GSA’s PhD programmes support innovative research in a wide range of areas, fosters a spirit of independent enquiry, and encourages researchers to challenge received wisdom and extend the boundaries of the discipline.

At school and Faculty level, we host regular research events as well as bespoke training sessions on academic skills and informal research development opportunities. The aim is to offer postgraduates researchers a thought-provoking and supportive research environment in which to complete their PhD studies.

We welcome proposals that will result in a written thesis (c. 80,000 words) or a practice research curated portfolio with complementary writing (c. 40,000). As a research conservatoire, we are fully able to offer time and support for practice research experiments and practical methods of knowledge enquiry. 

Three steps to applying

Step 1: Identify and speak to a prospective supervisor: We recommend that you contact our Director of Postgraduate Research, Professor Robert Shaughnessy, who can connect you with an appropriate supervisor.

Step 2: Apply for a place on the Theatre PhD programme by the stated deadlines (see below).

Step 3: The strongest applicants will be invited to complete a studentship application form and receive one-to-one support in refining their applications.



Research at GSA is multifaceted and, while we welcome applications on any topic, we have particular interests in:

  • Actor training
  • Disability and performance
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the arts
  • Musical theatre
  • Pedagogic research
  • Performance and cognitive science
  • Shakespeare
  • Sustainability and performance


Finance and Funding

For details on funding postgraduate study please visit the University Web Page.


Are you a Home or EU candidate?

Doctoral College Studentships Home/EU fee waiver, £15,008 stipend per year. This is a university wide scheme and is highly competitive. Application deadlines to be announced.

AHRC technē studentships. Home/EU fee waiver, c. £15,008 stipend per year. Now in it’s 7th year, technē is a consortium of 9 universities and funds exceptional PhD researchers. EU candidates who do not have 2-years residency in the UK are eligible to apply for a Fees Only award. Application deadlines to be announced.

Are you an international (not EU) candidate?

Vice Chancellor’s Studentships International fee waiver, £15,008 stipend per year. This is a university wide scheme and is highly competitive. Application deadlines to be announced.

If you have any questions about the studentship in GSA, please contact Professor Robert Shaughnessy Director of Research to find out more.

Studentship Competitions and Funding 

All of our studentships offer a stipend and fees award. The deadlines to have applied to the programme in order to be considered change each year, but typically occur in December or April depending on the funding scheme. 

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) TECHNE Studentships

Eligibility: open to Home / EU candidates (December deadline)


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Studentships

Eligibility: open to all including international candidates (December deadline)


Doctoral College Studentship Awards

Eligibility: open to Home / EU candidates (April deadline)


Supervisors and Researchers

View our current Postgraduate Research Supervisors.

View our current Postgraduate Researchers in GSA.