Professional Doctorate in Drama, Theatre and Dance PhD

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    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.

    From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

    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 thesis of up to 100,000 words 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.

    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

    Visit the Drama, Theatre and Dance PhD page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    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.

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