Postgraduate study

European Theatre PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: European Theatre

Thanks to its rich artistic heritage – which includes the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Edinburgh is one of the most inspiring places in the world to study theatre. This vibrant theatrical culture has attracted researchers and practitioners from all over the world, many of whom you will find on our academic staff.

Our breadth of expertise means you will have access to supervisors who are active researchers in British, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Scandinavian theatre studies, as well as drama and performance theory. Many are theatre practitioners, as well as experts in the culture and language of their respective areas of interest.

Due to the far-reaching interests of our academic staff, your scope for research is extremely broad, and includes:

  • 17th-century French theatre
  • 19th- and 20th-century Italian literature
  • 20th-century German theatre and cultural politics, particularly in the Weimar Republic and the GDR
  • contemporary French cinema
  • contemporary French fiction
  • digital philology
  • early modern Spanish culture
  • electronic publishing
  • English Renaissance Theatre and theories of performance and performativity
  • film aesthetics and film philosophy
  • gender and performance
  • gender history
  • Greek and Persian political and sociocultural history
  • Greek poetry
  • literary theory
  • medieval literature
  • Modernism and performance
  • reception studies and popular culture
  • Russian modernist and postmodernist film, theatre and literature
  • Scandinavian literature
  • word and image

As well as the seasonal offerings of its festivals, Edinburgh boasts the UK’s only student-run theatre, the Bedlam Theatre. Here you can complement your research with practical experience in any aspect of the theatre, from acting to directing or producing. The city’s Traverse Theatre provides support and opportunities for new and emerging writers.

All postgraduates are required to take a one-year research methods course, which teaches core research skills (bibliographic work, library research, data management) and introduces you to the research facilities available at the University and in the city of Edinburgh.

Career development is offered through workshops on conference presentation and publishing. Second-year research students can become undergraduate tutors.

Postgraduates have access to IT and common-room facilities and benefit from visiting lectures from international scholars.

A UK 2:1 honours degree and a masters degree, or their international equivalents, in a related subject.

We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please contact a supervisor to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDEuropean Theatre3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDEuropean Theatre6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
13 January 2020 30 November 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a research proposal and a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH