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Master’s Programme in Performing Arts as Critical Practice

Master’s Programme in Performing Arts | 120 credits

The new international Master’s programme in Performing Arts with a specialisation in Critical Practice and a social focus is a two-year, full-time study, starting in September, 2023.
It is open to artists within theatre, dance and performance who want to embark on a research-led study and to situate their practices within the social, political and economic conditions of the contemporary world.

The programme brings together innovative performing arts practices with critical reflection, and promotes expertise in initiating and building new alliances and arenas both within and outside existing structures. It aims to educate artists who can engage imaginatively with urgent social and political challenges and will take an active role in shaping current developments in the performing arts field and research.

This visionary program will prepare students of the performing arts to engage aesthetically, critically, and institutionally with the most important social issues of our time. It offers a brilliant and timely course of study.

Shannon Jackson, Professor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley, author of Back Stages: Essays on Art, Performance, and Public Life (2022)

As a student you will engage in embodied and embedded practices of criticality, with the understanding that live performance is inevitably relational. During your studies you will be encouraged to explore what relevance and impact an art practice can bring forth in different contexts, and how these interactions can challenge and develop your artistic practice towards new directions, while at the same time reshaping the contexts it is part of.
The programme offers a small-scale, flexible laboratory setup, with a collaborative focus and support structure to create the fundamental conditions for research and experimentation.

The programme is based on an understanding that we are never alone and therefore have to build alliances, and that we are always in a specific context, which we need to understand in order to build new arenas.

Next to the practical work, the emergent curriculum comprises a range of theoretical frameworks and ethical reflections, as well as writing, fieldwork, and an introduction to (artistic) research methods and processes. The study trajectory is shaped by the specific research questions and needs of the students. The teaching is executed collaboratively and is dialogue-based. It focuses on discussions, cooperation and reflection. Feedback sessions with peers and supervisors are an important part of the education. The students work extensively with invited (international) guest artists, curators and theoreticians whose practices are at the vanguard of exploring the interaction between (performing) arts and society. In the second year, each participant develops their final project in close collaboration with one or more partner organization(s).

The studies include processes of learning and unlearning in an inspiring and safe environment, and prepare the students to be open and responsive to changing situations. At the same time, students develop skills for planning and carrying out complex, sensitive processes of creating artistic work with partners and communities.

In addition to developing and expanding their artistic practices, the students’ professional opportunities are enhanced regarding teaching, curating, extended art practice and social practice. A focus on critical theory and artistic research prepares them to pursue a doctoral programme, or to teach in higher education.

During the two years the students will become part not only of a community of peers at the MA but also at the academy and the university. The programme is situated in Malmo, a dynamic and diverse city close to Copenhagen, and easily reachable from several other European cities. This gives students access and chances to broaden their international performing arts network and find new affinities.

"How to make art sustainable: in a political, social and economical way?  This new MA Programme was created for conceiving curational practice in an holistic way – representing, but also changing society through the means of art."

Milo Rau, artistic director NTGent, Honorary doctor Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University

Collaborative partners

Characteristic of socially engaged art is the vital importance of identifying whom the artist wishes to engage with and where they wish to engage. In the programme, the student will develop relationships and will build alliances with individuals, organisations and/or institutions.
To help the students identify collaborators and thus initiate an alliance, Malmö Theatre Academy has established partnerships with a diverse range of art institutions, societal stakeholders and artistic communities.

The programme’s partners include:
HelamalmöMalmö Art MuseumMalmö City TheatreCity of Malmö’s Culture DepartmentMetropolisRegion Skåne’s Culture DepartmentSkånes DansteaterUnga KlaraWarehouse9.

"Malmö is the perfect city for this new programme. The city has such a rich social fabric, and a sense of transit, which create a vibrant environment."

Maj Hasager, Rector Malmö Art Academy

The core team of the Master’s Programme in Performing Arts as Critical Practice at Malmö Theatre Academy includes: 

Edit Kaldor, Master´s Programme Director / Senior Lecturer

Sofie Lebech, Senior Lecturer 

Tanja Diers, PhD student 

Iury Trojaborg, PhD student  

Ditte Maria Bjerg, Senior Lecturer and Rector of Malmö Theatre Academy. 

During the course of your studies you will also work with invited (international) guest artists, curators and theoreticians who will teach individual courses and workshops within the two-year programme.  
A detailed education plan and overview of the semesters will be announced on this web page in September 2022. 

Application period:17 October 2022 - 15 January 2023. Programme start: Autumn 2023. 

1. Apply via www.universityadmissions.se. The application period opens 17 October 2022 and closes January 15 2023. Please make sure to follow every step of the application process, more information below.

2. Detailed information about the application process, including what supporting documents are to be submitted, will be available here once the application period opens.

Education Plan: A detailed education plan and overview of the semesters will be announced on September 2022

Education scope: 120 credits, full-time studies over four semesters, 30 credits/semester.
A Second cycle degree programme requiring a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (180 credits) within the field of performing arts, or equivalent. Fulfilled studies will lead to a Master degree in Fine Arts

Application period: 17 October 2022 - 15 January 2023

Education start date:Autumn semester 2023

Teaching language:English

Study location: Malmö Theatre Academy. Remote studies will be part of the programme

Study pace: Full time

Responsible unit: Malmö Theatre Academy, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University

A detailed education plan and overview of the semesters will be announced in September, 2022. 


Degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (180 credits) within the field of performing arts or equivalent.

Application and tuition fees

If you are a citizen, a permanent or long-term resident of Sweden or a citizen of another EU or EEA country, you are not required to pay application or tuition fees.
The tuition fee for non-EU or EEA students of the Master’s programme in Performing Arts as Critical Practice is 400 000 SEK per academic year and 800 000 SEK for the whole programme. You can read more about tuition fees and scholarships at University admissions and who is required to pay fees(new window, universityadmissions.se)


The strong partnerships and outward looking principles of this MA programme provide a generative context for critical theory and performative experimentation, and the strong practice traditions of the Malmö Theatre Academy offers a supportive home for students to push boundaries, ask questions and take risks.

Terry O'Connor, Forced Entertainment, Honorary doctor Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University

Related articles

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Education start date
Autumn term 2023

Education scope
120 credits, four semesters of full time studies

Teaching language

Study location

Study pace
Full time

Responsible unit:
Malmö Theatre Academy, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University

Application period
17 October 2022 - 15 January 2023

Education Plan:
A detailed education plan and overview of the semesters will be announced on this web page in September 2022