Theatre Studies MA

Performance Theory and Analysis THEATRE4009

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Performance Theory and Analysis is a core honours course that introduces students to a range of theoretical approaches to performance analysis.


8 x 3 hr seminar sessions per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus.

Attendance at 3 performances during the course.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,500 words) - 70%

Performance Proposal (1,500 words) - 30%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ examine a wide variety of different types of performance work (both within the theatre and beyond), and their significance within the contemporary cultural context;

■ introduce a range of theoretical and critical perspectives on performance, in order to show something of the variety of tools available for use in performance analysis, and something of the range of issues currently being debated by scholars;

■ encourage students to pursue further reading and investigation into the critical areas that interest them most, and actively to adapt the tools available to their own concerns;

■ provide a forum in which to analyse live performances according to different perspectives.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ critique performance events and performance theories in a seminar context and through oral presentations;

■ show an ability to question/critique the assumptions underlying both the performances they view and the ways in which they themselves habitually view them;

■ use seminars with confidence as a way of clarifying and evaluating ideas, and as a means to exploring theoretical issues through practical application;

■ present ideas critically, clearly and coherently in writ essays, developing well-structures arguments, and observing the disciplines of referencing, footnoting and bibliography.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.