A woman in the middle of a performance with a projector screen behind her

MA Performance and Digital Media

  • Study Mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2024

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Offered as a full-time or part-time course, on this MA you’ll explore performance and digital media within to a contemporary society that has become increasingly technologised. With a focus on the latest technology, allowing you to explore the full range of stage, screen, audio and intermedial possibilities, you’ll gain hands-on experience which can help kick-start your career in this fast-paced and diverse industry.

Why study this subject?

Performance and digital media is a global industry with a rich history in entertainment and innovation. To stand out in this sector you must stay current and extend you knowledge with an ever-changing society. On this course you’ll explore these topics, experiment with lots of ideas and learn about how contemporary practitioners and writers create and understand performance.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

With a track-record of producing industry-ready alumni, BNU is the perfect place for you to kick-start your career.

As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the university with other courses, ensuring during your studies you are building a varied network, like you would in the real world. Previous joint projects have seen students working with film and TV production and audio and music students.

We’ll support you to find an approach to performance and digital media that’s uniquely yours and alongside this set you up with the real-world skills you need to secure work when you graduate.

Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. Many of our guest lecturers are specialists within the industry and with lecturers will nurture your learning and professional development throughout your time with BNU.

As well as this we seek to bring your work into the wider world and to bring the world into the university. During your time at BNU you’ll have the opportunity to perform at external venues and take part in workshops with leading companies, both on and off campus.

With London only a short train ride away, you are only a stones-throw away from the hustle and bustle of the world-renowned West End. 

What facilities can I use?

At BNU we ensure you have creative spaces to bring your ideas to life. On this course you’ll have access to three drama studios. Each space brings with it unique features to bring your performance to life, from moving lights and fully equipped sound systems and projection to mirrors, a tiered seating bank and sprung floors. On occasion you could also find yourself using the professional venue at Wycombe Town Hall, which is less than two minutes from our campus.

You’ll also have access to high quality camera equipment, a greenscreen room and lighting rigs and sound recording facilities, all suitable for film and TV screening.

What will I study?

This MA course is offered as both a full-time and part-time course.

Create work that pushes the boundaries between performances and contemporary life, and the boundaries between performance and other disciplines. This course focuses on contemporary cutting-edge practice. You'll be guided in your studies by skilled practitioners and experienced academics.

As the course goes on, you’ll increasingly move towards independent study as you adopt the role of performer / director / creator as well as academic. You'll run workshops and lead group productions and the course will conclude with a project led by you, in which you'll creatively develop ideas explored during the course.

You will explore the application of live and digital performance to a contemporary society that has become increasingly technologised. You will learn to view performance as both performing – a skill which can be applied in a variety of contexts – and as an art form that can accommodate a range of media, including film, screen, and digital platforms. You will gain hands-on experience with the latest technology, allowing you to explore the full range of stage, screen, audio and intermedial possibilities.

There is a particular focus on the range of skills involved in small scale theatre and setting up your own theatre companies, which aims to simulate industry practice. The range of leadership roles will develop creative and innovative thinkers on this programme by drawing on collaborative, ensemble and directing working practices. The high level of academic knowledge and ability to do independent research paves the way for you to embark on PhD study after this programme.

At the centre of the programme is practical work with industry professionals at the forefront of contemporary UK performance. You will work with them practically and learn about their professional practices. You will then go on to study thinkers who have written about the possibilities of performance and explore concepts discussing what performance is and could be.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Assessment is varied, catering for different learning styles and enabling students to develop a wide range of academic and performance skills. These include solo performance, group performance, group presentation, written project proposal, written reflection on creative work, and workshops.

We're passionate about giving our students as many opportunities as possible so you’ll be able to work on a number of exciting projects. We know the importance of catering for different learning styles and enabling our students to develop a wide range of academic and performance skills. We encourage you to develop your own response to open briefs, giving you independence and creative control over your work.

Throughout the course, an attempt is made to connect practical and critical work, with an understanding of the links between theory and practice evidenced in written work. Teaching methods may vary but will include workshops to develop practical and production skills, seminars and lectures, performances (some of which are formally assessed) where you will perform to an audience or be mediated (i.e. for camera) and study trips, giving you the opportunity to watch professional theatre.

In the final term you'll research a topic of your choice for your practical project or written dissertation.

MA Performance and Digital Media Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Typically 2:1 or above in a Media or Performing Arts related field, and/or experience in the performing arts sector (in its widest sense, from performance to design, video production, teaching and leadership).

All students will be required to attend an interview and give a presentation on their relevant experience. Students will be required to work to a high level in both practical and academic work.

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds and experiences and are prepared to consider students with relevant experience in addition to the above typical profile.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees

  • Home, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £5,500 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing advice@bnu.ac.uk.

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our Careers and Employability Team also help you find employment after graduation.

The MA Performance and Digital Media will prepare you for a wide range of roles in the performing arts industry, such as;

  • creative performer in theatre, performance, film and digital media
  • arts management
  • performance practitioner in a wider industry role (for example radio performance, creative producing, video / film making)
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter
  • Performance Company owner
    creative educator.
A head shot of a smiling Catriona Craig wearing a blue top stood facing directly into the camera against a grey wall
Dr Catriona Craig
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Dr Jeremy Kelly
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