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The Department of Performing Arts offers research students the opportunity to work alongside well-practiced and experienced researchers. The Department is particularly strong in interdisciplinary performance, new technologies and performance, and applied drama, while maintaining a strong interest in the more traditional areas of research – text-based work, performance theory, contemporary choreography and composition.

The Department

The internationally recognised quality of research in the Department was highlighted by the results of the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) with a significant proportion judged to be internationally excellent or world leading quality in terms of originality and significance.

Research within the Department of Performing Arts is organised at Department Level through the Chester Performing Arts Research Centre (Chester PARC) and also at Faculty level through the Chester Centre for Research in Arts and Media (CCRAM). By encouraging critical exploration of contemporary practice and its reception and interpretation, Chester PARC and CCRAM seek to further the gathering body of knowledge in the areas of Performing Arts and develop innovative models of best practice in the methodology and realisation of this knowledge. It provides a venue for the exchange of ideas and dialogue with individuals and institutions at a local, regional, national and international level.


Research students within the Department have access to the Department’s specialist performance and workshop spaces, equipment, and ICT facilities for research. The Department is well stocked with technical and digital equipment, and with a range of flexible performance spaces.

Research Areas

The University of Chester welcomes applications from students who are interested in studying towards MPhil or PhD research degrees in Performing Arts. We are particularly keen to hear from students who would like to research any of the following areas:

  • Contemporary British drama
  • Theories of acting
  • Theatre and nation
  • Beckett
  • Relationships between live and mediated performance
  • Intercultural performance
  • Applied practice
  • Educational drama
  • (Popular) music
  • Composition

Entry Months

These Research Degrees usually commence annually in October, February and May.


If you are interested in developing your research with the Department, contact Dr Shelley Piasecka, Senior Postgraduate Research Tutor, or Professor David Pattie, Director of Research Performing Arts, to discuss the application process and the availability of appropriate supervision.