Postgraduate Studies

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  • About
    2 Years


    Applicants need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline with minimum 45% marks or equivalent gr

    {...} the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, a ‘t were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure

    ---(Shakespeare, Hamlet Act III, 2: 21-25)

    “Performance Studies” is an interdisciplinary field of research that draws on the social sciences, the humanities, art and theatre. It focuses on the pervasiveness of performance as a central element of social and cultural life, including not only theatre and dance but also such forms as rituals and practices of everyday life, avant­-garde performance art, popular entertainment, sports, political demonstrations and potentially any instance of expressive behaviour or cultural enactment.

    It was in the 1960s, Performance Studies emerged as a discipline in the global context, branching out as a separate mode of analysis beyond the Theatre and Drama Studies associated with Literature departments in universities around the world. In India, this specific academic interest was generated in the 1990s, however, MA in Performance Studies (established in 2012) at the School of Culture and Creative Expressions, AUD in the first Masters programme do provide a foundational research oriented training in the discipline.

    Our M.A. programme is taught by internationally-recognized faculty in fields ranging from experimental and protest theater, actor training, feminist and queer theory, dance studies, sound studies, performance curation, and critical race theory. With faculties having such varied specializations, M.A. Performance Studies @ SCCE, AUD uses multiple disciplinary perspectives borrowing its major theoretical formulations from ancient theories of arts across cultures, primarily from theories from literature, philosophy and anthropology to very recent mode of communication and digital dynamics of 21st century to analyse and critically understand the various performance processes and practices, both by engaging with theory and practice. In the process it would hope to contribute in the development of engaged scholarship in the field with a unique perspective given the rich varied experience situated and informed by the culture and heritage of India. This programme allows students to develop a unique critical thinking in the field of performance,which can be further implemented in their own practice.

  • Programme Structure
    2 Years


    Applicants need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline with minimum 45% marks or equivalent gr

    The programme’s duration is two years divided into four semesters. A semester is sixteen weeks long. A course meeting for a minimum of four credit hours a week for the duration of a semester enables students to earn four credits. Students should register for a minimum of 16 credits each term and need to earn 64 credits to complete the programme successfully. They may register for more credits on payment of extra fees. All the students of SCCE need to take three common Foundational courses, one each in the first three semesters, for 12 credits in total. They should also take four Elective Courses offered by the School or any other School in the University, one each in all the four semesters, for 16 credits in total. They need to take seven compulsory Core Courses from their respective discipline (in this case Performance Studies) for 28 credits in total. Their MA dissertation work ( Approx. 20, 000 words) in the final semester will earn them 8 credits.

     Semester 1Semester 2Semester 3Semester 4

    History/Historiography of Performance I (4 Credits)

    History/ Historiography of Performance II (4 Credits)

    Performance Practice as Research (4 Credits)

    Aurality and Movement in Popular Performance  (4 Credits)


    Theories of Performance I (4 Credits)

    Theories of Performance II (4 Credits) 

    Reading and Decoding Performance (4 Credits)


    Body in Performance (4 Credits)

    Post- Dramatic Theatre (4 Credits)

    Space & Spectatorship (4 Credits)

    Use(s) of Traditions (4 Credits)

    Foundation Courses

    Contemporary Critical Theory-I Critical Theory (4 Credits)

    Contemporary Critical Theory-II Cultural Studies (4 Credits)

    Contemporary Critical Theory-III Theories of Marginality (4 Credits)

    Dissertation   Dissertation & Viva (20,000 words)(8 Credits)

    ** Electives also offered by Performance Studies faculty:

    Digital Theatre (4 Credits)

    Musical Theatre (4 Credits)

  • Programme Outcomes
    2 Years


    Applicants need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline with minimum 45% marks or equivalent gr

    MA Performance Studies seeks to inculcate a strong grasp of historical, cultural, and practical contexts in which performance practice develops (especially in the context of India and South Asia). This research-oriented programme aims to foster a capacity for thought that is both historically self-reflexive and philosophically radical.

    Thus, at the end of the programme the following attributes should be instilled in the graduate:


    • Critical thinker and problem solver: employ critical thinking and efficient problem-solving skills in/through Performance.
    • Digitally literate: Engage with digital technology as a critical and creative user. They will also be capable of using computers and digital resources for creative simulation. Proficient in employing modern library search tools to locate, retrieve, and evaluate performance-related information. Also, they will learn to use digital technology in creative expressions with a significant impact on experientiality and aesthetics.
    • Disciplinary knowledge and skills: Capable of demonstrating (i) comprehensive knowledge and understanding of major concepts, theoretical principles and experimental findings in the field of Performance and its different subfields/specializations (Dance, Movement, Music, and Theatre) and other related fields of study, including broader interdisciplinary subfields such as Film, Literary Art and Visual Art; (ii) able to engage in various allied disciplines like Anthropology, Sociology, Gender Studies etc.; (iii) able to use contemporary methods of Performance Analysis and Practice.
    • Ethical awareness/reasoning: Avoid unethical behaviour such as fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of data or committing plagiarism, and appreciate environmental and sustainability issues.
    • Lifelong learners: Capable of self-paced and self-directed learning aimed at personal development and for improving knowledge/skill development and reskilling, with a special focus on “learning how to learn.”
    • Multicultural competence: Possess knowledge of the values and beliefs of multiple cultures and a global perspective, and capability to effectively engage in a multicultural society and interact respectfully with diverse groups.
    • Research-related skills: Acquire a sense of inquiry and capability for asking relevant/appropriate questions, problematizing, synthesizing and articulating, related to issues and problems in the field of Performance. They will also be able to recognize cause-and-effect relationships, define problems, formulate hypotheses, test hypotheses, analyze, interpret and draw conclusions from data, establish hypotheses, predict cause-and-effect relationships; ability to plan, execute and report the results of an experiment or investigation, integrating Practice in/as Research.
    • Skilled communicator: Able to transmit complex technical, disciplinary information related to the field of Performance in a clear and concise manner orally and in writing.
    • Skilled project manager and team worker: Capable of identifying/mobilizing appropriate resources required for a project, and manage a project through to completion, while observing responsible and ethical scientific conduct; and safety regulations and practices. They will be capable of working effectively in diverse teams in both classroom, laboratory (workshop), in industry and field-based situations, with a thorough understanding of the collaborative nature of Performance.
  • FAQ
    2 Years


    Applicants need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline with minimum 45% marks or equivalent gr

    Does the programme teach us how to create performances or train in acting?

    No, this programme does not teach performance making or acting. It has a few courses, offered as “electives”, and conducts workshops around the year that teach practices of performance making focusing on Body, Space, Time and Action. The programme’s main purpose however is a critical reflection on various instances of performances, with special focus on historical and theoretical analysis. It trains students to read and write, academically, about performances (focusing on, but not limited to Dance, Movement, Music, Theatre) and other related fields of study.

    What are the career paths that emerge after an MA Performance Studies?

    Performance Studies alumni can pursue a broad range of careers. The choices could be as varied as the interests of the students. The basic thrust of the programme is to push forward expertise and innovation invigorated with critical thinking. They would be encouraged to explore the wide range of and surely not be just limited to these options:

    • Pursue higher education (MPhil/PhD) in the discipline.
    • Work as research associates at Cultural Institutions.
    • Performance reviewers for newspapers and journals.
    • New cutting-edge performance practices.
    • Begin careers as theatre and film artists, actors, directors, and producers.
    • Even if they do not go on to pursue careers related to performance, alumni would be able to make use of the exceptional variety of critical thinking stimulated by this performance-analysis based programme of study. They could be well accepted to pursue careers in advertising, banking, law, public administration, psychology etc.

    How do I apply?

    Online applications open usually between April to June each year. Please check the university website regularly around this time of the year. There is an entrance test and an interview.

    How do I prepare for the M.A. Performance Studies Programme entrance test?

    (Take a look at the sample papers provided on the School of Culture and Creative Expressions web page.)

    The entrance test will generally check your familiarity with formal elements of various forms of performance, critical appreciation of performance genres, broad historical outlines of performance, and development of performance studies as an academic discipline (both in the Indian and international contexts). Since MA Performance Studies is designed as a specialization programme, some basic familiarity with the world of performance is expected. Those candidates who have had some sustained interest and/or experience in performance practice, watching, discussing and learning about performance formally or from elders and peers over the years, are encouraged to apply.

    The question paper will consist of four parts:

    • The first part will be multiple choice questions in which candidates may be asked to identify performances, genres, actors, nationality, language, historical period etc. They may be provided with verbal or visual clues. This section carries 15 marks.
    • The second part consists of 10 short responses not exceeding 30 words each. This section carries 20 marks.
    • The third section will consist of two short essays of 100 to 300 words (general themes related to performance). This section carries 20 marks.
    • The final section will be a long essay of 500 to 800 words on a general topic related to performance. This section carries 20 marks.

    Tips for preparation:

    Candidates are advised to go through introductory literature on performance studies

    that is easily accessible online. (Richard Schechner, Victor Turner, Patrice Pavis).

    Familiarity with key practitioners and artists and their contribution to artistic practice in the field of theatre, dance and music in contemporary times is also anticipated.

    Knowledge and experience of watching, participating, reading about ‘classical’ and ‘traditional’ forms of theatre, dance and music genres in India will be useful for the entrance exam.

    Candidates are encouraged to bring forth conceptual understanding and insights from their previous study, especially from the arts and social sciences.

    Candidates are also advised to update themselves on recent developments and events in the fields of music, dance, theatre nationally and internationally.

    What should I get along with me for the interview?

    Basic admission documents (Admit card and Identity Proof)

  • Courses
    2 Years


    Applicants need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline with minimum 45% marks or equivalent gr