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International Master's Programme in Performance Studies

The Master’s Programme in Theatre and Performance Studies boasts an international and intercultural profile. It prepares students for research at the doctoral level as well as for work in the performing arts industry and cultural institutions.

Stage in Library

The relationship between the performing arts and society is at the core of the programme. The performing arts constitute an increasingly critical activity where artists actively engage with and promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. As a result of this development, professional areas related to Theatre Studies and the performing arts are changing and ask for a critical, intercultural and intersectional understanding of what performance means.

Our International Master’s Programme in Theatre and Performance Studies is a response to these developments and aims to give students the knowledge, competence, and skills needed for a future professional role within academia, the cultural sector, or the performing arts industry.

The programme broadens students’ understanding of the concept of performance, which not only denotes the object of study for a theatrical analysis, but also functions as a theoretical and methodological tool. As such, the concept is used to critically reflect on and interpret performing arts processes, bodily practices, and social structures. Students will gain in-depth and nuanced knowledge of performance theories and methodologies, as well as insights into the overall relevance of those aspects to the humanities. 

Furthermore, the programme thematizes how contemporary performing arts are characterized by new dramaturgies which go beyond the structure and composition of a dramatic work. Students explore how these new trends take into account questions about organization, financing, the audience’s experience, and the performative effect of a theatrical event on people, culture and society. Other issues being increasingly centred in new dramaturgies, such as those revolving around social justice, decolonization, feminism, racialisation, migration, sustainability, the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and children and young people are likewise analysed and considered during the programme.

Over the course of the programme, students have the chance to make use of the programme’s connections to the labour market. Students are offered the opportunity to do an internship, for example at a theatre or a cultural institution, and overall gain a deeper understanding of cultural policy and management, which are recurring themes throughout the programme. 

The programme naturally includes regular study visits to Stockholm’s rich performing arts landscape as well as cultural institutions, and regular guest speakers with direct connections to the performing arts industry are invited to the programme and the department.

The International Master’s Programme in Performance Studies is a two-year (full-time) programme leading to an M.A. in Theatre Studies. A full overview of the courses included in the programme is listed below. 

  • Programme overview

    The Master’s Programme comprises four terms of full-time studies (120 credits) and consists of both compulsory and optional courses. A term normally consists of four courses à 7.5 credits each. The master’s thesis takes up one full term (30 credits). The teaching is in English. Elective courses outside the main area of Theatre Studies must be chosen in consultation with the Director of Studies.

    Year 1

    Semester 1 (autumn)

    Semester 2 (spring)

    • New dramaturgies I (7.5 credits; compulsory; main area: Theatre Studies)
    • New dramaturgies II (7.5 credits; compulsory; main area: Theatre Studies)
    • Cultural policy and management (7.5 credits; compulsory; main area: Theatre Studies)
    • Elective course (7.5 credits; main area: Humanities or Social Sciences). This elective course may consist of an internship

    Year 2

    Semester 3 (autumn)

    Semester 4 (spring)

  • How to apply

    You apply online via the central Swedish application site

    Prerequisites and special admittance requirements: Bachelor's degree in humanities or social sciences, including a degree project of at least 10 ECTS credits or equivalent. Swedish upper secondary school course English 6 or equivalent.
    Admissions are based on the quality of the degree project (or equivalent) and the personal letter.

    More important information on how you apply can be found at the link below.



    Selection process

    Additional eligibility criteria

    The academic quality and area of focus of the degree project or equivalent essay as well as the relevance of the previous studies in relation to the Master’s Programme are considered.

  • Meet us

    Meet our teachers

    Rebecca Brinch
    Photo: Sören Andersson / Stockholm University

    Rebecca Brinch holds a PhD in Theatre Studies and is a researcher in the Department of Culture and Aesthetics. Her current project focuses on migration and contemporary theatre for children and young audiences. Dr Brinch is also a co-editor of the volume Berätta, överleva, inte drunkna (Atlas 2022), which deals with anti-racism, decolonization and migration in Swedish theatre. Dr Brinch has a solid experience conducting reception studies and fieldwork across numerous research projects. Furthermore, she is a member of several theatre reference groups and a member of the board of the Association for Nordic Theatre Scholars (ANTS). Her teaching expertise lies in the area of performance analysis, dramaturgy, and contemporary theatre for young audiences.

    Dirk Gindt
    Photo: Henrik Bengtsson / Memoria Photo

    Dirk Gindt is Professor Theatre Studies whose current research on Sámi performance is conducted in close dialogue and consultation with Giron Sámi Teáhter, which is the oldest professional Indigenous theatre company in Sweden. Previous projects have attended to post-war and contemporary queer theatre and performance from an international and intercultural perspective as well as the impact of HIV and AIDS on queer theatre and performance in Canada and Sweden. Dr Gindt seeks to empower his students by helping them to shape and defend their own arguments, critically ponder their own assumptions and, above all, find and express their own voice.

    Photo: Sören Andersson / Stockholm University


    Rikard Hoogland is an Associate Professor in Theatre Studies. His research expertise lies in the fields of cultural policy, contemporary European directors and the breakthrough of modern theatre. He teaches theatre history, contemporary performing arts, cultural policy and theatre criticism. Dr Hoogland has been involved in a major research project on performing arts around 1900 in Sweden, emphasising the link to popular culture and transnationality. He is also convener of the working group Theatrical Event at the International Federation for Theatre Research. He takes an active interest in the development of new courses that are based on important contemporary issues and the exploration of various pedagogical methods to engage students.

    Daria Skjoldager-Nielsen

    Daria Skjoldager-Nielsen is a PhD candidate in Theatre Studies whose research is primarily concerned with audiences. She has experience in qualitative and quantitative audience research and is looking for new ways to get insights into the experience of cultural audiences. In addition, she is involved in audience development – theoretically and practically – and also interested in issues such as affect, migrant theatre, and processes in cultural institutions. In her teaching, she aims to share her experience in the areas of cultural marketing, cultural policy, cultural institution management, and cultural accessibility in order to best prepare students for work after completing their studies.

    Christina Svens is an Associate Professor in Literature – Drama, Theatre, and Film, whose research concentrates on contemporary theatre and performance. Her work studies the pioneering feminist director Suzanne Osten, ethnicity as a political dimension in the art of migrated Kurdish actors as well as intercultural theatre for children and young audiences. Dr Svens has a pronounced interest in dramaturgical work and often combines field work in the form of rehearsal processes with traditional archival studies as fruitful sources for her research. Dr Svens has extensive teaching experience in both academic and artistic education. Additionally, creative writing lies close to her heart.

  • Contact

    Study Councellor Theatre and Performance Studies
    Course Administrator Musicology and Theatre and Performance Studies