The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance is an ideal place to undertake PhD research.
You’ll join one of the largest groups of PhD students in the UK and will be taught by academics with international reputations.
Our doctoral students often work together organising conferences, editing Platform (our in-house peer-reviewed journal for Early Career researchers), and leading research-related events and symposia.
Many of our successful doctoral students have been appointed to full time lecturing posts in a range of universities both in the UK and internationally and become highly respected practitioners in the cultural sector.
We offer supervision in a variety of fields and we welcome diverse projects.
Research facilities and environment
Royal Holloway has one of the leading departments of Drama, Theatre and Dance in the
UK, with an international reputation for the excellence of its research. There are two Research Centres in the department reflecting distinct areas of specialism – in Asian Theatre and Dance, and Contemporary British Theatre.
We have a lively and diverse community of researchers at all stages in their careers. All of our academic members of staff are active researchers, working at the cutting edge of research in many different aspects of drama, theatre and performance studies. The quality of research supervision in the department was recognized with a nomination for Outstanding Research Supervisor at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards in 2018.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 86% of our research was judged as world-leading or international in quality. As a research student, you will be regularly invited to participate in seminars with academic staff and to organize events and research activities in collaboration with other students. You’ll also be encouraged to present your work at national and international conferences, and to publish your findings.
You will write a 100,000-word thesis on a subject agreed with your proposed supervisor, prior to Admission to the College. You will receive support from your supervisory team.
Students completing a practice-based PhD will be required to produce a substantial body of performance or creative work and a thesis of between 30,000 – 60,000 words.
The thesis is examined by two examiners and includes a Viva Voce examination.
Normally we require a UK Masters degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject, or relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area.
Please submit the following supporting information when making your application:
- a research proposal
- two samples of written work in English, which should take the form of short academic essays or reviews of theatre productions (2,000 words in total)
- a copy of the degree certificate/transcript from your Masters degree (this can be a transcript of your progress so far if you have not yet completed it)
- a copy of your English language qualification (if English is not your first language) - if you have not completed an IELTS or recognised test yet, you can submit your application without it and then forward your results once they are available
- a supporting statement, explaining your motivation for studying your chosen programme
- one academic reference - your referee can upload this directly to the online system or email it to the Postgraduate Administrator (email@example.com)
- and copies of any other qualifications that are relevant to your chosen programme.
Please note that we will not be able to consider your application until we have received your research proposal and writing samples.
All suitable applicants will be invited for an interview, either in person or via Skype.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Recent PhD graduates now work in the following areas:
- Postdoctoral researcher
- University Lecturer
- Manager of Research and Public History at a major national museum
- Researcher at the V&A
- Freelance theatre-maker
- Research and evaluation for participatory arts organisation
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £4,345
International students tuition fee per year**: £17,400
Other essential costs***: There are no additional costs greater than £50 per item.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options.
* and ** These fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on part-time fees. We adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to undertaking this particular programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.