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REF 2021

100% of our Drama research has internationally excellent impact (based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021, submitted to UoA33 Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies).

Our partners

Drama research

We work through creative practice, historiography, socially-engaged research, ethnography and transdisciplinary collaboration. We have a particular interest in understanding the marginalizations and exclusions of British theatre cultures and industries; Asian performance cultures and diasporic practices; and the cultural aspects of contemporary concerns such as climate crisis, healthcare and urbanization, space and rurality.

We research a wide range of performance practices, from taking a performance studies lens to everyday cultural activities, to analysing the significance of mainstream and popular theatre forms. We have a well-established reputation for excellence in theatre history, contemporary performance practice and applied/community theatre.

We are a mutually supportive community of staff and postgraduate students, committed to high ethical standards and to challenging reliance on colonial, patriarchal, classed and gender-based hierarchies.


Our research covers a range of thematic interests, reflecting ongoing dialogues within the department and beyond. They are not mutually exclusive and represent broad interests among our current staff.

Research with us

Whether your research interest concerns performance analysis, ethnographic methods, historical research or theatre practice, we are on hand to support you successfully throughout your PhD.


Our research is developed and supported within the three distinct research centres/groups. We actively foster interdisciplinary research across Drama, the University and beyond.

Impact and engagement

Our research has had impacts on theatre repertoire, music education, approaches to wellbeing, cultural policy and grassroots participatory practices.


Our staff produce world-leading research delivered via projects that involve collaboration with a range of academic, heritage and industry partners.

Practice research

Practice Research at Exeter has included projects exploring space, place and the city, activism, performer training, medical humanities and decolonisation.