School of English and Drama

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PhD Programme

Study in one of the United Kingdom’s leading centres for performance research.

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There are approximately 30 PhD students in Drama working on diverse and original research projects across a wide range of topics encompassed by our four main - but overlapping - strands of research, on cultural histories of performance, transnational performance, live art, and applied performance. We also welcome interdisciplinary projects, especially with Geography, Film, Business and Management, English, Languages, and History.

Research students in Drama study with some of the United Kingdom’s leading performance researchers. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Drama at Queen Mary was the highest-rated Drama department in the United Kingdom.

Research students are a central part of intellectual life in Drama. They contribute significantly to our research culture and to the discipline more widely. In addition to pursuing their own scholarly projects, students organise Drama’s research seminar series Quorum, as well as symposia and conferences driven by their research interests. Students also present their research at national and international conferences, publish articles, reviews, journalism, plays, and DVDs, and perform widely at venues in the UK and internationally. Research students play an important part in Drama’s collaborations with leading arts organisations, including the Barbican, Shakespeare's Globe, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Actors’ Touring Company, the London Film Festival, LIFT, and AfroReggae.

Students are supported through individual supervision and an extensive programme of research training. All PhD students are members of the Queen Mary Doctoral College, which further advances doctoral and post-doctoral research at Queen Mary.


Tiffany Watt-Smith

Our students have won awards for their research, including winner Theron Schmidt (2009) and Charlotte Bell (2013) and runner-up  Geraldine Brodie (2011) and George Home-Cook (2012) of the TaPRA postgraduate essay competition, winner Tiffany Watt-Smith (2009) of the Journal of Victorian Culture Graduate Essay Prize Competition, and winner Cecilia Sosa (2013) of the most distinguished doctoral thesis of the year by Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Our graduates hold posts in arts organisations and as lecturers and post-doctoral researchers in universities in the UK and abroad.

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