Key Information


MPhil: 1.5-3 years. PhD: 2-4 years


MPhil: 2-4 years. PhD: 3-8 years

Entry Requirements

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Brayford Pool

Start Dates in October and January

Programme Overview

While studying for an MPhil or PhD, students have the chance to undertake independent research in an area of their choice, supervised and supported by a team of academics. A range of training opportunities enables the development of key research skills.

The Lincoln School of Creative Arts boasts extensive research expertise in the fields of drama, theatre, and performance studies where a team of academics offer continued supervision and support throughout. Areas of specialism include playwriting, dramaturgy, scenography, musical theatre, Asian performance, intermediality, and historiography, as well as practice as research and practice-based research.

Research students are invited to join one of the School's thriving research groups and participate in the Critical Encounters Research Series alongside academic staff and other postgraduate students. Students are encouraged to present their work at national and international conferences and to publish their findings.

Key Features

Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from an advisory panel of academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in January or October each year

Students Posing on stage

How You Study

Progression points throughout the programme allow students to present their work to colleagues within the School. These are opportunities to ensure that the programme of research is on track and meets the required standards.

Research Areas

The key to success on a postgraduate research programme is to find a research topic that you are passionate about and identify a supervisory team that has expertise in this area. The first thing that all prospective students should do is directly contact a member of staff from one of these areas that you feel is best aligned with your chosen research area to discuss the application process further. The School’s research areas include:

  • Drama
  • Theatre
  • Performance Studies
  • Playwriting
  • Dramaturgy
  • Scenography
  • Musical theatre
  • Asian perfomance
  • Intermediality
  • Historiography


How you are assessed

Students completing a practice-based PhD will be required to produce a substantial body of performance or creative work and a thesis of between 25,000 and 40,000 words.

The thesis is examined by two examiners (one external to the School, one internal) and includes a Viva Voce (oral) examination.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second class honours degree and a Master's degree.

International students will also require English Language at IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in each part.

For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Supporting Your Application

Normally we require a UK Master's degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject, or relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area.

Please submit the following supporting information when making your application:

- a supporting statement (500 words). This should explain the motivation for studying your chosen programme.
- a research proposal (1,000-2,000 words). This proposal should:

- Clearly define the topic you are interested in and demonstrate understanding of your research area.
- Include two or three research questions that you will explore in your research.
- Outline the range of research methodologies you will use to undertake the research.
- Include a provisional bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

In addition, you may want to:

- Include a brief literature review of the key works that relate to your topic, particularly if this helps to exemplify the point below.
- Explain clearly how your research contributes to existing scholarship in the area; what gaps will it fill? How will it further knowledge of the area?
- Sketch out a provisional plan of work that includes research/archival visits and a timetable for the writing of chapters.

Please note: a research proposal will only be considered if there are academics in the subject with an interest in your field. Please study the staff profiles closely to make sure there is at least one member of staff whose interests intersect broadly with your own.

All suitable applicants will be invited for an interview, either in person or via Skype.

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the options available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

A doctoral qualification can be the capstone of academic achievement and often marks the beginning of a career in academia or research. A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills that can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. PhDs and research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact:

Dr Jackie Bolton

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.