes the form of a series of workshop blocks, which focuses on ideas and practices drawing on current contemporary work in the field, including an exploration of the relationship between digital practices and performance, as well as areas such as scoring, economy, duration and repetition.

Making Performance

Making performance explores current contemporary devising strategies in order to facilitate the generation of new and innovative live performance. The teaching delivery takes the form of a series of workshop blocks, which focuses on ideas and practices drawing on current contemporary work in the field, including an exploration of the relationship between digital practices and performance, as well as areas such as scoring, economy, duration and repetition.

Professional Practices

This unit reflects on the professional contexts that exist for contemporary performance, and engages with key strategies for self-producing and profiling performance work. Within the unit you select, directly engage with, and then reflect upon, a specific professional performance context, placing it into the broader contexts that exist, for example state support for the arts, arts marketing, ethics, local and regional arts provision, artist networks, and international frameworks.

Performance in Context 2

This unit continues to explore the current field of contemporary performance, building upon the work developed in Performance in Context 1. Here the focus shifts to inviting creative interplay between theoretical and artistic practice, as you are supported in the artistic and theoretical contextualisation of your own practice.

Artist-led Project

In this unit students work as an ensemble with a established contemporary performance practitioner to create a new performance piece. The work presented is the product of an intensive creative process (normally over two weeks).

Major Project

In this unit you pursue artistic and theoretical research questions through the generation of a significant new piece of contemporary performance practice. The work is developed through close collaboration with your staff mentor and involve several points of sharing with the wider staff and student team. You will produce an appropriate professional trajectory for the project, identifying appropriate strategies for public engagement and meeting the strategic priorities of relevant funding bodies and/or support structures and networks. This work is shown in a key performance event produced by the student body.

The MFA Contemporary Performance continues with the following two units totalling 120 credits.

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Core Units

Production Contexts

In this unit you will identify new professional contexts for your work that will enable you to sustain your professional practice. The unit has a particular emphasis on the potential for European and international networks, as well as interdisciplinary fine/digital art contexts, to support innovative contemporary performance practice. Here you will articulate, develop and actualize contemporary self-production strategies, such as setting up an artist’s network, exchange project or creative platform for your work. The unit will be assessed by portfolio submission, which can include a range of materials including project proposals, feasibility studies, and promotional material.

Production

This unit offers you the opportunity to develop a major practice-based project that is specifically designed to operate within the professional context identified in the Production Contexts unit. You will create and self-produce an innovative piece of work, or platform, exhibition or exchange event, that promotes and sustains your work. You might choose to work individually or in a collaborative group and will be supported in the development of the work by a staff mentor.

Manchester School of Theatre

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students may incur production costs, in the range of £1 - £500, depending entirely on their own creative decisions/individual practice, particularly within the Major Project unit. There may also be some travel costs involved in the Professional Practices unit should the student choose to focus on an arts-work context that requires travel.

Students will also be expected to attend a number of live performance events to support their studies during the programme, costing a maximum of £100 in total.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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