When you study Theatre and Performance at UNSW, you will learn about watching theatre, making performance, and live arts in all their diversity.

You can study acting and performing, multimedia performance, political theatre and activist art, popular entertainment and the repertoire of great plays. You will have practical opportunities to learn about staging a play, writing for the theatre, collaborative making and solo performance. And our industry internships and courses on how to create reviews or devise programs and repertoire will prepare you for a career in the arts.

You can study Theatre and Performance studies in many degrees, including:

Students often study Theatre and Performance Studies in combination with other subjects like Business, Communications, Creative Writing, English, Film Studies, History, Languages, Marketing, Media, Music, Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology.

For more information about the courses in Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW, please see our current curriculum here:

TPS Curriculum 2020 (PDF) [83 Kb]

What You Will Learn

You will acquire skills in a wide range of performance as a theatre-maker, performer and spectator. These skills include learning how to consider the live arts from a broad range of cultural and historical perspectives.

Our contemporary focus gives you the opportunity to explore experimental live arts, multimedia and dance practices within a global context. Our historical orientation provides you with essential skills in the analysis of playtext, genre, choreography and staging, and with perspectives on national theatre traditions and canon formation.

Our offerings in creative practice help you to develop the skills you need to become a theatre practitioner and include courses in interdisciplinary collaboration, professional production, script-writing and solo performance. Our industry pathway offers internships and courses with links to Sydney-based production companies, venues and publishing such as ATYP, Force Majeure, Carriageworks, Critical Path, Performance Space and Ausdance.

Practical Experience

We encourage experiential learning and an awareness of fundamental performance skills. These skills are introduced through practical courses, led by professional artists, that explore text and non-text based work, as well as solo and group-devised performance.

Our successful approach to studying theatre and performance is supported by the dynamic UNSW Creative Practice Lab, a specialised unit that makes an important contribution to teaching and research. Our ability to bring theory and practice into dialogue is also enhanced by our access to numerous well-equipped teaching, studio and workshop spaces at the university.

Honours Program

Honours in Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW provides an opportunity to develop professional skills in research, writing and creative practice in theatre, performance and dance. Over the period of a year you undertake courses in research methods and uses of theory, and devise and complete a major research project. Throughout the program you are guided by scholars who are passionate about new ideas and practices and the development of the next generation of researchers.

Your Honours project can be oriented around the creation of a thesis, or combine scholarly research with creative practice. Recent topics include: making performance; writing plays; choreographic process; the work of the dramaturg; environmental performance; multimedia and the live. Students have also studied American musical theatre; new Australian playwrights; Indigenous contemporary performance; and the work of world-renowned artists like director Barrie Kosky, dance-theatre pioneer Pina Bausch, and playwrights Sarah Kane, William Shakespeare, and Gao Xingjian.

Higher Degree Research

Research in Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW focuses on contemporary theatre, including creative process, live arts, dance and media-enhanced performance. It also includes theatre history, playwriting and popular entertainment, and is enriched by interdisciplinary collaborations with film, literature, media, music and the visual arts.

Research students in Theatre and Performance Studies can either write a full- length thesis, or undertake practice-based research, comprising a portfolio that includes a dissertation. Both involve the investigation of a significant problem within the discipline and the creation of knowledge.

Current higher degree projects and recent completions are on our Research page.