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Postgraduate research in Drama

Whether your research interest concerns performance analysis, ethnographic methods, historical research or theatre practice, our supportive research environment, academic expertise and state of the art facilities are on hand to support you successfully throughout your PhD. As a doctoral candidate you will be a vital member of our research community, participating in research centres as well as department-level seminars and university-wide training that is tailored specifically to your stage in the research process.

As one of the largest Drama departments in the UK, our cross-disciplinary research covers a diverse range of topics and themes.

We offer a pathway through practice-as-research, as well as standard scholarly models. You will be offered supervision from our world-leading experts and will be supported by a technical team and impressive range of practice spaces. Our excellent facilities include eleven flexible studio spaces equipped with lighting rigs, digital technology and a range of flooring for differing movement needs; sound and media editing studios; bespoke seminar spaces; and a costume and prop store — all supported by a team of specialist technicians. Why not take the tour?

Whether your research interest is theatre and performance practice, directing, theory, writing for performance, dramaturgy, criticism, new media, analysis or historiography, Drama provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate research and practice, welcoming students from across the world.

Drama at Exeter is part of a wider performance and creative industries landscape. Many of our staff are professional practitioners embedded within the local and national performance ecology. This allows us to also foster creative partnerships with industry to produce and support research-based theatre and performance. Students benefit from collaborations with organisations such as the Globe Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Institute, local and national theatre companies, and public sector bodies such as hospitals, prisons and schools.

Should you wish to follow an academic research and teaching career, we also offer you the opportunity to gain a range of teaching experience across both theory and practice. This is supported within Drama and by accredited training from the University’s LTHE team.

For more information on how to become part of our enriching research community see the how to apply and funding pages.

Our current PhD students

We're proud of the research carried out by our PhD students. Follow the links below to find out more about our PhD students and their research projects.

StudentResearch titleFirst supervisorSecond supervisor
Qaisar Abbas  From protest to entertainment and streets to halls: Decline of Political Theatre in Punjab Professor Jerri Daboo  Professor Jane Milling
Ohood s. Alaqeel The Female Playwrights in Saudi Arabia Professor Jane Milling Dr Adrian Curtin
Manal Saleh A Alghamdi Live and Mediated Acts of Reading Aloud to Children Professor Heike Roms  Dr Katie Beswick
Helen Ayres (MA by Research) The cognitive and psychological effects of dance on the Practitioner Dr Sarah Goldingay Dr. Rebecca Hillman
Francesco Bentivegna The human-cyborg dialogue Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis Dr Bryan Brown
Chloe Bradwell An exploration of the cultural value of performing arts for people living with dementia Professor Kerrie Schaefer Margaret Ames (Aberystwyth)
Lin Chen Comparative analysis of framing in theatre/performance studies Dr. Michael Pearce

Professor Jane Milling

Narbort (Malavika) Chnige Protest performances: Aesthetics and politics of visibility in public space Dr. Rebecca Hillman  Carol Upadhya (NIAS, India)
Yingnan Chu Comedy, ethnicity and gender: what happens when Chinese perform stand-up comedy in Britain? Professor Kate Newey  Dr. Rebecca Hillman
Giorgia Ciampi Practicing affectivity: a phenomenological study of the contemporary actor’s affective expression Professor Rebecca Loukes

Professor Giovanna Colombetti
Dr Thomas Kampe (Bath Spa)

Bojana Daw Srdanovic How does the production of professional theatre affect the wellbeing and community participation of artists living with learning disabilities? Professor Kerrie Schaefer Professor Manuela Barreto, Professor Martin Levinson
Sophia Edlund Voicing Thelxis   Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis
Dr Adrian Curtin
Roger Farrell Rules, roles, relationships: exploring creative pathways between imaginary play and structured drama in late childhood and the implications for creativity in education and society. Professor Kerrie Schaefer Dr Rebecca Hillman
Elaine Faull Theatre Alibi project Professor Cathy Turner  
Giselle Garcia Translation, Adaptation and Flanerie: the Fate of Shakespearean Performance in Manila's Urban Forms Dr Kara Reilly Professor Cathy Turner
Aldith Gauci A Living Masquerade: A study of Jola’s Kumpo in Senegambia (Working Title) Professor Heike Roms Prof Jerri Daboo
Howard Gayton The Esoteric Art of the Fool: mapping Antoine Faivre's core principles of the esoteric onto the modern theatrical Fool Dr Bryan Brown  
Sarah Holden Boyd  Ripped and Resonant: Tensions within Resistance Training and Voice Training for Actors Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis Dr Evelyn O'Malley
Susan Hope (Hoffman)

What Makes Magic? Audience-Performer Creative Process

Dr Adrian Curtin Dr Evelyn O'Malley
Zhiyue Hu

Representing East Asian identities in 21st Century British Theatre

Dr Rebecca Loukes Dr Michael Pearce
Helen Keen On Adult Autism, Social Isolation and Performance Professor Kerrie Schaefer Manuela Barreto (Psychology)
Alexandra MacKenzie When you're here, we are here also. An examination of how contemporary sacred re-enactments reveal Mormon faith and strengthen Mormon Identity in the 21st century. Dr Sarah Goldingay Dr Rebecca Loukes
Aparna Mahiyaria Understanding Politics, Aesthetics and Performance: A Study of the Development of Street Theatre in Delhi, India Professor Cathy Turner Shivali Tukdeo
Josip Martincic

Cultural Authority of Theatre Critics in Late 19th Century London

Professor Kate Newey Dr. Adrian Curtin
Kate Massey-Chase How can my Applied Drama practice support young people in the transition between Child and Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Services? Professor Jane Milling  
Sophia New Belasco Examining the everyday through plan b's works created with endotic data Professor Heike Roms Professor Cathy Turner
Tom Nicholas Representations of regional English cities in contemporary drama Professor Cathy Turner Dr Katie Beswick
Elizabeth Philps Parents Performing Walking: how can understandings of walking performance be enhanced through participatory live art works which include children? Professor Cathy Turner Dr Rebecca Loukes
Effrosyni Rigopoulou 'May we entertain you?': Ageing Female Vocality in Musical Theatre Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis Professor Jerri Daboo
Alison Rockbrand Rite of Performance: Identity Construction in Contemporary Esoteric Performances. Dr Sarah Goldingay  
Navadee (Dif) Sethamateekul Devising and Directing theatre for blind and visually impaired children Professor Jane Milling Professor Kerrie Schaefer
James Woodhams   Dr Katie Beswick  
Cheng-Po (Howl)  Yuan  The transformation of ‘dweller’ to tourist in one’s own locale Professor Stephen Hodge  Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis

Supervisors - all students have a primary and a secondary supervisor who provide regular, high quality advice, support and direction in their academic endeavours. You will work closely with your supervisors over three to four years (full time PhD) or six to seven (part-time PhD) to develop, investigate and write-up a project at the cutting edge of theological research.

Visit our staff profiles for more information about individual research interests or use the search box on the right of this page to find a supervisor.

Mentor - each student will also be assigned a mentor who will take on a pastoral role and mediate on any problems that arise during the period of study. Your mentor will keep in regular contact and will provide background stability and support.

A number of funding routes are open to students on our research degree programmes in Drama.

Please also look at further information on how to apply.

We are committed to making your PhD a rewarding experience that will develop your skills and expertise. Undertaking a postgraduate degree with us also provides you with access to the wide range of support offered by our Career ZoneIn addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial employment titles and employers of Drama postgraduates who have studied with us in recent years. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Initial Job Titles of Drama Postgraduates

Research Fellow
Theatre Maker
Teacher of drama and consultant of drama
University Fellow in Theatre and Drama
Arts Practitioner
Writer and Broadcaster
Lecturer in performing arts/applied drama

Initial Employers of Drama Postgraduates

University of Exeter
University of Oxford
University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea Metropolitan
Bangkok University
Forest Fringe
Ministry of Education
National University of Ireland, Galway
Promendade Promotions Ltd