COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Undertaking PhD study gives you the opportunity to engage with an area of drama, theatre, or performance in depth and at an advanced level. East 15 Acting School, with its growing research profile and internationally recognised research quality is an obvious home for such research.

At East 15, research degree students will undertake one of two paths of enquiry. The PhD in Drama and Performance is a conventional PhD whereby candidates are assessed via thesis and viva voce examination. For the PhD Drama and Performance (Practice as Research) course, candidates are assessed via practice as research, a thesis that contextualises and analyses the performance practice in relation to the research topic, and a viva voce examination. For guidance, areas of expected practice include theatre directing, dramaturgy, actor training, design (scenery, sound, lighting, costume), and performance art.

In addition to this, PhD students will have access to: Performance studios to support practice as research; Access to book rehearsal spaces in the evening and weekends, when the spaces are not in use for undergraduate classes; PhD students will also be able to book spaces outside the usual undergraduate term dates, approximately 20 weeks a year.

Which department am I in?

East 15 Acting School

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
£16,230.00 (US$ 22,338) per year
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected August 2022

Start date

17 January 2022, 25 April 2022


East 15 Acting School, Loughton




IG10 3RY, England

Entry requirements

For international students

You are required to have a 2:1 honours degree in any discipline, or international equivalent, and a Masters degree in Drama, Performance or a related field, or to have equivalent professional experience. A well developed research proposal is also essential. Applicants who do not hold the above qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis. If English is not your first language you will need IELTS 7.0 overall with 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in all other components; TOEFL IBT 100 overall with minimum component scores: Listening: 17 Reading: 18 Writing: 26 Speaking: 20.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Essex

At Essex, students learn to think differently, find new ways of doing things and adopt new techniques for solving problems.

  • World-leading academics in a research-intensive environment
  • Foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • Flexible course structure, students study what matters to them
  • Internationally diverse university