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MFA Contemporary Performative Arts

This international master's programme is for those who are practising artists with an interest in interdisciplinary artistic situations. The programme's focus examines the artist's interaction with the surrounding community, as well as aspects related to location and dramatic structure in the artistic work. You apply for the programme with an investigative project that then runs through the entire programme. You can examine new perspectives and challenge your practices through encounters with your fellow students, your supervisor and guest teachers from the arts as well as experts from other fields. The programme prepares students for postgraduate studies.

This programme is conducted in English.

A master's programme for practicing artists in theatre, physical performance, dance, musical drama or sound art, and who want to take the next step. Work investigative with your own project and develop in dialogue with teachers and fellow students from various artistic fields.

Contents of the programme

For two years you have the opportunity to focus on the process of an investigative project without a theatrical production as a centrepiece. The Independent Project course accounts for half of the programme (60 credits). Within the framework of this course, you have a great deal of freedom to test new ideas and reflect on your choices. You proceed with your investigative work independently in consultation with your supervisor. The Independent Project course also consists of lab forums, workshops, seminars and feedback sessions with your fellow students. The programme is characterised by an interdisciplinary environment through interaction with fellow students and visiting lecturers, where societal, site-specific and dramaturgical aspects are central issues. Also included are courses focusing on society, contemporary dramatists, digital tools, site-specific aspects and public spaces as an arena for artistic expression. The programme has close links to the research environment at the department, faculty and university. An important aspect of the programme is the relationship between artistic and academic writing.

Who can apply for the programme?

If you are a practising artist in theatre, physical performance, dance, musical drama or sound art and have a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts or the equivalent, you are welcome to apply for the programme with a draft of an investigative project. The programme is open to both international and Swedish students; instruction is both in English and Swedish.

Structure of the programme

The programme is designed to provide instruction during intensive periods at the beginning and end of each semester. There are periods during the middle of the semester for individual work, exploration and reflection. Contact with supervisors and supervision of techniques runs through the semester by agreement.
View a preliminary rough sketch of the course structure for the academic years 2020–2022:

Rough Course Structure

Independent project (60 credits)

Half of the programme consists of an investigative project carried out by the student based on a specific issue or theme. The Independent Project course runs for two years in the form of a module per semester (15 credits per module, introduction, experimentation, in-depth study and presentation) and both theatrical and written reports are provided during the final semester; one aspect of the course is working with experimental forms of academic and artistic writing. Students receive support through individual supervision with the principal supervisor during years one and two and with an additional assistant supervisor during year two. The course consists of seminars, workshops and lab forums where the investigative project is regularly processed in feedback sessions along with fellow students. This part of the programme has a clear connection with artistic research in the field and is conducted in English and Swedish.

Video playlist: Press wheel in lower right corner to select English subtitles! An important part of the master's programme is the indepedent project. Johan Svensson graduated in 2018, talks about his project and collaborations within the class. The clip is followed by two more interviews, featuring alumni Anna Thunström and Kim Bergkvist.

Courses year 1

During year 1 the courses aim to challenge the student’s investigative project with new perspectives and angles of approach, such as reflection on their own practice in relation to the surrounding community, locally and globally, digital means of expression and platforms as tools and dramaturgical and reflective questions. In the courses the student meets visiting lecturers who are active artists.

Semester 1

  • Independent Project 1 – introduction (15 credits)
  • Performative art in a changing world (7.5 credits)
  • Reflection and artistic practices (7.5 credits)

Semester 2

  • Independent Project 2 – experimentation (15 credits)
  • Artistic digital practitioners (7.5 credits)
  • Contemporary dramatists (7.5 credits)

Courses year 2

During year 2 the courses aim to enhance the student’s investigative project and increase knowledge of academic and artistic writing in relation to the student’s own practice and that of others. They also aim to place the project in relation to the public space, site-specific perspective and build a foundation for how the student can communicate about the project to a local and global sphere of activity.

Semester 3

  • Independent Project 3 – in-depth study (15 credits)
  • Public space and site-specific performance (7.5 credits)
  • Academic and artistic writing (7.5 credits)

Semester 4

  • Independent Project 4 – presentation (15 credits)
  • Surrounding world, leadership and communication (7.5 credits)
  • Elective course (7.5 credits)


Instruction for the programme is given in Swedish and English.
The Academy of Music and Drama provides a platform for collaboration with students in other programmes in both theatrical and musical areas. Teachers and artists who are active nationally and internationally participate in the programme. We collaborate with other universities, institutions, independent groups, platforms and performing artists both locally and internationally.

The organisation

The programme is part of the Music Drama, Acting and Performing for Stage and Screen at the Academy of Music and Drama, which is headed by Catharina Bergil along with a managerial group consisting of head of subject Cecilia Lagerström; programme coordinators Monica Danielson, Nina Norblad, Henrik Andersson, and Peter Melin; and two student representatives.

Henrik Andersson is the programme coordinator for the Contemporary Performative Arts master's programme.

Practical information


The Academy of Music and Drama allocates approximately SEK 3,000,000 a year for scholarships. In other words, as a student you have many options to apply for scholarships.

Please note that applications for some scholarships have to be submitted before you receive notification of selection results (admission notification). Always keep track of application dates for scholarships, especially if you intend to use scholarships to cover your tuition fees.

More information about scholarships

Tuition fees

Applicants from countries within the EU as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will be admitted free of charge. Applicants from other countries will be charged tuition fees and application fees.

Contact tuitionfees@gu.se for more information.

Details about fees for this programme are made available during application period on the University of Gothenburg main website under Education/Courses and Programmes.

Housing and living

Housing and living costs are to be borne by the individual students.

What is student accommodation like in Gothenburg? Join student Teri-Anne while she rings the doorbell at two of her friends' homes.

Welcome Programme

A welcome programme full of events and activities where students are provided with practical information as well as getting to know other students.

Page Manager: Tobias Egle|Last update: 11/5/2019

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-07-12