University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Theatre and Performance Studies


The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies does not run any full coursework programs, however a number of individual coursework units are available. These are offered as electives for students enrolled in coursework degrees administered by other departments or faculties (eg educational drama). They also provide options for the coursework component of a Master of Arts (Research) or Doctor of Arts degree. In 2018, the following units will run:

  • PRFM5901 Critical Theory and Performance
  • PRFM5902 Rehearsal Studies

Research in Theatre and Performance Studies engages with a broad range of aesthetic, social and everyday performances, from practices that we might readily recognise as theatre, dance or ‘live art’ through to the performative dimensions of law, politics, sport and other kinds of activity. Through performance we get things done, we make sense of events around us and we explore different ways of being in the world.

The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies is internationally renowned as a centre of research excellence, both for the interdisciplinary range of our work and for the innovative application of ethnographic research methods in the study of performance. Academic staff are active researchers, publishing regularly in top-ranked journals. Many of our PhD students upon graduation have found work as lecturers at universities across Australia, as well as in the UK and Asia. We have a strong cohort of current postgraduates who regularly present papers at major national and international conferences and our peer-reviewed journal, About Performance, attracts submissions from leading scholars around the world.

For postgraduate students the department provides a highly supportive and collegial environment. This includes readily available:

  • expert supervision from an academic staff member
  • a weekly research seminar at which students receive constructive feedback on works-in-progress from their peers
  • an archive of performance documentation
  • technical support for research that involves fieldwork, documentation and/or professional performance practice
Awards and requirements

Please refer to the degree resolutions in this handbook and to the Faculty Admissions Policy and Procedure for: Doctor of Philosophy: Pathways to admission, for information on the specific admission requirements for different research award courses.

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Arts and Doctor of Social Sciences

Master of Philosophy

Master of Arts (Research)


Department website:
School website:

Research Coordinator: Dr Paul Dwyer
Phone: +61 2 9351 6850