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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


Are you a maker? An artist? An activist? Do you feel you need to do something in reaction to a deep crisis in the future of humanity, to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty? Are you longing for a space of discussion which brings together artists, scholars, and activists to create new types of cultural productions that transcend, rather than merely criticise, the status quo? Then MA Contemporary Performance Practices may be where your ideas belong.

Contemporary Performance Practices breaks traditional disciplinary borders to explore how performance can help us respond to social, environmental, and ecological changes and challenges. The Programme provides a unique and tailored education to prepare graduates for new opportunities within the performing arts industry. The curriculum centres on a dynamic blend of critical, practice-based engagement with performance across artistic genres and disciplines; from experimental theatre, music, dance and community-based practices, to live art, interactive and participatory performance, sound art, and installation.

You will be immersed in a variety of ideas, approaches and forms, and, at the same time have ample opportunities to focus on your own area of interest. Throughout the programme you will explore cutting edge and interdisciplinary approaches to performance making and develop original work leading to your final dissertational project which will be a unique performance on a specific area of enquiry.

What makes this course different

Combine a wide range of practices

Combine a wide range of practices

This interdisciplinary programme utilises a practice-based approach, working across traditional disciplines of spoken word, performance, drama, sound/music and urban dance, as well as game-design, technology and applied/community-based practices.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant performance scene in East London

Immerse yourself in the vibrant performance scene in East London

Our programme is located in Stratford’s thriving cultural quarter, home to a diverse range of cultural and performance venues.

Superb facilities

Superb facilities

Professional rehearsal studios and technical facilities including music technology and editing suites to support your production values.


Our course responds to the creative industry demands of today by developing multi-skilled artists that are simultaneously practitioners, scholars and creative producers.

This course will enable students to articulate and ‘own’ the value of the practice within and outside the arts industries. 

You will work individually with course leaders to find appropriate links with existing organisations for professional placements.  You will have the opportunity to present your final work in a professional venue which hosts internationally acclaimed artists. 


  • Core Modules

    Cultures of Performance

    • Develop knowledge of key critical theory as related to performance and encourage student to apply theoretical concepts and methods to performance making.
    • Enable students to incorporate theoretical discussion into their own inquiries as performers including the cultural specificity of their own performance practices.
    •  Furnish students with theories of representation and difference in the analysis and presentation of performance.
    • Critique, analyse and deconstruct representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality and (dis)ability in relationship to each other in performance contexts.
    • Foster critical thinking and encourage students to pursue independent critical theory research and apply it to their own practical work.

    Contemporary Performance Making

    This module will introduce you to the field of contemporary performance practices and methodologies. Throughout the term, you will explore a range theoretical and practical skills required to conceive, devise and produce a collaborative performance. Indicative topics of study include: interdisciplinary composition; participatory and immersive practices; site specific/responsive performance; and digital performance.


    Artistic Leadership

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore their potential career aspirations as cultural and creative entrepreneurs and leaders in the current national and international environment for the arts. You will develop knowledge, skills, and attributes in successfully acting as cultural and creative entrepreneurs and leaders.


    Research Methods in Creative Practice

    • To critically assess the application of social, historical, cultural and textual research methods to creative cultural products.
    • To facilitate the development of the practical skills necessary for the implementation of a research style for creative cultural projects and related written material.
    • To integrate theory with production
    • To further develop individual production skills
    • To develop research, planning and organisational skills

    Mental Wealth: Professional Life - Performance Praxis

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop an innovative practice as research performance methodology that can lead to the production work of a high creative and technical standard. They will pursue self-initiated work, which demonstrates a critical understanding of the approaches, practices and knowledge acquired earlier in the course and applied to their project and develop an advanced understanding of research methodology and project management for production-based work. This module is provided for you to develop an innovative practice as research performance methodology and pursue self-initiated research based on an area of your choice leading to an outward facing production. You will demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives pertinent to performance practice, to contain a coherent implementation of research methodology and pre-production planning and show evidence of original research.


    Performance Platform

    The aims of the module are to:

    • Provide you with the opportunity to pursue self-initiated work, which demonstrates a critical understanding of the approaches, practices and knowledge acquired earlier in the course.
    • Develop an advanced understanding of research methodology and project management for production-based work.
    • Provide you with the opportunity to develop production work to a high creative and technical standard.
    • Produce a written component that is based on critical reflection.


You'll be taught by a range of staff, many of whom are practitioners in the area they teach. The assessments focus on practical and critical skill. This ensures that the practice-led teaching is relevant to industry and practice. Our staff are  well placed to take advantage of a range of professional networks and industry contact. Each module is designed with practical components  and a reflective component, with the intention that students develop an ability to critically reflect on their creative process.

When not attending timetabled lectures or workshops, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study and rehearsals. This will typically involve skills development through online study, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects and preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, specialist facilities, such as edit suites, the library, the full Microsoft Office software, including MS Teams, and Moodle: our Virtual Learning Environment.

Our academic support team provides help in a range of areas – including learning and disability support.

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of the academic course team who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at UEL and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer.

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • scheduled teaching – 300 hours
  • guided independent study – 900 hours

Your individualised timetable is normally available within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place in the evenings. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 10 students a year. However, this can vary by academic year.

Core modules will be taught in a cohort of 10 while  some modules shared across the three MAs in Performing Arts will be taught in groups of 25 -30 students.

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.


Coursework will include practical outcomes (e.g. individual or group-based performances; performative presentations, documentations, or artefacts; films/video-art; installations; and other performance based work)  and written assignments (e.g. reflective portfolios; funding applications; abstracts of your work; website/digital profile).

Assessment breakdown: 

  • 60% practical
  • 40% written coursework

You’ll always receive written or audio feedback outlining strengths and points for further development. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 15 working days.


University Square Stratford

University Square Stratford, University Square Stratford


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dr Claudia Brazzale

Dr Brazzale is a Senior Lecturer and Programmer Leader for MA CPP.

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Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn

Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn is an educator, researcher, performer, and choreographer; a dance nerd.

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Dr Dominic Hingorani

Dr Hingorani is an academic, playwright, director and producer. He is a Reader in Theatre and Performance and Postgraduate Research Leader at UEL.

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What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.


Programme Leaders are at the forefront of immersive, participatory and interactive performance, as well as inter-disciplinary research and practice.  Led with immersive pioneers, the programme provides access to research on cultures of performance, emerging technologies, contemporary performance, public spaces and game-design. 

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), a six-yearly national review of higher education research, underlined the quality and impact of our work. An impressive 50 per cent of the research we’re undertaking in the field of Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts was judged to be either ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’.

Our Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) has become an international centre for research in the performing arts and supports research that is concerned with political, philosophical, cultural, ethical, socially-engaged and community applied issues.

All of our academics are teachers, practitioners and researchers. Dr Sheila Preston, our Head of Performing Arts, co-published with Tim Prentki The Applied Theatre Reader, which is the key text book on undergraduate and postgraduate courses nationally and internationally. The Programme Leaders for the MA in Contemporary Performance Practices degree are also accomplished scholars, artists and performers.

Dr. Claudia Brazzale (MA in Performance Studies, NYU, and PhD in Culture and Performance, UCLA) is a scholar, choreographer and performer whose work and collaborations have been presented at many venues in the US as well as in the UK and Italy. She has held positions a lecturer at the Drama, Dance and Performance Studies department at Liverpool Hope University and as a Visiting Scholar at the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Analysis at London South Bank University. While living in the USA, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University.

In 2010 she was awarded an International Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association University of Women to support her research at the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University, where she held a position as a Global Scholar from 2009 to 2012. Her research and teaching interests include: dance, performance and integrated arts; global flows of traditional performance forms; cosmopolitanism and globalisation; space, place, migration and the moving body; performance, fashion, the body and consumer culture; feminist ethnographic and performative writing. Her current research project examines the recent circulation of West African dance and music in Italy.

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Graduates from MA Contemporary Performance Practices have gone on to secure funding for their projects, create new artist networks, produce international projects, create new festivals, curate interdisciplinary events and have their projects programmed in a variety of festivals, venues and conferences since 2016. From 2019, UEL will offer an MFA route to this programme, as well as options to progress to PhD.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.