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School of English and Drama

Funding, Support, and Research

‘Red Ladies’ by Clod Ensemble for Psi#12 Performing Rights Conference and Festival (2006) 

Photograph © Manuel Vason

Research Allowance

The Department offers each student a research allowance to support conference attendance and fieldwork. Students are also encouraged and supported to apply for additional funding to the College’s Central Research Fund and external sources. 

Research students in Drama have been successful in securing support from AHRC, LAHP, SCUDD/Glynne Wickham Scholarships, International Oral History Association, Society for Latin American Studies, Arts Council, IrelandAnglo-Catalan Society, Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, Centre for Public EngagementArts Council England, Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies University of Manchester, Erasmus, British Council (London & Cape Town), International Federation of Theatre Research, and Wisps Conference Scholarship.

Space and Facilities

Research students have access to Drama’s spaces to hold seminars, symposia, conferences, and reading groups, and to Faculty-wide research student facilities, including dedicated postgraduate workspace in the ArtsOne building, and the Research Reading Room in Queen Mary's Mile End Library.

A number of performance spaces are also available for our research students to book outside the times that they are used for teaching and assessment purposes. These spaces include the Pinter Studio, Rehearsal Rooms 1, 2, and 3, and the dedicated postgraduate Film and Drama Studio in ArtsTwo.

Research Training

Three kinds of research training are on offer to PhD students in Drama:

  1. Department and School training
  2. Training provided by other Departments and Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  3. College-wide training provided by the Centre for Academic and Professional Development (formerly the Learning Institute), including events specifically for Humanities students

Research training is designed to develop your skills and expertise in four areas: 

  • Knowledge and intellectual abilities
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Research governance
  • Engagement and impact

This relates to the schema devised by Vitae, the Careers Research and Advisory Centre, for the Research Councils.

The Department of Drama offers research training seminars on a range of topics including a fortnightly intensive Research Development Seminar, which is designed to help you reflect on and develop your methodologies and research design. These include, for example, sessions on: publishing in journals (articles and book reviews); writing abstracts and presenting at conferences; oral history and qualitative research interviewing;preparing an academic CV; applying for academic jobs and interview skills; applying for post-docs; and preparing for the viva. 

Students also gain experience in running and presenting their research at an in-house Drama PhD colloquium in the first and second year of their programme. 

A year-long programme of research training events is released at the start of each academic year.

Click here for details of training opportunities offered by the Centre for Academic and Professional Development

Supported activities

Students in Drama actively disseminate their research nationally and internationally through conferences, symposia, publications, and performances.

Conferences and Symposia

Conferences and symposia organised or co-organised by our students include Collaborative Doctoral Award Approaches Conference (2008), Gobsmacked (2010), Theatre Translation as Collaboration: Re-Routing Text Through Performance (2010), Between the Past and the Future: Challenging Narratives of Memory in Latin America (2010), The Audience Through Time (2011), LABOUR (2012), Performing Monstrosity in the City (2012), Arts and Belonging in the Americas Today (2013), Learning to Work (2013), At Leisure: Amateur Sport and Performance (2014), Performing Dialectics (2015), Theatricality, Performance and the State (2018), and Capital Forms (2020).

Our students regularly present work at major conferences including PSi, TaPRA, ASTR, and IFTR. They also participate in disciplinary developments, debates, and postgraduate support through IFTR and TaPRA working groups and TaPRA Postgraduate Committee membership.


Our students have published numerous articles, including in Contemporary Theatre Review; Performance Research; Dance Theatre Journal; Journal of Cultural Studies; Memory Studies; Theory, Culture and Society; Journal of Victorian Culture; Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies; Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century; Maska; Law Text Culture; Platform; PAJ; TheatreForum; Journal of Media Practice; CTIS Occasional Papers; Polish Theatre Perspectives; Puppet Notebook; Frakcija: Performing Arts Journal; Liminalities; Théâtre/Public; Journal of Catalan Studies; About Performance; Research in Drama Education; New Theatre Quarterly; South African Theatre Journal; Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance. Students have published chapters with Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Maska, Palgrave, Live Art Development Agency, Lexington, Arnolfini, Continuum, University of Wales Press, Intellect, Berghahn, and Project Press.


Our students have performed at numerous venues across the UK and internationally including Oval House, Barbican, Laban, Camden People’s Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Artsadmin, V&A, Duckie, BAC, Contact (Manchester), Compass Live Art Festival (Leeds), The Basement (Brighton), ANTI Contemporary Art Festival (Finland), SPILL Festival of Performance (Ipswich), Brighton Festival, Soweto Theatre, and Artscape (Cape Town). Plays and performance texts have been published by Oberon and Text and Performance Quarterly, and DVDs issued by the Live Art Development Agency.

Knowledge Exchange

Students and graduates also facilitate exchanges between academia, creative industries, community organisations, the public and other bodies in the UK and internationally through: workshop and syllabus development (e.g. for AfroReggae, Performing Medicine, employment in our AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award partner institutions (e.g. Research and Evaluation Coordinator, Barbican; Audience Researcher, Shakespeare’s Globe; Researcher, Sight & Sound), creating online study and education packs (e.g. LADA, Reading International Solidarity Centre), working with communities (e.g. travellers, LGBTQ youth), Creativeworks London’s PhD in Residence scheme, translations of creative works and articles (e.g. Peter Greenaway, Mohamed Kacimi, Bola Agbaje, Sam Shepard, Jean-Luc Lagarce, Pedro Almodóvar, Virgilio Piñera), arts programming (e.g. IETM, Zagreb), conferences, education and talks (e.g. BFI, Live Festival, Learning to Work), journalism and trade publications (e.g. Around the Globe, La Republica, Vogue Italia, Página 12).


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