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University

University of Otago
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Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree

Duration

1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a practical, studio-based degree designed to enable students to attain a high level of professional mastery, craft and practical skill, through the presentation of both a creative art-work (or art-works) and a written component (exegesis).

The degree will equip students with the ability to create theatrical works at a high professional level, providing training to an advanced level of proficiency in the field of specialization (e.g. acting, direction, design, or scriptwriting). It will enhance students’ lifelong ability to contribute to, and to critically reflect upon, the cultural life of New Zealand and the world, with a particular focus on the theatrical and performing arts.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a practical, studio-based degree designed to enable students to attain a high level of professional mastery, craft and practical skill, through the presentation of both a creative art-work (or art-works) and a written component (exegesis).

The degree will equip students with the ability to create theatrical works at a high professional level, providing training to an advanced level of proficiency in the field of specialisation (e.g. acting, direction, design, or scriptwriting). It will enhance students’ lifelong ability to contribute to, and to critically reflect upon, the cultural life of New Zealand and the world, with a particular focus on the theatrical and performing arts.

Theatre Studies is a subject that is easy to become passionate about. It provides an understanding of the nature of performance, allows you access to the tools of a theatre-maker, and looks at performance using critical and analytical skills.

You’ll study different times and cultures from a theatre perspective, ranging from Shakespeare to performance art and all points in-between. Practice and analytical investigation inform and support one another.

Your lecturers have professional as well as academic expertise in the fields of acting, producing, directing, criticism, stage design, lighting and sound design, playwriting and translation. And then there is our unique weekly Lunchtime Theatre programme at Allen Hall, which is your testing ground as a performer, director or playwright, and in all aspects of stagecraft.

Otago offers a wide selection of papers in Theatre Studies, drawn from the following areas:

Performance skills: improvisation; principles of actor training, including Shakespeare, voice and movement

Analysis and interpretation of drama on stage and screen

Bicultural theatre; drama and theatre of Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Pacific and Australia

Directing

Theatre history, contemporary drama and performance art

Performance analysis and critical theory

Theatre technology and design, especially lighting and stage design

Playwriting and the creation of new theatre works

Structure of the Programme

a. The degree shall be awarded in the following subject: Theatre Studies

b. The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and presentation of production work (one or more substantial theatrical or live performance works, or a suite of shorter works), plus a written exegesis on that body of work. In some cases the candidate may also be required to take and pass approved papers, normally at 400-level.

c. A candidate shall, before commencing the project, secure the approval of the Programme Co-ordinator for the supervisor(s), and for the selection of performance works to be prepared and presented.

d. A candidate may not present work that has previously been accepted for another degree.

e. The Senate shall approve the proposed area of study on the recommendation of the Programme Co-ordinator and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities)

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities)

Every applicant must either:

  • be a graduate, normally in a relevant field, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities)

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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