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Performance Pathway

V&A/RCA History of Design MA

Performance is one of three pathways, alongside Design & Material Culture and Photography, that students follow on the V&A/RCA History of Design programme. All students develop specialist knowledge and techniques through pathway teaching, while also studying on a common core programme.

By engaging with a wide range of materials from the National Collection of Performing Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum, students on the Performance pathway explore how the material remains of performance inform our understanding of the performing arts, historically and today. Jointly offered with the V&A’s ground-breaking Theatre and Performance Department, the pathway offers collections-based teaching with the world’s most diverse collection of material documenting current practice and the history of performance. As a student on this pathway, you will explore the spaces, practices, processes, materials, economic systems and remains of theatre and performance. 

The Theatre and Performance collections at the V&A record the history and practice of live performance in the United Kingdom. The largest of their kind in the world, they encompass everything from theatre architecture to costumes and scripts. As a student on this pathway you will have the opportunity to work with the full breadth of the collections, including: theatre programmes, photographs, archives, objects, costumes, props, designs and production files. Taught closely with specialist staff from the Department of Theatre and Performance, this pathway provides an opportunity to draw directly on curatorial expertise and experience. As a student on this pathway you will also benefit from specialist guest lectures from visiting academics and industry experts to explore the culture, economics and politics of performance, in the past and present.


To apply for the Performance pathway, please select 'History of Design: Performance' as your programme on the online applications system.